Today I glanced out my window
into the neighbor’s patch of sky
and noticed for the first time,
framed against the stark cloudlessness
of blue a cluster of fruit ripened
to bursting, the thick spill of seeds from
deep red seam, glimpse of yellow flesh
on the branches of some tree whose name
I do not and will never know, though
I am certain it exists, and there is peace
in this quiet knowledge that they
have been there long before my notice,
blossoms tangling hungry into the weight
of this day where they droop wearily
against one another, as if asking me
to take them in my two open hands
and drench my fists in the sweetness
of their surrender.
December 21, 2012
The world was supposed to end
the day we met, but
And I hate to
but I think we were both
disappointed. Still thirsty
for apocalypse, still
thirsty for the end
You and I— becoming
Afraid the past might
catch us up,
unwilling to trust
something so fickle
I have moved you into and out of
three different houses. Carted boxes
all over the city, become
intimate with the weight
of your living. The ache of it
deeper than muscle.
packing those boxes
one last time. Carefully sealing inside
the books and clothes and memories
the guilt and shame and history
and finally, your swollen
tender, beating heart.
We could use a brick to weight the U-Haul pedal.
Watch the whole thing
bubble and sink to the silted
bottom of the Willamette. Walk home
to sit cross-legged on the floor, surrounded by
all your new
Can you imagine anything so empty?
Can you imagine anything so free?
If I could give you anything
it would be
a room to come home to
in the house of
your own life.
A heart like a
something to withstand
that requires permission
Brenda Taulbee transplanted her queer/romantic/bleeding heart from Portland, Ore., to San Diego, where she is currently an MFA candidate at San Diego State University. Her first full-length poetry collection, The Art of Waking Up (GobQ/Reprobate) premiered at the 2015 LA Times Book Festival. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including The Inflectionist Review, Grist, NAILED and The Unchaste Anthology. She enjoys writing in the sunshine with her faithful feline editor, Murphy’s Law.