“He was young and handsome” by Julia at the table

Saturday January 5, 2019
5:36pm
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

This year we didn’t look at old photos of you
and Mom wearing your brilliant sweaters at Niagara Falls.
I think there was too much going on, but I missed it anyway.
Tracing the outline of your fro,
curls I know intimately since they landed on my head too.
Thank you for those, by the way.
When I was little and everyone said I looked more like you
it used to break my heart.
I don’t know why I thought it was anything but a compliment.
You were young and handsome.
You are still young and handsome.
I am in awe of how big your heart has grown in these sixty-two years of living.
Sixty-two years today.
You have gotten so soft and there is all this room for me now.
Thank you for that too, by the way.
I am looking at the photo of you holding me for the first time
a month and a couple weeks after your thirty-second birthday,
and the look in your eyes as you look down at me
is turning me into something sweet.
Thank you for that.
That is how I see you too.

“He was young and handsome” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 5, 2019
9:02am
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

It’s your birthday today
You’re young and handsome
bird-like and dying
empty and full
at the same time
“This too”
I whisper
“This too”
I wail

I saw the most wondrous thing
was there for the birth
of a star child on the first
day of the new year
this year of mystery
babies
loss
learning
breath

I don’t know if I’ll
see you again in the flesh
in the bone
bird-body
sun-shower

It’s your birthday today
the same week cancer took
both A. and D.
the same week a star child
was born
the same week
the same life
a birthday
a deathday
a new day
a new day

“The horse flung his head up” by Julia on her couch

Friday January 4, 2019
1:19am
5 minutes
The Pearl
John Steinbeck

I saw a horse on a plate and I wanted to get it for you

She was galloping over a fence
I was happy for you

It takes a real horse to be happy for someone else

You have to be free enough to see what is really there

I don’t know how often I’ve been the horse, been free

I am supposed to sugar coat this so nobody gets scared off

This is a good place I can promise you that

It doesn’t need the knot in the foot to remind us all