We sit in opposition
Like cars gearing up for a
Game of chicken.
The wind blusters in your
Eyes, your piano voice comes
In crystals. I feel the years
Between us that have
Fallen off, revealing a hard
Skeleton  of love in place.
How  we try each
Other for fault! Your vanity,
my hands cut off at
The wrist. I have no
Stomach to pick through
These remains again or retrace
Plot points on the map
To here. I see it as a
Happy accident that
We have survived
Together at all,
Certainly not any of my
Doing.  Was it the god
Of inertia who intervened,
limited horizons pressing
Against motion?
Were we not brave enough,
and if so,
Has it not taken us down
A step?
Was it something else entirely,
A flame of recognition
That held a mutual gaze
And burned everything else


16 thoughts on “HOME

  1. Oh gosh, what an excellent balance of regret and humor…your line breaks are so well done too; they allow me to keep up with the pace of remembering without tripping up. Great find for me too, as I’ve been working on a poem the last few days that involves an “O, Father”…trying to figure out how to make this crucial line work without scaring the reader away…so thanks for the example 🙂

  2. Love the poem. Your mother and my mother must have gone to the same school for mothers. Here’s a poem I wrote about her, wondering if she learned her mothering skills from the Nazis who ran the concentration camps she was in:

    The Evil that Men Do

    My mother is not God
    not the blessed virgin
    not some saint you pray to
    when all else in life fails
    and you’re hanging on to hope
    like you hang onto the hand
    of a dying loved one
    who is breathing her last.

    My mother has a heart
    of concrete or hardened clay—
    a golem heart. She will tell you
    you are stupid if you buy
    smoked fish and not fresh,
    beat you with a broom
    if you disobey her or are awake
    when she comes from working
    the third shift at the factory.

    She was born in a hard time.
    At nineteen she came home
    to her dead, the bodies
    of her mother, her sister,
    and the baby in the blanket.
    At twenty, things happened
    that she still won’t talk of.

    What she tells me is the usual
    camp shit—eating beets
    and rotten potatoes,
    wearing frozen shoes
    that left her a cripple,
    the cold nights, and the fear.

    Maybe she learned it there
    in the labor camps—
    How to cut herself loose
    from you with a slap
    or an ugly name like whore
    Or asshole or stupid shit.

    I’ve seen her take my father—
    stupid from work and drink—
    [no stanza break]
    and pull him from the chair
    and kick him while he cried:
    “Please, Tessha, dear God.”

    She forgives the Nazis
    for teaching her this discipline
    but she can’t forgive my dad,
    my sister Danusha or me.

    We breathe too easy.

  3. that was our time, I remember it well. (bicycle rides..stuff) me outside and you on you on inside of those days. you expressed it so very well. hope to see you some day soon.

  4. Luckily for me, I discovered your blog on Twitter. I enjoy your poetry and your photographs are beautiful. I’ve added you to my blogroll.

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