spirals – adem

March 30, 2008

you marked
the back of my hand
you drew a heart
and some tiny dots
and a spiral
which reminded me
of the Milky Way
and it made me think

of our galaxy
and Andromeda
felt like you and me
were like the way we are
they couldn’t feel as vast
and if they join
at six billion lives per second
and they danced around
linking spiral arms
as they’d spin
spin through infinity
they couldn’t feel as vast
as I feel now

galactic tectonic shifts
in my chest
and behind my eyes
and yet the smallest vibration
like the touch of your pen
makes my hair makes my hair stand on end

you marked
the back of my hand
you drew a heart
and some tiny dots
and a spiral
which together spell
‘i want you’
in electricity


there is a moment just
in silence
everything is so far away
a rushing, swirling feeling
holding my breath
fingers curled so tight
curving just right
lightning stars exploding
black and red eyelids and
stretched so thin and
when i breathe in,
i can taste the rain and wind
and sweat and skin
slipping into myself
languid and quiet
it’s like waking into a dream
i find
your head resting on my shoulder
all shadows and lines
half-circle of dark eyelashes
closed against your cheek
iron bars for arms, i’m held
still though i’m still shaking
gentle lips on my collarbone
eyelashes open, darkdarkblue eyes
and the way the corners wrinkle
when you smile
faces close together and
cheeks touching
inch on inch of skin on skin
and kisses, soft
i’m so in love still.

march(ing) on

March 13, 2008

walking home sometimes on evenings
when it has been raining
there are dark puddles
lamp-lit pools that slither like oil slicks
and there seem to be fireflies
no, those are only streetlamps far off
across the river
i’m reaching out with both hands
catching fireflies by the thousands
my life is full of fireflies
like laughter, and smiles, and joy, and beauty
Laura gave us ice cream cake for a study break tonight
the box said “it’s what happiness tastes like”
but, i really must say
that i think happiness tastes less like chocolate
and more like a March breeze
when i’m walking free
i’m coming home late from a review session
and, of course, don’t get me wrong
i work so hard here, there are days when
like my friend asked me
“don’t you just want to drop out?”
yes, i do, some days, when i’m failing a class
all i want is to sleep for a while
but, really, i love it here
i love the work and the strain and the stress and the people
i know that i am happier here than i could be anywhere else
and i love studying the things i’m studying.

it’s almost official
i’ve worked it out with my ROTC advisor
i don’t have to attend any more ROTC events.
at the end of the month, i’ll go into her office
and sign the paperwork
and i’ll truly be done.
i never have to wear the uniform again,
i never have to get up in the dark at
to hurry up and wait for the rest of my life.

we’re nearly halfway through this second semester
i’m blown away by it constantly.
wasn’t Christmas yesterday?
or perhaps yesterday is when Micah left for school
no, wait, yesterday was when i was in St. Louis
yet, i’m wrong, because he’ll be here in two days
just two days!
i can’t wait to be with him again
just to be held close, to breathe in all of him
feel his scratchy beard against cheek
his long knobbly hands holding my face
looking into his eyes
i’ve never seen such a blue
in those moments where nothing is moving
and all i can hear is heartbeats
those times when
i think that reality must be suspended
in that place where nothing else seems to matter.

March 5, 2008

9 days this time and
well, the semester’s nearly half over
can you believe that?
i know i can’t.
i could be out of ROTC in as little as
three weeks
(three weeks!)
i could be $80,000 in debt
but then again,
this Friday i’m meeting with the
head of financial aid; the director himself
all because i made a lot of noise
and wrote in the paper
and sent angry emails
now maybe they’ll give me more money
just so i shut up.
i wouldn’t mind.
i just want to start the rest of my life
this is so different from before because
somedays it feels so tangible
like i’m already almost there
i’m so close to the other side,
the place where i’m no longer
doing what “needs” doing
doing only what i want to do.

i dreamed last night i was watching a plane crash
into a wide open field of green grass
on a rainy afternoon.
i was in the backseat of the station wagon
and my father, sitting in the front seat,
was crying with his face in his hands.
i leaned forward to comfort him
but i woke up before my hand touched his shoulder.

my father believes that his life is a failure
because everything he’s ever wanted seems to have gone wrong.
the only dream he had that came true
was to have a family
and even that’s not perfect,
what with me, the rebellious daughter
and my brother, the son who doesn’t want to go to college
about the only one who turned out right
is my sweet little sister
i’m pretty sure no one can find anything wrong with her.

i want my father to see
that hope isn’t a feeling, it’s an action
and dreams aren’t impossible, they’re goals.
when i’m at home i watch him die inside every day
trapped in a job he hates
with people he hates
i want him to understand that i am doing this
because i won’t let my life end up that way.
i want him to have the courage to reach for his own dreams again
to lose the weight,
to quit the job,
to try and remake himself.
he’s only 45; it’s really not that old.

i have so much to do before Micah comes
only 9 days
finally i can show him what my city is like
but first,
i need to pass these exams.

i’m sorry this isn’t more eloquent,
i just needed to talk about my father for a while.

i love him.
i wish he could see that he has things to be proud of,
and things to be happy about.