We Learned We Are Gods
At eight years of age, we became creators of the universe
We made models of the galaxy with Styrofoam balls
A gritty marble-sized mercury
A sun with rays on the bus floor
Jupiter a fist of moons
The slumped crown of Saturn
Johnny did 100 pull ups that day
The puff of his face rising and setting
The kick of his spindly bent orbits
When earth rolled off the desk
It went under brad’s foot
Who crushed it under a converse
The plague of elementary duality:
The dust of our planet sticking to an old sole’s
Sour milk underside in a blaze of parabola
All the way to the little boys room
And back again, when we realized
We had all outgrown our seats
With our sprawling limbs.
Freshman Year, UAF: Fairbanks, Fall of ’92.
Darkness: The whiskey-filled chasm
between the hard swallow of night
and ice-fogged hours of daylight.
Light: Long morning ragas,
the sinuous trails of sitars,
a monsoon of tabla.
Roommate: Star Trek in the tucked corner
of his room. A frameless bed.
Soft words in Bengali.
Final frontier, last frontier.
Choices: his hand brushed the side of my breast,
fragile as a drop of water on a lotus petal.
Holding my breath, willing more.
Witness: sky surface was a mood ring,
an electric ribbon of green
coalesced with obscurity.
Aurora made noise when she moved.
Confession: Sanskrit, etched in sand
near some foreign muddy riverbank.
To speak with regret would be untruth.
Birth of the English Major: I wanted to say
Your words were delicious
And so cold.
Effect: The ripples you speak to me will crash
into the brief shoreline of my life
for years to come. They have worn the stones
to speak of.
Result: Every plate in the kitchen is dyed
with turmeric. I think of you,
and the miles of skyline
Downpour in Height of Summer
All at once, she wondered if the solution was inside
the friction, layered between the cloudless blue and wrestle
of grief, which pinned her to the mat more than time
and time again with its terrible pounce and cruel count of minutes.
She watched another boat lilt in the currents in vain attempt
to right itself. The people inside were saturated in truth,
slickers bright as lemon or a child’s crayon outline of the sun.
The leaves bore crude witness, aware of their ephemeral
return. The terrain shook a bit. Quavered.
She pulled kernels that glowed from the weave of light
just outside the window, as the wind struck blows
and stroked the tall grass so hard it was trampled.
Unsure of what is right, mostly, devoured due to location
and ease, not for any real sense of hunger. She wondered,
To stand erect amidst the smell of wet plastic, stretch, and ask
what am I doing here? Again? One tear spun into another,
a slide into the pool around her shoes. All these flavors,
to choose to be indigo, why bother. The curtains parted,
in slight, and she paused long enough to witness the rays break
through the grey churn of thunderheads, the inevitable
gift of rainbow. The boat on the water began to drift.