Base economy

The food pantry is out of rice
but has plenty of boxed potatoes
leaving room for barter

a base economy
of beef stew traded for tomato soup
or egg noodles for rice

Me?  I wanna be base-less
and free of cans

Rich people don’t eat canned food
and buy fresh or frozen
shop the edges of the store
while we shop the middle
a choice between hamburger helper
and ramen, hoping someday

for better meat.

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Kummerspeck

They call it grief bacon
that cushion of extra tasty
layered over pain

It is not delicious?

Nothing sweeter than old tears
lacing chocolate.

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Excuses

I write after the children and cats are asleep
and the news slows like a clock needing winding
in an age when most time is measured digitally,
and whispered to satellites so it is always right.

I need to wait for meter, lackadaisical
and beyond this ticking down like a cooling engine
of each possible minute I might find a voice
where instead I am cutting chicken
or peeling potatoes

Its not true that all writers who are women
are childless.  We are here
but guilty of living in sips and gasps
inside that room of one’s own
that is actually a linen closet
where poems whisper as we fold towels and maybe
if we are lucky enough

we remember the words
when time allows.

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The new thing

The new thing’s not cloth so beautiful
only the 1% can see its shimmer
and its not cake sweet in one slice
while the rest is cardboard construct
its everything

not in absolute but swing.
We have different sets of fact
instead of simple opinion
like plain plates for family suppers
and Royal Daulton for company
but all the edges are gilt
skimmed over relativity,
our flexibility bending jointlessly
and against anatomy

The emperor
simply faked a set of clothes.
we’re doing so much more than that.
Pulling prosperity from air,
renaming success from bankruptcy
and we’re doing it with ideas
too large for our small heads.

If we speak it, it is so.
If we stay silent, it never was.

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today daylight

today daylight
increments
smaller than hope

(that bitch knows
we have ahead of us
a season of ice
short days

blue shadows

angled light

but I’ll gladly add
the seconds to
an appreciable difference)

time is like that
a change so subtle
never violent

though it is a thing
that kills.

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scar quadrille

scar–that shine on my shin from a fall
off my bicycle
the red curve under a belly
that birthed children
and a calligraphy of scratches

these are proof of passage
through a world
that marks us forever in blood.

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How the light gets in

for LC

I was going to list your loss
as the topper
to a very bad week–
first America
and now you

but your words
listened to with eyes closed
say you would have waited for this

eager, open to the possibility
of more direct wrestling
with angels.

Maybe this crack
in my skin
in my heart
in my hope

is not me mourning

but simply opening
to incandescence

I would rather live lit
than broken.

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