the year in poems 2013

1/10/13
Early morning
awake three hours
and it’s not even 6.30
doze
arm around our son

You are a blur
of preparation
appear and reappear
in various stages of dress
undress

The air outside is warm
for January
this winter of constant fall

Sun and slow wind
no hat, no gloves
bare trees
a mud flow by the baseball field
and a train to take me to work

2/15/13
A single gray hair on my head
torrential snow and rain
a friend died
after a year of ovarian cancer

This morning a meteor
exploded over Chelyabinsk

I see her as I last saw her
in her office smiling
and I see her as I imagine her
on the operating table
unconscious and slipping away
eyes closed

Vapor trails in the sky
blinding white
flash of light
explosion

3/8/13
In the middle of lunch
he gets up from his chair
runs into the other room

I hear him playing
I tell him there are grapes
I hear him running

then a thud
a pause
a breath
a loud cry
instant tears

I pick him up and blood pours
from his lip
onto his shirt
and my shirt
cries and cries

touches his blood
looks at his hand
and cries some more

I hold him in the bathroom
try to get him to suck on a wash cloth
try to put pressure on his lip

He refuses

His lip is swollen
split
but the bleeding slows
I hold him close
and his breathing calms
his cry is less intense

Do you want to watch a show?
Yeah.

quiet, weak

We sit on the couch
he sees blood on my neck
tries to wipe it off
with the wash cloth

As he calms
and begins to heal
my body and mind relax
and I try not to cry
fight tears
as tension, fear, worry, love, relief
release at once

Early afternoon light
reflects off snow
we sit close
the tv on

***
Early lunch interrupted
blood, a split lip
tears and safety
while we sit on the couch

5/10/13
My stomach
always takes my attention
I feel it as a physical thing
a weight
it feels large
or it carries my anxiety

I feel it hang over my pants
my belt squeezing against it
in the windows of buildings

As I walk by

I see it hanging over
in and out as I breathe
do others see it as I do?

Then –
why does that matter

It doesn’t
it does and it doesn’t
self conscious

Accepting my body
its changes as I age
weight added
noticed only by me
but noticed
every night in the mirror

5/23/13
Smell of cut grass
sitting on the train
alive after work

5/28/13
Night
awake in bed
looking into the dark ceiling
you breathing
on the other side of the bed
we don’t touch

Standing on the train
on the way home from work
humid evening
garlic breath

5/29/13
Streak lightning
across night sky
the window across the alley
with a wreath on it
talking on the couch
while our son sleeps upstairs
thunder

5/30/13
Slow train morning
eyes fluttering with sleep
drifting in and out
while reading a book

Sitting on my lap
this morning while eating pancakes
with applesauce

He stopped and looked at me
and gave me a hug
this he said
I gave him a hug
holding him close

When I started to release him
he said
more
and kept hugging me

I held him close again
my chin on his head
when he had enough
he turned and grabbed a piece of pancake
dipped it in his applesauce
and put it in his mouth

6/2/13
Wet heavy clouds
gray
the smell of grass and weeds
in the air
my feet damp inside shoes
lilac petals on my shirt

Cool and damp
I didn’t even know
I missed this

6/4/13
Trying not to take it personally
while you throw yourself to the floor
and refuse to eat the lunch I made

Sun through windows
observing anger and sadness
you are so tired

6/5/13
Friendship depth
should we have hugged
before you walked away?

Cool afternoon
full stomachs
a book given a book received

Trying not to fear
the bike ride home
tonight

Sun morning
tree seeds in the seams of the car
my son singing along to
ring of fire
dancing to slow ride
more this he says
more this dada

6/10/13
This weekend was
mowing the lawn
and errands
a possibility of making out
the park
our son singing and dancing
our teams tying and winning
beer and wine

6/12/13
Turning the corner
in the bathroom
at work
narrowly avoiding
the puddle of piss
in front of the urinal

Lingering smell of shellfish
in the halls
from yesterday

Pointless leaving work
early
the lines for the train
are deep
in the humid afternoon
tunnel
three or four
will go by
before I can get on

6/27/13
Spending the day
with our son
walking to the hardware store
what’s this?
what’s this?

Up and down the aisles
are you ready to go?
no, what’s this?

Overcast
heavy clouds open
it rains
he splashes in puddles
squats, puts his finger in a small puddle
tastes the water
smiles
he laughs when the drops hit him

Alternates between walking
and me carrying him

He leans into me on the couch
my head rests against him
holding him close
listening

The door handle rattles
and the door opens
he walks over to our bed
and crawls in
and we sleep
for a few more minutes
five o’clock

7/12/13
Holding him close
his legs grip my stomach
we rise with the waves
and fall with the waves

He smiles
sunlight

A large wave
rolls us
I grip him tight
iron
no thoughts
just action

We come up
dazed
but calm
hair sopped
in our faces
water dripping
in our mouths

Sunlight still

7/31/13
Focusing on my breath
in and out
the words
to not believe in 100 years of happiness
come from nowhere
meaningless

Shit smeared
running down the garage door
an open diaper
on the ground at its base
flies

Waking up
his foot in my face
his foot in my neck
pale light in pre-dawn
turning him around so
his head is by mine
my arm around his
small body
he burrows in
I doze
hoping he will sleep
for a little longer

8/6/13
Following my breath
and nodding off
while I sit

A burned out
cicada droning
alone in the
summer evening
as I walk home

That fat pigeon
looks like an owl
caught me by surprise
when I first saw it
under the overpass
at Irving Park

Old man
singing minor
with an out of tune guitar
as busses go by
waiting people at Jefferson Park

Fast moving clouds
cool air damp with rain

My hand on your thigh
while we talk
at night too tired
to move

8/7/13
After work
humid sun
smell of electricity
and smoke
two men talk
obnoxiously
I’m aware of my teeth
and how they feel

A delayed train
children’s voices

8/22/13
Stifling heat on the train
after work
humid
uncirculating
eyes glued to a book
swaying
high altitude clouds
summer dresses

9/4/13
(happened July 2013)

Small sunburn
on my shoulders
my big toes torn up
slices like gills
sand burning my feet
giant waves, no clouds
floating
knowing my family is there
on the beach
but I can’t see them
without my glasses

9/4/13
The body of a pigeon
crushed
into the deep impression
of a foot
frozen in cement

Cool air this morning
as I walk to the train
that will take me to work

10/2/13
Last night
I could feel
the mass of my body
awareness
attention to my stomach
touching my legs
my son eating grapes
while writhing and squirming
in my lap
bringing more awareness
I couldn’t stand it

Today
I can’t stop sweating
slightly dizzy
out of the corners of my eyes

12/12/13
These two
this couple
sitting at the back of the train

Revolt me
with repeated
kisses

– short and sweet
but every ten seconds

Unwarranted disgust
but true nonetheless

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