I must remind myself,

And you,

Not to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders,

For good people all over the world are bearing it as well, 

Even if we can’t always see them.

Close your eyes; feel the weight lift.

They are there; They are helping hoist up the good world.

Know they are there. 

I thought I smelled the faint scent of chlorine in my hair,

Even after multiple showers. 

‘Huh,’ I remember thinking,

I guess the summer days are not ready to let go of me quite yet,

Just as I am not ready to let go,

Of them.

‘Suicide is unique to humans and sets us apart from other animal species.’

So says the headline.

I sit, unmoved,

Unsurprised,

But thinking how humankind had better go back to the drawing board.

It is when I am normal that I envy the unhinged

And it is when I am unhinged that I envy the normal 

Sinatra plays

As I swim across the crystal blue pool

Tan limbs stretching out

Every which way 

(I pretend I’m in a movie)

I push some water onto the pool’s edge

And rest my wet arms on the now slightly less burning tile 

My eyes greedily take in the green Pines 

Abundant and uniform in the best way, shooting up towards the cloudless sky

I push back away from the edge

And let my young light body float on the surface 

Music muffled; skin pruning in perfect water 

Now

Where does the water end and where do I begin? 

Wet hair slicked back

Water dripping from happily exhausted limbs

I pull myself up the ladder 

Step 1, 2 

Feet padding across the hot concrete 

The air

Once warm

Now cool; there is a breeze

Colorful towel 

Wrapping around

As I sit with my floppy hat 

And let myself crow crisp 

(stick a fork in me I’m done) 

I grease up again

Go to the bathroom – notice the sharp tan lines already present – come back

Write dark thoughts

Happy thoughts

Philosophical thoughts

All while watching the children: 

Splash

Play 

Show things to each other

“Jack! Go under water! I want to show you something!” 

Little people disappear underneath the surface 

Quite a wonderful sight for anyone who’s had baby fever since 12 years old

Then it is time to pack up and leave, until tomorrow

What a joyous time it has been

Summer wind

A gust of wind suddenly arises,

Whipping my auburn hair into my face and turning the pages of my notebook rapidly as if eager to reach the end of a murder mystery.

I hold my hand over my water glass to steady it and keep the unwavering wind from knocking it to the ground. 

Here I sit: upright in the hammock, one hand on the water glass, the other on my wild notebook.

No hand available for my dancing hair, the wind carries it every which way.

I do not mind, for it is a warm wind, a friendly wind. 

I gladly sit as I am – enveloped in its embrace – until it subsides and my objects no longer need taming. 

I return to how I was before.


It comes back from time to time, kindly piercing the summer heat. 

At times forceful, other times gentle, 

It dictates the setlist of the chimes.

It makes some sound, and also none at all.

Tangible and intangible all at once,

Summer summer wind.

Ode to Deer

Dusk.

I sit on the creaky deck,

Watching them.

3 does. 

2 fawns. 

They graze greedily which makes me laugh. 

I am careful not to scare them,

For – they do not know this, but they are filling my soul.

I think I may love them too much,

Too hard,

But I just don’t care; they are everything to me.

Thin frail limbs,

Incredibly alert ears,

Small quiet steps.

One stands on its hind legs and nibbles from a tree. 

One boldly enters straight into the neighbor’s shrubs. 

The fawns – new and spotted – drink from their mother.

I look at them with the most ardent, unwavering affection.

 My book sits in my lap, unopened; I cannot seem to take my eyes away.

Suddenly they dart away as the sprinklers shoot on, 

Only to tentatively make their way back moments later, to my relief.

I wonder suddenly what each of their fates will be,

Remembering that hunting season is not all that far away.

How anyone could kill these innocent quiet creatures is lost on me.

I force myself not to think about it and return to gazing lovingly at them.

Only when dusk has slid into night do I stand up quietly and slip inside,

Filled with love and quiet peace. 

Hoping upon hope they will return tomorrow. 

Sinister

Garden Petunias

On one particular walk,

On one particular day,

My eyes landed on the most gorgeous Petunias. 

Strikingly vibrant and incredibly gentle all at once,

There they were in all their beauty.

And as I took them in,

The world sinister entered my consciousness. 

For, upon my seeing the colorful flowers and admiring them in the warm summer breeze, my mind had plunged into overdrive.

Wondering how,

Just how,

War could possibly exist,

or any violence at all.

One human being inflicting pain upon another intentionally; it made no sense.

I could not square it in my mind: the existence of both dreadful violence and pink Petunias in the same world. 

My mind rejected it, could not grasp such a concept, such a coexistence. 

And that is why I paused so long at the Petunias,

Pensive and disturbed.

Sinister sinister sinister,

The dark word circling round and round my brain, as I stood watching them. 


I walked home,

Marveling,

Incredulous, 

Outright confused.

War and Petunias; Petunias and War. 

I did not understand.

Violence and Petunias; Petunias and Violence.

I did not get it.

If perpetrators of violence and hate stood on that quiet street where I had,

Looking at the flowers,

Feeling the breeze,

Would they still be so moved to carry out violence on others?

I didn’t see how; for I had been utterly at peace as I stood there, and truly believed the power of the Petunias could do the same for anyone.

I guess I would never know. 


That was that day,

That walk,

The gorgeous Petunias, 

And the word Sinister.

How odd it had been that that word had reached the forefront of my mind so quickly. 

Or maybe, 

It hadn’t been odd at all.