October heart; you fell out of a tree-house.
Unaware and scared of not making it
to the lake before it froze over.
You rolled down the lane and ended up
on my front lawn under the big oleander
where my dad serenaded my mom on their
first date almost twenty years ago today.
Oh, was it destiny?
No, I don't think so..
I don't believe in all that
psychic garbage, anyway.
Oh but I'd like to think
we'd had it coming when
we subconsciously made wishes on
falling stars when we were kids.
You wanted a friend, someone
who wouldn't run away when
you told him the sad stuff;
winter trauma, cars sliding
down Alberta highways.
I just wanted a letter from
a prison inmate; my brother,
some recognition that I was
still in his memory.
Locked away for something
he did his last year of high school;
behind the sunflowers and the pines,
behind the dried-up lakes and rocky
state lines dividing
our traditional homes.
Oh, where do we go when
there's no one around to listen
to our angry murmurings,
journal entries read out loud
amid pillow fights and bad dreams?
What do we do, friend?
Tell me because these East L.A weekends,
shattered windows and police sirens
get lonely sometimes,
unbearable, difficult to sleep through.
But, I need you, because
you're my best friend, my partner in crime.
Four-leaf clover; you're a tribal fire
in the common coldness of my heart.
With nothing in the way, it's not
embarrassing at all to say I'm a ghost.
Yeah, I'm a ghost without you;
anchoring me down to this
salt and Mayflower earth.
And as last night's snow melts,
I wonder where you ran off to this time.
My pretty stranger, Hollywood star, you
missed your plane and so where did you go with
nothing but a few Mexican coins in your pocket?
Where did you fly off to with that voice of yours,
building up in your throat, sounding so clear like
a mockingbird's treacherous tune?
We're kids and then we're not.
We grow up too fast and I lose a bet made
with my 6th grade self; that
pre-teen who wore tough-as-nails armor and
liked to mouth off to adults
because he couldn't face the fears that
stared back at him through
his misty blue bathroom mirror.
Yes, that person claimed he would
never fall head-over-heels for anyone
within a ten mile radius.
Oh how wrong he was, friend.
You tumbled out of a Monet landscape,
all violet and surreal.
You shook up my world, boy.
Before I even knew what hit me;
a poisonous arrow, flying across
the wild plains of Idaho,
piercing my feather rib-cage.
It's still stuck there.
My own personal death sentence,
First Nation ink,
your name making me bleed
apple chip blood everywhere.
Oh I wonder how you would
handle a Saturday night out
by those 1950's drive-thrus.
A movie in black and white
playing on a wide-screen frame,
my hand crawling over the arm-rest.
Do you ever imagine my frost-bitten
fingers searching for the comfort of
your skin; warm, as we sit
in a mostly crowded theater?
Oh, is it a scary thought
or an unanswered prayer?
Is it a wish you made
when you were twelve,
wanting to marry a boy
someday in a non-traditional
in southern California?
I hope so, because I feel the same way.
I want you to be my brimstone miracle,
my descent further into
this lovely hailstorm of
falling from a cabaret-painted heaven.
East L.A Indian Paintbrush, friend,
I met you across the invisible angel-
feather line dividing the ghetto and
the white grape villas;
namely, heaven and hell.
You met me there and
we were the same in that
both our hearts were on fire
as we stared each other down.
Our cedar lungs were also filled
with burning sunflower air;
lost desires, two-spirit pride.
Did you enjoy this poem? Please visit Jacquelin's website here and see what other works she has available!