Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Our daughter turns 7 tomorrow.  This is a picture she drew a few months ago.  She likes cats.  A lot.  But I'm allergic to them.  To the point that my eyes have swelled shut on a couple occasions.  This is a sore reality for our daughter.  At one time, she weighed the pros and cons of trading me in for a kitten.  I won by a whisker.  

Every day, at the end of school, our daughter's class does something called "Roses and Thorns."  Basically, it's an opportunity to tell what they enjoyed most about their day.  As well as what they didn't like.  And every afternoon, since the first day of first grade, our daughter has rolled open her palms, as if she were presenting a gift, and told her classmates, "My day unfolded like a jewel." 

I know.  Cute, huh?  At least the first five times or so.  But it's her thing now.  She's proud of it.  And I hope that every day, there's some truth behind the line.  Her smile usually tells me that's the case, as I watch her hurrying down the hall to me.  And my heart clenches up a little every time at this ritual that's repeated millions of times across the world, with other schoolkids and parents.  Every time.  We're all bound by this intense vulnerability of parenting.  We all need to cup it in our palms.   

I wasn't prepared for the pain of childbirth, and I wasn't prepared for the greater pain of mothering.  I was naive about what it demanded.  But that's okay.  I used to give myself a lot of grief for my shortcomings.  Lately, instead, I've been trying to squeeze down on my moments with them.  To recognize that 7 will, in the blink of her long-lashed eye, double into 14.  That those smiles at seeing her mom at the end of the school day will become a little less brilliant.  That someday, it won't be there at all.  

It's a gift to see your child grow, to develop character and personality.  I loved her at 1, but it was a less personal kind of love, if that makes any sense.  I loved her because she needed me to.  Now I know who she is.  For instance, I know that she loves space, but doesn't want to be an astronaut because she might have to wear a diaper at lift-off.  I know that she hums while eating dinner.  I know that she needs me to squeeze out her bad dreams, before she can fall asleep at night.  I love her more for all of her -isms.   

And like any parent, I love the chance to get all sentimental about my kid.  So thanks for humoring me.  :)  And no, I'm not going to pull out my wallet (er, iPod actually) and make you look at pictures!

Happy Birthday, sweetie.  May your day unfold into the jewel you already are. 

(She was almost a St. Paddy's baby.  So this song seems
apt tonight.  It's from the wonderful film, "Once.")

Saturday, March 13, 2010


She kisses him.

She kisses the tips
of his fingers,
where words
like a fruit
to work
in her mouth

She kisses the sail
of his chest,
and a surge
from below
tugs at the line
with a
skip of the

She kisses the notch
of his neck,
where a violence
of breath
and blood
pushes against
the bud
of her

She kisses the flesh
of his ear,
sucks on his name—
it's her favorite
she plays it

She kisses the lid
of his eye,
so that her heat
might sink—
like a stone
kissing water,
before its
dark plunge—
deep into

She kisses his


He kisses her lips—
she gives them
so ripe
and wet
and heavy
with love

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dr. Strange-love or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Fake Quantum Mechanics*

(These characters are from my work-in-progress. As background, here's a condensed description of the book: Anna and Colin, soulmates who have never met face-to-face, must decide whether to endure the heartbreak of remaining apart.  For the sake of others, but also to protect the transcendental relationship they've forged in the ether between them.)

I am a wave.

You are a particle.

I am a song.

You are a musician.

I am what-could-be.

You are right-now.

I am a dream?

You are illusion, and a hard reality.  You are pleasure, and pain. 

I am in love with you.

You think you know me.

I am in love with you.

You’re committed to another man.

My wavelength is long.  It stretches an ocean.

So that at any one moment, neither of us can know where you truly dwell.



You feel me now?

. . .



You feel me now.

I feel you now.

Where do you feel me?

All over.  I feel you all over.  

What do I feel like?

A song.

. . .

You feel like a song.

I am a wave.

Yes.  But I am also a particle.  Many millions of light years away.

We will never meet?

. . .

We will never meet.

Are you familiar with Schrödinger's cat?


If we were to meet, the wave would collapse upon itself.  Everyone who observed it would see something defined and ugly.  Including us.  The cat would be dead inside its box. 

It might be alive.

Anything's possible.  From here.

We are cowards.

We are smart.   



I want to touch you.  I want to know what that's like.  

Then touch me, Anna.

My mind is an ocean locked inside its skull. And yet--


Our slightest momentum stirs the most magnificent waves.


* Seriously. I don't know what I'm talking about. But if you're interested in wave-particle duality, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, or that slippery puddy-cat, check out these handy Wikipedia links. And for all you smarty-pants out there, feel free to humiliate me in the comments section. In my defense, I was a bio major. Hey, we were cuter than the physicists. Very possibly, probably.