Auf Wiedersehen

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How do you say goodbye to a place?

How do you hug the winding streets

and kiss the clouds above the parks?

How do you say “Promise I’ll call you”

to the grocery store on the corner

or wipe the tears from a rose bush?

 

How should you leave a room?

Should you be homeless for a while

to let the cold wind brush your skin

after it cracked in the scorching sun,

to remember who you are

without a roof above your heart?

 

Are you allowed to fall back in love

with your old apartment

at the end of summer?

 

Can you love more than one city

and will their rivers forgive your

wandering whispers?

 

How do I say goodbye to you, home?

Cells of mine blended with your walls,

we’ve become a human-house hybrid

with a scent of couches and toothpaste.

I try to show your windows

the openness of my heart

as I offer your front door

the caress of my hand.

 

Through the Smoke

Who knew

the rain needed a smoky hue

to taste right?

Clouded eyes

turned inwards

to darkened innards

see light

from the burning tip

reflected in a sip

of life.

Through the smoke

as I choke

I see the sidewalk

puffing

willing to talk

to the sky

about the sun -

afternoon gossip

between old friends.

I wait for my friend

in café “Bete”

sucking the end

of a cigarette

and melting

into the rain.

I too am water

I too am smoke

I too burn brightly

like the match I stroke.

We too go quickly

we too burn out

we too leave ashes

and a cloud of doubt.

As one is discarded

another begins

as God the chain smoker

laughs at our sins.

According to legend

before Noah he quit

but thank God for the relapse

that keeps us still lit. 

Watch Me as I Kiss the Sky

 

The cloud animals shake their fluffy tails

as I sip coffee ground out of celestial energy.

I’ve had my parents’ love for breakfast

with a big bowl of belonging

and second-generation seconds.

My overabundance needs extra leg room

as my mind swallows the whole plane

and the crispy passengers.

(Some haven’t noticed that we’re flying

even while the clouds are summersaulting outside

and the sun waves hello;

starting Monday I’ll only order steamed thoughts

on a bed of green and easy-to-digest souls.)

With an outstretched thought

I pet the white fluffy dog in 5A

and his old mistress searching for God in the shapes

and whisper to the teenager in 6B

“watch me as I kiss the sky”

as I unapologetically dive in

to bite the cotton candy lips at my window

and hug myself with arms so open

they could squeeze the sky –

my first kiss as my own lover. 

Early Morning in Lipscani

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Girls in stilettos

pound the pavement

with their walks of shame,

crossing paths

with the morning commuters -

both mildly uncomfortable

with their morning reflection

in the others’ eyes. 

 

Women in white-green

polish the pavement,

scrubbing the sidewalks

with soap baths

for the cool morning light

to feel more comfortable

in its racy reflection

of the white skies.

 

Poets in sandals

photograph the pavement,

proudly

crossing the paths

to the silent satisfaction

of the clean, well-lit cafes

with their room for reflection -

the 8am prize.

Tears

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This morning I cried three-months worth of tears

I let pour a river full of heartbreak, hopes and fears.

I cried for the ankles I’ve sprained jumping over the moon

and I cried for all the porcelain I’ve broken when I swoon.

I cried for the girl who would fight the world with a spoon

and stand her ground while bleeding from a slight lampoon.

I cried for the young woman who broke off her skin

to feel another’s dreams and the daymares within.

I cried for the soul who pushed Atlas out of his post

to carry the world on her sun burned shoulders as a boast.

I cried for the heart that beat so hard it burst its walls

and I cried for the tears that used to mark stumbles and falls.

I cried until the tears ran dry

until I learned why “beautiful and wry”.

I cried until my thoughts ran cold

until I felt my heart was growing old.  

Weathering

First there were little earthquakes:

a lingering look, a silly smile,

a shove in the playground,

the magnetic pull of pretty girls

on unsuspecting little boys,

even the ones I’d marked out as my own.

**

Then came the lightning storms

of first loves

requited with roaring thunder

of fists and fig tree branches;

the scarred tissue of my trunk

still bleeds internally.

***

After the smoke lifted

and I dusted off my charred remains,

I saw a blue sky

sending me little cloud animals

and we played pictogram for hours.

Oh how I loved the blue sky,

but it turned pink and pale

every morning and evening.

Who knew a sunrise could hurt

more than a thunder storm?

****

I don’t know when the fissure started,

or when the first heart wall collapsed

and I said

“No worries, I have two

and I only need one to survive”,

but I had skipped that chapter in the textbook

while falling head over calloused heels.

The tsunami of my infatuation

sunk my get-away boat into the Atlantic

and changed my charted course

away from Boston.

I was the Robinson Crusoe

on a two-person deserted island,

burning my soul for fire and

feeding Friday pieces of my flesh for dinner

when the fish didn’t bite.

I don’t know when the ocean floor began to open,

 at first a fault

when the pieces of the island drifted apart

and magma broke through the surface,

then a deeper rift.

I tried to send my thoughts down

with poetic oxygen tanks

and high-tech submarines

but they can’t find the bottom.

The pressure inside the abyss crushes them

in their descent.

*****

Today I run from earthquakes

and carry parasols as umbrellas.

I cover my eyes at sunrises

and my heart at sunsets.

But all of it is in vain;

no one can forecast the weather

down here.