as dandelion

my breath is fogging up the glass on the window in front of my face as i’m looking out at the rain especially concentrating
on the puddles and the way the water gushes down the pavement always finding the lowest
and most porous places to go.

carving a pumpkin, for the first time in a long time, (years? have i ever even carved
a pumpkin?) at s’s dining room table that is covered in a plastic tarp, i am enjoying how the knife peels away the pumpkin skin. everyone’s taking turns with the big knives and small knives and the slotted spoon that’s good for scooping out the guts, and we occasionally turn off the lights and stick flashlights inside them to test out how they will look, and when we all sit down to eat dinner, (enchiladas), s asks everyone (all of the pumpkin carvers) if we could go around and say something that was scary this past year, that we did
anyway.

k paints my face with whiskers and a feline nose behind our farmers market stand (because i am dressing up as dandelion) and i put a
homemade mane on my head that i cut out of fleece in the morning, and a
name tag that reads DAN which i place over my brown on brown on orange sweaters, also there are a few dandelion flowers i found in the morning which i pin in the button hole (october 31st and there are still dandelion flowers?)

i am laughing with k because suddenly my face becomes her art project and she turns very serious about the face painting, but then after she finishes i promptly forget i have paint on my nose and scratch an itch, (but it is okay).

then i walk around the market and go through the process of explaining, to (almost) everyone, that i am not just any kind of lion, I am…

so i can wash

dandelion drink
warm and sweet simmered on the stove
for hours
whose root i collected
on thursday
cooked on sunday now
sipping as i decompress hard people
of the day
those people that, (make me think of that poem i memorized once, words of
rumi
through the english translation of daniel ladinsky)

punch a hole in your being whenever they are around
and then you leak out energy and other kinds of vitals you could have used *

reflecting how on my good days there are no people like that
right? but some days they seem to be
everywhere

well not everywhere, just in particular places

taking a bite of a (maybe gala sort of sweet not too special) apple
and refilling
my mug, one i’ve carried along with me to different houses and
homes, in the car, and sometimes to work, across the country and back? shades of sky blue with a ridged handle so i can wash
down

the apple with some more
dandelion root.

 

 

*the china doll in us – rumi, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

a certain weight

conscious of my chewing (kale salad with pieces of mashed sweet potato) in the
silent kitchen just after
10pm – the dinner i found waiting for me on the counter
with a plate covering the top of the bowl and tongs
poised for the taking
as i slipped in through the door late, from this
and that.
and now im eating with my fingers out of the small blue bowl with shades of black and copper that i made (last November) and i’m on my fourth serving of kale salad because of how (small) the bowl is and how
(fluffy) the kale is.

as i am chewing

the light on upstairs of e grading papers and the pink glow from ro’s room (late night newsletter writing) and the empty space of knowing that f is still out on her first 24 hour shift (at the new hospital) all combined
(not to mention the weather forecast of frost) translates

to a feeling of a certain weight

weight of arriving
to a quiet house,
of identifying everyone in a place, their place,
of feeling a part
and apart (at the same time)
washing the bowl out in the sink, rinsing my
hands and
turning off the light over the stove

as a parting cheer

the three things I learn about elms over the weekend:

that the leaves are rough,
exfoliant , k rubs one on her arm,

that the base of each leaf is asymmetrical,
t puts her hands side by side with all of her fingers lined up and then shifts them slightly away from each other to demonstrate for me

what about the bark?
and that the bark
is squishy.

3 for 3! j says as a parting cheer as we go our separate ways, walking barefoot on the sidewalk back to our respective houses, sneakers and socks in hands, hair still dripping with river water,

referring

to the running ((around the block, past the young tulip poplar(newly pointed out to me with its signature-ly shaped leaves), and the autumn olive, (snacked on a few berries yesterday)crossing three streets, and all along the community garden)),
and the jumping (our sweaty bodies into the river) that we have done consistently every morning of this
long holiday weekend,
the holiday that has been/is being
redefined as indigenous peoples day, catching on in this (smallish) city, as it says on the door of the library,

forbes will be closed Monday for indigenous peoples day

the parting cheer is especially for the
swimming in warm and rainy october, and
for celebrating that up until this point in (my) history i’ve firmly believed that i didn’t like running simply for the sake of running, and
i’m not sure if the habit will last but for the moment it doesn’t matter because my cold river running warm raindrop body feels happy and
alive.

 

 

 

somewhere i can see

the gaping mouth of the dead possum
with its guts splayed out
around its body and lots of
flies swarming around the eyes, and i
can’t help but quickly look away as soon as i see it,
and then look back, this time for longer
staring at the mouth and tongue
as i pedal around the guts and feet
and curled up
tail

sitting in my room staring at the computer screen when i notice that the sunlight is fading outside and i propel myself down the stairs and out
the door to get to somewhere i can see the moon

watching the glowing orb of light grow
behind the tree line,
feeling the coolness of the night land
on polyester sweater
and thick denim
jean

lying on my back (on the ground) (in the garden) facing the sky
darkening (with the night),
and lightening, with the moon,
as i wait for it to
rise
seeing wisps of cloud
cirrus (named in latin for a strand, curl, lock, of hair)
wondering how almosts stop being almosts. like in the case, of ,
how does an almost become a
full
(moon)

feeling sure how there is something in the knowing that soon it will be empty again