Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Expatriate. 2nd ed.


I had two decades of sun-streaked hair pouring on my shoulders
twirling legs and a hand on the hip of my swimsuit.

I had a blue cat that turned to the beat of somnambulism
and stared for years past the iron railing of the embassy.

I once had a city balcony full of basil
and a grand army of buttons and thimbles
that shot at the boxcars made of spice tins.

Before that, I had a temperate sky and a front yard
that grew weeds of familiarity
and there was a story that trembled under my skin
preparing to play itself out in the form of sunburns.

During these times, possessing percipience was optional.
I went about in a casual way, swallowing street corners with my scooter
of the requisite learning process for fencing in worries.

Wasting my time with heavy doses of calm
in a house that my mother dressed with tenderness
Resting my head on a pillow that spoke to me
but kept secrets about my mind's calamity.

And in San Francisco's July I began to spot ruined faces
in the fog
I watched gilded hands rob frustrated ghosts
of their innate rhyme, their honest reasoning, pragmatism.

Now in a warm Winter like this one, companions fly into town
but flee swiftly with mental pox, fiscal leprosy,
educated orphans stealing cigars and sucking on patience,
and I feebly hope to remain content with the faithful tones of my elders.

I once had four sacraments
a guardian angel
and several photographs
hidden between the pages of Love (in the Time of Cholera)

I had a lover with a full head of dark hair
and each strand embodied the boldness of living freely
and the disasters caused by undiagnosed loneliness.

I tried imitating my mother
making sure I knew the meaning of breadth and bracelets
but she was busy cultivating strands of gray hair.

I reminded my father to look in the mirror and see me
but he forgot, his wrinkles turned into dry creeks.
All of this happened so long ago. Last year, and five years before that

and then just yesterday
he asked me where I was going
he said he wanted to meet me there.
I assured him I wouldn't be fooled by Utopist hallucinations
and that all those ideas I once had, that he once had
would not get packed up and sold to someone else

Then I wished for many forks to form alongside him
and to guide him over fragile Californian coastlines
while I watch from above
and close a parachute.


Emily said...

The 4th paragraph from the bottom has been haunting me all day..

jason said...

I like you.