A POEM A DAY

I'm just happy to be here.

23/30: the laundry is still not done

It is almost midnight and the laundry is still not done. After another day of law, of living, of language, I am speechless in the twilight of my room. Shuffling across the hardwood in bare feet and flat feet, I grab my phone and choose Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue to fill my room. I sit on my bed and breathe in the Jasmine on yesterday’s wind. I open up a memory like a file folder. Pick up my dirty clothes and put them in a basket. Around my room, I feel the gentle reminder of belonging. Everything has a space or place to call home. Even my dirty socks. Even my dirty thoughts. What I lose in a day is not lost. I am practicing the art of returning. Understanding is a process. Understanding myself is a process. And what is a process but the steps we take forward? The steps we take out of the dark and into the light. I want to walk out of the mirror and hold he who does not like what he sees. In the jazz-filled cathedral that is my room I surrender to you, I surrender all my remarkable pain, I surrender grudges and grief, I surrender the habits that wreak havoc to everyone I love. Self-included. I surrender the guilt that runs like silk through my veins. I surrender this spoiled spool that loves to make a fool of me. Y’all hear that? Bill Evans on the piano. Each key is a soft prayer playing over the speaker. It is almost midnight and the laundry is still not done. I run my fingers through my hair and hang my head in the half-light. I want to get this right. Separating my laundry is a task directly linked to the past, or, the passage of time, or traveling back to the time you wore something else other than skin. All around me lies the evidence of my existence, where I’ve been and what I chose to be seen in. Of course, both me and the laundry are unfinished for a reason. It is almost midnight when I begin to write this poem in my mind. I take my time. I take every line and string it up across the paper sky. I pin word after word against the sun-shined lines. I’m trying to finish what I started, even if the laundry is still not done.

22/30: WHILE I’M HERE

And while I’m here on earth, I rejoice in its worth
Cuz freedom is free”

-Chicano Batman, Freedom is Free”

I can’t name every tree branch I ran beneath like
water under the bridge but while I’m here, let me

Rejoice in the shade outside my door. Sun pours
into my hands like water and I become the color of

Light. Sometimes I want to hold this earth close as if my
heart were a greenhouse. Yes, I want to hold whatever grows

Along the axis of my pain. I have planted seeds like
poems and I do not know if anyone is actually going to read

What I am writing, what I am holding, what I am still growing.
After a long day in the wilderness, I break bread with the balance

In all things. I lament all the bees I’ve killed without first considering
life. Breathing in the same air as the mountains, as the trees, as the river,

I am anchored to the universe, the same why a rhyme sneaks into
every verse. Like it’s supposed to be here. I am supposed to be here.

Hasn’t anyone seen me swimming in the river? Atop the red rocks,
I rock my head gently in the garden of the gods. I commune with

My own existence. Every time I feel my heart beat, I remember
the laws of my body shape every phase of civilization. Look!

Silence is everywhere the cardinal’s song has yet to go. Really
all I want is to walk outdoors for miles and still have somewhere to go.

The sky always answers what’s next. And lucky for me,
everything I see and touch is beautifully enough.

21/30: POETRY AT ROUND TOP

Bless this communion of poets who are here, alive, and listening.
As I speak, lightning writes a poem in the sky and thunder applauses.
If I am at a loss for words, it is because I found new ones, here.
A chorus of voices in the air form every step up the staircase of meaning,
and I walk into a sentence
hoping to become the darling line that defies possibility.
I am remembering the grief that guides us and the joy that binds us.
Not every poem we leave behind is a sacrifice. Some poems
are gifts meant to find a place outside the page to call home.
This I know. I am listening to the rain fall off the roof
and back to the ground, back to the roots, back to the seeds,
back to where it needs to go. But first, it must fall. Oh,
Let my poems follow the same path as the rain. Oh,
Let my poems find a home everywhere they go. Oh,
Let my poems be mine, and let my poems be yours.