Wrinkled sheets shoved willie nillie under the mattress. Crumpled pillows, half their weight (or more) in dust mites. Clothes piled on dressers, teetering on the bookcase. Dust coats everything.
The Argument Dressed all in white, he walked past my house, hollering. cursing. threatening someone so far behind, I couldn't see them. turning, he walked back, shouting all the way. back up the hill. cursing. Bitch! across the street, thin, not young she came cursing him. Mother fucker, you know me. she shouted. he hollared. she crossed the street, gave him three tight slaps. Don't. you. ever. ever. come. to. my. job. ever. He didn't hit her back. They went on up the hill.
Sitting in the snack bar waiting for the beginning. Washing gray sheets in the bathtub. Sleeping with a knife stuck in the mattress springs just in case. Our dog barking outside the window on the flat roof. Not recognizing me in the new maternity clothes.
Looking into his eyes while he talked, I was him.
n. the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable—their pupils glittering, bottomless and opaque—as if you were peering through a hole in the door of a house, able to tell that there’s someone standing there, but unable to tell if you’re looking in or looking out.
From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
That day after graduation was perfect. Detroit winter cold, snow piled on both sides of the shoveled sidewalks and smooth all over Deidre’s unshoveled backyard. We threw snow balls and laughed all afternoon. One hit me in the face, the boy I can’t remember wiped it gently off. The most perfect day. Snow, kindness, freedom. A part of the whole, not knowing I was strange.
You can find the complete original poem here https://ruffdraftsite.wordpress.com/2020/07/07/graduation-party/
Two hawks glide chasing each other from tree to tree.
We stayed up all night silk screening posters. Revolu- tion begins in the mind. Typing up newsletters, Fuck Busing. Showing movies The Battle of Algiers. A sadly small collection of rele- vant books. Living in the back rooms. The dank basement where I went to light the busted furnace. The collaged wall. Did the next tenants paint it out?
My little sister looks back reaching out to my mother. Baggy shorts pulled up to her chest, her hair a halo of blond she reaches out, looking back. My mother in white pleated dress and heels, smiles brushes off dirty hand prints.
npr drones on. The dryer tumbles the last load of wet clothes. Click. Hum. The overhead fan cools my bare arm. My leg aches. Will it stop so I can work or do I need a new way to work. One thing, I need to get off this phone. Sleep.
Butterfly shadow flits through sun and shade. Blue flowers from elephant dung mix with pink flocks. On the edge, poison ivy thrives.