Skip navigation

Tag Archives: pain


Walking through another hot, noisy party, together

through the furious dancers, through the heat and noise and music,

(wait, I see it)… there’s a look, and a turn,

and again, another wet whisper in your ear

and this time we drop

and this time we shatter.

The high music pierces the room, and smoke strangles the air,

and the maniacal dancers menace

and the shards of us are trampled

by the careless

and the vicious.

Here’s what; take a look at yours

and know that you have filled it up,

that you have punched it for all it’s worth

and used it up with me.

There is no remittance, no exchanges, no returns, and no more promotions;

We will go on, until we don’t, but know

I’m not accepting any more pain from you.


She bled out years ago,

and yet, still walks around.

You ask her, and she answers, and the words are full of air.

There is no way to see through her, and yet

in one moment disguised as any other moment, she blinks

and you see her

before she knits herself together again.

And she walks around dressed in holes

and she walks around and plays with ghosts,

and she walks around, and her seams show,

And that’s the way this life of hers goes.

dad 2

I got the call at Mom’s at quarter after seven that night; it was the hospital:

“Your father has passed away.”

I’m not sure what is worse, being told

or having to tell.

Cancer had been eating my father

for months, and now it was done.

He was not supposed to die so soon – there was so much more to do.

My mother walked around for months like half of her body had been ripped from her,

and I went numb, like the body will from too much pain.

Tonight, I walked my dog, and thought about the man

who taught me how to spell before any teacher had a chance, how to color (“You want to stay in between the lines; look at my arm, the color is all there”)

how to shoot baskets, and how to play blackjack before I got out of grade school.

This was a dad who built a well in the front yard (no water, but it was pretty), and a tree house in the back yard.

This was a dad who would sit with me at the kitchen table, and go over the names of all of the sports teams in each state, so that I knew there were New York Mets, Jets, and Nets, just for starters;

This was also a dad who would take me to the movies on Saturdays, who showed me the best way to wash dishes  (I’m still working on that one, Dad), and  who I learned so much about,  after it was too late to talk to him about it all.

Since I can’t ask you about it all, Dad, there’s just this to say to you –

You were all right, Dad – you did all right by me.

I pay my money

and wander through with you;

So many mirrors,

there are dozens of you;

I bump into you,

and you smile at me,

but something is

off – the curve of your mouth is wrong;

no, there’s more.

It’s the eyes.

You look through me,

and the smile doesn’t reach your eyes, even though you try your best to make it so.

I look for the exit, and run; but there is none

only a path that goes in a circle

that leads back to you, or the one in the mirror who pretends to be you.

No clowns with bloody teeth

hysterically laughing

could be any scarier.

How do you fall out of love?

If physics applies, you can’t fall out of love.

If you fall in love,

you would have to crawl up and out of it

to get out of it.

That sounds more like it.

And if you’re in it alone,

and you know it, finally,

you would have to

crawl up and out, through mud

and broken glass

and blood

and shit

and realize that the scars

and the stains

all belong to you

tattoos of choice

for always.

Just be glad once you reach daylight,

because a fall from that height kills.

The words are said.
The heart is done.
The pain is buried.
The love is gone.

The greatest pleasure I have today

is wishing

that I could be Jessica Lange

in the last scene of “Frances

who meets up with Sam Shepard

and doesn’t know him.

A lobotomy?

Relief, compared to the rest of it.

This is the part when the bumps and the drops are too close together

and the ride goes on too long

and it’s not fun anymore

and you feel sick

and you scream

and no one hears you

and all the stupid people look at you too long

and you can’t hear them

and you don’t care what they’re saying anyway

and you just want them to stop

and all you want

is for it to stop.

In a moment, you were here;

you weighed two pounds, and could fit in one hand; you grew, and suddenly

had arms that moved  just like your mother’s, and could throw a glance

just like your father –

This is what we don’t talk about, but we remember – you wanted to go to UC Davis

and be a veterinarian.

You loved to play basketball, and, like any good auntie would do,

I was teaching you my favorite sport – shopping, what else?

Once, we were out, and  you said you were looking for size zero;

I said we would need to go to the invisible clothing section.

That made you laugh, and your laugh made me happy.

We lost your mother when you were seven, in the same hospital where you were born, and

you did the thing that sad girls do; you got up, and went to school, and kept the big pain inside.

When your dad was still alive, the three of us would go to bookstores in the afternoon and read –

No way for you to escape the love of books; your parents and I were smitten with reading, and you would be, too.

Then, in a moment, your dad was gone, and we both walked around with more holes in our hearts.

And three years later, in a moment, you were gone, too.

In a hospital, in L.A., in a moment, with one wrong move, you were gone, too.

A slice of life in a moment – and we are left here,

and we sew the shreds together, but the seams can still be seen.