[read below or listen to me read this poem here]
a lime squeezed into a stiff drink
to order another;
a tent filled with
flashlights, sleeping bags
and 3rd grade buddies;
the safe place
the certain spot
Pulling up a stool at the bar while Calvin buys me a drink; he knows what I like.
It’s the sage that Mar dried for me months before I moved, knowing I’d need a taste of home when the time came. The way Jon leaves the porch light on when she’s out with her friends.
Or the door propped open, awaiting my arrival. The ecstatic dog lick on my face. The hug around my hips by the tiny one. The dark beer cracked open and handed to me as I sit at the dining room table.
It’s the six pack I have waiting for my love. When he gets home from yet another long, hot journey. The breakfast he cooks me after the cold war that sent us both to bed without speaking.
Or the kitten who peeks her head over the balcony, scanning for the bowl of milk I left to lure her home.
It’s the tracks to which I always return, the ones that touch the right nerves. The nerves in need of reawakening. The nerves, though I wasn’t certain which, were slowly disconnecting. One. By. One.
The moments when we know we are home.
The subtleties that remind us of what is
and worth waking for:
The I’ve been here before, when you haven’t.
The this is my place, when you step off the plane.
The I feel that, too, when you’re drunk.
The I’ve been waiting for you to ask, when you’re wide awake and sober.
The I’m not alone, when you read her status update.
The these are my people, when you type their names into the Cc: line.
The I know that loss, when yours is different.
The I needed to meet you, when you bump into a stranger.
I’ve been waiting
[for this song,
my entire life.
When, in fact,
One deep whiff,
[step back from ledge,
make the call,
book the ticket,
take her hand,
accept the offer,
say I’m sorry].
Connection is courage,
two seconds before
the disorienting question:
Who will I call?
Where will I go?
When things go to hell,
when I finally get published,
if I lose the baby?
this seat is for you;
I knew you’d come.
And when you wonder:
Is all of this a load of shit?
Your gut knows.
Your gut knows
is nothing more
than a beautifully staged