Maya

Surrounded.

The stuff pushes in, new stuff; Christmas stuff and clutter. I have a tendency to be overwhelmed even by too many groceries after a trip to the store, the consumerism of Christmas always freaks me out a little. I don’t know how to catalogue things, except books. I have just gotten done giving things away, things with emotional weight; I never keep such things. They stay new and perfect if they are full up with expectations that never realized fruition, or a disappointment that hangs over my heart. It’s so much easier to gift wrap my emotional bounty and give it away in parcels,

But there is always the incoming. The influx.

I don’t pretend to be well, but tomorrow and the next are also parcelled into organization bits. This year I will synthesize a little bit more of the love offered. I’m frowning over a sum, bent over the computer. The stuff has a presence of its own, looming and omnipresent as rock formations in my mind.

What she does, the kitten, is she leaps into the middle of everything that seems so serious and so much. She’s a little girl cat, and she’s one of *those* girls, you know: The kind that prove boys aren’t _quite_ the most lovable things on Earth. She’s all round tumminess and slightly slanted green eyes, and she can take the distance from the couch to the arm chair in one leap, no sweat. She lands in the pile of my terrible stuff, and I’m laughing, suddenly, because there’s a ribbon caught on her whisker, and she’s a rakish pirate cat. I push it all aside, very matter of factly, and retrieve my wayward cat.

Strange magic, Maya. You turn my sink and soar into a comical flounder. I want to write, to respond to people far enough away that I can get close to them. And of course push away those who have gotten too close, find some way to word my regard and still carefully post my ‘Keep Out’ borders, but you won’t stay on the floor, will you?

She jumps into my lap with the stubborn, single-mindedness of a girl cat. Gracie was the same way, but Gracie didn’t leave four tiny holes in the skin of my thigh, rousing me to holler from the pain of her stubborn climb.

You’d laugh too, to see her looking wild and alarmed, rushing away from the shout, to hide behind a pile of ‘Shall i keep them?’ books. She knocks things down. She doesn’t listen. She hops into my lap over and over while I’m sitting at the keyboard, thinking I will write the twisted etchings of my mind.

I have to take my hands off the keyboard, and wrap them around this little, purring body. She doesn’t understand anything. She doesn’t know I’m a failure, that I make some sort of living off of introspection, that I hate myself, and the holiday, and love my family and hate their presence and hate  hate hate the STUFF; she’s a fool.

And she’s real. And soft. And alive.

And I’m in love. 

Passing thought

If I were going to be with someone
I guess I’d be with you.

I’d have to unlearn the ways of solitude, I suppose,
and meld my skin against something
more solid than the steadfast dark.

But to take your small sips of mellow observation-
for that, and other small occasions,
maybe I’d change.

Pulling pants on in the bleak, chill morning,
seeing how your hair settled and arranged
around eyes too old
for a heart-shaped face.

Watching you take it in
the way you must have taken it in at age 5-
thinking, weighing, deciding-
choosing to be silent. Feeling the kindness in that
as I sidle apologetic
through your door.

There’s such a wait in you, such a patience;
such an assured thing, but I feel your delicate,
your parent wisdom
set among bird-feather bones.

I will bring you home flowers
to bemuse you.
We’ll eat soup.
I’ll show you what I’m good at.

In an odd moment
I can let go of who you could have been
and who I could have been,
for in the odd moment
I’d be admiring of
what we seem to be.

I mean,
what we’d seem to be If I was with you, because

I guess I’d be with you
if I were going to be with someone.