Sketch: I bought an aloe plant today.

I am surrounded by
sounds
accented by
splashes of color
bathed in
warm sunlight.

Dissonance
of two different birds’ songs
mixed with Mexican folk music
and Spanish chatter
carried on the breeze
rising and falling
with the cherry blossoms brushing my feet
and the charcoal dancing across the page
becoming consonance.

I think it is enough to capture
the essence of the thing
rather than the thing
itself.

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-L

hidden resistance

in a world of those that notice the shine of my dress shoes
what do they know of the muddy feet underneath?

the feet spent the morning tending to the earth
from garden to garden they guided the body

though the eyes behold the process,
the feet understand how the earth is grateful for that first drink of water
in the same way that they too find comfort in
the soft soil fresh with morning dew

though the hands planted the seeds,
the feet notice, step around, as they sprout above the soil
beckoning the sun to feed them
for the feet also find energy in the light

in this way
i suppose i do not believe that i need to be clean
or fragranced
or styled
in the same way day after day

my prayer each morning is that
i may find delight in the life
that i am surrounded by

outside, in the sun this morning
I wanted to lay down
bury myself in the earth
like a bolita bean seed,
crack out of this shell,
and grow

-A

Soulmates

I met my soulmate unexpectedly
of course but I think it was fate, not chance.
People say there is someone for us all
but I never really believed in that
until I saw my own reflection in
someone else’s soul. Soulmate does not mean
romantic you know – my soulmate is the
sister I never knew I had. It was
fate that I found someone across the world
who understands why I am who I am.
Trust me it is a relief for someone
to know you well inside and out, so go
seek soulmates not just in lovers but friends.

-L

reflections on a year of rock climbing

I remember the first time I got on the rock,
sunny, sweaty hands trembling, stomach lurching

On a warm August day in Penitente Canyon, junipers and scrub oak line the trails where the spring snow had melted

My new friends and I make our way to the climb with the deep huecos

There,
with the comfort of a top rope,
I fall, and I struggle, and I pant,
kick and curse
and it’s the most imperfect journey to the top of the rock

As joyful as I feel to have reached the top,
I tell myself I need to get stronger
that I could have done it more flawlessly

I cast my eyes downward, feeling shame in my weakness
——————-
Fast forward a year later
new friends have become old and we drive the dusty road to the canyon every chance we get
Colorado monsoon season means we get stuck in the rain once or twice
but there is one afternoon that
I remember so clearly

We make our way to the climb with the deep huecos
and I decide that I am going to lead the route
because by this time,
it has imprinted itself into my memory

I am sweaty and nervous and fear outlines my vision
because I could fall a dozen feet

but I have done this route so many times and
each bolt I clip into is a reminder of my strength and ability
to navigate through fear
by staring it in the face
and climbing up it

I struggle, and I pant
and I kick and curse all the way to the top
and it’s an imperfect journey

but this time, the joy I feel at the top is not eclipsed by
the desire for the flawless strength I think I should have

but an acceptance
and awareness of
the jagged, rough strength that I do have

and how the balance of
all my parts
both wobbly and sturdy
has led me to where I am

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-A

Summer in my River Town

how to explain, then
the low bellow of a barge in the distance
heard beyond the creak of the porch swing
with wood still damp from morning dew
and the world beyond covered in a hazy shimmering veil
another slow and quiet start to a hot day
already covered in sticky humidity
but shivering because the sun remains
a dim shadow behind the fog

how to tell you, now
of blinding sunlight and skin hot to the touch
cool lemonade and Led Zeppelin days
little relief indoors from out
until bare feet touch wet grass and neck arches to moon and stars
turning not once stiff but when a bat swoops down low
to lightening bugs illuminating a rhythm
that has lodged itself inside my bloodstream
growing to be a part of me

-L

lessons in green

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

mostly
I miss the green. Not just how it sparkled in the dewy mornings, but how it smelled after a summer rain – wet and earthy, worms and muck and warm puddles.
How it felt thick and sticky on my skin
Crickets at dusk, bullfrogs lulling me to sleep

Do I forget the summers? The one where we walked through the woods together
Through the black widows and bike trails and the oaks and maples and sycamores
You held my hand tight in your big white jeep

Can I remember the freedom I felt? In the forgetting. In the letting go.
I remember spinning, 2 AM. Spinning in a circle of my friends.
Stoned, I leave out the back window and my red skirt flies up as I jump. I understand nothing, but feel all the parts of my body like puzzle pieces floating.

All alone, I walk the path I know so well, to the white pine forest right near the water. It is dusk, and the longer I sit still, the more invisible I become.
The great blue heron skimming the water’s surface.
The doe and fawn drinking at the water’s edge.
The river otter gliding on his back through the sleepy lake.
At dark, I frantically pack up and run the whole way back home.

My best friend, in argument, in salsa dancing, in bread making.
The washing machine overflowed and I jumped on your back as we giggled uncontrollably.
We walk down the street singing Little Birdie the night before you hit the road, the streetlights guiding us to the bar.
I didn’t know then that when you returned, everything would change.

In green, I found the freedom to wander. Felt the panic of being alone. And understood, in fragmented moments, to be grateful.

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-A

Sketch: This is a rose bush waiting to bloom.

My hands
remember the weight of charcoal
and what it takes to keep
the image from smearing.
I sketch a rose bush in early spring
when it wants to be blooming
but can’t, yet.

My eyes
capture details like they are new
as if I have just seen
bare limbs for the first time.
With each stroke they become more alive
til I understand they are
just waiting.

I finish sketching
as the day grows cold,
and as I pack up my things
I know:
roses
do not blossom into being overnight
but rather
survive the winter
to triumph in the spring,
and this knowledge that
the beauty
is in the details
calms me.

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-L