these are multiple shadows because
there were a lot of things she walked
away from without a word of explanation
when she was younger & she still
thinks about them more than she needs to
He loved her for almost
everything she was
& she decided that
was enough to let him stay
for a very long time.
An old habit of looking like she’s moving fast. It keeps people from asking too many questions.
I think you love people until you get to understand them,
she said & I said, what happens then?
& she said, o, that’s when you move away.
I wouldn’t mind being grownup,
she told me, if I didn’t have
to get up & be grumpy
right away every morning.
Standing by the window watching his father go off to run the world.
More Than a Princess
Are you a princess? I said
& she said I’m much more
than a princess,
but you don’t have a name
for it yet here on earth.
convinced she can do everything she’s ever dreamed of with just a little more space
They left me with your shadow,
saying things like Life is not fair
& I believed them for a long time.
But today, I remembered the way
you laughed & the heat of your hand
in mine & I knew that life is more
fair than we can ever imagine if
we are there to live it
I like this place best by moonlight, she told me. During the day, it just looks like dirt.
Monster in a Box
This is a monster in a box
& all it eats is sugar
& raw hamburger
so you can understand
how it got to be so fierce.
The thing about money is you can’t think
about it too much, he told me, or you won’t
sleep at night & you get dark circles
under your eyes & nothing seems fun
any more. I told him it was that way
with a lot of things & he nodded
& said, yeah, but with money it makes sense.
I think of it as an
opportunity to find out
how much money means to me,
she said. So far, it means
a lot more than I think
is probably healthy.
Why do you tell the truth? my son asked
& I thought about it for awhile
& finally I said, Because human beings
get mixed up easier than
dogs & plants & fishes.
What if you’re someone who doesn’t
get mixed up? he said. Go ahead & lie,
I said & then I hit him with a pillow
just because I knew he was thinking about
doing that anyway.
Missing Piece (M)
Wanting him to come back before anyone notices a part of the world has not moved since he left
Missing Link II
I thought, I’ll remove my head for a while & it went fine except most people didn’t know where to look when we were having a conversation.
Most people only remembered his hairy arms & never knew him well enough to learn about the tail.
treasures that look like common stuff
My sister read somewhere once
that if you look into your own eyes
long enough in a mirror
you change into the Devil
& it took her almost thirty years,
but she finally did it.
It makes sense to make a map
of places where you can get
eaten by bears, or where
there’s a bottomless pit,
but when you get into making
maps of your mind, you’re
basically wasting your time.