THE SUNLIT UNKNOWN

Certain days, it
feels more real
than others.

Sudden understanding,
moments like a
wallet filled with
a finite number
of bills.

Curiosity asking:
“Just what will
I miss most?”

Young adults
everywhere wondering
what it takes: to
enjoy a job or to do
a job to enjoy life?

Intense but brief
relationships offer a
certain pattern–
patterns become the only
long-term investment.

Curiosity asking:
“Is there a moment
when you finally
feel adult?”

Turned off by the
idea of ‘waiting’
for damn near
anything.

Minds plugged into
computers, envious
of the coffeeshoppers
tapping feet to music,

Possibly reading,
researching, reflecting–
something personal
to gain.

Stretching ‘breaktime’
like a theraband.
Who’s watching?

Kiwi awnings at, I
admit, my favorite
coffeeshop.

Certain fondness,
a certain unknowing–
“What will I miss most?”

Never underestimate
the gravitational pull
of the place where
you gained financial
independence.

Also: where you
curated a fine group
of ‘adult’ friends.

Even when it feels
real, this hawk-shadow
of swooping change,
I can’t deny my
giddy disposition:

Us, hand in hand,
walking confidently
into the sunlit unknown.

 

Written on February 11, 2014…shortly after Brenton & I decided we would quit our jobs and relocate from Philadelphia to Seattle. We made the move on June 23, 2014.

 

 

PHILADELPHIA, NAKED.

It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus: elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike: so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
ever still when I am

By foot: so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

 

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.

SIDEWALK CLOSED

Giant square holes
of missing earth
Caramel mud

And the great striped
barrel of the cement truck

Painted like a carnival
sliding liquid armor
into the ground

stopping traffic
starting anew

COMFORT

Spring onions
[ little but mighty ]
dance around in
a Friday evening pan
& press their tangy scent
through screened windows
in Queen Village.

Volvo-owning dads
mirror-shine their autos
with microfiber
cloths & load hatchbacks
with camping equipment.

I walk through it all,
like an open air museum.
Grilled burgers & Turtle Wax,
basil clippings from the window
box.

Society hill

Society Hill, Philadelphia