Fugue

Did you know

glass is made of sand?
I may be a little behind
the learning curve,
having learned this tonight
from a picture book.

I pick up

memoir after memoir
about parents whose children have died.
Would you call this obsessive?

Once I lived

for the other shoe to drop.
Started smoking again
on the second-story porch
with its swamp coolers and pigeon shit.
Sped all over Tucson
trying to outrun death,
always rehashing.

And then there was Louise.

Her healing touch

brought out tears and coaxed the only deep rest
I would receive that year
of bus stations
and the barrio.

I lose patience

with myself, whose own daughters are soft
asleep upstairs,
whose own life is
sand, hourglass, fingers, glass.
Even the fugue needs a bridge.

You have to

get out of your head
someone I love told me recently.
And I wanted to outrun her too, to listen to track two
again and again,
the one where I surprise myself
every time by keeping up
my pace,
every step a starting line.

This is who

I am, the good sister doesn’t say.
Love me for

who I am

who writes
year after year
about the self and the truth
all the unanswered questions
and the answers that shapeshift in the night
and the living into and
the letting go of
until some sad Mexican ballad
comes through the TV
and I’m walking alone
up that steep hill where men whistled
and I cut them off

with my eyes.

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