God I want you,
In some chaste, Victorian way.
A glimpse of your ankle
just kills me.
He had a bruise painted
along one cheekbone, and scabbed knuckles,
raised and gritty, and he kissed
you like it was a religious experience.
She had too much lipstick and not enough
confidence, and she kissed
you like you were made of smoke.
Nowadays, you don’t kiss
anyone, and you don’t miss the boy with the
split lip and enough anger to
splinter glass, or the girl with hollow
eyes and scars in the crooks of her elbows
but you almost miss
the person you were when you were
what makes life worth living, is the question
I consider writing an entire thesis on,
I realize it would not be enough.
this morning I woke up and curled my arms around
a pillow, not you, but it felt good.
the inside of my mouth still tastes like you,
which is probably a lie,
but I still think of you,
which is the truth.
I talked to my mother today
and when I hung up,
she called me right back
to say something inconsequential
but, god, it made me laugh.
my dead father doesn’t feel so dead anymore.
i read somewhere
that we can fake it till we make it.
i am full of forgiveness,
i am that little bit of god
that stayed, all these years.
if i wrote you a poem about love
it would be a portrait of all the words
that feel good in my chest cavity,
my weak teeth and you loved my smile, anyway.
what makes life worth living,
if there was one memory i could keep
it would be that forehead kiss
it would be your heart thumping in smooth tandem
like my heart
it would be the last time my father said my name.
i’ve seen how it turns out,
a home built on love
i am going to stop writing those old sad poems:
my old sadness doesn’t feel so sad anymore.
After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost."
new york craigslist > personals > missed connections >
by Megan Falley
you were last seen walking through a field of pianos. no. a museum of mouths. in the kitchen of a bustling restaurant, cracking eggs and releasing doves. no. eating glow worms and waltzing past my bedroom. last seen riding the subway, literally, straddling its metal back, clutching electrical cables as reins. you were wearing a dress made out of envelopes and stamps, this was how you traveled. i was the mannequin in the storefront window you could have sworn moved. the library card in the book you were reading until that dog trotted up and licked your face. the cookie with two fortunes. the one jamming herself through the paper shredder, afraid to talk to you. the beggar, hat outstretched bumming for more minutes. the phone number on the bathroom stall with no agenda other than a good time. the good time is a picnic on water, or a movie theatre that only plays your childhood home videos and no one hushes when you talk through them. when they play my videos i throw milk duds at the screen during the scenes i watch myself letting you go – lost to the other side of an elevator – your face switching to someone else’s with the swish of a geisha’s fan. my father could have been a traveling salesman. i could have been born on any doorstep. there are 2,469,501 cities in this world, and a lot of doorsteps. meet me on the boardwalk. i’ll be sure to wear my eyes. do not forget your face. i could never.