Telephone, part II
Poem for a Long Winter

Telephone, part II

My telephone's connected to my heart
from my back pocket Ė every time it rings
I feel my pulse arrest a beat, then press
the 'accept' button, hoping it's not you,
hoping past hope you have no cause to call,
no news you want me first to hear from you,
no reason to pick up your phone and stop
my heart because his heart has stopped for good.


My stomach hurts
the way it has ever since
I left you back in the day before yesterday
and moved back into my life.

You smiled as you drank your coffee
and explained to me why you donít eat dessert
anymore (the diet, you say,
and you say you feel good and I say you look good
but on the inside Iím still starved
of you) while revelling in
your lack of a tie Ė do you remember the first one
I saw you in? you looked ridiculous, and I told you so,
and somewhere in there
between the insult and injury I fell in love
with what it is of you I get,
content with my allotment, my scheduled calories
of you, my appropriated energy
that seems to get spent
every time I get like this
and youíre already two days away.

I remember I laughed the laugh that says
Iím going to live forever
while you may not have that kind of luxury,
so you marveled on how red I keep my hair
these days and I confessed to you
how I havenít been writing
and you smiled again and told me I was just collecting ideas--
collecting dust, more like it, was what I didnít say,
and ordered pie to distract me from how
I could not swallow
you whole.


I poke at the hole in my heart
repeatedly, with grubby fingers, in much the way
I used to when I was a child

until my mother slapped my hands away
warning me, "Stop that.

If you don't quit playing with it
it'll never heal."


the clothes on the floor
are not mine.

Nobody knows
that beneath my choir robe
I am wearing my jeans
that make my ass look fabulous.

You are never getting
this shirt back.

Poem for a Long Winter

That groundhog saw his shadow. Must have seen
mine too, because it's winter still in here
though calendars all promise that this year
will give to spring soon, and where snow has been
we will find grass, and trees, and life, somewhere
as-yet intangible, hoped but unseen.
Somewhere beneath the white dreams dark the green,
dreams steady, slow, reminding me though air
surrounds me, I've forgotten how to breathe,
forgotten warmth, forgotten how to mend,
forgotten, frozen, stirrings that I've felt
while waiting for the dry season to end,
when everything inside begins to melt
and waters what now sleeps, awaits, beneath.

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