loose at lunch

we learn
that the dog’s name is rita, and that she has gotten loose at lunch
as k and I are
sitting in the communal eating area on the third
floor of the old industry building that’s been converted into offices, trying to have a meeting about past conferences and future seed swaps, and
rita’s owner (presumably) chases the group of homeschool kids away from the long table so she can eat
lunch at her (presumably) regular spot,
so I ask her (rita’s owner) about what she does in the building (silk screen printing) and rita starts hacking up a cough under the table
and then all of the rest of the silk-screen-printers come to join her for lunch (or I don’t know who else they could be)
and it becomes suddenly impossible for k and I to continue our meeting, between the silk screeners
and the coughing dog
and the homeschool kids exiled to read their book in a different corner of the hallway so we retreat back to the office to continue talking about seeds somewhere else.

taste of a wild

the plastic bouquet of flowers i see in the trash, and leave there

light, the color of beach sand, that glows orange and pink at around four thirty in the afternoon

the taste of a wild rose hip, something like watermelon candy mixed with lemon and the smell of petals that lands on my tongue as i suck out the flavor from the tiny fruit as i’m walking home along the river.

the whoosh of stillness that comes

the whoosh of stillness
that comes with
sitting on the wooden stool
after getting home from singing
in the drizzling rain, planting garlic, harvesting the last of the cabbages,
pulling out dandelion, mulching the beds, among the other things, with all those good people that came out to
be with me in the

garden

the slight movement of ribcage
(mine)
soft sounds of car tires on wet pavement
and then the clanking of someone putting away dishes downstairs,
remembering that mine are still dirty in the sink
but not giving into the urge to call out
i’ll do those!
and instead just sitting there
noticing the movement of air
with a particular
heaviness
of settling into my skin, holding the vibrations of all of the talking singing event-organizing more talking hugging laughing more singing more event-organizing that i did in the
morning

walking through here

the flock of starlings that make three or four full circles over my head just as the sun is going down in the parking lot near the mill river and that weird power station. all of the birds are turning at the same time, and as they move their wings in unison, I can hear the flapping above me like heartbeats

the candy wrappers –
milky way
and twizzler
that I find on the street in between fallen
leaves,
remnants of the fairies and goblins and ninja warriors and tiny princesses and lionesses and butterflies and harry potters and ginny weasleys and baby whales and robot monsters that came walking through here on tuesday

 

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