This appeared in La Fovea (check out my link to poet Tom Benediktsson) and was inspired by a vacation with my friend Sally–thanks for that, gorgeous!
VERDICT: THAT LIFE ITSELF IS ROMANTIC
–On Being One of Two Remaining Single Women in Makena, Hawaii
Look at the gloss of the first planet after sunset,
the high fronds of the fountain,
the long white silk worn on the beach,
and I think of the things I want to say to a man sometime.
Like, I want to get day-drunk with you.
Is it heaven? No, it’s cool. I’m alive.
Taking in the evening’s breath, I think
back home, this would be the day each year
when the most people leave the most jackets behind on park benches.
The weather has a newness to it.
Traveling with only my best clothes makes me feel rich.
Is it Sunday? No, it’s late. I’ve arrived.
I’m learning the phrases of the moon:
That slimmest possibility of joy, Blithe breast,
Flashlight for dead timber on volcanic slopes,
Too late at night to care, and There, like your conscience.
I wonder if there are places in space that are empty, or is it one big spangle?
Are we there yet? No, we’re far. I’m asleep.
Rereading my love poems, I see I’m a lump of concrete incorporating pebbles,
these loves that stick, for awhile. I vote for the conservation of crushes:
for every crush, an equal and opposite recrush.
Forgetting is comforting, step by step, a drop of sweat absorbed in a lake.
The cold of a new hematite necklace, the warmth of the pearls I just took off.
Is it over? No, it’s still. I’m surprised.
And if, and when, my lips suffer from sensory deprivation,
I can take that clacking palm, that plumeria flower, the cotton robe,
and brush it across. I love that angle of my cheekbone to chin,
that jaunty, famous look of sunglasses on the top of my head.
The new clothes warmed by the sun, the breeze that smells of champagne.
Is it rapture? No, it’s dusk. I’m alone.
Taking in the night’s width,
I remember the word marasmus, failure to thrive due to lack of touch.
And I taste that whistling faith I have in the future, that newlyweddedness
need not be wasted on the young. I love that view of the planet where all
you see is ocean. I praise the embryology of abundance.
Are you hungry? No, I’m full. I’m all right.
The air here was meant to be wrung out and sipped.
A sidewalk artist sketched me and labeled his work “Sweetheart.”
My friend Joe has a list of five crucial things his beloved must be. I didn’t ask,
didn’t want him to know I cared. For me: delightful, delighted, potentially paternal,
reverent. Maybe I just need four. For the fifth, surprise me.
Is this heaven? Yes, it’s cool. I’ll get by.