Marie Anzalone - 3
If you were my daughter:
you would know the joy
of walking barefoot on a rainy day
And how mud squelches just so
between your toes
And how the air smells of rebirth
and uncried tears from what life
throws in your direction, every day.
You would know the stars in their constellations better
than the ones on television, and the color
of your dreams would matter more
than the color of your nail polish.
You would know how to enjoy going to the movies
or to the beach or on vacation, alone.
You would enter the playing field
in tennis shoes, not sandals. The integrity of
your “no” would value as much as your “yes,”
and you would know to reject anyone
who thinks otherwise. You would learn
how to forgive, walk away from, and firebomb
your enemies- and which application
suits what situation. Without apology.
If you were my daughter, you would never need
to hide or deny or negate your love,
and its expression; you would never
be ashamed of your desires and passions.
your boyfriend or girlfriend
would be welcome in my home.
And when love forsakes you,
when dreams elude you,
when employers overlook you,
when life abuses you in the street-
you will learn the truth
That the same genes that give compassion
also produce warriors- and they
are hereditary in the maternal line.
Hunter's Moon, October 27
In the North woods tonight, it is rutting season.
The deer have invested their month of gains
preparing for the lean season; the bucks like their does
with a little extra in the rump these weeks.
They trumpet snorts and calls of lust
Across thickets, scrub, grasslands. Loudly.
It is the Hunter’s Moon. Life sustaining fat
and hormones at full peak.
Replication of life for the sake of life;
Expression of love for the sake of love,
The taking of life in love for the sake of forward progress.
And I grew up in the North Woods, of course.
The days grow shorter, parallel to my desire to introvert
I prepare to either migrate or hibernate,
worriedly, watching me put on my own winter stores.
I draw a sweater tight, watch the north for arrivals
of migratory winged things.
I slow, want to spend more time abed. We were never
meant to work these southern breakneck paces
365 days a year. A body long in motion wants to rest.
Maybe the only person I want to see, sometimes,
Something in the way I love you is different.
The moon looks closer now, from where I stand;
there is both more and less urgency to words, thoughts.
I will watch the moonrise tonight. I will measure
the diminishing distance between hearts, minds.
Weigh intentions in acorns, sunflower seeds, and squash.
I will run my hands down my own sides,
In the soft bright glow
Thinking of how to best prepare the house special,
and of hunters, moons, and unattainable needs.
Hoping you, like your northern counterparts,
like your rump a little on the soft side.
Tender, and succulent. And loud.
Do you remember?
I seem to recall a triple
with you. We lit a fire on
the shores of a past tense.
Who could have known,
then, about lighthouses
that shine beacons across
the entirety of galaxies;
the pre and post memories
of human belonging?
Honesty at Night
At 3 am, my thoughts inevitably
turn to you. Something happens
in moonlight. Dark heat rises like
steam from pavement, and I am
feasting upon a diminishing bowl
of false propriety. A woman dying
of thirst, presented a well of 30
feet, and a rope of 25. At these
moments, the only restraint may
be measurable distance between
houses. Were you here, I would
demonstrate what eternity meant
when it told the night: prepare to
be devoured in pieces, so that the
whole comes to life, birthed in its
own searing audacity, covered
with the fluids of its first arrival.
At the Edge of Vision
How does one walk
with her body appropriated
for use in pieces?
My skin makes me a caricature
passing through your streets,
a stereotype of humanity;
my sex, my skin-
make me a conquest,
a curiosity. I have
the anonymity of the homeless-
The person most watched,
but never seen. The invisible one
of greatest visibility.
Presence without belonging,
I remain at the edges
of knowing, without
finding a center of power.
A mind whose ideas
are not formed or presented
in the mandated format.
A mouth without a voice. An artist
of Life, without an exhibition.
I stand at the border,
at the convergence of all things,
under the protection of the night,
where you cannot see
my otherness. And I stay here-
shedding my hopes
like so much clothing of a size
arranging fragments into
something that resembles a woman.
Once again. Looking for the door
that will make me feel-
Losing the Magic
But you will lose her-
the day you make her always reach out
to you. When you stop believing
she has something to contribute
to your world; when she cries
at night from old fears and new
and there is nothing below her to hold on to:
you will lose her. When you assume
to know all the answers without asking
the questions, when you judge her
present without knowing her past; when
you are afraid that her brilliance makes you
shine less, so you tell her she must be less
than who was made to be;
when you tell her who her God wants
her to be, and stop trusting her own voice.
When you ask her to give up her world
to make yours feel less small. When
she carries the world on her shoulders
and feels alone doing so; when
busyness dictates whether or not
you respond the times she needs your hand;
when your fear that she could never love
someone such as you, makes you
stop trying, when excuses outweigh
compliments, when you see her only for
what she has failed to accomplish,
when you think she is weak for no longer
holding back the water that fills
her longing to be something great,
to someone worthy. When her greatness
becomes an annoyance, when her
feelings stop being heard. The day you stop
believing in magic, in love, in her.
If she has any self-respect:
you, my friend, you will lose.
I saw you clearly tomorrow,
and I will search for you yesterday-
this. This is trying to find
Neptune colored ethics
in a world that is just learning
of the full spectrum of gray.
When a man admires a woman,
he praises her beauty. What
recourse is for woman? There
is no measured “goodness”
equivalent, for defining a man.
Only to see the way light hits
the water at full midnight, when
boundaries between whatifs
dissolve in a soft closely draped fog
I wear like a garment I can hold tight
with one hand, or let fall as needed.
When I sit quietly, I remember
a future with you; and if I look
real carefully at the horizon, all
possibilities remain with the arrival
of each last Sunday of the past decade.