The Infamous Shaira

Everyone in my life recognizes

That Shaira was a very special person in my life

Except Shaira, who has reduced my importance

To the occasional Facebook message

And wouldn’t make the trip for my funeral

Let alone my wedding

But everyone is dying to meet the infamous shaira who

When asked about my time in Korea

Was always the protagonist

Even her name now brings to mind

Four or five anecdotes

Worthy of a captive audience and a fair few chuckles

Poignant silences, groans

They say they’re curious to meet her

Dying to even, and that according to my stories

There’s no one in the world like her

That she’s very unique

But the stories come less and less easily to me


Accepting an International Call

While I sit at my kitchen table

Listening to oldies

And fashioning wedding crafts

Out of unfinished frames

And nail polish

She has started fainting

On a regular basis

She is trying to flee

both her country

And an abusive relationship

The only thing that connects us now

Is a promise we made in college

Ive frantically searched for a way

To help her get out

For years now

But its useless

Both her and my therapist and say

The best thing I can do

Is answer the phone when shes calling

And be a friend

They say it’s not nothing

I danced before I had two feet

I waited so long to see him

That there was gray in his beard

Decorating a double chin

His badge of middle age

His fingers were creased and leathery

And I wanted to cry and dance and hug him

My excitement was so manic that

I almost orgasmed the first time we made eye contact

And thought to apologize for my absence

But I was just so glad to see him

I didn’t do any of that

I cant tell you what I did except

I lost my head about the time that passed

And I’m still missing it

Ugly Moment

Your face is bolted onto your head
like a rubber clown mask
I could cry until my eyes crawled out of their sockets
and your expression would not change
there are jitters and jeers from the audience
whispers which crawl into my ears like insects
that all say the same thing
that you are not my friend
but I have to funnel through the wax mountains
they have sculpted into my eardrums and listen
because I know something none of them do
that you are just a soft thing
with alot of jagged edges
and you have always been there for me
up until this ugly moment

It’s a New Life

What is it about travel that is so like a mosquito
stricken with malaria who sucks all the blood
in steady dew droplets from a friend
who would once have offered me her arm
to climb across the snow banks
not caring when our boots flooded
in a valiant search to hunt and gather the ingredients
rosemary, chicken broth, eggs, rice, and lemon
to add a warm glaze to our storm

but here, it’s happened again with a different woman
droning the same infectious narrative
like sap, her blood for me drips slowly and freezes
as the smile on my face does
when I see that she’s finally written me
then spares not one warm, friendly word
only that she won’t come home again
and isn’t that exciting for her?