31 May 2009

mississippi heat


just the sound of ceiling fans
moving cool air over
sweat and skin,

reminds me of summer naps
at Mamaw's house.

heavy with heat
trace the creased bindings
of old paperback novels.

idle breaths
breathe in the smell of old things
and dust
and tiny tin cans of snuff.


just the sound of sleep
weighing lifeless upon me

push back



26 May 2009

to Angela

she catches the rays of the sun with her teeth,
smiles warmly
and laughs to echo everything good.

her eyes soften with concern.
her lashes never lower with shame.

she is resilient like blades of grass between
small toes

and bright
like dress whites
and moonlight over a gravel road.

she is missed

like the smell of perfume
on an old blouse.

25 May 2009

late afternoon reverie

i'm a woman

today i lived within
a woman's skin.

legs crossed
foot arched to reveal
narrow trails that bend to spell
streets with strange names.

sitting in my skin
i feel
the warmth of each freckle
one moment in the sun.

hand in lap
knuckles wrinkle and fold
to hold the faces of places
tucked tightly under mamaw's quilt.

sitting in my skin
i return my gaze to see
how a woman looks
in a woman's skin.

i'm a woman

today i lived within
a woman's skin.

24 May 2009

chicago [march 2007]

I spent the first afternoon at Millennium Park. It was beautiful. The art, the landscape, the architecture, the weather. There were so many moments happening all around me. Couples were lying on the grass. A young girl and her mother were laughing. These moments make strangers real to me. They really have families and homes and lives and emotions and stories.

Afterward, I went to the Art Institute. It was free after 5pm, and I was early. It was getting cooler now since the sun was moving behind the buildings. I found a corner in front of the building and around the stairs where a sliver of sunlight shone. It was warmer there. I sat and watched the city move.

A woman caught my attention. She was absolutely captivating. Timeless. She moved toward me and then walked away. It was as if she had ascended the stairs so that I could get a better look at her. I began to photograph her and imagine stories about her. Then, in a moment, she got into a car. She was gone.

She was my muse for a moment.

from DISPLACE [no. 5]

brass circles mimic round cheeks
full of culture
moving St. James Infirmary through pipes of place

melancholy melody
rising as a curtain to reveal
swollen, brown bodies lying like
strange fruit in the sun

song as shrill as the mournful cries of
nobody's people

lonely as the pleas of
a thousand souls wading through
poisons of the powerful with polished faces

one last breath of brass

the people exhale
notes as haunting as
the sins to be transcended.

gymnopédie no. 3

sunday rain.

the windowpanes are weeping from the sound of
ivory keys
ivory bones.

i understand the window's pain.

joy presses impatiently underneath my skin
eager to dance with
the smell of old hymnals.

splintered fingertips tap. tap. tap. tap. tap.

i remember to breathe.

the rain has stopped.