I am heart on thin, imperfect legs, barely managing to remain upright because of the weight of affection I carry.  I am longing and present and curse and laughter and hurt, exuberance and tenderness, disappointment…solace, reward, price, reckoning, chapter and volume, journey, destination.  I am costly.  Irreplaceable.  Replaced already.  Silenced.  Memory.

I am was.

I am


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 23





(for my children)


Two. Five.

In a tub full of bubbles,
hair soaped liked kewpie dolls,
you both mug for the camera.
Squint-eyed with a laughter
that is photo audible,
sound belling out still
over tiny teeth,
and through spots where tiny teeth
have recently gone missing,
you sit side by side,
happy image arrested.


Fifteen. Eighteen.

Wooden you pose,
the space between you
wide enough to hold
phantom children.
I wait for the current
to push you back together,
for the wash that
cleans fractures,
leaving easy cohesion,
a new joy seized.


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 22





“Coherence is overrated”
he assured
permitting her
to chase the random
fox thought
down the escalator
to the place where everyone
sitting by the fire pit
who is not playing an instrument
during Blister in the Sun
brings their hands together
in two rapid rounds of
transporting by pure percussion
to the valley resting
just around the bookshelf
from the best deep-fried pickles
in Rehoboth Beach
the ones coated in a light
tempura-like batter
at Dogfish Head
that are served
spears standing upright
in a metal basket
pickley perfection
even if she doesn’t like beer
really-really-really hates beer
and should have ordered vodka
like the person wearing
the Magical Mother Fucker hat


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 21





Because you were already singing
Ring of Fire
as we approached the table,
the Social D version
thumping out
through the restaurant’s
We slipped into our seats
and into the chorus
at the same time.

One by one,
you dropped ice cubes
twenty-feet down from the deck
where you stood watching
the pinking sky,
aiming for my glass
full of tepid beverage,
raining joy
and refreshment.

You baked a cake,
full soft and sweet centered,
topped it
with a desiccated hand
and waited, giggling,
for me to take in
the entire sugar
of this long anticipated reveal.

Beach house, kayaks, fire pit,
me assigned the room
with the balcony and best view
so I could wake to ducks
and friends and bacon,
we sat on the sand
watching surf roll
and spring tease,
talking of crab feasts
and college towns.

Entry halls strewn
with instrument cases,
you bring your guitars,
banjos, percussion pieces,
including on vacation,
us to sing along,
loudly, enthusiastically,
even if badly,
subsuming us
in each musical moment.

It is because you have patiently waited,
stayed beside me
while I found my own key,
made note of it,
and adjusted
your play accordingly
so we all could be
at our very best,
that we are


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 20


Visitation: The Specter of Magical Realism


Last night, I was a man, a man who writes. This dream-me typed an evocative, moving,
derisive, poem that made the woman-dream-me reading the printed words feel
everything. I could see the well-worn, wood and rattan rocking chair sitting empty
on the front porch of the antiquated country store. I could smell the swampish damp,
watch the moss swing gray like tattered blankets clothes-pinned to nearby branches,
knew I was somewhere South, closer to the equator.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died yesterday. Marquez of Love in the Time of Cholera and
One Hundred Years of Solitude, the author who wove magic on pages, making us feel obsessive
passion, despair, confusion, love, pain, loss, who made our pitiful humanness, our
well-intentioned but tragic failings, art.

Did he visit us, as would be but right? Did he slip mto our dreams, those who have loved
his words, those who cannot help but try to tell the stories? Did he come to whisper
in our sleeping ears, take courage, persist, stumble, fall even, bur write on, love on
despite the futility and impermanence, let passion and pain instruct and guide?
Did he entreat us to not stop, let the words out?

Trust the page. Trust your hands. Trust your heart.

Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 18


The Revolt



Undaunted by splinters
or more serious injury,
they yanked at the railing
with smooth hands,
kicked at it with tennis shoed feet.
It didn’t ruin easily,
so they worked on
demonstrating a determination
which would have incited delight
in their parents,
under other circumstances.

Eventually, wood gave,
fissures opened allowing bolts
to break free,
post with it.
They cheered,
fist bumped after tossing
the pieces
into the clearness
of the stream,
sat on the bridge planks,
view now unobstructed
by things we believed
best kept them safe.


Julie Ayers
NaPoWriMo Day 17