n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, December 24, 2005


First morning, a new bed. Outside the blue framed--bare branches. No rain, that will come later, but frost coating.

Within the smoke that silts off our tub, a few stars revealed, a cat sitting on the living room table, thinking this lap is hers, if only she were brave enough to reacquaint. Out in bromine, it is discussions of Bush that I carefully navigate away into discussions of this land, the land bordered by a country.

Outside pine trees lined up in road balustrade. A land tuckered by fog, a land grey in the making, boats that slow down when they enter this harbor, not because it’s the rules, but because the place takes something down three or four or five notches. A sheet of hydrogen like repression, glued with the something awake held notched down on either side.

mum-lambMy mother greets me in the morning by hopping onto my bed and inviting all the animals. The white fluff one like a sheep on steroids climbs up on top of me and flops with his elbow right into my bosom. His chops lower down and lick lick, he licks his chops and then his big brown eyes, he reminds me of the long distance we’ve gone together, the window he jumped out of on the freeway and the cast he had to wear on his leg so we wouldn’t have to give up on him. Lick lick, he tucks his fifty-pound head into my neck and snuffles, a polar griffin with his wings tucked in, proud and cuddles.

The wind, flickerings of lights, computers on the bust.

C’mon ol girl, c’mon. I helped the black little bloated tick dog out of the back of the Honda and down onto the concrete parking lot. And thought, no dog should only see concrete around right at that time. She’s been waking up with pee all around her in her bed and I’m home for the holidays and nobody wants to follow through on the wheel tracks swerving on the freeway ice.

Mom holds her as she breathes, holds her afterwards. My mom is lying on the ground. Her body is tucked around this creature that trusts us. We have to trust ourselves, my mom coos to her, tells her she’s a good girl, you’re such a good girl, we love you. The dog is panting on a white speckled comforter that someone donated to the clinic and we carry her in it afterwards. Mom pats our old girl’s cheeks, wiggles the fat cooling body with her hand. Pats her, a primitive urge to ask if this is what it’s all come down to, a body no longer breathing with catheters hanging off a leg.

As little suckling sniff sniff, the drip, the good girl, I pat the old girl’s body, sometimes my mom’s leg—for a thump-thump dog, for my mom. I am imagining a situation where I have to let go this way, and there it is right in front of me.

The vet, a rolly woman who once took our old girl’s liver out, gives us platitudes and we are grateful for her affirmation of the choices we have to make. That’s sometimes what it comes to, people saying you’ve made the right choice to let things follow their course, and we having to believe them, try to dig out the truths that lay imbedded in the clichés we don’t want handed over to us. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Wake. Sometimes things can’t be salvaged. Try again. Nothing can harm you more than love or hate, nothing can blast you wider.

We used a backhoe to rip open the thresholds of soil back here. Tree roots wrested unwilling, the curl of their distain, the gravel pea dirt running downslope. We put her in with her doggy bed, with her blankie. We agree it wouldn’t be fitting without doggy food and some chocolates... because she snuck under every Christmas tree that ever was and ate any chocolate she could find, and sometimes topped it off with bath beads. Oh if Santa could have such a reindeer, she’d snuffle through any crack in the foundation... cr hands me a shovel and I toss the dirt on and it is surprisingly easy, her little tucked nose, like a creature truly snuggled in.

Some phone calls, not related. Some emails too. Some sadnesses dissipating, as I work to put a huge bodyache below. Coming home is so full, the fog, the difference in pattern as I’m tossed from my favorite locking, the friend who walks along the beach and my head run running back, sad, hard-headed knowing exactly what it will never let go of, knowing that once it decides there is no going back. And so all that must be faced is ahead, the truth, the fight beyond what the heart has found, the ground sogging and thawing, hardening, I find crystals five inches tall in the back yard as I muck around looking at the way things have changed—seasonal, progressive—and the way everything is exactly exactly the same. Some things will always be the same—there is acceptance and mourning in the losses that come from stability.

I feel sometimes that this place, seasmell, grey flat ocean with all its cooing wash, all its overlap… has lost me for good. She wants me sometimes, asks to have me back walking her, running my fingers through her yellow bracken wilt, loving the drip drip, the twinkling moment before a morning falls, and I will always return here, but mourning and different, someplace else speaking inside my head, all the energy and motion and movement and unexpection to be found in the city at every moment I walk, every time I put myself out there. In the city, I feel that at least there are some returns on risks. Hit and miss like anywhere,

but this town, little town, full of friends and well-wishers, teachers and dug dirt, places where I stuffed slugs into my pockets, places with pets buries, swimming holes, music listened to, sisters laughed with, love kissed pressed against a building – an open possibility with a case of mistaken identity, kayak water currents, beaches nude, boats tipped over and family born, possibilities, poetry readings where I lurked crazy full with this community, balconies where I begged to low, dumpsters walked by, students growing, new suburbs christening the land with bulldozer breakings.

the place where I realized I would never be anything but alone
just like all of us.

and also the place I left in order to realize how the struggle lies in twisting the knob, the radio sketchings, of what each letter of that word means.

I will always be here. I don’t know if I can come back though, I will have a month to recycle and build. It’s hard to climb past though, but with music. And the truth that I loved the best I could, but I’m not an Ideal for anything, just another person like everyone, every single one

but I’m fond of people

even if I am fighting to embrace the truth that I will always be alone.

I received a postcard before I left. A breath.

I went to a party before I left. Ieóyn smoked menthol with the crew. And that’s Ian to the rest of the world, the accent not shifting anything.

“Where’s that from?”
“That’s ghettóóó, girl.”
“You see, the mothers gotto be pretty creative out there. And they’s damn creative.”

Yes, I would imagine so. And c2 called me a story sucker. I don’t feel too much like a story sucker lately, I just feel lazy and I spend a lot of time with my sister or drunk or up in the hottub, or working to not feel desperately poor, or sad over Maggie and Elizabeth, or walking with a friend, and now I will go off to wrap presents.
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