If Anemones Were Human

Why did I choose this place
to anchor myself?
That spot beneath the outcrop
would have been so much better–

not that it would matter, if I had
higher tentacle performance. Why
can’t I be more consistent?
Oh, I’m being too hard on myself.
Tidepool–it’s right there
in the name. The tide goes in
and out; variation is in
the scheme of it.

But I should be better. I bet
the others are better, and manage
to gather more plankton
even at low tide.

These tentacles are too small and spindly.
I need to exercise more. Look, over there,
those are so thick and wave
so much more gracefully. Perhaps
I’m eating too much plankton, or maybe
the wrong kind.

If only there were no tide
maybe I could get my act together.

Bare Truth

I want flatness.
I want to live on a flat, bare piece of the earth
with nothing to block the flat cutting line
of the blessed horizon–
Nothing to want when I look through my window,
the window a clear one with no glaze of envy.

No ambiguity. Binary world:
on/off, yes/no.
Sky yes, land no/land yes, sky no
and yes and no are true.

Only at twilight
shall there be any doubt,
purple light reflected on the ground
to match and blur my treasured horizon

and that will be all right,
to have just a small dose of it
before night will excuse me
from the drive to discern.

Pest

She bites more often now
at the tempting poison baits I’ve set
but not enough; each day I must retrieve
the tainted meat or it will bring the flies.

I hate to kill, but what else
can I do when my live traps have failed?
She’s vicious as hell, and her snarling
might anger the neighbors–she throws herself
against the side of the cage until
her black-furred body is bruised
and always, somehow,
no matter how far away
I release her, she finds her way back

and she lurks around the yard, blending
black on black, voicing
that primal growl at random times
and she will not be silenced.

I hate to kill; but there’s no other way
to keep things civilized, and so
I need better poison. It’s best done at once–
no telling what the bitch might write next.

Brother

In fantasy number eight thousand and three
about meeting God, I come in
and he (this time he’s male) points and laughs
saying Gotcha!

I can’t believe you fell for that one and I
whack him on the top of his head and yell you jerk
and he crows you actually thought that crap was all real
and I say that was mean and I’m gonna tell Mom

then he gets serious and says c’mon
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings
and I huff and turn my back
and he coaxes pleeease…come and play

and after some more of this I cool off
and I say grudgingly,
you’re an idiot but I really missed you
and he smiles that smile I can’t resist and
he jumps up excitedly and says let’s go,
I made this awesome new planet.

The Mirror

I was not born naked
It took long years to know

I was not born naked
I was clothed within the womb

Clothed in expectation
Adorned with brute conception

Afloat in some past toxin
I was supposed to bear

Now my mirror shows
The beaded fear designs

Stitched into my skin
By some experienced hand

Now my mirror shows
My cheeks are smeared with red

Red tribal paint with meanings
I was to act not see.

New White Paper

White girl far away you writin some sad poem bout me
new white paper never had no words til you seen me
Now stop and take a swig of your ice cold three dollar tea

Some magazine it showed my face all drippin in the sun
made you wonder what I’m thinkin in this field of sun
You had to write some white girl poem today so now I’m one

White girl I hear you weepin cause you worried bout your daughter
weepin cause you worried bout your livin growin daughter
Go dry those pale tears and drink a cup of sweet clean water

I don’t tell you nothin that you never thought before
thinking bout how you go wrong you thought it all before
But thinkin ain’t enough white girl you got to feel it more

White girl your bed is soft enough to be your lullaby
you could just listen hard enough to hear your lullaby
But girl you weep at night cause you still listen to the lie.