WHEN IT GETS DARK

The other day I woke up in the middle of the night, 

in the middle of the desert, 

and went outside.

When I looked up,

nothing made sense.

All of the patterns, and symbols, and friends I knew,

were buried in other stars.

When I looked one way, 

and sought them out, 

I could still find them.

But in this new darkness,

nothing made sense.

And it made me think of all the invisible light I have been living with,

that has been dancing, 

and shining, 

and staying strong,

amongst the patterns, and symbols, and friends I knew. 

And that those invisible stars,

The ones that 

dance,

and shine,

and stay strong,

are the ones I really need,

when it gets dark. 

DAWN

You know that feeling

when you wake up in a tent?

And the air is dry,

and sort of warm,

and it smells like your favorite sleeping bag,

but also of the sea.

And also of dust.

And you zip open the door,

and the sky is still dark,

but not quite dark.

Most of the sky is night,

and there are small little patterns of stars.

But then in that other small shoulder of the sky,

it is dawn.

And over the dusty,

sandy,

cactus filled hills,

It is dawn.

And I think to myself…

What could be more perfect

then this?

This moment of waking up.

Reentering the world,

and realizing

that everything I love

is right in my hands.

In my nose.

In my lungs.

Under my dry, dusty, salty toes.

Running the length of my body as it slips through the

clear,

warm,

sea.

And that this moment is just the beginning of the day.

Because in the shoulder of the sky,

it is dawn.

Found

So I decided to go out for a sail.

And the great news is that I am so very good at sailing.

I’ve gone here and there,

Most all of the places.

I’ve sailed through the hardest waves before.

I’ve sailed through a coral reef before.

I’ve sailed into a magic cave where the mermaids live.

And so I decided to go out for a sail.

And this time I thought I might be able to bring someone else.

It was a good idea.

I liked them.

They were like the most beautiful of the mermaids.

They flew like the sharpest of the birds.

It was a good idea.

I would take them out on a sail,

So they could see just how good I was.

So we went.

And for a while it was perfect.

The wind was right,

The boat skipped along.

I wore my nicest sailing hat.

And they liked me.

They saw how good I was.

They liked me.

I could tell.

They could see just how good I was.

And somehow it was so nice, 

that the ocean got all turned around,

and the sail fell off the boat,

and my hat got swept off my head,

and I lost my oars.

And I looked at them,

and they were still like the most beautiful of mermaids,

like the sharpest of birds.

But here I was.

Without my hat.

Without my oar.

Without the wind on my side.

And I was lost.

And I wasn’t good at anything anymore.

I wasn’t good.

But they just looked over

with the most beautiful of mermaid eyes,

and the sharpest of bird wings.

And they said

I like you…

without your hat,

and without your oar,

and without the wind at your back.

I like you.

And you are good.

And somehow I didn’t feel so lost anymore.

just right

So you have all these ideas
about what looks nice.
And so you make sure you have them.
You find the right pillows,
and you make the right curtains.
You make two types of pesto.
You line everything up
just right.
And it’s beautiful.
And you feel proud.
And all you want is share it
with someone.
You want someone to notice,
and not just for a second.
You want someone to notice that
the duck faces the crab,
and the rocks are all lined up,
and the colors all match,
and the bed smells good,
and the sheets are smooth.
And you just want someone to notice
All of the things.
All of the things.
All of the things
All of the things you have been working so hard to make sure are
just right.
But instead they have dinner plans at 7:30.
And they forgot to ask about the pillows,
or the pesto,
or the duck and the crab.
And it just gets dark.
And so you turn on the light that is
just right.
And wish that someone was here to see
how hard you worked
To make all of the things
Just right.

I am getting ready for a trip

I am getting ready for a trip.

And in some ways,

it feels like the trip has already started.

I’ve looked at a map,

I’ve checked my calendar,

I’ve thought about what I need to pack.

I’ve tried to figure out what I will need 

when I leave.

But the thing about getting ready for a trip

is that I never really know what it will be like.

I never know what shorts I will wear every day,

or what bowl will be the most perfect bowl,

or which shop I will visit more than any other shop.

I never know who I will meet,

or how I will laugh,

or what I will feel like when I am there.

I never know what canyon will make me feel the most alive,

or what the water will feel like when I jump in,

or what the sunrises will tell me.

I never know what my backpack will feel like

when it is the only familiar thing.

There is no way to know what I will need

when I leave.

But there is something that happens

on almost every single trip.

Once I get there,

I have enough.

Once I get there I only need a few things.

And even though 

it’s really nice to have the shorts I wear every day,

and the perfect bowl...

Once I get there,

It always seems like the things I need the most

are things I already have.

And the trip 

just shows me what

or who

they are.

the first time

Sometimes you fall in love with a flower.

You think,

“Hey it’s a flower,

and I love you”.

Then you want to be so close

so you try,

and try,

and try, 

and try.

But the thing is,

the flower you fell in love with is a thistle.

So sometimes

when you get close,

you get pricked.

So every time you get close,

you get pricked.

Prick.

Prick.

Prick.

Until finally one day

you decide to put on gloves,

or thick fur,

or you just get softer.

And when you get softer,

the pricks just seem like edges.

And the thing is,

the thistle loved you the whole time too.

But for the thistle, 

it’s the first time,

the first time,

the first time,

that someone ever got close,

and didn’t run.

A POEM FOR YOUR BEST FRIEND

So you sit down to write a poem for

your best friend.

And at first you think it will be really easy.

You know what he likes,

you know what makes him laugh.

You know he will like it 

no matter what,

because he is your best friend.

And you think to yourself…

Okay,

I am going to write the best poem

with a lot of sweet stories

and a good rhythm.

And then you sit down,

and all you can think of

is how good our bed smells.

Or what it’s like to share popcorn, and accidentally spill it all over the couch.

Or the song we sing on burger night.

Or what it’s like to wake him up in the morning,

and how he still has that sleep smell all wrapped around him,

but also a little bit of morning breath….

and how even through he is still kind-of asleep 

his hands are still so gentle and smart.

 

All you can think is how much you laugh at funny things,

like that one time in the fabric store.

Or how when I get really mad

he just lets me blow it out and collects me when I’m crying.

Or his face when he eats meat.

Or his stupid fleece pants with the tiny holes in them from the fire.

Or his infantile legs, and how he lets me pick at his toes.

Or how he gets dandruff, and we give him a vinegar treatment.

 

All I can think about are all these tiny little things.

And well, usually when I write a poem I like it to make more sense, 

and maybe even feel more grand.

 

But here I am at the end of this poem,

and I’m thinking to myself about all these things… 

All of the dandruff, and the morning breath, and songs, and popcorn….

And I’m thinking that maybe they make a silly poem,

But actually

Actually 

Actually…

They make a beautiful life.

luckiest

The luckiest rabbit got to keep his foot.

© 2019 ABBEY GORDON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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