Between Sleep and Conversation

I took a train from France to Italy 
once through the sunflower fields - 
acres of gold stretching
on and on; 
but they were just 
flashes then
between sleep and conversation
and the rhythm 
of the train

I married you in August 
holding aster, nervous hands
I loved those golden circles
set in white
And we looked at us that night 
in the soft candlelight, 
looks we held in full
to hold in time

Now the days are moving 
at time’s determined speed 
and your kisses are so gentle and so firm
sleep and conversation
each misunderstanding
in the rhythm 
of the endings 
of the days


I think when people started telling me
                                          “It’s real”
I did believe them
I thought, I can see that, and
why wouldn’t I believe you


Over time, though,
as I kept hearing this story
                                         of being pushed back
                                         or not seen
                                         or spoken for
                                        without consent,

I started to feel something other
than pity
or genuine compassion
or guilt

I started to feel the hair
on my arms stand up
as I realized how
                                         I move with
                                        a wave of history
                                        that carves away at
                                        a rock made of spirits
                                        and bodies

                                        and I (we)
                                        crash against it
and again

                                           but I hope this is an analogy
                                            Will it break at the breaking point?

Because I am here,
and I am breaking

I have so much
I know so little                                     

to the owl on my street

You are always asking,

“ Who? ”

Who do you want to know?
Who am I?
I am small,
I have long hair,
I have green eyes,
I have a pretty ring
around my finger and I live
in that attic
up there

...with whom, you may ask?
With a man 
who has hazel eyes
and a great laugh
and a deep voice
and a hunger
for a living we are always
working for
searching for
Maybe we’ll find it
one day

“ Who ? ”

I hear your call again
as I blow a puff of frosty air
and walk
along this uneven sidewalk
in the night

“ Who ? ”

Who do you want to know?
Who made you?
I want to know that too!
Is this maker real?
Full of artistry and magic?
Full of thoughts of things like you:
your feathers,
your eyes,
your hunger
and your wistful 

“ Who ? ”

Who is your next meal?

Who is your mate?

will catch a glimpse of you
haunting the night air?

“ Who ? ”

I want to know “who” too
are you
Are you magic?
Are you mystery?
Are you brown or white?
Are you young,
are you old?
Are you happy?

I am turning toward my home now
You can always know that here
There is someone watching for you

You know who