every poem

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there should be rain
in every poem
maybe a murder
grasshoppers
at minimum
a soaking loss
symbolic tiger lily
analogous beverages
scent of freshly laundered infant
paint speckled hand gripping someone’s thigh
bell peppers, un-chopped
claw foot tub on cliff
cradle, over-full
dominatrix in comfortable cotton
autoharp
wheat
lovers
there should be compound fractures
and punctured aortas
submerged iPhones
pristine underarms
corn rows
loons
pill bottles
rumpled sheets on still warm beds
the feeling of falling
endoscopies
gates
unambiguous signs
palm
ring
leaves

December 2014
Julie Ayers

a promise

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all the broken things
fixtures pulled to wire
words inked into the soft
flesh of desktop
kitchen phone in pieces
cupboard door splintered

all these things
and more
broken
but my love

the jam topped cookies
baked in a oven that still works
tasting of vanilla and hope
by a heart that still works

I won’t give up on you

December 2014
Julie Ayers

American Way

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man in the blue business suit and tie
trench coat to keep this morning’s rain off your Armani
you stand next to me in line at Starbucks by the Hippodrome
your face puffy
tired eyes down
do the drugs feel heavy
where you tucked them in your pocket
the drugs you just scored
from the cupless man at the table by the door

will you soon become one of the gravity defiers
who hover over the sidewalks near my office
after they’ve visited the methadone clinic around the corner
or will you remain
Wolf of Wall Street
bloated and rich
a privileged member of the drug class
pro border walls
anti Affordable Care Act
three strikes
you’re always in

November 2014
Julie Ayers

Bed Check

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not stars or waves or blades of grass
no sirens calling movement towards rocks
deadly, seen
yet still the irresistible compulsion
to push forward

buildings tumble
whole cities burn
lives fall like confetti at a funeral
the misplaced
and inappropriate scattering

we scuttle
beetles to dung
heaped as we are with all
the inescapable issues
phobias and triggers, the unhinging

chased always by inevitable gathering
the gluing back together
of the crossword puzzle scraps
down and across
to find an answer that finally fits

let me sleep
away the questions
deeply sleep with repeated REM
no hourly clock checks
and wake to sea at last serene

November 2014
Julie Ayers

On Risk & Acceptance

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what I want for you
is to find that place of acceptance

you will know when you arrive
as it will be filled
with the kind of people
who meet you on your ideal plane
they will wrap you in their arms
if you are one who blossoms
when giving and receiving hugs
they will sit quietly by your side
engaging in an unhurried exchange
of speaking and being heard
their love will be unconditional
you treasured as the imperfect
but well-intentioned traveler you are

you must never stop looking
for this place
it exists for you
you will find it

to get there
you need to take risks
accept that you are worthy of love
as your most authentic and unmasked self

you must fearlessly open your heart
unbox everything
and lay it on the grass
a yard sale of all your apprehensions
each ambition and catastrophic failure
your most impossible desires
set it in the light
that which you consider junk and prize
all of it is treasure
of value and great significance

trust those who stop to look
who pick up this piece and that
ask for an accounting
and you in turn
must reverently visit their displays
reach out gently
and help them sort their offerings
see the beauty in every frayed seam
and roughly drawn portrait

stop hiding from your own peace
there will never be a shortage of painful things
that happen for no good reason
you will lose people
you will see and experience
nearly unbearable suffering
you will be torn asunder
and healed
and broken again

this is always the journey

you are capable of more
than just surviving
if you cultivate acceptance
for our gorgeous but flawed natures

look for your people to love
you will find them everywhere
risk loving them
risk more
by allowing them
to love your most genuine self back

November 2014
Julie Ayers

You Can’t Park There

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“You can’t park there,”
she yells from the window,
the top of her head
wrapped in a blue towel
as she’s just finished
shampooing her thick crown
in the kitchen sink.

She can’t abide
her long hair freed,
eddying down
over bare skin
to become trapped anew
in every fold,
catching on hip bones,
turning to an irritation
of itch an hour later.

She prefers to steep in baths
or wear a plastic cap
when forced to shortcut
her grooming,
endure the disorder
of a shower.

Every errant hair contained.
Each auto directed,
its angle apportioned,
she reigns,
unqualified dominion
over lonesome house
near water’s edge.

If only once,
she’d leap,
submerge fully
without a cap,
let the rain drench
every misaligned hair on her head,
umbrella holstered,
permit cars to scatter
willy-nilly across the drive,
would she still be,
or possibly be even more?

November 2014
Julie Ayers

Writer’s Remorse

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it is November
the month the mother
steals time
to write down words
enough nouns and verbs
dependent clauses and exclamations
to fill to full
a book

she is chagrin
about the stretches taken
to load 2000 connected words a day
on the computer screen
she feels
50,000 ways selfish
as she sinks in phrasing

despite her still gleaming counters
the laundered clothes
signed permission slips returned
bills promptly paid
dog’s belly scratched
husband queried about his day

regular office hours kept
outings undertaken
with her daughter for chai
son and mother sitting
counting the methods
used to dispatch zombies
and catch killers

a slight uptick is noted
in the consumption of takeout
her nails remain unpolished
dust gathers on her bike seat
her books rest unread

it is November
the month the mother
steels time
enough
to write

November 2104
Julie Ayers