Sit down. Inhale. Exhale. The gun will wait. The lake will wait. The tall gall in the small seductive vial will wait will wait: will wait a week: will wait through April. You do not have to die this certain day. Death will abide, will pamper your postponement. I assure you death will wait. Death has a lot of time. Death can attend to you tomorrow. Or next week. Death is just down the street; is most obliging neighbor; can meet you any moment. You need not die today. Stay here–through pout or pain or peskyness. Stay here. See what the news is going to be tomorrow. Graves grow no green that you can use. Remember, green’s your color. You are Spring.
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When all the shock of white and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath, the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then, I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Life is short, though I keep this from my children. Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways, a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative estimate, though I keep this from my children. For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird. For every loved child, a child broken, bagged, sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world is at least half terrible, and for every kind stranger, there is one who would break you, though I keep this from my children. I am trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful.
What women wander? Not many. All. A few. Most would, now & then, & no wonder. Some, and I’m one, Wander sitting still. My small grandmother Bought from every peddler Less for the ribbons and lace Than for their scent Of sleep where you will, Walk out when you want, choose Your bread and your company.
She warned me, “Have nothing to lose.”
She looked fragile but had High blood, runner’s ankles, Could endure, endure. She loved her rooted garden, her Grand children, her once Wild once young man. Women wander As best they can.