poetry: the shape of my geography


“If identity was geography instead of blood—”

scars on the body
where the trail runs through
the beginning loops back on itself
reveals its end again

I know a place where we can go
I made a house for the fairies there—

twigs and rocks
green citrus leaves, the bed

I run through the elfin forest
closer to the end than to the beginning

so many threads

and there is this line, restless
quiet after midnight animals
owl, bat, raccoon
evolve us to new levels



…if living in a place was what really mattered–“

locate my power in this
lunar eclipse
I keep pulling the Hermit card

the remainder is the amount left over
when one doesn’t divide equally
into the other
start with soup, be remarkable

If identity was geography
recycling status updates
mockingbirds and coldplay

owl has exceptional hearing
sonic medicine
learn the difference between weight and mass
the computer takes center stage
then the remains

what makes a geography?
gravity’s kiss
just another thread



“…then he was part of her, inside of her, as much as anything.”

I run through the elfin forest
sit in a burned out oak
suddenly all your history’s ablaze
urban ghosts

and there is this family
hundreds of love letters
a marriage

water boils, we make tea

we were young then
sleeping with the slider open
ocean sounds


“…they had simply grown up together, been children together…”

I hold them both in my arms
considering my social threshold
a hunger—
there is this place

the words are intoxicating
I want more
like this
with you

when I look in the mirror
I see
identity as my geography

a slow and cyclical letting go

last night I was held by
a giant hawk and owl
I was tiny, safe between breasts

to the river, they said



” and the proximity of it, the closeness of it, had produced in them love’s illusion.”

both mother and father
a winged embrace

hot river rock
the stones—
they fall through my arms

you still have a willingness
a wondering
light as a feather

and there is this place
these foothills

a wandering
inside of me, as much as anything

our dammed watershed
in these hills I see ghosts


your grip is not tight
but strong enough that I’m
not likely to escape



“And yet, what was love if it wasn’t the instinct she felt—”   

I used to wear a lot of hats
inspired by thieves oil, a hit of cinnamon
it sounds inviting

be available when things come to you
I don’t want to be hollow
I need to know

this is the place for this—

all of a sudden it’s me
on the outside

my turn comes too quickly
river ghost

in the orchard, I come upon a clearing
a haunting
fiery fairy ring

ancient cosmic gateway
gravity’s pull

Come see, come see, remember me



“… to be on the moss inside the cedar tree with this boy she had always known?”

orange tree, oak

the temple bell echoes through the valley
touch the earth
three times

I bow to my future
my present, my past

different boys: different trees

this old thread
weaving new patterns

spliced in
to the shape of
my geography

you believe what you want to believe
an ascension
an invention
it’s only as weird as we make it

and yet, what is love if it isn’t an instinct?
a high priestess with her king of cups

feathery soft surrounds



“He was the boy of this place, of these woods, these beaches—”

more than two decades in this domesticity
I know every inch and curve

every stone
and knot
a wedded embrace

a giant buck, leapt westward
through the orange grove

whatever you’re looking for



“the boy who smelled like this forest.”

without hope there is only longing
instinct and blood
neroli and pine

and yet
there was a quiet—

this   is   my   place
you   are   the   boy
inside of me as much as anything

I buried a seed in the sand
soaked in salt water
my ancient
twisted karma

a sea shell

hawk sightings

hope is that thing with feathers
wrapping me
in it’s winged embrace


Quotes spliced in from:
David Guterson, “Snow Falling on Cedars” and David Bowie, TV on the Radio, Tom Petty, Emily Dickinson and the poet Jennifer Calkins.

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