March 29, 2012

Spaces Between Us and the Moon.


I.    I don’t want to hear another word about how this life is painful...

And it’s not because I don’t want to know.
I just want to believe
in something different
for a while.

                             II.     When I was young I held the
                    wealth of stars in my hands
                    and navigated and charted my days
                    according to which constellations rose
                    to the tips of my fingers
                    and which planets traversed my palms.
                    I held each day new
                    like a flower, not yet unearthed

                    or opened, delicately balanced
                    in the desire to reach and unfold.
                    My hands plunged deep into soil
                    to keep from straying too far
                    and I was amazed at how much
                    my tiny hands could hold.

 III.      This is how I imagine life would have been
        if I had been taught to respect myself.  Taught
        that there was time and space for me
        to enter and fill:
        That I mattered.


IV.      As a boy, his grandmother held him high
    each night, above her sloping shoulders,
    for him to kiss the moon
    her arms would sink back into her body
    and he’d cry, begging her to call down the moon
    for the night, so he could tuck
    into the luminous folds
    of her watery skin.
    When his grandmother died, he was just 15,
    running from the FBI because he was Lakota,
    wanting to be free.
    At night, he would hide in the graveyard,
    drunk on cheap brandy, talking
    to the dead
    no longer caring to see what lived.
    His grandmother, now the softness of the wind,
    stretched in the spaces
    between him and the moon, kissed
    him each night, branching
    her body of ash
    out and deep into the roots
    of the willow that held him
    as he slept.

                    V.    I don’t want to hear about another tragedy
                        another suicide, another person losing
                        their way.  I don’t want the image
                        of my friend Ralph hanging
                        from a basement pipe, whacked out
                        on cocaine, while his girlfriend washes
                        dishes upstairs.  I don’t want to see
                        the moment he slipped his life
                        through the rope, leaving
                        behind only one percent of his brain
                        for his family to hook
                        to a machine.
                        I want to talk about love.
                        About some reason why we do care.

VI.      This is how I imagine it could have been if we had believed in something different…

    That the night
    Heidi drove her car up a mountain road
    and into an embankment
    to be found the next morning
    100 yards away, wrapped in a blanket
    dead from an overdose, that someone
    could have been there with her.
    Not to stop her or save her
    because we all know how that one goes…
    But someone could have been there
    just to hold her, to soothe her
    in her passing.

            VII.    The sky I now wander
                a full grown woman
                is difficult to navigate
                through the build up
                of weather.  The sun breaks
                some days, too heavy to rise
                and the constellations turn
                inwards, not wanting to be seen.
                I call to Siva often
                the only dancer I know
                able to hold me in balance
                in a world so completely off
                kilter, and I tell him I want
                to be there with him
                in his embrace
                when he finally drops
                his foot down.
                Before he ends this dance
                of life, I want
                to somehow know
                that I was guided.
                That the stars and the planets
                lit each step that I took.
                That this earth,
                my ancestors
                were pleased
                with my touch:
                That every space of heart
                that I could have entered
                I did.

                I want to know it wasn’t haphazard:
                That something,


Editor: Braja

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