adoption

memory, 3. i am in the room, the one with the games and toys and
the glass windows
so they can see and document
the interaction

my mother’s blond curls are covered by a pink bucket hat
“i like your hat,” i tell her
so she takes it off her head, and hands it to me
to keep.

memory, 9. i am in my room, the one i shared with my sister
and now it’s mine and i hide a box
underneath my bed

it contains old letters, cds marked
“the jimi hendrix experience” and
“pink floyd dark side of the moon”,
a music box, and an
old pink bucket hat

memory, 18. i am in the room, the one he’s been
living in, battling the cancer, my mother is
here too and she is crying.

i came from my factory job, second shift
i put on his
shoes and jacket for him, then take them off
as he requests

such an odd feeling, to be somewhere
but feel so
far away

memory, 23. i am on the other side of the room, the
one with games and toys and
the glass windows
so i can see and document
the interaction

little boy, blond curls crying on the floor
his mother failed another drug test
this week but
she brought him a new
coloring book

memory, 26. i am in the room, the one i go
to every week to talk

when she asks me to draw
what it looks like, what it feels like
i choose the color pink,
think a moment, and draw
roots

-A

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landscape of a heart

in my heart live ten thousand memories
and ten thousand more, unlived

i can feel them with the rough skin
of my fingertips
smell them in unwashed hair
or hear them on the street as i amble by

sometimes a premonition
often a flashback

i think that my heart’s landscape is green hills
filled with forest ferns and sycamore trees
drinking in the muddy river

there, i run freely
my pace changes
my breath
up and down the hills
around and through

i think your shoulder
is one of the hills
of my landscape

my weary mind’s resting place
if only for a moment

but i’ll beg for ten thousand more

i want to be part of
your heart’s landscape

-A

People, Places, and Things

Every first of May I remember
that night we ended up at a bluegrass show
and it felt so natural to stomp and holler
and you twirled me around then we left to make love

Because it had to be love, even though we weren’t together
or else I don’t think I’d be writing about it now

And the memories they all blend together
that wasn’t the first of May, but it was spring
do you ever smell a certain perfume and remember?
or feel a certain breeze and find myself transported
back to any night in a city older than I could ever fathom

Where I learned that I am meant to fall in love with
many moments and places

I have been itching to leave, but then yesterday I remembered
that I love this place in the spring
and I have loved on that bluegrass night
and other places in the springtime, too

It is like how the other day at the women’s art museum
there was an exhibit of photographs from the Southwest
and I recognized a black-and-white mountain
that I saw brown and white snow-capped
when I grew fond of a place for a week and forever

Some days I am starving and on others I eat too much
til I am so full I feel empty
I think memories are like that –
I hunger for more but then I also feel
so full and then sad that I do not remember
the specifics but instead let them blend together

But I know that although I cannot place
the exact day of the bluegrass dance
I write it on the day of the Spanish festival in the valley

In the springtime to melt with the other places and people I have loved then.

-L