Frame

swing dance feet

He walks the dog while I pull on tights and boots. He leads me to the car then drives us through mist and rush hour traffic to a studio were a purple chandelier glitters in greeting.

We stumble through box step and salsa until motion from inside carries us like small waves lapping. Slow, quick quick, slow. His elbow lifts just enough to suggest an invitation. I twirl once around a maypole of light before alighting one beat shy of our next shared step.

The instructor praises us on our gaze. He can’t know our determination to master seeing. We speak across night, three years of two homes, voice as proxy for proximity. When we are together, we sometimes sit near each other and pluck up the threads of formerly disembodied conversation and spin them around the shape of us, looking, looking. We fill our stores with images that will warm us later. These eyes are accustomed to bridging the gap.

On this polished floor, our bodies have a new exchange. Slow, slow, quick quick. While I listen through his skin for the lead, it’s his eyes that signal our direction. These lessons build on a language we already speak. When parted, we fall into step. When still,  we are dancing.

 

Vigilance

eggs

Eggshell is a shade
cool as pitted milk-soft carapace
and searing as canker, rope
burn across yoked tongue. It strains
against the unspoken
inchoate
yet swelling
power to rupture
the membrane
that keeps us
separate
yet nested
together. Caution fails,
a crack forms,
unleashing the wind
now hissing across
this uncrossable divide.

 

Image Credit: Still life by Jo Bradney

If you Stop to Put Out the Fire, Turn to Page 8

My eye keeps tripping over the red square on the Google calendar. It says “Class Assignment Surveys Due” but I can’t recall if it’s for work or Bug or something else entirely. While I’m trying for the fourth time to re-arrange the month of June, my weary brain gives me a nudge. Remember? Yes. The survey is an annual collection of parental insight into our kids’ quirks and métiers. These descriptions supposedly help the school determine class assignments for the coming year. Our perspective is mere garnish on the overfull plate that our precious darlings serve up to teachers and playground monitors every day, but it must add some texture to the mélange.

I get on the horn to call Tee. “Surveys are due next Friday,” I say. “I think we have to pick them up at the office.” He doesn’t recall the email so we bounce around about the details before finding the PDF online. I ask Tee if we could each jot down some ideas and then combine them to submit to the school. He hedges before asking, “Why can’t we each just fill one out? I’m sure they won’t mind getting one from each of us.”

We have come to this juncture so many times, the page is coming loose from the binding. If you disengage, turn to page 47. If you try to collaborate, turn to page 82.

Continue reading “If you Stop to Put Out the Fire, Turn to Page 8”

Happy 100 Days: 48

The observer effect
has us drawing a bead
on a thing no longer
where it was
no longer even where it is
because we ask
too much
about the mechanics
of its motion
and try to hold it still
while we examine
the connective tissue
of the thing no longer
connected
because we ask too much
of love
as if it could be both light
and velocity
showing us the way
while also ferrying
the you and me
out of our forever
dissolving membranes and over
the threshold
as if we would not get lost
as if we could both stop
to gaze in wonder
and race past
ourselves
at the same time
 

Happy 100 Days: 79

Tee is responsible for

  • drinks
  • ice
  • cookies
  • fruit platters
  • a camera
  • sending invites
  • crafting a scavenger hunt for the playground and nature trail outside the rec center

I am in charge of

  • lego cake
  • paper goods
  • birthday signs
  • cheddar bunnies
  • goodie bags
  • having a stack of pizzas delivered hot at 1:15pm

Continue reading “Happy 100 Days: 79”