If I could time travel
I don’t think I would
try to change the past-
instead I would relive my firsts
slowly and luxuriously.
The first time I fell in love
or jumped from a cliff into water
to remind myself that regardless
of how scary these can be
they were the things that
opened my eyes to new worlds
leading me to where I stand now
and the firsts I have yet to experience.
Sometimes on nights when it seems
like the rain will never end
I listen to Tom Waits and Elliott Smith
and read verses of Percy Bysshe Shelley
thinking about how they have already
said it all, better than I ever could.
I dial your number
and hold my breath
hoping you’ll remember-
because the last time I called
you had forgotten and you
begged me to bring him home.
I had to remind you he was dead
and there was nothing you or I
could have done to change the
roll of the dice;
it was over before it began
and you silently hung up the phone.
I think someday I will be known as
the new Patron Saint of Lost Causes
taking these metaphysical phone calls
asking me to reunite the living and dead.
I finished the tea in the
delicate bone china cup and
the fortune teller swirled it
in her slender fingered grasp
overturning it in the saucer
she read the leaves and told me
that I was to fall in love
with an endangered species;
someone that could make me blush
just by complimenting the
quiet confidence of my stride.
I knew the truth in her words
but I felt that such a rare breed
would never really be safe
with a huntress such as myself-
better to watch from afar than to
risk the bloodshed such a union
The thing about hearing the future
is you only get half the truth.
I went for a drive in the rain
and turned down the music so
that I could listen to the
rhythmic rasp of the wipers
like a respiration machine
and my bare feet on the pedals
respond to the coolness of the
metal and begged to take me
wherever this storm was headed.
Not to outrun it
not to find shelter but to simply
become a part of the destruction.
There is a song I hear from time to time, blasting from some low riding sports car being driven by a guy with too much gel and too few brain cells and I’m seventeen again in Spain, dancing in that club and sneaking highballs- letting the pulse of the music drive our bodies together.
Another song reminds me of being barefoot in the beach house and the smell of rain and earth and the ocean was perfume on my skin. I couldn’t find socks and the hardwood was cool and refreshing as I danced.
The songs that I play late at night echo of the nights I spent next to you in the dark, when I would wonder how I could feel so lonely with a heart beating so close to mine.
I have a quiet envy
for those who plant seeds
and grow roots in their life.
Instead, I have a dress just for funerals
and most of the time I feel like
I am the gatekeeper of endings.
You are prone to bouts of
self pity and defensive rhetoric
as you relate to me
the latest list of poor souls
who have somehow done you wrong.
I listen silently because I know
you want ears and not
but the only common denominator
in your list of dastardly foes
It is said that misery
loves itself some company
but if you cannot
change perspective or accept
your fault in these feuds
perhaps one day you’ll find
that even misery stops taking your calls.
We sat around the table
to talk of ghosts long dead
and as we spoke our breath
disturbed the layer of dust
that had settled on our memories
clearing transparent patches
that we delved deeply into
not realizing that the grime
was a reminder that the past
should sometimes be left untouched.
To my darling girl with hair like fire
and eyes so cool and icy blue
I want to take this time
to wish Happy Birthday to you.
You have made it twelve whole months
and I hope for all the rest
that as they pass you can say
they truly were the best.
I will help you find
more laughs than you have tears
and I’ll be there for your parents
when you hit your teenage years.
I know that you will be
such a strong young girl
and if you put your mind to it
I know you’ll change the world.
For now let me say Victoria, I love you
and I cannot wait for birthdays more
to see the woman you become
and what the future has in store.
xoxo Auntie Bree