Yes, I would like blossoms in my tub.
How kind of you to remember.
The small dog stands guard outside the bathroom.
Drops dapple the paper,
but do not smear my handwriting.

I sound like an English primer.

Is it just me...
... or does it kinda seem
like the party's dying down?
Like the room is clearing out?
It's getting quieter.
Nobody's really watching anymore.

I feel like a lot of the ones
who used to pass for cool
look more and more like buffoons.
That sounds cruel, but do you know what I mean?

Almost like people age in different directions
or something.
I dunno.
It doesn't matter anyway.

From where I'm sitting,
things get quiet and I look across the room,
I still see you.

None of it ever had to do with any of them.

Right place, wrong time? No.
Just had to wait for them to leave,
find something else to talk about.
And for all our head trips to fall down.
'Til there's no one else left on the sofa,
nothing between these two but a smile.

Maybe it's just me,
but it seems like it's harder not to hold on.
Still get a tear in my eye from time to time.
I don't mind you knowing.

I feel forty out there calling and she's grinning so wide.
She knows something I don't.
She says things like,
"Do you even remember why you cared what they thought?"
Then laughs her ass off when I don't.

Amma Lalla came for coffee the other day.
She died when I was eleven.
She used my mouth like a puppet.
Scolded me for letting my little girl
forget the mother tongue.
She scolded me with my own tongue.

You know how I usually stumble over my words?
In that language, I mean.
I try so hard just to end up conjugating all wrong.
Not this time, I was talking a hundred miles an hour.
(Miles, not kilometers.)

She told mamma and me that we're coming home.
Even though I swore I never would.

She said to us both, you girls need to remember:
if you're born on that island it's on purpose.
You might roam but you always come home.
Stop pretending you aren't what you are.

I thought about Berkeley, some psychic there
once told me, "You were born in a body of a certain lineage
that you chose for a reason.
You're not afraid of anyone.
And there's no place you fear to tread."

So Amma showed me things
between sips of coffee
and whispered and pointed
like grannies do when they're
talking about people who are
right there in the room.

A natural event will change things.
Nobody will get hurt,
but people will move around.
It will suddenly be more possible to get a house?
After a public outcry.
Something like that.

Then something big and gold
a light hovering above the land:
unmistakeable opportunity.
A beacon lighting the way.

"Maybe just for a year or two."
Anyway she knew to tell me that
so I wouldn't get squirrelly.
(Old women are crafty.)

She showed me dark winter and bad weather
but candles burning in a warm house.
Yellow, blue, red.
I could see them through the front window,
and I wanted to go inside.

She told me, just keep doing each thing as it comes.
You're under a bright star,
on the path of the butterfly.
Someone's looking out for you.
You won't even have to try.

A snow-capped holy mountain.
Somebody called my name.
All alone up there, they knew
how to sing me home.

Up high in the white and blue,
if even for a moment your heart is pure,
The One Who Is
hears you better and says,
"It's so adorable how you seem to think
this is your idea."

I forgot to eat today.
And I've been wrong before.
But if it's all the same to you,
please stay alive,
eat something,
take a vitamin.
Ignore the advice of fools.

Because the last cards,
and the grannies' last words,
were about a choice
and being brave
and joy after a journey
on a ship of fire.


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