Second Floor Window

 

Second Floor Window

 

People have always asked me

if I live alone? I think I must seem like

a pack animal. The urge to

gather warmth around me so obvious

to others but I remain oblivious.

From my own personal observation

I notice

my happiest times

are when I am alone reflecting

on the canopy of a tree, or

perhaps

a glimmer of ocean from a second floor

window as the rare is infinitely more

compelling

than the commonplace.

Here in summer, many prefer the full on

blast of ocean houses carrying past their

front porches

boatloads of revelry or roars of lionlike

testosterone gargling along from the

Maserati’s of speed boats.

I have always

preferred the second or

third row of houses far enough from the

ocean to avoid the damaging sea spray and

near enough to catch a glimpse of shiny

magic

out the second floor corner window while

standing on a low stool.

 

Last Night I Saw My Friend Vanish

Last night no one knew if it was

the sun setting or the moon rising

but it was orange: hung there by a

wire moving around our sky, currents

of warm air lifting and lowering its round

shape enough to light the narrow, soft roads

crisscrossing the sandy summer peninsula.

One young woman pushing her

old cruiser bike silently, leaving Book Club late after

a chat about amphibians, taking the

long way home, blond hair falling in a

triangle down her back, white Keds glistening,

she thinks of fall when everyone will be gone

and suddenly there in the mist she becomes

invisable except for the sound of one repentant

bicycle spoke grinding it’s rhythm until she’s home.

This Afternoon

I like young old men.

Men whose twinkle never faded like some

lust or the memory of really good vanilla ice

cream. I like the round muscle of their arms,

the temptation of golden skin,

and the quick way they look at me for

what seems like a long time while we are

kissing. Each time I open my eyes there

is that gaze, eyes so clear and full of intent.

I don’t know what to do with that gaze.

It never varies. I’m so unused to direct

and constant I’m checking it, closing my

eyes and then quickly opening them again

like a child thinking it will be gone. The kiss

goes on and on like undulating waves in

a warm climate with hopeful palm trees

that clap their fronds for any passion seen

below.

I think it’s over but something like

one finger on my cheekbone

begins the spiral again.

It would not be sensible to want this

on a regular basis but everyone does.

Desire and to be desired.

We all wait.

A remembered afternoon in summer.

Shades of Gray

Shades of Gray

 

When you’re a child you think everyone tells the truth.

You think your mother and father will be together forever.

When you see your first divorce it’s kind of like seeing your first accident.

You can’t believe this could happen

Sometimes people stay together because they can’t stand to be alone.

They tell themselves it is  for the children

but actually it’s to spare themselves pain.

Sometimes you think it’s better to lie and have maybe three or four different lives and after a while you don’t know which life is real for you.

I’ve known a lot of people like this.

Unfortunately more than one have wanted me to join in but the problem is I don’t see shades of gray.

I like black and white.

You are mine I am yours and that’s it.

Call me crazy but it’s a heck of a lot easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopeful

Yesterday a man held my hand so

powerfully I couldn’t tell after a while

as it seemed so right

that consistent pressure.

Normally I don’t like comfort in any form as

it embarrasses me like the chameleon

turning pink

on lava or carnation, I pull away from

touch as I know the consequences.

But this time I stayed and cried.

It had been so long since I

felt comfort.

Despair

 

This summer the windows in the house steam up like they used to when there were teenagers inside.

All that glorious passion every morning.

This summer everything is slightly off:

The gaits of the horses, the timing of the stoplights, the phases of the moon, the beat of people’s hearts.

Reports keep coming of various things the vaccine does and continues to do yet they are always coupled with remarks saying of course you should have the vaccine.

Yesterday a newscaster reported that a disease which causes paralysis of the face is a side effect of one of the vaccines.

Tomorrow maybe it will be paralysis of the tongue.

In California there is no water and will not be water for a very long time. Sharing is not common among the western states.

Fires are burning and the police departments are passing out placard’s which state “evacuated” to put on your front gate when you leave.

More people died of a drug overdose in the past year than ever before. Suicide rates are up and the ages of those who kill them selves gets lower and lower.

People wonder if it’s best to keep all of this quiet. The sale of hearing aids has gone down. The news is quieter and quieter as people are turning down their television sets.

The optimists are fading and are becoming almost transparent like the colors in a bubble a child blows.

For a moment the fragrance of summer can blow across your face if you let it. Better make haste. Memories of fragrance are so fleeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         

 

 

 

Craters in the moon

When I was eight years old my father brought home home a long, rectangular cardboard box which he opened after dinner carefully

outside our front door. It was a clear night and warm as I recall and he removed from the box like a surgeon removing a baby from the belly of an unconscious woman during a cesarean section a long metal object with legs like a strange frozen spider, an arachnid made of metal.

 

Astonishingly to me, he set up this apparatus in front of our house on the brick patio still warm from the June sun in Connecticut.

I had no idea my father had the skill to produce a box of such wonder and then open it and set up an apparatus which apparently was designed to look at other planets and other worlds yet unknown to us six children.

 

It was dark and my mother Hubbeled for a while but then slipped into the house and we were left on the front patio with my father and the apparatus and the warm June night which made anything believable.

 

My brother turned to me and said “ Look through the telescope and you will see the moon. The craters in the moon are caused by ricochets from bullets in the second world war.”

I remember thinking then that war did tremendous damage.

 It never occurred to me that he wouldn’t tell me the truth just as it never occurs to me now that people lie.

 

Looking back, the awe and magic that moment inspired In me was something

 I thought of for a long time.

 

If guns could cause damage to things that could only be seen from telescopes produced from cardboard boxes our fathers brought home, why did they exist?

 

Loss

Loss

In the gray half open eye period prior to

full alert status I feel a touch or maybe an

outstretched limb, a phantom connection

I may remember. Warm and wanting..

Delaying the awakening I dwell there

In hopeful desire among my fresh sheets,

memories of sun fragrant and salt drying,

my fingers on your chest, lightly, sensing

your heart which in these dreams is

still faithful to us, your family.

Love

                                                         

Maybe it’s been four weeks but it would be hard to say precisely as time has stopped being a way to manage her day. The emails started out of the blue with a Facebook message. She didn’t remember “friending” him but he said she did. He seemed intimate yet she couldn’t recall a time when they had actually spoken. They had never touched and she had no idea of the color of his eyes or the shape of his earlobes: both things she remembered when love died.

Initially the emails were very ordered on his part. Being a banker this was not surprising. Paragraphs, indentations, capitalizations and your basic words, nothing interesting for her to ponder the meaning of.

She wrote back in flourishes just as she moved through life feeling that it was too hard to be anyone other than herself. Sometimes she did wonder if he understood and as time went on she thought he must.

The emails came now every other day. Then every day. Then twice a day and now began with “Dearest”.

They met over a Zoom call. He seemed smaller and quieter and would have spoken constantly about the distant shore if she hadn’t asked him if he lived with another woman. His eyes barely moved while his mouth talked about his life, his schedule, his love of a boy and in only a few words she saw how lost he was.

It really didn’t disappoint her. She had known it all along. For a time the romance of it like a sparkly veil over her eyes felt so pleasant she began to use it to shut out the world. Inside, under the veil, was the happy child waiting to be cherished. It felt so very good, so warm and so hopeful.

Safe