Burning Down The House




For a moment
I thought it would be better
to burn the house down
than to pack it up again
just to move a mile away.


One good thing about moving is
the more I do it,
the less stuff I hold onto.


Soon I’ll be barefoot
with empty hands


I’ll be a pearl
and the world
my oyster
at last.




*** From the cover of Shawn Colvin’s “A Few Small Repairs”





The face of my dead mother comes to me at the strangest times.
The last time was in a yoga class.
I don’t know, maybe that’s not so strange.
Dead man’s pose.
Dead woman’s face.
Dead woman’s daughter in dead man’s pose
spilling over with grief.


My belly didn’t convulse as with my usual crying.
It’s just liquid this time,
like her face in my head turned on the spigot
in my tear ducts.
Little drips of ocean out the corners of my eyes,
onto my cheekbones,
onto my shoulders,
onto the mat where I lie
remembering the time I told her I hated her,
the time I made fun of her behind her back with my friend Rose,
the time I asked my daddy what I’d look like if she wasn’t my mommy
and was disappointed by his answer
that I wouldn’t be me
without her.