Thank You For The Sundays

Something they don’t tell you is that there’s a magic garden

in every courtyard in Philadelphia.

Gardens made of glass, and tears, and gunfight.

 

And through it all, as the sun sets,

roses creep out of window-barred pots and slither to the streets –

every atom in the city chasing that faint ocean air.

 

The city of symmetry, city of two rivers – entre fontaines,

je t’aime from here to there and back again,

the Atlantic rolls between us.

 

In the meantime, I’m eating up spoonfuls of Sundays

I’m all too willing to give.

 

And in this time I’ve hidden myself in every corner of the city,

every bustle in the suburbs, here I am,

sarcastically.

 

Found in yarn stores in South Philly,

fingers running through the strands

despite the weight of cheesesteak in my hand.

 

Resting the holy hollow of my body in a Temple cot in summer;

ring around my toe and vision hazed

in vodka-sparkled saturation.

 

On my knees in a bathroom or two in West Philadelphia

setting tiles in the floor of a soon-to-be home

so a single mother can breath a little easier for a little while.

 

And out here on the Main Line,

wrapped in white sheets, a pen in my mouth,

listening to that goddamned bell toll,

 

Waiting for the gift of Sunday exploration

in the holy city of gardens and love.

As Long As It Takes

I measure time through methods more intimate than

seconds, years, or days.

 

You learn to, don’t you, when time zones lead to tears?

When the anxiety of separation manifests for years?

 

Time has only shown me that our meager, human

methods of dividing up a day in ticks and tocks

leaves so much time unaccounted for.

Time is more than regularity;

it should be shown as valleys and peaks

with the echo of eternity:

“As Long As It Takes,”

echoing eternally between them.

 

Time will take

As Long As It Takes

and rigid divisions are a shitty constraint

on a concept that is one- and ever-flowing.

 

So let me preach:

Measure time in tubes of toothpaste

and moments in metres and miles ahead.

Measure hours in hot water cooling,

and days in books not yet read.

Measure years in love and decades in passion

and life in what’s been produced from the thoughts in your head.

 

Take it from the girl who lives six hours behind her boyfriend,

five hours behind her best friend,

two hours ahead of her home address: home to the house she’s never lived in,

and three hours ahead of the first house she was ever brought home to,

under a rainbow one day in late October;

 

time is a patchwork of moments.

 

And those moments will take As Long As They Take.

An Excerpt of Unrequited Lust

I wasn’t lying when I said my makeup

Never runs — instead it walks, leaving footprints

On my face, and eventually the powder on my cheeks

Melts away like the snow in spring.

I am a wax doll,

And you are my flame,

And though I fear you,

You help my cover up my flaws

By giving me plasters doused with an

Antiseptic form of love in the shape of your thumb.

I wish you wished for the feel of my fingers

Running through your hair,

Or along your earthly back.

I would count the notches in your spine

And ask you questions over wine-

What would you do;

Who would you be;

Why have you let me see the inner

Workings of your spirit?

I’m nothing.

I’ve only seen the gargantuan sky

Turn purple at dusk, and for God’s sake,

I’m just how learning how to breathe,

Or count stars in the dark.

I think, in fact,

I’ve mostly made you up.

My eyes are raw, and my nails have disappeared,

Leaving canyons of red clay and crimson holy water

Creeping out of my capillaries.

And because we haven’t done anything but touch,

I would have broken the mirage

By asking you about yourself — so I had to

Make you up to keep you running.

And run you did — away from me.

I remember standing at a traffic light,

Talking to everyone but you,

And I heard what happened at that party

I wasn’t invited to.

Instead, I’d stayed at home and learnt my lines,

As if this play would finally teach me to speak when

I stepped off the stage-

But I know better than anyone that that could never happen,

Because the person I am between the two darkened corners

And five blackened planes is someone so different from me.

The lights illuminate, and the makeup hides,

And maybe, just maybe, I thought:

You could have fallen in love with me that way.

But at that traffic light,

I might have been transported back a thousand years,

Back to when that exact point was at the bottom of a river

And my feet wouldn’t unstick from the ground.

The last time that I touched you,

I disappeared for three weeks,

Maybe that’s what between us-

But look at me now.

I have come so far from yesterday or yesteryear;

I am alive and kicking.