Monday, November 29, 2010

To: the lack of formality.

My mother knocked down a birthday card I made for her earlier this year, and spent the rest of the day crying. The type of tears my father has no control or magical power over. The spell that she and I fall into, until we forget what we were crying for anyway. It becomes the best time to think of everything worth crying about.

The way I need him around. The way God seems to test patience into existence. The way my father falls ill on Friday evenings.Like breaking fast one hour before time and the guilt that follows you, for days after. The way news of death builds writer's block in my head one tombstone at a time. Christmas is going to be hard on her.

"The trees are naked." I would tell God on my way to school every morning. There have been people here who have clothed me and I am grateful for it. I now need a new closet to store under my bed, next to my other ambitions. There is a power much bigger than my self who is insisting that I not gravitate towards stages and audiences and these releases I used to have. For whatever reason, I am trusting that He knows best.

Co-incidence and fate sleep in each other's company some nights. There are a million things raging mutiny on the surface of my skin. Things not responsive to diet changes or the best of fabric softeners. Storms in my green tea.

There is still a light to be sought after.

Copyright © 2010 Arielle John

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To: Don when it was possible.

I would have more patience with you
if warm air heaving over cut grass
didn't stain the room so humid.
Didn't heat my thoughts into losing form
If the last three hours waiting for you
would turn themselves in
like some amnesty for poor excuses,
You might have convinced me some afternoon

That would daze just like this one.
Except for quick coldness
now wrapping around
the tense of my limbs,
I am sitting in a waiting room again,
Learning how much of the breath in me
turned wind to your face.
the way how money and mother
wish to revive you again,
the way I didn't understand you.

I asked you, who will come after,
who would carry the inner tremors
of strain in your laughter,
too humble to think
you affected nobody out here.
But there will be no
gun salute at your funeral,
shooting skyward
makes a hurricane of bullets,
raining a memory
too recognizable to your flesh,
to your hands,
to my disarmed way of arguing life with you.
Just that my words needed not to come through
this way.

Copyright © 2010 Arielle John

Thursday, November 4, 2010

to: the contained volumes of voice

Born on the quiet side of the sunrise,
Fingers of light
paired and resting chestward
checking the pulse of honesty.
Never cried till they forced me to,
drew on the deepest of breath
to sink the fears of my mother in,
till echo
and the resounding
of heartbeat and siren musicales
dug into nursing room walls like
birth sinking graves into new bodies.

I have buried the remains of gospels
in the hollow of my neck,
carried whole rivers
in the gulf of my chest,
and waited for levees to break
under the weight of the wind in my lungs.
How does it feel to stand on an island
in the freedom of air again?

Brooklyn has prepared itself
for hushing exchanged secrets.
for containing living compartments,
and quieting their voices in its sleep.
We might wake on mornings and find it
necessary to scream,
To announce just how much we live,
Mostly without being able to hear ourselves.