Foxes and Magnolias

Leaves rattle down like rain; they brown and crumple against street curbs and leave me longing for something I may have never lost.

Outward

The pink organs spilled out from where the skin split
like an over ripe peach fallen from a tree.

I couldn’t help but loom over the body
to see how biology had been broken,
how structure had become destructed
upon contact with force and speed
on the middle of 17th Avenue.

I wanted to see if the heart was intact
or punctured by bone
or flattened and bleeding
to see the way which heart break looks.

Germination

You were on the golf course
when you first started losing your hair from cancer,
the wind taking it from you like it would from a dandelion,
spreading seed to a field.

Like your own anatomy, that of a dandelion becomes bare too,
from wind and time and genealogy,
from reasons otherwise left unsettled.

When reading about the life cycle of a dandelion,
no scientist or gardener ever speaks of its death,
but instead:
of seed dispersal
and its preceding pattern to germinate.

When golfing that day, you said,
in both laughter and fear,
I’m a dandelion! I’m a dandelion!
hair clumping and whisking away from you.

I’m not sure if you knew yet
that wasn’t the end,
but instead another beginning.

You are a perennial,
enduring time subsequent to time,
each season
again.

Normal, With You.

Through a pane of glass
all of the leaves still left on trees
this morning
press shadows
over warm wooden floors
where the sun has hit.
Blurred edges defining shadow from empty space,
the stillness in movement,
the song in the silence of event,
warmth even as seasons change cooler-
sure- the vents, trapped sunlight. But a bit magic,
still.
The leaves progress steadily, as though forever they could,
as though the sun will never drop to stop strobing against.
There’s comfort in the normality of it,
and without pinnacle: lovely,
still.
This is how it is with you.
The sun sweeps over you
and I see how our clavicles line differently,
mine drape downwards towards the center from both shoulders
like a fallen landscape.
Yours like a shelf across your chest
as though a carpenter proudly put them there,
hung them with calculated intent
and you don’t even know how beautiful you are.
Subtle movements shift the shadows under your bones,
the angles at your joints, your lines
emphasized through different gradients of light
amongst the fabric and folds of cheap powder blue sheets.
Even the way you breathe in to me-
cause me to breathe like that again.

Tiny Portraits

It all feels distant, when thinking of you,

like a watercolor spilt over with water
again,
the bleeding and then
the softening
of it,
the fading-

your bare feet up wooden stairs,
your car door closing at the curb of evening streets
to come home
to me,
I always knew from through the window
it was you.
The wedding,
the rented houses and apartments,
the roads we’ve wheeled over,
how our bodies curled and sprawled in sleep,
when watching Sunday movies,
when by the creek in so many seasons.
The things we’ve said-
all of them.

After six years,
how is it that you are so soon
mostly lost memories?

Though, not forgotten: the certain way
you would say
your spanish name- the one given to you in school
as a kid:
Hidalgo.
But not just Hidalgo-
HidAAHLLLgo. As though so happy to say it
every time, and you were.

The way you’d inspect each berry for mold
and then toss them
one by one, between inspections,
into your mouth.

These tiny portraits of you-
voice, face, the movement of your hands, the colors,
the way it felt to be next to you,
then-
I’ll keep them in a back pocket
of old jeans I sometimes wear,
search for them
on days I need to feel close to you, again.
To know it all happened, once.

Some days I want to call you
just to hear you say
HidAAHLLLgo.
Some days
I want to sit beside you
as you eat berries.

“Your Skies,” He said.

I remember my brother saying, when visiting once,
“Your skies are so big
out here.”

This morning I watched endless
clouds and empty blue space
shift in texture and shape and hue

golden and gray linings
and underbellies.

He comes to visit again soon
and I wonder if he will see it still,
the big skies, out here.

Like You, Me Too.

She lifted her shirt to her navel,
just above
where the scar line falls from.
“It looks better, don’t you think?”
and I nod,
though I’m unsure
how dark the pink of it
ever was,
how wide or risen.

I notice the shape of her,
slender,
but a slight protrusion of belly
at the same horizon where her pants button-
she wears them high to mask it.
She’s always blamed that rounding on us-
my brother and me.

She’s never liked her legs either,
and sure, perhaps a bit wide,
but she curves well-
in the way that women without curves would like to.
Some days, in the mirror,
I see how our bodies match
and I look at my shape sullenly, too,
but never when looking at her.

Today I put on the hand cream she wears,
lime basil & mandarin.
I don’t like the way it smells on me,
but I liked smelling her.

“Like a Pendulum,” You Said.

Someone watched us fishing,
well, you teaching me how to fish-

the counterpoise of movement,
the tension and release of line from hand-

and told me later he thought we were falling in love right then,
us standing thigh deep on the still side of current,
our skin gold and hot from the sun and touching
at times.

There’s a picture of us-
our pants weighted from the cold water
your arms bending when returning from elongation,
the muscles in your back
finding every gradient of gold to coal
as they moved in the light,

me staring at you
like I would the Grand Canyon.

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