April 28, 2008

i think the 48 hours
just before and just after
are the hardest,
because i have such anticipation;
i can almost feel him.
and then of course just after,
the memory is still there
and his cologne still lingers on my clothes.
oh, i’m so close –
it almost hurts to have to wait.

April 27, 2008

May is here on Thursday.
i can’t believe that this year is almost over;
as of tomorrow afternoon,
it will only be three weeks until i’m finished
1/4 of the way there.
it’s raining, and the rain keeps
beading on the branches of the tree
outside my window
i can hear cars hissing, sounds like
January on the streets of my hometown.
i have something of a headache, but that happens
these days and there’s quite a lot to do
tonight but you know
i have a beautiful life.

my father called me on my birthday
and said very nonchalantly,
“your mother and i wanted to tell you
that whatever loans you can’t sign yourself,
we’ll cosign for you.”
which is his way of saying
“i love you, and i want you to be happy”
i remember when i was young, and
his hands were so much bigger than mine.
long, round fingers and the backs of his hands
dusted with copper freckles and bleached hair
and how he used to crack his knuckles,
going off like gunshots.
mornings when i would walk up that
long staircase to the front bedroom, painted yellow
with weekend sunshine
climbing into bed between my parents
and fitting into the hollow of his arm.

i’m too old now to snuggle with my parents in the morning.
is that what it means to be an adult?
to be the snuggler instead of the snugglee.
instead of seeking comfort and advice in the arms of my father,
i find myself in the arms of my lover instead.
but my father shows me that he loves me in other ways,
like accepting what i want for my life
and believing in me.

i look in the mirror some mornings and
no, i don’t feel old.
i know i’m only 19, my life’s just beginning.
but still,
i’m not a girl anymore.
i’m a woman – i sign my own tax forms,
i put on make up in the mornings.
i cook my own meals and make my own bed,
i make myself pots of coffee and do laundry and dishes.
i can vote for the candidate of my choice.
i know what my heart breaking feels like,
what my heart healing feels like,
what my heart loving feels like.
what it’s like to plan for the future with another person.
i dream of a window box
and a big bed with cotton sheets
with squirmy, chubby children waking me up too early
and snuggling into the hollow of my arm
and i dream of reaching over with my free hand to find his
and seeing his blue blue eyes early in the morning
i dream of so much beauty that my heart hurts with joy.

in three days i’ll be in St. Louis again.
it’s a long while before all of my dreams can come true,
but some of them are already here.

i love being alive.

April 25, 2008

sorry i haven’t been around;
my hard drive crashed earlier this week.
still, Wednesday was my birthday; i figured
i ought to say something about it.
i’m 19 now; it still doesn’t feel any
different than 18, or 17, or 16
or does it?
i feel like the same age but i am a different person
and i am eternally grateful for it.
if one reads what i wrote on my birthday last year
i was not sure of anything, really
really, my life was just drifting along
waiting until the end of high school when
i was going to “start over”
in a way i did “start over”, but not when i meant to;
i “started over” in July instead of September
and i don’t mind, even though
life could be easier in some ways.
on my birthday last year i was going to
smoke cigarettes until my lungs burned
to hide the way my eyes burned
when i thought about what i knew paul was doing to me.
thank God for small mercies;
this year, instead of paul “forgetting” my birthday
while he was abroad,
i had Micah call me at midnight to sing Happy Birthday to me
and promise me that when i’m there next week,
i’d get a spectacular gift.
really, though, the only gift i want
is to spend some time with him in the quiet dark
and learn him all over again.
i have much more to write,
but i’ll be late for class if i don’t go now.

April 15, 2008

so it looks like i might not be that poor after college after all.
my total loans for next year should be about $20,000.
assuming my finances stay in about the same situation for the rest of college,
we’re looking at a total of about $58,000 in loans.
that’s two new cars, rather than a new house.
which is slightly better, although $58,000 is probably
close to four times how much i’ll be able to pay for my first car.

i was talking to Sara earlier and i guess it’s very strange to her
that Micah and i are already planning for after college.
i told her that $58,000 isn’t too bad, between two people,
since he’ll only have about $5,000 or so of loans.
is it strange that i’m already planning like that?  i don’t know.
i don’t really care, i suppose, so what does it matter?
last semester i had this sort of fear
that maybe we both meant it because we were so far apart
and we both wanted to mean it.
but something changed between then and now and
i’m not afraid, really, at all.
when he tells me “forever” i really do think “forever”.
not in the bright, dreamy kind of way;
not naively.
more like the
“forever” of laundry and dishes and
being tangled up with him in our bed
forever of the mundane but never bored.
at any rate.
we’ve made it this far.
why not that much farther?

but more

April 3, 2008

words aren’t quite strong enough;
the simple three
well, they seem nice enough
but they don’t say everything
you know, they don’t say
“i have never been happier than
when i watch your face as you sleep
before i kiss you awake on a Sunday morning”
and of course they can’t say
“the way you smiled just now, the way
your eyes winked, that, well
that is just beautiful.”
and i don’t think they make it quite clear
that every second of every day i feel you
inside and out
and how can just three words
explain the way that
when you take my face in your hands
and kiss me makes me
know you mean it
always
i wish we were like the eskimos
who have hundreds of words for different
kinds of snow, but no word for just
“snow”.
i wish i had a hundred thousand ways to tell you
exactly what you mean to me
from your hands to your lips to your eyes
your heart to your head to your laugh
everything, it’s fairly simple but
somehow it’s not enough
i guess the only thing i can say is,
i love you
but more.

summer sundaes

April 1, 2008

rain nights and
trains, and orangey-purple lights
and the way the tree shadows brush
across my face
somehow it’s a dream
of a memory of a dream
when raindrops are diamonds
or maybe curtains of stars on the window
when the breeze is humming
someone is maybe singing very quietly
and years ago these quiet nights
when everything is still but breathing
there seemed to me a deep sadness in it all
hurt silence, filled with things
better left unsaid
and then again,
one evening when the world was quiet
i lay on a swing with my head in a boy’s lap
as the sky grew outwards
the night breathed in
he ran his fingers through my hair
told me that he helped build the swing
his hands were cool and i felt
all the quiet and rain in the air
i looked up at his face and
how suddenly beautiful the world seemed
we both stopped talking
and let the earth go on turning
the quietness wasn’t a silence, it was
a calm, joyful sweetness
like blooming flowers, crickets in the grass
sundaes on the back porch
the smoke after the grand finale
on the fourth of july.
his hand on my cheek
i could feel his pulse beating
how delicate it seemed, the moment
my head in his lap and the whole of everything
spinning on by.
he bent down and kissed me
eyes dark and wide and full of the night
and crinkled at the corners with happiness
here now, a thousand or so miles
and eight months away
i remember
those eyes of happiness and nighttime
and cool hands and the earth breathing
and the quiet in everything is
well, just beautiful
that’s all.