—Photos by Mike Aviña, Sacramento, CA
My heart is cracked open
drops of wind and
ballooning small worlds
Glaciers repeat unsteady
This much movement
This much moment
lashing themselves to
insides of rock
crevice hand-holds between
stretching this far to
Trusting ropes and latches
will catch my breath
as it tumbles open into
the daffodil wind
The mouth of the
young radio host,
moist as the
boy next door
I hear his goodness
his faceless beauty
close to the microphone
close to my neck
WEDNESDAY HE WON
Woke up not knowing but with
a stomach feeling.
Texted you to find out.
You afraid to turn on the TV.
I asked again. Twice.
You turned it on.
He won, you said, I’m leaving the country!
I drove to work, sun was rising,
traffic was not bad.
My car sounded like it was falling apart
It was, but just a small piece underneath.
Dr. Doubay verbally abused me at work
I wasn’t the only one crying
the patient’s wife, maybe even the patient.
I called the chief of surgery.
He called the administrator.
She found the patient in the parking lot and brought him back.
Dr. Doubay apologized, then snipped the puckering stitch.
Then he apologized to me
and he meant it.
I tucked-up the undercarriage and drove to you
only dragging a little.
Instead of leaving the country, you screwed my car back together.
Your father said a gentle grace and crossed himself.
I said Amen
It occurred to me he’d voted for him
so … I asked.
Well, “I’m like the man who voted for Trump and doesn’t want to admit it.
But I couldn’t vote for Her.”
Of course not.
Everything makes a little more sense
now that Wednesday’s almost over.
happens every single week
Whatever you put in
without complaint or comment
(except one time the car was too close)
leaving open-mouthed bin
gaping ready again
miracle on N Street
for a small monthly fee
leaves you with less
Old green station wagon turns the corner
and makes me think of our ’67 Chevy Bel-Air —big
enough to go across country with us all inside.
I think those were my first sunrises, never quite catching it at the right moment.
Jen and I
redecorating to find the perfect set-up of suitcases
and folding mattress for our gypsy mansion.
At night Grandpa came to the way-back to snore while we
maybe slept. Jen slept.
Stars out the back window
that slanted so I could look straight up through it. 70 mph
but still you can stare straight at them.
We had sewing cards. These cardboard pieces
with line drawings of animals (Jen would’ve said “aminals”) on them.
They had holes in them
and you’d thread the yarn along like dot-to-dots,
the yarn had ends
My favorite one was a yellow chick
that we’d do with the yellow yarn. We discovered that
when the back window was rolled down
you could sew them up half-way
and fly them out the window
Until one time
I was flying the chick out the window and the string ripped out and it was
bouncing along the highway and gone as the concrete went by fast dot by
dot by dot.
So I tried
not to cry
and yelled at Jennifer
the next time she tried to fly one (maybe the kitten or the lamb)
and I told her what a stupid idea it was.
Last night I dreamed Sarah
our eight-year baby sister
had gone back to get something on the side of the freeway.
But she kept standing there in the second lane, facing me
driving slowly downstream of her.
And just grinning and grinning as the cars brushed past her,
swerving. Her eyes would follow them, a bit annoyed at their presumption.
Until finally, she turned
and skipped across the right lane
just like she was crossing
a neighborhood street.
Ten minutes later she ran down from the corner where the stop light was and I caught her
on the sidewalk and hugged her held her tight tight, crying as we walked
past the grocery store.
I don’t think Jen ever noticed the yellow chick
but I noticed the rest of the trip,
all the way to California.
if I’d said anything, would whoever was driving have stopped.
(prev. pub. in Small Craft Warnings, 1989)
DOWNTOWN DAVIS, 7:22 A.M.
God only knows what’s on
but leaf-blowers surely
corners of thought.
When they cut
silence curves to
—Medusa, with welcome and thanks to Barbara West and Mike Aviña for this tasty Friday brunch! Barbara is a poet who lives in Davis; Sacramento Photographer Mike Aviña has shown his work and studied internationally.
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