Full Bloom

All I really need

Is the power of women in my roots

And my memories


And that is enough because

You remind me of my grandmother.


She flows through my bloodstream

And some days

I even think she moves me.  


I even think she is waltzing with me.


She loved rum and coke

Kisses on the collarbone

Yardbird Parker

And the lull of hummingbird wings

That she heard as she sank into love

And yes, I mean sank

Because there was nothing about her love

That was akin to falling

It was slow

It was steady and metronomic



You love like her.


I remember the smell of her

Crushed powder

And peppermint

I remember her sound

Filled my eardrums with cigarette smoke


I remember her skin

The infinite shades of harmony

She couldn’t help but waltz to

She stirred my dreams in and out of existence


I remember the chap of her lips

As she put them to my ear

Her voice reminiscent of too many

Saturday nights in speakeasies


You should know how easy it is to lose yourself


When promises are spoken like secrets

And she whispered betrayals

She spoke of how her body betrayed her


She could feel her bones dancing the macabre without permission

Her nerve endings firing

Like shots overseas


You should know how easy it is to forget

How easy would it be to just forget?


But all I need is to remember

Her eyes

When her body was no longer hers to give away

When the disease had taken over

And she lay there

Humming Birdland

And waltzing through her universe

To a Charlie Parker tune.


I see her

I remember

How her eyes had sunflowers in them.  

I had never noticed before

And even though her body had wilted

Her eyes were in full bloom

Sprouting from the body bags that hung beneath them


You’ve wilted, like she did.

Your melody has faltered


And I remember how her movements slowed

And her bones invited her home

She finally felt she could give herself away again


I hold her crushed powder and peppermint in the crook of my neck

The joint in my elbow

The back of my knee

Anywhere that bends because

The hidden places on my body

Are the ones she knew best

And I will wait

Until I can see her again


Maybe you will see her too.

All you need is to remember  

Remember in the bubbles of a bottle of coca cola, like I did yesterday.

In the dissonance of a symphony, like I did this morning.

In the very air around you, like I do

Every moment,

She is palpable.


Because every day I remember her anew

I search for a sign

That she is sinking into the clouds in heaven


Because her heart is just so heavy and I know


She always had trouble fighting the weight.

This poem is about: 
My family


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