Winter

When she was
about three we
went to the

zoo. I cried
for a day and
a half after

that. It felt
like what splitting
in two and

leaving the other
half would feel
like.

That was 13
years ago. I
am a functional

adult about her
Christmas presents
arriving on time
this year and it

is extra special,
as I get to
see her. She is a

teenager and
I still am
most of the time
too but

we make the
best of it
the
best we can.

I am insecure.
I can’t decide
what we should

do together. or who
and how I am supposed
to be. I’m on

messenger asking
my sister her
opinion and

that splitting
feeling suddenly

returns. Who am I?

Who
is
she?

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On what it is to heal

Standing over the
hot pan stirring

the Parmesan into
the red sauce. Entirely
too much garlic.

The cat flicks
his giant white
tail beside me.

My husband wraps
his arms around

my waist. Kisses
my cheek. I raise
the wooden spoon

up to his lips.

“Try
the
masterpiece.”

He squeezes me
tighter.

I don’t flinch.
I don’t push him
away. None of

any of it is ever
about before. We

sit for dinner and
I am

whole.

A4

The power was cut
in the giant sprawling
house. Every time we

heard a knock at
the door we thought
it was the eviction
cops throwing us

out. We had painted

the walls every
bright inappropriate
color for wall paint.

There was a giant
pool surrounded by
tall palm trees.

I felt like a movie
star, in my giant cat
sunglasses and

sequined pink bikini –
a time in my life where
that image was all I
wanted.

We ate Italian food
in the dark and re
told the stories

of the good drug
times. The bad
drug times.

Chicago streets.
Chain

smoking Marlboros
by the carton. Murder
docu drama day time
TV every morning.

“I made so much
art in that house.”

I say wistfully sometimes.
Paint everywhere nobody
gave a shit and we ate

jelly and crackers
for lunch or dinner
if we could find it.

When I needed someone
to believe in me and
love me the most,

it was her. She used to
blow smoke rings and
tell me how famous I’d

be someday and to always
remember this. She

brought me to this
valley.. we’d laugh until
we cried in the

in & out drive thru,
taught me the secret
back way to drive

everywhere in this
town and she never
asked me for anything

in return.

“Do we need to order a
pizza?” Always code
for “This is going to

be a long, dramatic,
drawn out, fucked up
story.”

She was my best friend,
my sister, my mother,
my daughter all in

interchanging parallels
of time. When I drive
south on the 515 towards

Boulder City I
always remember that
first time, seeing

those mountains with
The Crystal Method
Vegas

playing on the radio.

I owe her my life
some days and other
times we don’t talk

for months on end. I never
have to be that me
again but sometimes

I miss her.

=====

Surrender

I did 75 minutes
of hot yoga
and an hour of

cardio yesterday
so today, true to
form I laid in

bed for 12 hours
watching Fraiser,
had a bubble bath

and ate Italian
takeout with no
pants on.

I probably
expected,
earlier in life

that bliss
would be
something else.

Something shiny
or expensive,
dramatic or

extravagant.

I’m happy to be
ordinary.

Breakfast restaurant parking lot

I remember
the feeling
of the exact
pitch of

sunlight
the instant
we met.

The whole
world got
a little
slow.

I got quiet
and I
listened
to him talk.

Sometimes
I think that
in those first
few moments

I could already
feel our whole
entire life

together before
it happened. But
I

thought at the
time that it was
just

the pitch
of the sun.

Moving forward

He isn’t alive
anymore but he

lives through me.
I had a few tears on

the four year
anniversary of
the death of my

Dad. Sometimes, I
have these compartments
of feelings where I

can imagine that
he has been with me
and able to see

who I got to become
this whole time. I
imagine he was

there on the day
my husband and I
met. On our wedding
day. I can imagine

that he has stood
in all of the
yoga classes I

have taught and he is
just off in the
distance when I
write my book and

sign canvases. He is
in the kitchen when I
bake a spectacular
pie and cook a steak

to a perfect medium.

The thoughts
stop my breath.
I’m relieved

it’ll never be
August 21st, 2013
ever again. In his

life and his death,
my Dad made me a
better person. I

am so grateful that
for the most part,
that

is the dominate
feeling
I am here

with.

Las Vegas, Nevada, Planet Earth

It was validating
for a while.

Waking up at
6 in the morning.

Putting on business
casual clothes.

Driving to work
in morning traffic
with the new

sun. It was

validating for
a while –

rewarding as if
I had arrived
within a life that

was never supposed
to be for me.

Being the professional
adult in the room.

Facilitating four hours
of group therapy a day

wondering why I felt
so exhausted. I never
had a degree or a

single credential but
they just kept
promoting me and in

the end I left my
keys on the counter
and quietly

walked out in the
middle of the day
because I couldn’t

fake stability within
the chaos.

It was nothing like
in the movies. I was
terrified of how

we’d pay the bills
and suddenly – the
validation of

facilitating space,
bank hours, an office
and business casual

attire

was gone and I felt
like I was nothing and
worse. But.

In those three years I
learned to play
ping pong like a

fucking champ. I learned
that nothing but my
own center will validate

my life experience,
and I learned how to feel
what others felt and

not make it about
me.

I went back to my
old job as a server
in a fine dining

restaurant on the
Strip. I was so
grateful they

took me back. I
don’t work much but
when I do I put on

a sexy outfit and
do my hair and face.

I have cute over the
knee sued black boots
and I drive a white

mustang. I like
myself better when
I’m in that car

in my boots at
1 am. I listen to
so much loud

Van Halen in that
car because I know
that someday, I’ll

be old and tell
younger people
what my life in

Las Vegas
was like.

For now I try
not to put
too much into

what I thought
would make me like
myself. Anything

can be validating
for a while but
never in the way

we imagine.