Friday, September 6, 2013

How I Live Now

1. Run six miles down a road that passes green fields, the sun rising to my left in the east. Run past elms like old giants breathing slow above my dark head. There is a Rose Lane and a Dove Lane and a lane called Blood; down one of these a woman sells 'Fur Hats' and handmade doll clothes. There are mobile courts where women have planted purple and pink flowers in rusted wash tins.

2. Small town mindset as I see it now: There are two kinds of people for whom I pour coffee. Those who seek my story, who humble me with their welcome. Those who need me first to prove something--how long I shall stay; how ragged is my possible judgement; what is it I'm wanting here. Is it to take something for my own? Stranger, I do not know. For those who welcome: Thank you for your humanity. To those who doubt: We have lonely hearts, both of us. 

3. The school is to the east. From these new, white, double-paned windows that will keep us from the cold come winter, I sometimes watch you walking to work the way I watched you walk away from me before I knew you. These days, you'll come walking back. To me.

4. I am remembering that I know how to play the piano. Scenes from Childhood. Kinderscenen. I'll take out my cello one day and tune it up, pluck the forgotten strings, admire the polished wood, the curves like a lady, like a lady.

5. Three things, you say, are needed

Someone to love
Work to do
Something to look forward to

6. Certain things are still difficult; this is my proof that we're not dreaming. Still tired days, still low days, still moments of unraveling shame. When we were first beginning, and fear was following me around like a hungry cat, I'd count them up: Bad haircut. Empty bank account. No place to live. Sick dog. Distance. Doubt. All anchors to the ground. There had simply been too much too good to be true. Now I'm wearing a different coat: Collect gratitude in my pockets like smooth stones.

for Friday afternoons
for red curtains pulled against the sun
for your sleeping shoulder
for my hand on your back
for chocolate cake and milk in a wine glass
for the dog who stumbles along and along and along
for whiskey and ginger and nighttime walks
for all I have known
even the bad stuff
thank you
it got me here
and what I mean to say is that Here
is what I'd always wanted
but had never known
could be.

Thanks for reading.