I am listening to Phil Collins song, "One More Night." All the lyrics don't apply, but l love the refrain, "give me one more night," sung over and over, which is how I feel today.
My sons who are adopted
and dark skinned as teak
are learning about blackness in
post modern America from watching
a sitcom called Blackish.
The mixed race mother actress
has a mouth which morphs with
expression and because of her
I unclench my tight jaw.
The father has a sex talk with his son,
which I have not yet attempted with mine.
My family’s evening ritual of television
is not how I envisioned bonding,
in a perfect world preferring
board games, me reading chapter books.
I sometimes still need everything just so.
I attend a workshop where the sole purpose
is to listen to a speaker and notice
what is nourishing about them.
A woman who spoke about losing a friend had wild hair
I wanted to unleash from its hairband,
I could feel each strands' kinetic pull toward flight.
As a man described a row with his wife,
my heart puffed up like a frigate bird’s chest.
I discovered sustenance form voices
that sounded like schoolgirls with secrets
and one steady and potent
that could land airplanes in turbulence.
The ones I love the most, I am the least forgiving toward.
In the poor part of Tacoma the traffic lights
still dangle from single wires,
I nearly ran a red not seeing them.
The sidewalks have cracks from which dandelions grow.
And off 72nd Avenue, there is a free blueberry park
with 3,372 city-maintained bushes.
Yesterday most of the berries
were still hard and green, an old man
had a bucket half full, little bruises,
when I asked how long it took him to gather
I realized he couldn’t hear.
Even this morning I asked my partner to change.
Near my back porch a star jasmine plant is blooming.
I bought it last year and it stayed in its too tight pot
through the long hot months of summer,
its leaves turned red unnecessarily in the too tight pot in fall.
Star jasmine grows around my mother’s house.
She and I want so many things
we cannot give each other.
But she bestowed so much,
today I am with her love of flowers.
She tends hers while I neglect mine.
As soon as we parted, I wish I had listened.
I planted the bush in the ground a month ago.
The leaves are pale green
suggesting it needs something.
More water? Nitrogen?
I lack the knowledge and patience to investigate.
Still, it is bumping blooming,
tacky little pasties all over.
The fragrance changes as the sun lifts and lowers,
the fragrance changes if it has been just watered,
then it smells like children’s skin in the summer
when they have just come in from swimming.
His greatest kindness, saying my wounds made us both stronger.