Just thought I’d share

Image result for preggers

The other day my colleagues were talking about the difficulty they have discussing sex with their male clients. The reasons for this shyness with the “emerging adults” in our program are complex, but, to illustrate the complexity, I told them about an experience I had had just the day before.

My supervisor, whom I adore (I realize this point is apropos of nothing), and my counterpart at work were discussing the sister of one of our young men when I blurted, “She’s, uh, with child, isn’t she?” Had I wanted to sound any more like a character straight out of “The Monk’s Tale,” I might have asked, “Hath she child in womb?”

We laughed heartily when I said, “I don’t know why I couldn’t just come out and say the word p-p-p-pregnant,” but later I reflected on my embarrassment (interestingly, in Spanish the word for “pregnant” is embarazada). I realized I had never been comfortable using that word because the “preg” part of it conjures for me the act of a man impregnating a woman — as in putting his (p word) in her (v word) and depositing his (s word). So asking flat out if the woman being discussed was pregnant also could have suggested that I might have had intimate knowledge of how she came to be with child in the first place.

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llamas gemelas

carta-tarot-lovers

love is a lunatic aunt

come down from the Bronx to

rant about her maybe baby

and prophesy calamity

she’ll say

he some dark eyed

dreamer Diego

and need him

chubby chicas

on the side

with they aye papi way

she’ll say

he gonna kill me

dead that one

and snuff these holy flame

gonna do miss mujerzuela

so as give him nena pain

she’ll say

lo siento sobrina but

you don’t got no chance

I just thrown the lovers’ tarot

and seen trouble with romance

first I pull the tower then

the devil after that so I think

you better go mami

before you too much fat

* llamas gemelas = “twin flames”

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Tripping then falling

alice-falling

1. night

In the fever dream I mean to write a love poem,

an ode really, but without any edges,

and begin to think how I can sardine together

tender words you would have wanted to hear:

loverdarlingsweetheartdear

(as a woman might call to a sailor tossed over the bow)

or try and imagine a blue-black ocean crashing waves

of churning conch pearls onto the brown sand and

burying you knee deep in abalone shell.

2. dawn

Hearing the laughter of a Siren from another dark sea

I look up just as she touches your mouth with a fingertip and

whispers something saucy enough to make you

grab hold her hips and quick swim away from me.

3. day

In the morning dream I awaken

belly down on a bed of cracked earth

and somehow know that our hot-dim world

has been without rain and bright light for years.

Off to the right stands a ramshackle cottage

where we once lived with our young children —

well kept then, our cottage —

with the front window kicked out across its middle and

looking like a row of jagged teeth.

Just inside sits our long table,

now made of red hickory,

where we ate a last meal together, the twins,

as you may recall,

spooning sweet potato pie onto the good plates

while two flickering honey candles dripped wax

on the turkey platter and our kind but unlovely

Charlotte, your dear girl,

quietly carved her first name into my sideboard.

4. and down

At some point I notice the basement door

and am eager to remember what else we left behind

so slowly descend the wooden stairs though

cannot see much of anything and

missing the bottom step altogether

fall forward into the silent wide open.

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Jocelyn

joss stone

If you haven’t guessed it, I’m a big fan of Joss Stone, the 27-year-old English singer/songwriter whose music more than tips a hat to the likes of Aretha, Dusty, and Janis but whose bluesy soulfulness is uniquely her own. I’m mesmerized by her sound, which recalls the music of my childhood, and by the barefooted, flower-in-the-hair performances that take me back to my hippie youth, such as it was.

For a while, though, I didn’t even know Joss Stone was a singer because I first saw her in Showtime’s The Tudors, where, during seasons three and four, she was cast as Anne of Cleaves, the fourth wife of King Henry VIII — who cruelly contrived to get rid of her because he found her unattractive. (“I like her not!” bellows actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s King Henry to anyone who will listen.) Hers was such a poignant, understated performance that I couldn’t have even imagined such a sexy singer would be hiding beneath the dull, thick costumes.

