Monday, February 21, 2011

February 10, 1994

A field trip has ended;
The children have returned to school,
Glad to be relieved of their lessons.

Not quite the end of my day—
This is just the start of a celebration.
A cake and a dancing elephant wait for me at home.

I notice you going inside;
An item falls from your pocket.
You don’t bother to turn back.

“You dropped your bandanna!”—
This echoes in my head
But never reaches my lips.

I know you find me unfavorable.
I act with silent kindness, out of fear.
(Neither you nor I know what we want.)

February 16, 2004

Music blasts from my bulky Walkman.
I don’t pay attention;
My mood is too high.

Two fools at my stop—
One needs a light,
But there’s nothing to smoke.

I look up and feel uneasy;
Suddenly aware of the power lines,
I proceed to move down another block.

Man in black calls me back,
But I shoo him off.
I can’t stay…I’m too cautious.

A sudden embrace across my back
Becomes a death grip.
Too much—my neck could crack!

I scream, and I pray,
And I pray, and I pray…
No one out but him, me, and ghosts.

Sanctuary approaches!
Its glowing banner is my salvation;
The black flag of death is put asunder.

The shadow disappears;
I gather my reason and my purse.
My money he wasn’t after.

My eyes open from then on.
Even in daylight I watch for shadows,
For shadows can still block out the sun.


Luna, beautiful Luna.
You come out one night of a month to dance
In your shining white gown
With its spinning patterns of light.

Luna, brilliant Luna—
Who dances on the water and hides in the clouds,
Who swings through barren branches in winter
And kisses my bedroom window…

Luna, blessed Luna,
Divine guardian of the night,
Shining God’s pure, undying light—
You keep my hope alive.


Every summer, the trees have thorns.
The grass and flowers and bushes have thorns.
The brick-wall buildings, the warm concrete,
That mud puddle by the construction site—
All these things have thorns.
A bottle of soda left out to bake
May have a thorn or two.
I think I’ve even seen a few
Protruding from a chicken bone
Peeking out of a garbage can.
A thorn here, a thorn there.
Thousands of them float around in the air!
On the window, on the wall—
There’s even thorns inside.
I’ve got nowhere to hide!
Every place is a potential prick;
Even the soft clouds above have thorns.
Even the invisible stars of day!
Everything, everyone, everywhere—
All I see are thorns.

Le Garçon

Those eyes, those soulful eyes!
Their illumination beckons.
They seduce me, pulling me in your direction
With their silent, sultry song,
Clouding my thoughts, haunting my dreams,
Caressing the essence of my very soul.

Your face, your rich dark hair, your swagger,
Even your tattered hippie clothes—
Everything about you makes my heart dance.
I see your personality; I hear your voice.
These things make me quiver.
For a moment, you become a god.

How I long to be your goddess,
That we may build a temple together.
But you consort with your maidens,
And you drink your wine,
And you fool around in your lightning clouds
And you leave me to die among the accursed mortals!

Your silence is a deafening torture;
My ears have bled three years nonstop.
Around you, all I hear is dust.
I blame myself, for loving you.
All I ever did was love you.
Perhaps I stifled your air?...

Persephone and Hades

I pick flowers one morning in my valley
As I walk on to begin another day.
I have never known any pain,
Under the umbrella of my mother’s love.

Diem perdidi! My days are lost
To rusted metal and screeching wheels;
I shall never know the world again
For I have left my dear Olympus.

You have dragged me far below the Earth
And locked me away with your dead;
You have retaught me the concept of love,
And built for me a dungeon of sheets.

Three years pass; I know the cost of a cat
And in exchange I pay with pain—
Three-fourths of the year, incapacitated!
My days of youth and joy have now died.

Four more years—the brooding season returns.
My belly swells again from you.
By now I beg to be free—
But alas, slapped silent! So I write it down.

You keep me “home,” feeding me books
And a pantry of sour arils;      
I again see light, two-thirds of the year,
But all is not the same.

You claim yourself divinity
And tell me to worship sex;
My girls have become your altar boys
And I, your temple prostitute.

Has the cold heart of Hades become aflame?
Have you finally seen the face of God?
You have now shed your devilish mask
And released me from your shadows.

For eighteen years I forgot the Sun
But in her place found two brilliant lights;
They shall shine on and join the stars
In my long-lost Olympian sky.