Nyctophilia

Nyctophilia

At night sleep evades
me, and I honestly
ceased caring.
The night is beautiful,
so easily reachable,
its inky, warm cloud
drawing you in closely
wrapping you up
like a shadowy blanket
with holes punched in it,
creating shimmering stars
just for you.
I can live longer,
love longer
write endlessly,
recreate myself,
because anything
is possible. I can make
as many mistakes
as I do, because tomorrow,
every tomorrow,
and every night
I have time,
all the time
in the world,
to make it all
up to you.

Leading to My Mother

Leading to My Mother

Things would be quiet,
calming
if I didn’t hear the weeps
that seep under the barrier
of a bedroom door,
leading to my mother.

And I know,
at the time,
I would feel
the need to cry too.

I always said,
“I’m a parent to my parents,”
because I remember
being 4 years old
in my mothers bed
as she sobbed.

With a brush I ran
through her hair
in deep strokes, pressed
against scalp,
tightly scratching,
because it’s all I could do
to make her body
stop wracking
from the sobs.

I was so young, I didn’t know.
I thought she must be hurt.
She fell.
Hit her knee.
Knocked her head.
Cut her finger.
But there were no injuries
to kiss better.
So I brushed her hair.

I didn’t understand
as I do now with the pain
I feel the same
of my own mother well-done.
It is over twenty years later.
And that’s when I gather
my mother’s reactions.
To me, she becomes quiet,
guilty,
stands so far off
it hurts,
as if ashamed
that she somehow managed
to make you
just
like
her.
Like it is somehow
all
her
fault.
Though we all know
it’s not.

It’s not like I blame her,
because the magnitudes
of a person’s pain cannot
be held against them,
contagion or not.
I cannot hold it against her.
At least,
I know
in my weakness and pain now,
my damaging inheritance,
I brushed her hair.
And in that moment,
there was relief for her.
In knowing that, I know
I am capable of having peace
for myself.

The Lost Ones

Inspired by and Written for Jennifer Patino in 2014

The Lost Ones

My brothers and sisters,
sucking in words
of false prophets,
slipping through doors as a herd,
because this man knows who god is.
Reciting words verbatim
yet regurgitating what he’s saying.
Believe him.
He wouldn’t lie,
wouldn’t sin.
Learn that god is flames
and brimstone, sharp strokes
of lightning from the sky.
You need to fear him
though he loves you
like a father with a belt.
My brothers and sisters,
superglued and united,
are glorifying the lions
and kicking the mice.
Condemning the sinners
like they’re Jesus Christ.
Outside of the structure
with my own tailed kind,
we find God in places
through dirt paths
dense trees
Kudzu piles gripping
the branches
hanging low in the streams.
Because the sunlight warming
our faces makes us Believe.
We don’t need a man
with a golden book,
his wallet stuffed full.
The parishioner’s tight, blank
stares on his crooked mouth
as they absorb what they’re told.
He walks them to the edge of the water,
blessing them with ferocious, sobbing dips.
Women, men, children pulled
from the muck of the river,
dead from baptism we’re told.
There’s fear in our eyes
and coldness in their souls.
We run where it’s safe,
swiftly sometimes tripping
still escaping through the trees
until we stop. The leaves
comforting our knees
as we kneel
and pray for the lost ones,
because God doesn’t need an explanation.
You only need to feel.