what would you do, heart
without a cell phone ringing
or me texting and snapping and retrieving
one hundred and fifty times a day?
what would you say, heart
without me having to answer
every forty emails, deleting forty more
and bothering so much with Siri?
what would happen to you, heart -
in all your soft glory -
if you could just beat and love
and beat some more?
intuiting the vastness of stars
before night even falls.
catching his breath
before she walks into the room.
embracing my child before he walks
i remember when.
there was a feeling.
so much to feel really.
i dont drink but tonight
i wore a missile toe and mimosa t-shirt
with the arms cut off
to qualify for the ugly sweater party.
all of my friends are beautiful.
they donned their santa-riding-a-unicorn sweaters
and acrylic reindeer shells
and tried to neutralize their exquisiteness with Tacky -
but it is just impossible.
one friend showed me an app
where she could wipe her screen with her index finger
and she swore it was erasing our wrinkles.
i could not stop laughing.
not because i couldn't tell the difference
but because i thought it was so damn funny
that she would try to erase the wrinkles
on a photo
of something so imperfectly perfect already.
plus it was the way her finger rubbed back and forth
naive almost, the finger,
i could barely take it.
friendship cannot be measured in cocktails poured
or hors d'oeuvres served
or even sweaters worn.
but little fingers on screens
and white elephant re-gifts
and the magic of reading the bill
held out three feet in front of you...
one eye closed for squinting
the other shot full of love.
girlfriends are just the best.
there is no other way to say it.
Forty is a magic number
like 7 and 11 and 13.
Forty is when you are closer to fifty
that you are to twenty
and you just cannot believe it.
It is also when mean people start to not matter
and your real friends show themselves
and your occupation is only part of who you are.
It matters who you love when you are forty -
because you realize you may be half way home
or on the back nine
or however you say
to old to screw around anymore.
It matters who loves you back now also -
more than it did before -
because who has time anymore
for half-assed love affairs
and broken promises
and the greatest insult of indifference?
Forty is great because you really start to care
about things that matter -
differently than you could
when you were thirty -
and you've lived enough life to simply reply
"because i said so"
when someone asks you why.
At 46, I'm thinking 'hells to the yeah'
just watch me put in some crest strips
and hit Facebook -
i'll write a poem all about the life.
my friend Louise is little and cute
and i call her loulou because of it.
also she is a quiet somewhat sneaky
sort of artist
who splashes you with her art
instead of drowning you in it.
i admire that about her -
how she treads lightly,
slinks into a room unassuming,
but with a smile
that changes how the light rests.
loulou is one of those people i think
who would never expect a poem
but who sees the poetry everywhere -
"you don't need to rhyme" she tells the moon,
"no iambic pentameter needed here" she assures
the daisies -
"just speak" she whispers
"all your secrets are worth sharing".
the rain is back
this time like a no nonsense bag lady
and their passing.
i wanted to say something important today
but there was turkey and cranberry mold
funeral potatoes and green beans
crispy onion, corn and cream -
plus cookies and cake and pie.
that shut me up
like a million lazy minutes
and all i could say was
when we decide to age together
and i mean really age -
without all the trying -
i hope you will remember that i am cute.
i am trying to find a way
to say i love you
that sounds like i am saying something different.
because you are my special forever friends
and there should have been some words reserved
from before you were even born.
i love you because sunlight
and acorns and messy green trees
and the call of the wild and dangerous men
and sugar and heartache and pink.
i love you because old old memories
and new beginnings and broken dreams
i love you because you read and laugh
and argue and worship and regret and cry
and demand so much from life
that even life gets tired -
drops a leaf or two,
trembles when you roar.
i love you because you are kind and silly,
ridiculous and mad,
compassionate, cuddly, and soft.
you make me soup
and vegetables and cake.
you bring flowers and worry and trust.
you peel back decades of things that hurt
to let the sunshine back in
day after day
and you weep
beside me when i am hurt
as if there were no other place on the earth to be.
and you let me do the same for you.
i love you because there so many things happening
all the time, everywhere -
but when we are together
to be together
for real and forever
even if it only lasts a minute.
i love you because you care
about people who have less than you
and people who have more
and you share your beautiful inside hearts of hearts
with people who do not always deserve it.
i love you because when we met
we did not have to court each other
like lovers who would date -
but instead we were married
the moment we first laid eyes...
like the best of friends...
because you can
because it is possible
because it is okay even
to love someone the moment you meet.
i love you because you have made me full
of so much beauty and depth and good
that i am having to teach myself to bow -
so i look less crazy bent over -
dragging around this bulging heart
entirely filled with you.
tonight everything is sleepy -
even the dark itself -
but i am trying to scratch one more mark
into the empty sky
like so many takes on film.
the crowded day has left -
staggered off like an edgy lover
i didn't think to follow home.
and i am thankful there is an end
to every end.
for now, i will pull back the covers
and welcome sleep in.
she will shack up between us,
hip to thigh, my palm on your ear.
always a tumble of elbow and chin,
eye socket and tooth. me and my bumbling
finding my way
to your warm.