Heart of Papillon

Girl with the heart of Papillon

My grandfather showed me the movie

He showed me many things

Like how to sit on his lap while he drove a big truck

Like how to be absolutely silent when I wanted to scream

But I was Papillon too! Indignant and determined!

Believing in freedom – believing –

that my term would come to an end

Believing in escape and a water baptism to shores and new life

Little girl was I, you bastard

And I’m still here



I reached out from the fertile crest and spread my legs.

I gyrated and heaved, spilling man upon man onto the shore.

They climbed my limbs to sleep and whittled at my branches.

They grew restless.

My sisters took to the wind like mischief wanting to play.

My sisters with their fragrant blooms.

My sisters and their love dreams, weaving Time’s tapestry.

My sisters and their burning sex.

They enticed my children into the tall grasses where they could not feel my gaze.

Multiplied again and again, spreading across my flesh

Feasting on my fruits

Forging war instruments from my bowels

Musical instruments from my hair

Song from my breath.


A golden thread connects my heart to yours

Inside our secret skins

Magic stitched us together

I travel back in time

Following strands of memory

Get stuck in tangles that loop throughout eternity

I cut the bindings to free myself

But they come alive and fuse again – stronger

I run away and weave a new life

But there’s not enough mystical metaphor to convince me twice

And without connection, cannot feel the fabric of myself at all

Either I’m cut, or I’m bound

Crushing seashells

Knees hit the sand with a thud and a crunch

Nimble fingers and palms gathering and crushing seashells

Making a pile of perfect, coarse white dust

And we haven’t considered an end

We are girls at the busy work of play

Sod House

I grew up pressed into the damp firmament of our sod house

With roots wrapped ’round my toes at night

In sleep, the soil pulling

Inhale and exhale earth

Dank and bone cold embrace

Grassy bed, leafy bed

Don’t we all long for the dirt of our origins?

Strange how the dream comforts

You still show up in my dreams

I saw the paper with your name on it and the day’s date

Evidence, you’ve been sneaking back into my house

And you nearly got away again

But I ran outside and caught you

Holding the jacket fibers, pulling you close

Head on your shoulder, tears on your shoulder

Your hand on my head, whispering

“Don’t cry, don’t cry. I’m fine.”

Strange how the dream comforts

I wake feeling gentle, relieved

Signs of your visit linger on my cheeks

And in the corners of my eyes


I avoid writing poems anymore
Poems – a way to remember you
I live not in those past places
Though at times I find myself baffled
At the people around me
For I cannot count you among them
An uneasiness enters the scene
And after a few moments I realize
I feel alone
Missing my friend
And without permission the past becomes present
Your essence engulfs my senses
Am I drowning?
Memory pulls like the ocean tide
Resistance, no
Submission alone delivers peace