I never knew the right answer to the question, like usual again.
I didn’t want to be a ballerina or a space ship
or the men in the red suits that came to class
and we thanked them without knowing why.
All I really wanted was to translate a book
maybe a French one
make a spirit out of words out of words out of a spirit.
And maybe I was jaded
but I never cried
like my friend who broke her leg and quit the Nutcracker
or the ash-blonde boy that wore jelly shoes and couldn’t throw a football
like the men in the red suits probably could
at least that’s what the other boys said
who were playing in the tunnels all together when I found him shrinking by the slide
I never cried like the space ship that left everyone behind
and got lonely, even with so many little people running around inside it,
just like my dad, who was just like me.
I never forgot the aspen branch I chopped for its binding
or the storm-cloud I stole for my ink
I never stopped looking for that book.
I still want to,
I finally figured out that I want it to be a book of poems
small ones that look like a thousand Eagles flying together if they did that
and I want those poems to be your thoughts
I want to coax your thoughts into remembering me,
but really I want your thoughts to remember me
by themselves, like I was their favorite meal when they were young,
like they still had a favorite meal and big grin and didn’t jump when the phone rang or disappear on empty nights.
It wasn’t always like this
your fingertips insist sometimes
when they forget to touch my cold shoulder
when the distance draws upon the distance
and you’re just far enough away
that I can’t find you or forget you. so I close my eyes
to turn your thoughts
back into poems
at least the dumb ones that call themselves wishes
they are so brave, shaking and alone like that
they are the only reason I’m still here
I am just like them, your thoughts.
in love, and looking for a language