Anxiety with a Side of Meditation

My skull
is a bowl
full of
scrabbling , fighting, biting bugs.

I catch one end and shake it hard,
but only a worm slips out
while spiders
and scorpions
hiss and cling.

Cling

To my brain.

I take a ragged breath.
Another breath.
“‘Breathe,’ she said, ‘Just breathe,'” she said . . .
she said . . .
My hand clamps against the trembling skull
as if to silence
the endless,
writhing
wail.

My skull booms with another
bite.

More than Half

I am a half-moon,
a Medusa.

I am half-beauty, half-terror.
half-shining, half-dark,

half-quiet,
half-screams.

But like the moon,
I hold
both halves.

I see the sunshine
beside the snakes
and find my wholeness
through patience

with halves.

Fairy Tale Mulch

They weren’t written,
they grew.

Grimm
simply
matched the grimace
that had
colonized
his land.

Grimm
simply
put his hand
to the pulse
of the maid,
the mother,
the crone,

Grimm
simply
strode
through the
mud
of trodden-over grief,
splintered wills,
and hollowed out hearts

and found,
beneath,
something as gnarled
and fierce
and bony
and strong

as the twisted
roots
of the Oak
that Survives.

Sisters

She gave it to me,
a single
drop
of lavender.

She shared the scent
with me,
wrist to wrist,
older
to younger,
old pain
to new
mingling
for healing.

Still so young,
but now far away,
I curl up,
alone,
in a cage of foreignness
and friendlessness.

But still I hold
one
drop
on my skin.

Lavender.

The dark of her eyes
rests
in mine.

This Child Is Searching

I opened
The Book,
the one that
wasn’t
Dr. Suess.
The one with more than
simple, silly
fluffs.

The Book that let
each creature
Hold
Its Weight.

The illustrations were like
fractals.

The colored details were like
bird flight.

The unneeded borders
of dragons
and saints
and horns
and vines

Were
My
Need,

like a wormhole
direct
to the richness that ached
inside my
tiny
soul.

One

Still blue light
mutes the mountains,

rolls down its sides
in an even slate
of blue

until peaks meld into foothills
foothills into grass
and grass into
homes
and
my
feet.

All swept together
like the illustrated circle
of a single
blue china plate.

Unsaid

Each hour tightened the cord around her throat.
Each moment the words went
unsaid
she could feel the needle enter,
sewing closed
her airway.

A Waking Up

The house is chill enough
to make each breath
a waking
up,

a
chance
to trace
the magic
blood

that soars

from heart
to vein
from heart
to vein
from heart
to every

extremity

of me.

Before the Balance

Muscles tight
on only one side.

A kiss given
but not quite
met.

I’ve been moving wrong,
with only half
the puppet strings
cut.

I reach for a cup
of comfort
and spill

for the crookedness
of my
spine.

How Did I Forget?

Sometimes I forget
as I scribble grades,
push a tired vacuum,

that she watches.

I scrawl a grade
across my phone,
only happen

to look down.

Two round eyes
watch patiently.
Two round cheeks
wiggle
as she sucks milk.

The phone clacks
to the table.

How did I
forget?

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