what if I told you that wasn't it at all?

my roses have all wilted. I have four dead flowers: two yellow, one orange, one red.

the magic of this place is slipping through my fingers, the beauty of these people is disappearing before my eyes.
I guess this happens often enough for me, though, every time I take a little trip by myself even if it's just downtown for an hour. it reminds me that this place won't last forever, that time is a vortex that swirls ever faster as death approaches. and death is approaching, time is quickening its pace.
each person has to deal with it eventually, and I have no words to speak at a time like this: her grandpa, her brother's girlfriend's parents, his grandma, his mother, their daughter.
still, death isn't the tipping point. it is today, this moment now, here in this place, not in an hour, or tomorrow: today--today is the day of salvation.

and how do you get past knowing something in your head to believing in your heart? especially for one made out of tin who thinks herself heartless.
I wish I could cry, I wish silence wasn't my way of feeling beauty. I wish there was something else to write about, something I haven't written a million times over already, but today my eyes are old, my mind tired, they only see what and how they've seen before.

what is this all about? when change is whistling through the trees, and all you hear is the darkness whispering, softly at first then louder and louder until chaos, a polyphony of a night with no stars only eerie ghastly moonlight, what is this really all about?
what are we doing here giggling about awkward situations, engaging in sarcasm wars, complaining about overcommitment? it's the same as it's always been, there will always be more to do, and everything takes care of itself eventually. these friendships, they say, will last forever--but somehow I feel like that's not for me. I have no sense of loyalty, I want to spread my wings and fly out the window, but I'm only hitting the glass again and again and again, leaving nothing but blood smears on the window.

am I the only one who feels this absolute disconnect? we stare at the space between us, the circles of our plates mirroring the clouds that encircle us each in isolation. I hardly see you as you sip your coffee and brush the hair off your shoulder; I hardly hear your words, I nod assent, but the words won't come; I wasn't listening hard enough. I wonder if you're even real, if you're as self-absorbed as I am, if you don't hear my words the way I don't hear yours. will we crumble into pieces if I break through these spheres and touch you?

his name was James, the most beautiful man I had ever met. he was in his 50's or 60's probably, his skin was dark perfect chocolate black, his tight black curls sprinkled with grey, his voice deep slow and smooth, soothing, like honey. in a half hour he taught me more about life than any class had, he showed me that he believed in my ability. somehow this man knew me by simply looking at me; he looked straight into my eyes and said things about me that I had never realized about myself until he said them. and suddenly I wanted to run away far far away from sunny santa barbara, away from my turquoise tower on a hill, away from my chinese past, away from the lies of myself that I and others have believed. all I wanted was to start again on the piercingly cold dirty streets with this man who, in half an hour, was more of a grandfather--or father even, for that matter--than mine.

but how do you hold on to that feeling? I suddenly feel so robbed; the thing about emotions is they need space to breathe, to be. you mustn't speak about them or they will be lost forever, floating somewhere in the air between my mouth and your ear. and now this desire is just another silly dream of mine that I really don't want at all. I can't. I'm too stuck in my spoiled rich girl mentality to let myself.

but no I think what I really, absolutely, deep-down-inside-of-me, honestly want is eternal now and the ability to make this...everything...okay, and then, better than okay.
let's throw open the windows, lock all the doors, and let the wind blow the posters off the walls.
a long long drive by myself, the walk to dante out on that green hillside, leaving tracks in the untouched waist-high grass.
star-gazing, bonfires, hymn-singing, the boardwalk, catching fireflies, if only for old times' sake.
and one of these days, I'll blow out the speakers while screaming my lungs out til I have no voice left.
I want home to be home, I want to cry til I can't cry anymore, I want to speak, unafraid, audibly, without disclaimers, absolutely independent of pen and paper.

two more months. two months until I disappear into oblivion, become nameless, faceless, voiceless again.
then one and a half before I resurrect with an identity again, for quite a long while.
but two months--two months, girl, your jar is open: the windows are wide open, and even if the doors refuse to lock and are banging open and shut they are there too if you want them.


too bad but it's the life you lead
you're so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need
though you can see when you're wrong, you know
you can't always see when you're right

you've got your passion, you've got your pride
but don't you know that only fools are satisfied?
dream on, but don't imagine they'll all come true
when will you realize vienna waits for you?

slow down, you crazy child
take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
it's all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
when will you realize vienna waits for you?


one by one

one by one i write
all my marginalized half-poems down
and make them whole.

the illegible scribbles
the train wrecks of thought
all collided in that inch of vertical white space
in my music history notebook.

and then i know why all this must be written,
why these words need to be read by invisible eyes:

it's because you, the one who mouths silently
my poems by a moon-filled window,
fall in love with words first,
before you fall in love with me.