Monthly Archives: March 2013

Don’t Go Home/I Like You Right Here

Anna: hi

Matt: Hey

Why just “hi”?

Anna: am i that transparent

Matt: Stop. What’s going on?

Anna: Why didn’t you stay?

Matt: What do you mean? huh?

Anna: …

Matt: I’m not playing dumb, Anna.

Help me out here.

Anna: why didn’t you wait with me at the bus

until it left

i was the girl whose boyfriend didn’t wait with her at the bus

now i am the girl on the bus whose boyfriend didn’t wait with her at the bus

Matt: Okay two things

First off. You are neither of these things unless you choose to be these things.

Anna: ok well actually you made me these things. i am actually just choosing to have this discussion the bus wifi

Matt: Don’t you think this is a little crazy to talk about this now? I feel like you just said this was. That comment pretty much just said that.

Anna: dont you know better then to call your girlfriend crazy


Matt: haha

Anna: Don’t laugh.

Matt: I’m just laughing that you still corrected your grammar in the middle of all of this.

Anna: …

Matt: Okay, or not. Noted.

Anna: …

Matt: I don’t know. It just…it didn’t really cross my mind to wait? I don’t know. The bus was going to leave in 10 minutes and it seemed like, sort of, I don’t know. Sort of clingy.

I think I didn’t want you to think I was being clingy or parental or something.

Anna: are you lying? were you sick of me?

Matt: we spent the entire weekend in bed together. How could I be sick of you?

Anna: because we spent the entire weekend in bed together

Matt: is this actually about me not waiting with you?

because if there’s something else you can tell me

we’re going to have a lot to get used to

this is a big adjustment

Anna: Yes. dont therapize me.

Matt: I love you.

Anna: I love you but you shouldn’t have left if we only have so much time together now.

and you shouldn’t force us to have conversations like this here.

Matt: if you ever feel like you have to add a qualifier after you say “I love you” then

Anna: …


OK, this is the last time I’ll reach out to you.  I can take a hint.  It may take a while, but I’ll get it.  Sorry to be a nuisance or whatever.  Have a nice one.

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The Language of Sundowning

Upstairs is a trail of clues –
two bowls of cat food,
side by side
on the ottoman; a
nutcracker jammed
into a Yankee Candle; a small
Lord & Taylor shopping bag
filled with dirt
on the kitchen counter.

Sentences fade
or stop
She tells me
she is turning three,
and if you can overlook
the gray hair and
see only the way
she sits – like she will
disappear into her chair – this
wouldn’t be a stretch.

But I have learned
her language. Three is
seventy-two, eating
is talking, the bag of dirt
on the counter the last stop
on this trail of clues
she is maybe intentionally
as she is leaving.

daven port

in later years i will embrace Sunday mornings with a new reverence and
appreciation that was lacking when i was a younger man — now they will
seem a welcome respite from busy weeks full of file cabinets and water
coolers and white carpeted walls with giant corkboards — and somewhere in
the back of my mind i will recall the years during which i did not awake before
noon and wonder “what was i doing with all of that time” and “didn’t i
know that it would be a precious commodity” — and i assume that there
will be someone else sitting across from the kitchen table from me and she
will wonder the exact same things and maybe she will even share a doughnut
or a danish with me — but not a cup of coffee, because even in a dream i
cannot stand the taste — and won’t it be nice to trade sections of the
newspaper as the sun is just starting to become courageous over the
horizon and a warm beam is dividing the room in half with a rush hour of
dust particles dancing inside — and my slippers are old and full of holes

Old White T-Shirt

Toy Story ruined me. What I believe
was already a troubling fixation
on the personification of most
inanimate objects—action figures,
faded jeans, Ninja Turtles sheets—turned to
a full blown manifestation of my
crazier than I’d like to say outlook
on life. It’s why I can’t stand to comply
when Spring cleaning comes around. I’m so down
for cleanliness, I’m not a hoarder, but
with borderline useful or wearable
clothes, sweatshirts over ten years old, many-
holed shoes, anything that was ever new,
I hate that they might feel abandoned, too.

Ghost Light

When double lives are done
and every curtain has come down,
after echoes that once filled
the air have settled to the ground,
a glowing guide remains alight
throughout forgotten times
should those who fled return
to find that which they left behind.

Stroll Home Carolina

What’s next is what’s always next. Fold the stroller. Marvel at the mechanism. Perform feats of ingenuity to maneuver aforementioned stroller into the back of aforementioned Lexus SUV. Strap in toddler. There’s always satellite radio playing something terrible that I love. No country. Never country.

Russell has a bad habit of kicking my seat, and it’s only something he’s developed lately. Get Daddy’s Attention O’Clock. It doesn’t work, except when it does. Mostly red lights, at which I’ll turn around from my perch behind the wheel and ask my two-year-old to please stop kicking. My wife has told me he’s always to sit directly behind me–it’s some safety thing one of the pediatricians at the hospital told her–but we’ll get to a stop sign every now and then where, without saying a word, I’ll put the car in park, walk to the back seat, pick up my giggling son who thinks he’s won the battle, and slide him over to the passenger side. He makes the “hrumph” sound before I even start driving again. Today, he’s being good. Just, well, shit-smelly. Unless that’s still me.

At the playground, Russ will have rule of the roost for the next half-hour until the  moms start trickling in from two destinations: One, a Tuesday pre-school mothers’ group for the school that we’re trying to get Russell into next year; and two, stroller-fitness, a walk-with-your-babies exercise group that happens in the adjacent section of the park. He doesn’t mind being early as he bolts into the woodchipped play-zone. I take a seat on the biggest bench, waiting for company.