resolution

lately I have been
preoccupied with ghosts –

with the dust that
follows me from old roads

without wind, three pines
lean hard on a sister and groan –

the sound finds me
even after they fall

© Sarah Whiteley

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sleeping bears

sometimes, between the long span
of months in which I do not
think of you at all,
I briefly consider calling you up
to ask you along for a hike

for a moment, not thinking how
having you there would so alter
the trail, that what lies before
would amount to steadfast avoidance
of what should be left behind

sometimes I consider calling you,
but let’s leave it there –
leave it as we would a sleeping bear
without the thaw of spring to shake
the old frosts from her fur

© Sarah Whiteley

somewhere else

today everything I know
is somewhere else

except that the ivy has been
trying to come through window

I remember the last time
I crawled through a window

that was Mexico though,
with the moon low over the sea

and the slow procession of
turtles moving up the beach

today everything I want to know
is somehow elsewhere

tangled up in the pink
of the bougainvillea

© Sarah Whiteley

*

thinking of those days behind the wheel, cat stretched across the dash, exemption stretched out along straight, gray highways

trying now not to swallow that hook, though lately it seems the city hates me, shoves me toward her swilled-to-the-gill gutters

back then, there was the bag kept in the back and it didn’t matter that I had to crawl through the driver’s side window to get back behind the wheel

what mattered was the chance to get out of here, wherever “here” happened to be at that moment, and now it feels that “here” is now once more

and I miss that cat more than ever

© Sarah Whiteley

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the skill of forgetting

the skill of forgetting –
more than a little like whittling –

slow and methodical,
always the blade pointed away

from a body, lightly curled
over the casually dwindling medium

those of us who have become
proficient at this

have learned even to hum a bit –
something slightly off-key,

off-kilter, with words long ago
lost to rag-quilt memory,

something once buried,
but half-summoned up

by letting fly the shavings,
paring away moments most aggrieved

© Sarah Whiteley

2.10.2015

these things cannot yet be called memory –
too fresh, too new, too aware of their own being
to be relegated to the corners of ponderous afternoons

how that spring you sprouted, sudden and furious
in the sanctum of breast, winnowing tendrilled
assurances around and about these willing ribs

until my breath became as entangled in yours
as any two rapturous vines spurred on by the warmth
and wild insistence of an inveterate sun

but like the dark ivy you so often tugged from off
the stolid bricks, you wrenched all our entwinements away,
though still I feel the green sap of you – sticky and stinging

as sharp-scented as if you’d never left