Let’s say I am writing you a better story. Happily
ever after? Wait. Here you are, still tangled
in the thicket. Struggle, scraping by, grief
from earth to sky, as far as you can see.
You wanted a fairy tale? Wait. You are the hero
down, broken, sword at your throat. But. Any moment
the coin will spin. Let’s say we take you forward,
through the tunnel and out, over the walls…
to hang up my hang-ups
my why-am-i-heres, not-good-enoughs,
not-determined-enoughs and why
would the world need more dreamers
we talk and you keep asking, but
could you get a job with that? how
many ways to sell my heart, make it more
marketable? i’m hanging up your doubts
alongside mine and hope
i will be less inclined to explode
if i pin on this belief: here is also a way
of being content
Inspired by Hafiz, “A Coat Rack,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky
it is not that kind of exchange—
skill for skill, love for thanks
or even one small word of appreciation.
if we were all the little teapots
of the world—handle, spout,
we were made to be held,
Inspired by Hafiz, “Energy in Sounds,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky
if our lives became a line
graph: how we grow closer
intersect, grow farther again
or those overlapping circles:
same, not same in definition
dreams, religion, kids—
so we smooth, repair, strengthen
this thread, spin it out stretching
holding over miles and years
I am famous in these distractible parts
for half-sentences and thoughts un-done.
Listen: It is only a skipping ahead
past the boredom of a thing
once seen. The bloom is off, color fading
by the time it reaches your lips
Inspired by Hafiz, “Every City Is a Dulcimer,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky.
“If I ever don’t complete a sentence…”
what could I teach but to give and give
and practice when you can’t preach:
put off this skin and its masks, coat, hats—
yes, even dress, shirt, pants and all the jewelry.
what is there to shine but heart?
when the birds only drink of yesterday’s rain
can we splash through the puddles, regardless?
Inspired by Hafiz, “Everything in Your Kingdom,” translated by Daniel Ladinsky.
“Borrow from your inheritance God has left for you,
This is the place to utilize gold,…”
sealing these walls
7 homes, 4 states
closing up shop
5 cars, 2 boats
converting blood to air
3 children, 9 pets
heart to brown pebble