We hit 92* today. Molten lava, the sun was. Melting the clouds from the sky; searing the green from the dogwood leaves leaving crisp, curled brownness behind. Pouring coffee this morning, the warmth of the day teased me; its breath stirring the wisps of hair on my neck that had escaped the knot, whispering promises of fever.
Uncomfortable. Sticky. Complaints and wishes and visits to the pool. The eastern sun blazes and the day slowly boils.
And yet.....another heat.
3pm and walking to the kitchen I am aware of the silky slide of my thighs against one another. I fill my glass with ice cubes and take one more. Its frozen kiss almost burns as I run it across my lips, down my neck, across my bare shoulder. Shocking how quickly it melts, leaving dark trails dripping down the fabric of my dress.
Lovely, how such an...unpleasant warmth leads to another, more delicious one. Damp skin and breathless lungs. I sit on steps of the porch, Hazel stretched out across the boards beside me. I shiver as the sweat tracing its way down my spine pools in the small curve at its base.
And I wait.
We will eat with our fingers. After the sun has fled and the house has gone to sleep. We will drink from the same glass and I will lick the sauce from the edge of his lips. For it is summer...
The tumult of summer storms has blown through, leaving last night's window fans to fill the house with rain-washed air and tracing chills down my bare arms this morning as I stand in the kitchen contemplating the nine and ten foot branches now lying in our backyard. Such a powerful thing, invisible wind. The lip of the porcelain sink is cool beneath my fingers, I wait for the coffee to finish. Voices murmur from the radio. I pause...
"What was the hardest thing about my cancer for you, Daddy?"
"Seeing you there, so swollen, so many tubes connected to you...."
She'd had bone cancer. Her ten year-old voice strong and sweet now, filling the room with a nearly inaudible whisper of victory. The tremble in his makes my heart stop. Those thoughts that your mind skitters away from, an agonizing flame of a fear too terrible to even touch upon. Parenthood is the ultimate state of vulnerability.
You could hear the smile on her lips though, as she remembered one of her favorite things. He would buy tattoo pens at the gift store...
And turn her scars into a garden.
The long one that ran from her sternum to her pelvic bone became the stem for roses, her favorite flower. The one from her feeding tube, a butterfly. He drew over the monsters. He drew her beautiful.
Standing there, tears sliding down my cheek...so convicted. Every life has joy and pain. Some more so than others. But the secret is in the ink of us. How we approach and confront and forgive and leave behind the monsters.
The sun drags golden fingers across the sky, chasing the
dregs of night away.Green eyes meet their twin in
the silver framed reflection, careless and distracted with the mental list accumulating even as the coffee brews. Pushing my hair back, icy water sluices
across my cheeks, dripping down my neck to shimmer on the ridges and valleys of
Stare to stare…no make-up, no pretense….strange this person
I am more intimate with than any other.I’m not entirely certain she likes me at times.Bare feet slap on cool floors, the vacuum smack of the fridge as
heavy cream paints whirls of beige into the mahogany elixer that whispers my name.
I face her again, reaching for pencil and powder, rouge and
the glide of lip stain.And I
There was a day, years and years ago…a photographer young
and eager, wishing to please as well as to sell.“Do you want me to hide them?” she asked,
snapping her gum as she tilted her head. “Hide what?”
“Those…”She pointed.And to a mirror I turned.Like my mother's, they are. (a face beloved, memorized, cherished) One on the side of my nose, the other nearly hidden in the curve beneath my lower lip...
A blemish of no color, a flesh toned mole. Soft mounds that lay quietly,
announcing that I wasn’t made in a mold.Wasn’t carved for display. Noticed when one is within the realm of intimacy…or digital photography. I’ve spent years coming to
terms with their firm hold upon my profile. Was advised to knife them off in highschool, teased by family and schoolmates. Witches have such knobs...so I've been told.
Strange the journey from insecurity and craving elusive
perfection through the acceptance of the immutable to embracing the
unique.I fear much of this journey I
have mapped out in my mind, highlighting the path and pledging my
heart to following it….however, it’s possible I may be a bit stuck in that middle
area. What we see in the mirror is as slanted as a funhouse; the shortcomings exaggerated, defects looming larger than life, voices from the past echoing long beyond their deserved graves.
I know each of us carry our ghosts.We size up and compare, lining up
imperfections and insults, rating them on some personal scale as if in classifying them on the lower end, they might be diminished.The immensity of a history is only known by the
self.For, try as we might to
communicate such an experience, there was only one soul that lived your
particular story.One heart that laughed
and bled that night when the stars seemed brighter than the sun…
The world can be cruel.Perfection is a lost cause, I’ve learned…joyfully so.(well, with the exception of a good
hollandaise sauce or an orgasm)Parenthood is a bog of quicksand and contemplation; relationships a braid of
sacrifice, laughter, and forgiveness; and self love an exercise in repetition