She drew pictures in the air,
her eyes conveying the depth,
her body language, the tone.
There wasn’t one voice in the world who could drown out hers.
Her shyness had matured to introvertedness,
& she saw her ability to listen rather than speak
become more appreciated by those who loved to hear themselves.
As a primary speaker of ASL,
she was deaf to his intelligence;
as a primary reader of Braille,
he was blind to her beauty.
She was deaf to his intelligence,
not to his music;
he was blind to her beauty,
not to her art.
It was the text that ended it all,
for had it been face-to-face,
what would have been typed
might have never been said at all.
She told him how she felt
in a 1000 poetic ways–
through the third-person
who was the funhouse mirror
She was one vacation picture away from losing her job,
he, one tweet away from losing his career,
& so they chose to be judged by their actions
rather than their thoughts.
She scrolled down her friend list,
unfriending those she had never known,
but who had been watching her life more than she ever knew.
It took a body hours to die in Earth space,
but years to die in cyberspace,
for families kept the social media accounts
of their loved ones alive,
hoping one of their messages would reach
Her son’s Facebook page–
deactivated after his death by his wife–
was like an erasure of the man she had loved
longer than his wife ever would.
They each lived a double life,
sharing a secondary one.
They each had a spouse,
who knew not what their other half did,
for their lovemaking
was merely the tapping of keys.
Reminiscent of a nursing home,
with its waxy floors
& glossy walls,
the young family
with a strange grandmother
& their little girl
who could not be just that.
A methhead argued with voices
outside her door
while the day laborers
lounged over the rails
under the mythical red roof,
so she kept the light out
to hide the light
that played inside.
Their temporary displacement did not
lapse into permanent homelessness.
& borrowed vehicle,
was a mimicry of what home
had once felt like.
They ended up at the purveyors
of blue eggs & Spam,
leftover church suppers,
& expired goods;
where trains blew their horns
throughout the night,
disrupting dreams of being
where thunder from the trucks
rumbling down the Interstate
became the perpetual score
of their home movie;
where autonomy became
The Thing to Be Re-earned,
in exchange for daily consumption
of humble pie.
Yet it was at this shelter
of second chances
that they would be given
And Jesus said to him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20)
She felt that waiting tables was beneath her,
that working behind a register did not
utilize her learned skills and innate talents,
never knowing that the smiley face she drew
in whipped cream on a child’s chocolate chip pancake
or the few extra cherries she put in their Shirley Temple Tantrum
made their day,
or that it was her cashiering job
that ultimately paid for those little extras
that made her day.
When she gave birth to the daughter
who would cause her screams,
she did not know she was giving birth
to her own death 20 years later-
a death that would silence those screams.
She lived a life without regrets,
but then, she had no memory.
It was bliss.
For if only he’d known she’d asked for him,
he would’ve never left Tara,
with Ashley alone & aggrieved—
Ashley, a milquetoast remnant of The Old South.
This Old South,
burnt & faded from Bonnie Blue
to bleached denim,
was now ashes that were
gone with the wind.
She was sorry she ever lied,
for because of her lie,
the lie became a truth.
For she’d wanted 7 children
& 1 husband,
but ended up with 7 husbands
& 1 child–
all because she had put
her husbands before the 1.
He preached to the masses
of their filthy rags of righteousness,
but it was when he preached the “Happy Texts”
that his people saw less the ugliness of man,
& more the beauty of the Divine.
They were not found in Salt Lake,
nor in the Church of Scientology.
They were not found in buildings,
nor in any book or prophet.
To know Him
was to know His Words–
words that had been translated
so many times,
that the person who sought Him
tried to make sense of what was left.
God was everywhere,
whether or not we chose to
drink Him in.
His DNA infiltrated our cells—
He had taken His image,
& made copies—
worth more than original
every one of which He paid
the highest price for;
though some would sell themselves
to the lowest bidder.
I’ve lived a thousand deaths such as these,
but the only two that will matter in the end,
will be the one that separates me from this earth,
& the one that reunites me with the God
whose work behind the scenes of my life
I recognize as per His direction.
When they eradicated all of the mental defects,
they eradicated the physical.
When they had done that,
they eradicated the ugly,
but in place of beauty,
there was only coldness,
& no one left to save
or be saved.
“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”
Subject & Verb had a disagreement,
for Dynamic Verb believed it was superior
to Static Subject,
until Verb realized that without a vessel,
his work could not be done.
Colon was feeling plugged up,
They walked into a bar,
where they ran into a few Grammar Nazis,
joining their party.
That night, they conceived the Semicolon,
who kept them merry with her many winks.
Haiku was reflective–
a woman of few syllables,
a mindful minimalist,
a practitioner of Zentangle;
Limerick was a jolly sort–
the intellectual equivalent
of Knock-Knock jokes–
& was full of puns & fun.
Between the 2,
realizing even though they were
from different cultures,
they were both still poetry.
She grew up on Mother Goose,
coming of age with Dylan Thomas.
She still saw the worth in the former,
for it fostered her love of poetry–
a love that would lead her to the latter.
He was a 52-story anthology,
she, a full-length novella.
Each had something to offer the reader:
he, short-term gratification,
& she, total immersion.