Edgewater DriveAll the houses are the size of God’s fistsEdgewater Drive by ClamShellHeart
They sit wide and reach deep
into the shore,
into castle towers,
wide windows showcasing
shimmering chandeliers, tall bookcases,
or tunneling entryways, gray light
looking in all all sides.
Behind them is the lake,
stone gray sheet on a clothesline,
with the ribs of old stone docks
pinning it to the shore.
Between two houses is an empty lot.
Broken asphalt leading into the grass,
two trees framing
a focal point that fell away.
I stand between them, try
digging my toes into the spring mud.
I imagine manicured daffodils, pools of ivy,
an arching front door set into brick, and
kaleidoscope rose-shaped eyes.
But when I look
it’s my apartment growing solid around me,
alone and small; a lego block
on the fireplace in the living room.
Empty space stretches around the walls,
ashesWhen I die, part my ashesashes by ClamShellHeart
into tea bags and steep me
in the window baskets, or potted plants
on the balcony.
I stare into the mirror, planning
my scars, planning to grow into
marigolds, wondering if bruised skin
is sickly sweet like bruised fruit, wondering
if the sweetness burns away.
You can plant
the stones that were
my vocal cords, and
maybe in the silence
my courage will be concentrated
and push a blossom from the dirt-
Each petal a tiny secret that falls in the autumn
that I never could say
despite the boulders
you said to me.
12:30pm Toledo/Cleveland GreyhoundI sat on the bus back from Toledo12:30pm Toledo/Cleveland Greyhound by ClamShellHeart
feeling like I ought to
but instead I Thought,
as I looked out those
huge greyhound windows
that if I had Brian’s brain
I’d know what each cloud was called, or
make something of them
to think about
other than blank-paper interest
And when I was finally back in Cleveland
I collected myself outside the station
where people always seem to collect
like cigarette butts in the gutter
at the light on the off-ramp
on West 117th and 90.
I don’t know if it’s easier or
much more difficult
to two empty rooms
instead of a person
but at least I didn’t have to think hard
prepThe waves in the lake are eagerprep by ClamShellHeart
To bring the color of the sunset to my feet
But leave only rocks, take sand
And I start sinking
I am preparing myself to be unhappy again
With sand and water and broken zebra clams between my toes
With the red of the 8:30 sunset
Slipping through beneath the wall of purpleblue clouds
I step on a rope and it covers with sand
But it's connected to the break wall
And floats up again.
The rope will not sink.
There are geese and tattooed bodies
In the water
And sandcastles half torn down
Before the tide started going out on the beach.
There is a boyfriend in a girlfriend's lap,
High schoolers in jeans.
I hold my shoes while I stand in the water,
They are old, no one would take them, but I hold them just the same.
Two lonely sail boats sit a horizon apart.
One of them nears a dock, a light house,
And the other drifts away.