Poem One

What Was, Want Was

it was supposed to be
I was supposed to be
steady as a kitchen table
scraped for years by family flatware
and the teeth of dogs making off with chicken legs,
supportive of frenzied can’t-wait lovemaking
and a place to lean while breathing through contractions
(huge-bellied with the fruit of the good earth)

it was supposed to be
sweet like nectar
stained by the red burst of berries
and flowing honey
while rivers of sunlight crossed on wood floors
and the drifting scent of flowers perched in jam jars and old cola bottles

There were, of course, to be pockmarks,
scars faded to a smooth finish
and the strained stretched flesh across fingers
weathered and worn
yet warm and wise

it was supposed to be rich
heavy as cream
the glint of glass
the sound of wind chimes
the heat of sunlight
ultra-saturated and over-exposed
image as memory

but this table shakes.
the story unfolds in fits and stops
then tumbles out all over itself in puddles
broken, bloodied.
it is cold and shivering
unchained, non-linear.

it was not to feel so paper thin
brittle and vulnerable
so unmoored and uncertain

this history was to be carved of wood
worked by hands and shaped by weather
yielding yet solid.
In its place, I stand unable even to be cupped as water in hands.
I am writ instead on dried leaves that break and blow away,
I decay
I diminish
small and unsteady,
a story comprised almost entirely of holes.

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