brightens the sky
to a silky soft blue
so close I could reach out
and take cotton ball clouds
cold in my fingers.
you were here
and the scattered scene
of glittery air tells me so.
turn it up
and let me see
let me know
it is okay
to smile too.
Something about a hurting heart,
an angry heart, a sad soul
always brings the words
to the surface
flowing onto the page
with such ease and fluidity that
when things brighten up again,
I remember the faded-in-the-summer-sun red Coleman cooler,
old and worn,
holding the smell of sour,
salt and pepper shakers, just in case,
a fork tucked wrapped inside napkins
and tucked between pamphlets of content
I cannot recall.
Dad would ramble in the house after work,
dusty and tired from spending the day staring
through the dirt-speckled glass of his Caterpillar blade,
yellow and rusty,
with Herrmann’s printed along its side.
Mom would have dinner waiting,
something made from scratch,
hot and flavorful,
and never appreciated enough.
I remember the entire house smelling
of a construction site during those evenings,
with roused dirt brought in on his boots
skimming through our nostrils while we watched tv,
lying on the cool hardwood floor.
Wheel of Fortune, wrestling, Urkel.
We would tire and saunter
off to our twin beds
in front of open windows,
hoping for some kind of breeze,
and that cooler would sit in the kitchen
next to the wallpapered wall patiently,
ready to be picked up and packed full
the next morning, to start all over again.
That sinking feeling that there is no fixing this,
no going back.
I imagine that this is what drowning feels like,
the suffocation of fighting
against such strong forces
that will ultimately win.
We know it will get us,
but we fight anyway.
We hang on until our fingers bleed,
and our hearts cry.