INTACT

There is no convenient
time to start over, share
bad news, be ‘off’ at work.

No convenient
time to be heartbroken,
a fact that keeps some
relationships dutifully
intact.

After seeking the abstract,
we search for absolutes.

Routines.
Fresh fruit.
Woven blankets on the sofa.

We labor over mutual interests,
Myers-Briggs compatibility,
and shared domesticity.

Moreover: affection!
Freedom from gender roles!

Still, the Venn diagram:
You maintaining your you-ness,
me maintaining my me-ness —
it’s what keeps our relationship
beautifully intact.

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Greenlake, Seattle

HER ELUSIVE NAME

Is it terrible
that I have to Google my
grandmother’s first name
when I send occasional postcard?

Marian, Miriam, Marion – I never
remember. But Google’s ‘Marion’
has his own Wiki page and
wrote a book, something my
grandmother only ever
aspired to.

Something I only ever
aspire to. My own Wiki page,
my name in print on shelves.

Perhaps we’re not so dissimilar.

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Somewhere in Philadelphia.

AN AFTERTHOUGHT

With freckled arms
I search the floor for
affirmation, posing this way
and that.

In the quiet stillness of
Sunday morning yoga,
feelings pour from my
unquiet mind.

Your biggest fear
is you, it says.

A madness I’ve understood
for un-still-able moments,
there and gone.

That you won’t be
who you want you
to be, it says.

That acceptance will
flee or be forgotten,
realized as an
afterthought.

light light light

Juanita Beach, Kirkland | WA

AN EDUCATION

(I wrote this poem about two years ago, when I was unemployed after college. Now I’m about to be voluntarily unemployed. How much life can change in so little time. I am learning now what is essential to my happiness, my wholeness. And it absolutely means simplicity.)

Our fruit baskets are not empty.
My shelf is filled (so is hers).
Our tiny fridge is clumsy with
tissue-thin bags of produce.

After breakfast, I’ll cover my
body in lavender suds.
And comb my thick, soft hair.

Some things can’t be measured.
I’m like a housewife without a
husband, when I only want
to be fitted for an office chair.

Today, I’ll hang the lace curtains,
write four cover letters,
make three square meals,
sweep the hall,
brush the rectangular edge of my
nightstand with mustard paint.

No paycheck, but my diploma is
in the mail. I’m good for it.

THE CITY IS A BEEHIVE

The city is a spillt
canister of legos
stretching out & out
etched by rivers
large enough to
accommodate
boats
impressive bridges.

Disregard the concrete.
Pay no mind to the
curdling of liquids
after it rains.
Look up to the
massive sky
where stale sounds
and stifled air
find release.

The city is a beehive
that alarms us
when we think:
“Gosh, we made this
with hands, this
hectic, full of
what-ifs
place.”

Its swarms of people
provide us with a
certain nectar,

but you’ll get sick
of the taste
if you never leave.