Unrequited

they hiked to a secret place,
if you can call a forest pool
known to all the kids in town
“secret,”

in the fleeting heat of summer
the still, deep pool appeared
unexpectedly
amid rapids and gnarling
forest branches
creatively dubbed
“hot rocks”
for obvious reasons
some generations before

it was a lazy summer sport,
hiking with beer
throwing down wet bodies
onto hot rocks
or each other
jumping into the frigid water,
laughter and screams through the quiet rainforest

until Jesse jumped
diabetic Jesse who was drunk
like the rest of them
and his mortal, adolescent heart
just stopped
searing this memory
ever after
of CPR and sweat
and the twins screaming
Jesse Jesse Jesse

there were no cell phones then
only miles to run hauling
ghost Jesse
to the beat-up pickup
and then the loss
of time

fast forward to
Sophie dressed in black
without crying,
reading poetry
for Jesse
her first love
not knowing how my heart broke
for her,
my own first love,
how I had always wished
to be Jesse

1SageFemme 2017 All Rights Reserved

Orlando

 

Orlando

mother, you told me
your church wouldn’t welcome me
sentiment shooting from
pale pink lips
over the scrape of knives and forks
my children watching
as I inhaled your casual violence
lest it escape into the world
to join a cacophony of hatred
love the sinner
hate the sin;

hate

am i a sinner?
raising two tender boys,
waking at four a.m.
to race to the hospital,
or a family’s home,
where new life bursts into these
queer hands
where i hold your
christian muslim jewish
babies
in most precious regard,
sometimes wrestling them from
otherworldly hands

my love is sin
that is the lesson
that you will not teach my children
and they will be my response,
mother

do you not see that your alter
is rotten,
that disdain disguised as love
eventually,
inevitably,
leads to violence
born of hate

you made Omar Mateen
when those words left your lips
on the wings of moths
to join the hurricane

“you would not be welcome there,
anyway…”

we,
queer people
always fighting to be worthy of love…
we all died a little
that sunday morning
in june
because we know

know

that you hate us

but we have always existed,
despite you,
and we’ll go on creating
a whole new world
out of the ashes

1sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016

Crone

She approached the periphery
Circling life slowly,
Life,
Ebbing into oceans
Vast and misunderstood
Her mind wandering into dark
Wet places
Beckoning her dissolving self
Back to shore
She fought the tide
In useless protest
Kneeling in shallows,
Fists pounding salty sand
Grabbing handfuls of hair
Moaning guttural protest
More seagull than human
Exhausted,
Falling into tide pools
Arms outstretched,
Warm ocean
Becoming her own blood
She became
New
Rising with the sun
Gathering pebbles and syllables
To roll around her tongue
As she stalked the shoreline
For one more
Glorious, golden
Day

1sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016

Stillborn

thoughts spiral
the crown, whirring and popping
images burned onto retina
upside and
down
deep where the scan glows red
blinking out a memory

why can’t this collection of neurons
forget her face
whose lips were accidentally,
reflexively,
sloughed off,
with that no-longer-quite-sterile gauze?

she was meant to breathe

her.
not breathing.

eclipsed sound
burst eardrums
made deaf and mute,
senseless
good as a knock-out punch
but worse
knowing it was coming,

not fair
to promise life
and give,
instead,
the end of everything

1Sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016

Oh, Life

Oh, Life
Let me taste your sweet sensuality
Suck a honey drop
From your sweating brow
Surrender mortality

Let me engulf you
Beginning to end
Let me love you and leave you
And come once again

Oh, Death
How you haunt me
All these long years
Reminding me daily
To let go my fears

For you wait in the shadows
As this body grows old
With adventures unfinished
And stories untold

So I wake each new day
With this vow on my tongue
I will live well today
For I’ve only begun.

1sagefemme All Rights reserved 2016

ever crying “O”

IMG_1566i walked the dog in winter
with senses open full
and heard a maddened moaning
in a symphony of wind
she called to me
this mourning tree
her naked arms outstretched
she drew me close
and whispered
a secret i now forget
but i see her
in my half-life dreams
a halo, red and gold,
children playing at her feet
laughing, running, growing old
the secret, the secret,
it haunts me
it had to do with life
or some other grand illusion
frozen now in time
why does she weep
my mourning tree
ever crying “O”
for children grown
or mothers gone
or a small blue planet’s
death?

1sagefemme All Rights Reserved 2016