Sunday, February 19, 2012

Body Stories

a tiny red dot on my belly button
as if I accidentally dropped
my red grading pen
on the very spot

a mole, like the top of a new pencil eraser
on my right shoulder
a birthmark, I am told

freckles on my right thigh that when connected  
(and I've done it often)
make the Big Dipper

a white raised scar like the edge of a thumbnail
on the inside of my right thigh
cat tooth or cat claw- a feline catastrophe
in the parking lot of the Humane Society
on a hot summer day in 1976

skin rubbed raw on my right hip
by asphalt
between being flung from a bike
and being stopped by a tree
it grew back like a piece of porcelain
a smooth alabaster oval
its companion is located on my right elbow

scar tissue on the right side of my scalp
(from the same fall)
feels like a golf pencil surgically implanted
beneath my hair

a divot on my forehead just below the hairline
looks as though someone might have
put a cigarette out there
I assure you
it was only the dresser drawer
slightly pulled out
catching my fall on my way down

a faint arc across my left knuckles
from Tremon
the kindergarten student who
I caught eating crayons under the table
and who decided
it would be better to scratch and kick and bite
his teacher than to stop eating the crayons

below that and to the right
near the base of my thumb
mark the places where my hand met a wire fence
while walking my dog- now long gone
she saw a squirrel and took off
the leash wrapped tightly around my wrist
an unexpected game of crack the whip

a freckle on the second toe
of my right foot
a toe that's slightly longer
than its neighbor to the left
and its neighbor to the right
a sign of beauty, my mother used to say
and I believed her
at age 5

and then there are the places
that are smooth
showing no evidence of a story
a change
a defining moment
an incident to remember

like the place
where a baby grows

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Couple In Love At Starbucks

They're sitting three feet from me.
No more. No less.
He on the edge of the brown leather (is it faux?) chair
and she on the edge of the matching ottoman
pulled so they are knee-to-knee. Facing each other.

She holds his left hand in both of hers.
She pets it as if it were covered in mink fur.
The thumb of her right hand moves back and forth
back and forth
across the surface of his fingers.
She is reading his hand-braille.

His right hand holds a paper travel coffee cup.
He bobs it up and down and swirls it around in little circles-
little punctuation marks to his stories.
His stories make her laugh.
When something he says strikes her as particularly amusing,
she throws her head forward
almost into his lap.
I'm sure he wishes she would.

I cannot make out what they are saying
what he is saying
what she is laughing at.
I only know what I see:
A man and a woman
facing each other, knee-to-knee,
long moments of silence make both of them giggle.
Their eyes never leaving the gaze of the other.

Valentine's Day is in two days.
I wonder if he'll tell her "It's not like I'm in love with you or anything"
on their way to dinner at a fancy restaurant.
I wonder if he'll sit in the other room, silently angry about who knows what,
while she sits alone at the kitchen table
looking at the cupcakes and roses she bought herself earlier that day.
I wonder if he'll pull a greeting card out of his pocket
and mumble "Here. I got this for you" and toss it in her lap as he's driving
and she's sitting next to him.
I wonder if she'll open it and see that he didn't write anything in it.
Not even his name.
I wonder if she wonders what she's doing with him.

But his hands felt so soft. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

That Bone

You've been lickin' that bone for weeks now.
No, months.
Wait a second, make that a year.

How your teeth aren't cracked
or worn down to little nubbins
is beyond me.

What could you see in that bone?

It must taste like...
Every time you sit down to chomp on it.
Not chocolate bone.
Not sausage bone.
Not pizza bone or crepe bone or tabouli bone.

Just bone.

And I don't see the
fun in that.

I shoved peanut butter
in there once.
And that made you happy.
Happy enough.
But what you really wanted
was to aggressively lick away
the non-bone center
so you could get back to
lovin' the bone.
In its purest form.

I lifted it to my nose once.
Maybe I'm missing something.
Maybe it smells like heaven
or the top of a baby's head.
Maybe that's why you
can't get enough of it.

But it smelled like bone.

You run through the house
Where is my bone?!
Looking for it
Where'd that dang bone go?!
I try to distract you
Is it under this couch?
with something squeaky perhaps
Yeah, I hear that, but have you seen my bone?
But you're not interested
Oh, Booooone! Yooooo-hooo!
And I start to feel a little guilty
Is it on the bed? It smells like it's been here.
It's sitting on top of the refrigerator
Oh, shit. I'm really starting to panic here.
I reach up for it
Where is it?! Oh, God! Where is my BONE?!
And let it clop to the floor
Oh my God! My bone! Oh! Thank you! Thank you!

Away you run
to the furthest corner of the house
Your cave spot
Admiring your kill
And the impeccable job you did
in removing its pelt.

Do you remember nothing?