I threw up on the plane in a
little blue bag I borrowed from
my neighbor, who I woke from
sleep to save my honor and the
necks and laps and seats
in my vicinity.
Brandy's smile greeted each
and every one of us on the
stone steps of North Rocky.
This smile greased the hinges
on the door into the unknown.
Inside, Tyler, Nicole, and Anna Joy
pointed me to a room where I slept
until keys and cards and rooms were
assigned. I left drool on the
blue couch where the light comes
in the tall paned windows.
My bas bleu bohémien
teacher gave Montaigne
much attention, leaving us
wanting more on every score.
She gave books out like prophetic
prescriptions, saying, "Do you know....?"
or, "You must read....."
I don't know who midwifed and booked
our hungry hearts and minds better,
Warren or Patricia.
I left kisses on the lips of
the bereft, cranky, recently
widowed one, and
the lesbian who came out of a
long relationship straight.
I wanted to leave hugs and kisses for
the other single girls to unpack
when they too opened their doors
to an empty house.
I saw a green shoot growing between
stones, an impossible, inhospitable place
I saw kaleidoscope cracks in the
sun roof over the library.
My thoughts twirled as I pondered
them in the quiet octagon room
set with round windows.
I saw empty pews in the chapel and
empty card catalogues in the library.
I saw myself through the camera
lens of a pair of loving eyes.
I heard poetry, learned new words,
heard words of life, wiped tears,
and sang with friends old and new.
I heard broken apologies and saw grace
We celebrated new work being published.
We hovered over silent auction offerings.
We broke bread together.
We raised our glasses.
Tin whistle tunes haunted the halls.
Songs and plays were pieced together
like Sedrick's quilts.
Self portraits stared out at the crowd
well pleased with themselves.
I learned that I may write bad poetry and
immature essays, take amateur photos,
and piece a beginner's quilt as a starting
place, knowing that I will grow from
here because I'm willing to be
easy being imperfect. It's OK
to try something hard, new,
and keep on trying to master
the mess anyways.
We left with this one last imperative
wedged inside a song -
"Leave the edges wild."