1998

Oklahoma City

I hear sirens — a faraway fire truck.
I’m trying to ignore it.
it reminds me of April 1995.
hush, children, stop reminding me!
tomorrow never came, I know.
chaos.
chaos.
it’s haunting me. I cared — or wanted to.
really.
living for the moment? no, I’m not.
I’m not sure I can.

the damn sirens are still going.
stop reminding me of that.
cold concrete pressed on bones —
broken babies and mothers.
glass — ravaged city given up
to terrorist wishes.
and the limp shell of a child
draped on distressed fireman’s
arms. dead. tears and
blood.
I was cold then — cold and
pale — I didn’t even cry.
and they’ll have no
Christmas in ’98. none.
they will only have their bliss
and happiness — eternal happiness.
that’s right, let’s pity them.
They left a much better place, huh…?

12.15.1998

Sleeping in the Snow

It’s been three days —
the cold on my skin,
chapped fingers cracking.
My blood is frozen,
so my already cracked feet do not bleed.
Until now, my soul had been chilled too.
trapped in my body,
dying.

I am warm now —
I’ve not been found,
lodged in the snow…
I am warm.
My eyelids heavy, I imagine
myself with my lover, as intense bursts of heat
take over from fingers to ears to thighs.
Wool blankets, quilts, thick mattress.
Cuddling, sweating, dreaming.
July, August, sun, sun
God… July… sun…
sun…
hot.

10.28.1998

Shyness

Spoiled with love and round —
the two-year-old look.
His bright wide eyes look
in wonderment.
The figures to him
are blurred and scary —
he doesn’t smile

10.5.1998

No Señor

Where seagulls and pelicans fly
(because it is the only way they
can cool themselves from the sun) –
burned into the sky,
old women peddle
jewelry and hair braiding.
Native men will walk by with
baskets on their backs
and blankets over their shoulder.
As the women braid hair,
their children offer gum,
only one peso. You say no gracias,
then turn to take another sip
of your daiquiri or margarita.
No gracias.
And when the moon and it’s orchestra
of stars play their symphony of night,
you leave the beach –
you go into town to buy
those blankets and that jewelry
at lower prices from those fortunate
and wealthy enough to have a shop.
And when you see
those children with their gum,
you no longer say no gracias –
you ignore them.
The cobblestone streets you love,
lined with vendors who
you try to manipulate with your lust
for bargains, scream go home.
When your damage is done
and you have a souvenir t-shirt,
you do. You leave as broke
as those beach vendors,
but you have a house.
They are not likely as lucky.
No gracias señor.

3.25.1998