Sunday, April 11, 2010

Joshua Tree Speaks

There are boulders everywhere
and Joshua trees
evenly spaced
as if planted
as far as the eye can see

It comes to me here
I ache to climb them all
to start in the north and
work my way south
climbing touching learning every formation on my way

I start
Circling this ampitheater formation
round its perimeter rock by rock
hold by hold
I step lightly
place each foot deliberately
caress the rock's face
coaxing up handholds
placing my fingers gently
and transfer my weight
inching ever upward
leaving no trace

It comes to me here
My soul is a desert
free-ranging and true
open and arid
honest and sparse
a spurner of
the extra
the superfluous
the nonessential

My soul
is a free climber
to do it alone
the best
purest way
under my own steam
to be doing
to be moving
to be communing with rock
My soul is a desert.

School Bathrooms

I munched carrots and celery in the Smoking Bathroom
avoided the cafeteria and its social morass
through which I could never wade
instead I hid
went where it was safe
to slide from
132 to 89.4
in four short months

Between classes
I'd rush into "Staff - Women"
and unleash the real me
in my pretty purple skirt
shaking hips and giggling
composing poems to him
anticipating his laugh
his touch
tingling togetherness
We'd be reunited
in the confines of "Staff - Women"

My shoulders fall apart in this bathroom
all of me caves to the middle
under which there is no support
The crushing collapse takes me by surprise
I was a teacher but twenty seconds ago
What ho with this puddle?
A reminder
A memory
A mourning
of loss I thought I was getting over already
Steely determination and paper grade TP
contrast with the gentle watery smile
peering at me from the mirror
an acknowledgement
a trying to understand
a trying to love myself
to give myself time
to be patient
but gather myself quickly
in this five minute passing period
Sandpaper TP dabs at the eyes
fingers fly to the hair,
brush it from hot cheeks
center in a smile
and leave my retreat
The professional restored.

Those walls don't speak
They peel me.