Ioanna


“You feel life more deeply than anyone I’ve ever known.”
A kind way to call me crazy.
I often look around and think,
See how content everyone seems to be?
How do they know they’re all right?

Three years ago today
my daughter saw snow for the first time,
falling on our backyard in Oregon.
Later, we bundled her up and took her outside.
Snowlight at night is the most beautiful kind.

A stranger took our picture for us.
“Baby’s first snow? I remember that.”
She was so beautiful and he was so kind.

So you see, I’ve got to figure this out.
How did I let this happen to myself?
I’m supposed to know better by now.

“Any woman who gets involved with him
is signing up for Hell,” his friend told me.

And my moon, 
my pisces moon,
my goddamned pisces moon,
who doesn’t understand life on earth at all,
whispered, “But is that fair?
Maybe he’s just never really 
been in love before.
Doesn’t know what to do
or how to act.
You know evil, 
you’ve seen it, 
this isn’t that.”

Fortunately for humans,
you don’t have to be evil to do the wrong thing,
to use your wits for playing destructive games.
We have this thing called free will.
And an intelligent person
who is chronically bored
becomes arrogant, destructive,
a caged animal.

Smart people from small towns
(fish in puddles)
either grow up and get out,
find something good to do,
or they decorate their cage and call it home.
We’ve all seen it a hundred times before.

See, my first boyfriend was garbage and I knew it.
But Stillwater is tiny,
and I was all alone in America,
and he lived right across the street,
and he wouldn’t break up with me
because he didn’t want any other 
guys around me.
And I didn’t want people to say,
we knew it, we told you so. 
So we stayed together too long,
tormented each other,
until I finished school 
and my dad came to fetch me home.

I saw a light on that guy, too.
White, though, not gold.
Maybe those lights are actually warnings.
Do the angels shine brighter because
they’re trying to protect me?
Or are there no angels at all?
Hallucinations.

(No.
That I do not believe.
They can’t take them away from me.)

This never would have happened
if I hadn’t been so lonely.
I have good days,
I have friends.
When the laughter flows,
and music too,
the work day kind of nice, 
in fact,
I’m totally fine.

Maybe about a week ago?
I thought I felt him visit me, 
the way I used to visit him,
while I was watching TV.
Very strange sensation.
Disconcerting.
Another time
I was in mid-sentence 
at a little dive bar 
where the juke box is tremendous.
He sat down next to me at the picnic table.
And I actually turned my head
to be like, who is that?
Oh wait. 
It’s nothing.

I’ll be crazy so everyone else 
can have some entertainment.
TV gets so boring.
Safe on their couch,
“Look at her out there
in the wilderness.
She learned that mess 
from John the Baptist.”

Is anyone else trying to figure out what’s real?
Why do we sit on couches?
Why does everyone feel fine?

Wait.
Just now.
The picture just turned.
Ohhhh…
I get it.
Okay.
I see.

You know something?

I love the desert.
The wind in my hair.
Locusts have a lot of protein
and honey is sweet.
It feels so good out here.
Starlight.
Snowlight.
Moonlight.
All of a sudden,
I'm really all right.
And I don’t want to go inside.
I’m a member of a different tribe.
So you don’t have to be.

But honestly, you’re missing out.
If you could see what I see…
























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