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The thirty-one years

glossing over something profound

a grumbling stomach? a shin-gash?

the week-old seedlings tilting

in the planter box that hangs off the rail?

our desire is still to have a larger yard

an ohia forest lined by ti and crush

cinnamon leaves under six busy feet.

I don’t think I will ovulate this year.

I don’t think of running without purpose

through the purple haze of miconia.

in the shade there will be timers,

water spouts spewing us, us, us.

those years I hold onto

like the skinned knees of a runaway

I will tell my girls I was that girl

and for my boys to look for her.

or if there are no children, hold knees tightly

and think of the brown suitcase

that lugged the pair of pleated shorts

of a choked up five year old

and The Yearling down the driveway

and that some species are invasive

because they grow at the base

of a trunk and swallow the roots.

I don’t think I will go to jail again.

I don’t think I will tell my best friends

what were in the other diaries.

my book will always be growing

and does it matter what shape

approval makes when that too will age?

I do think of roof rust and why paradise

isn’t an adword but I watch my boss

try to buy it while I am clicking like a duck.

I think of the woman’s breathiness over the phone

and the other woman who on a Seattle bus

smiled at me with her trachea wide open.

I don’t think I will smoke again,

I don’t think I will curate again,

complain again, watch the nurse change

my mother’s drains again,

dance with my grandmother,

carve wood with my grandfather,

hold my parents’ hands.

I don’t think I will do ecstasy again,

snort cocaine or percocet or vicodin

but only because it’s easier when we’re not.

I will always think the cyst in my brain

is growing, even if it’s stunted,

even if I am stubbed, stabbed, struck

I don’t think I will urinate down a library shoot

again, or a football field again, or admit


or that when I was teaching regret

filled my throat like an oiled rope

I slid down and apologized

with caution for all our parts.

I saw a sunrise today and burned

and my lover burned me too.

love is a hot day and a long hike.

how could anyone be sorry for this?

how could anyone have kept walking

through the forest and not thought

how did we get here?

I bought bandages for this and for that.

I opened a new box and slipped one on,

fed the plants and ate a mango

picked from the biggest tree on Hele street.

Posted 07/09/14
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