Sexy, indeed! …”but not slutty,” as one man pointed out in a comment he posted on YouTube — a comment that has me thinking about what it means for a woman to be just enough sexy. It’s that Virgin Mary/Mary Magdalene thing, the angel/whore split that dogs our collective unconscious and confuses even the best of men.

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I never said I was an actual angel.

 

Dark_Angel_Wallpapers_62 (darkwallz.blogspot.com)

No.

I said I was like a brown-haired angel

beating back the cold night air

with my dirty wings.

You never said that.

Yes.

I said I was like a sweet part of mother night

holding off the dawn

with my forgetful heart.

You never said that.

I did.

I said I was like a bemused Christ

in Pniel pinning Jacob

with my bare hands.

You never said that. 

Listen, then.

I lay right next to you

and touched your hot skin,

whispering into the dark that

I was an actual woman you would need

to woo.

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Sway Me

lightnexus-small

Lover, stay.

Pick up the gourd flute and

play me a fragile song,

tender with your breath, wet

with the sweat of fingertips

dancing down bamboo.

Charm me deep, oh, as you would another,

your eyes black with mystery,

your heart overbrimmed.

Lift me, coiled, from my dark basket —

frightened as I may be by

your bright world

and the easy way

you have with sway.

I’m sleek, though,

glistening.

Artwork

The Other Mary

MaryMagdalene_PassionoftheChrist

Dedicated to R. Browning

***

We even watched the moon, that moon, sink

as some hearts break. And I,

who loved her more than he

in life could do, demanded

one kiss, just one,

and thought well of it for all I’d done!

With the tears I’d dried, the endless rubbing

of those trembling hands, and

whispering only a ‘there, there, my own sweet dear’

nothing more would ask

from my stenched corner,

though I was made to watch those rounded hips

sway, so lovely

in their way,

as she walked the dusty floors, toes dragging,

and would hear the cries from her soft lips escape,

yet me, unheeded.

How could I listen twice more

to that ‘sweet Lord, mine,’

(by then dead, her Lord, though risen)

without myself

rising up

and striking her not once,

that thankless whore, but thrice,

as any man would, and must?

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“Real love is no easy path.”

Jeff Brown_9-20-14Something I read today on Facebook from Jeff Brown:

“Sometimes people walk away from love because it is so beautiful that it terrifies them. Sometimes they leave because the connection shines a bright light on their dark places and they are not ready to work them through. Sometimes they run away because they are not developmentally prepared to merge with another — they have more individuation work to do first. Sometimes they take off because love is not a priority in their lives — they have another path and purpose to walk first. Sometimes they end it because they prefer a relationship that is more practical than conscious, one that does not threaten the ways that they organize reality. Because so many of us carry shame, we have a tendency to personalize love’s leavings, triggered by the rejection and feelings of abandonment. But this is not always true. Sometimes it has nothing to do with us. Sometimes the one who leaves is just not ready to hold it safe. Sometimes they know something we don’t — they know their limits at that moment in time. Real love is no easy path — readiness is everything. May we grieve loss without personalizing it. May we learn to love ourselves in the absence of the lover.”

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Vacilando

papaya

On the way to Cochabamba,

and just as the heat

from the white sun overhead

began to burn

through the silk scarf

you gave me to cover

my bare thighs,

we pulled off the main road

to eat the papaya

I bought for us

the day before.

“Cada pequeña semilla es un deseo,” you said

and held up, between forefinger and bruised thumb,

one glistening dark seed for me to consider.

“Do you mean that each little seed is a priori a wish granted?” I asked.

¿Qué significa a priori, cariña?” you wanted to know, and laughed.

Later, when we awoke from our naps

and a late afternoon breeze tousled

the dark curls that had fallen so sweetly

across your forehead,

I leaned over to kiss

each one

and to whisper,

“What if we just stay here?”

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