I have tried to write without a view.
The words push themselves into corners
and come out whitewashed or shadowed.
When my mother tells me to be careful
and only wear clothes that flatter me,
I try to listen. She hates my high waisted
cut off shorts and new haircut. She worries
I’ll never get married.
I’ve prayed for miracles and watched sickness
withdraw from the body like
winter from May. God will not be whitewashed.
It is raining in New York.
I left my bicycle in the living room last night.
I can’t figure out how to say what I want.
My mother sends me checks in the mail,
she is proud of me.
I want to be beautiful for her,
and feed the multitudes like Jesus.
I want to make rent.
My friends ask me to answer questions,
instead I wear them like a coat.
I only know that God
lives in shadows
made wholly of light.
Their are pallets and boards in our backyard,
from worksites and God knows where else.
Our neighbor builds cabinets and loft beds
from roadside wood.
All the bikes are locked to police
barriers that were taken after midnight.
But we are tired of locking up in our own backyard.
We are planting broken glass where thieves climbed in.
It is a painful consequence but not unjust.
Blood will run down our walls
if the thieves come.
I’ve taken down my spring dresses, and packed
away sweaters and scarves. Everything I own has a story.
Everyone I know wants answers.
My mother is beautiful and loves like the mountains.
She writes her story in a room with
no view. I am always surprised to hear
my own name. I am always surprised by the city.
God waits and moves
without answering questions.
Spring will not retreat.
The trees, the gardens are
A red tailed hawk
watches for prey
from our backyard.
I did not know such great wings
would still rest here.