• Carla



In the neighborhood with sleepy houses,

nestled in their beds,

eyes still closed at this hour;

under the sky with breakfast in its pockets,

juice all down its chin,

belly empty and tending to chores;

on the round park path with gravel stones,

full of overgrowth and geese,

morning meetings underway;

by a pond with rippled rings,

popping up on the surface,

lingering like we do on the bank;

are those trees we found with fruit set to ripen,

six of them in total,

half a dozen reasons to do this again next week.


At the store for something else, your label caught my eye.

Simple stripes of black and white, six ingredients, no dyes.

So, I put you in my cart, made my way into the line,

paid for you with other stuff,

and everything was fine.

At home my sandwich had been made and (save for you)

set for me to dine.

I cracked the jar: a little pop, a waft of garlic brine.

On a list of buds that love you, please don’t be adding mine.

A mouth watering this much is usually a good sign.

My puckered lips grew tighter, scanning the receipt to find

a shocking revelation—

you cost $8.79!


Script without playwright

is to pen without ink,

as play without lines

is to act and not think.

News without paper

is to press without crank,

as style without substance

is to words that are blank.

On Your Way

(for Maria)

Take time for cups of cocoa on the snowy days. Find yourself a blanket, put a warm mug in your hands, and pile on the marshmallows.

Love potions and beauty fads promise a lot, but they are liars. Both of those things already live in you, so you don’t need them anyway.

Bravery sometimes comes in the form of safety cones sprinkled around like a fiery circle of salt—and that is just fine.

Feel free to empathize openly with Sisyphus as you push that giant boulder up another endless hill or have the occasional late-night conversation with a porcelain bowl.

It’s a rare thing in this life for years of work to come with tangible confirmation of all you’ve achieved. When they do, you may not get thrown the party you deserve. Still, even if you celebrate, those rare and raucous moments will not always include cake.

But they really, really should.

Thank you for joining me. I am so glad you’re here!


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