Lunch Lightly by Heidi Robertson 7/27/2013
The cafe’ is aflight
a tighter fit at night.
Makes room for wings and waddlings among the lunch noise.
some kinds fall more like driving nails.
Rain hard upon soft sand
Tip sounder ships like bathtub toys
Does not discriminate.
Christening guilty recollections
Comes loudly in the darkness
Dispells light and never takes off quietly
While I grow too accustomed to saluting falling feathers
Amplifying needless negativity
Renders me more Deaf among those signing
In finding failure to make and keep firm boundaries
in “I’ll be fine. Let’s dine”
Flicking foam earplugs,
Like dried unused mallows
tossed and chewed by curiuous comorants.
Await new table settings.
the membrane punctured
Small and swollen.
Still brand new, as early as baby steps,
and skipping ruby slippered five-year-olds climbing giant bus steps
A few slip through
til college or a time of life defining
“Protect your soul,” I heard my inner child say
first week of summer term
in being in a new and scary place
A year later in La Raza interim
The summer of my first and only Chirstian Rock Concert
Night of the first encounter
Pretending in the end
I fully knew what I was getting into,
When a roommate from Alaska turned up decipals
And wielding pliers and ice cubes
Pierced my earlobes.
Injecting fear she sterilized an old used needle
Last thing I remember…refiners fire
She asked “One hole or two?”
Next thing I knew, someone was asking, “What’s your name?”
and taking vital signs.
Where just beyond green curtains was an xray and
I didn’t need credentials to see and read
“Beer bottle up his rectum.”
I woke up woozy and wondering what I’d gotten into,
and if I’d missed the point.
Passed out chasing cool at college
Woke a windblown umberella bird
Wish I’d fished and passed on being chum for the professor.
To catching and realeasing beautiful bird earrings in a flightmare
Comorants Mediterranean bound, fishing in Sicilian waters,
Surfacing like glutoneous sea giants, boasting wing spans,
Roosting 24 carrat gold studs that tarnish green
Infectious within a years time…
boarded a train, a fresh young girl
Came back a branded woman
Who knew sin would end in blight and splatter on the windshield
When love was so exquisite
Obscuring vision for years
‘Til at the pond, other piercing tales are heard and shared
and secrets found
Out again, discover I am not alone.
My friend shares three stories.
The best does not involve the lower lobe
Instead an upper flanging conquest.
“I got this one when I was a little girl, “ she said.
“The second, as a teen at Tanger.”
“And finally, the crowning jewel, when I got divorced.”
No anger or remorse in separation shown, adorning confirmation.
“It was by far the worst pain of my life,” pointing to a diamond.
“Worse than all the others ?”
“All night Nytol and No relief. Grief in no sleep.
And Tylenol and pillows couldn’t make things better.
‘Cuz on the phone hurt most of all.
Reduced to “Don’t call.”
Zone out while waiting for the only shower,
And almost listening well
Visualize collateral for keeping beautiful.
Removing hoops for pearls and diamonds,
and half way through the telling pretend my friend
is holding an archaic brick-size 1990s cell phone
Permanently fixed to her head.
Sad too, she’s in a dead zone, and the sucker’s heavy.
So when I finally hear, I wonder what she means.
“Worse pain divorce? or worse pain piercing?”
I love hearing word harvest and seeing metaphors.
Explore, discover whatever caused the pain that kept her up nights…
Caused her to give up landlines
Going deaf and legless
Myspacing “Celebate and future slimline smarter phones…”
Erasing and letting calls go straight to voice mail
No message making later listening futile
Furiously racing redial to find the number.
And yet she had her right of passage and found a brighter place
here at the pond and just a piece past Ivy Leaf Lady down on Main Street.
Came through it mooing,
cow jumped over the moon and satisfied
With Chic- Fillet cows.
I feel myself shoved to the rear
Sometimes a fear factor champion screw up
Advised I should be gentler with myself
Remembering I have super powers
At least it’s not a mug rug, or a coaster
Inserted in my lip or ear, delicious smiling mouth
My friend, naïve to metaphors she’s sporting in her ear
gifts, commissions me to write about the pain
And doesn’t even know it.
And so I had my right of passage after all
a welcome to adulthood if you will
a kinder kind of sex in making earlobes fashionable
Not on a gravelly Mexican hotel rooftop
In one of many foreign hostile dorm rooms
and beds where my legs weren’t intensely dropped
And he wasn’t bearing down on top….
while trying to keep appearances of love
in gently stroking face and hair, still grooming,
All the while deeply kissing, locking eyes, and legs
And sticking me
as if reaching way up high in pedaling Caps For Sale
like stadium concessions,
pacing and retracing back and forth sales routes
Until I’d given currency and left separately.
grieving in the rewrite where the characters are different
and no one has a mustache…he’s clean shaven,
and doesn’t make the sale
and I’m in heaven, not in Hell
even as my friend’s not seen the metaphor
before this optical delusion
and scary stained panties I swore would stay forever clean inside my dresser drawer
the special abstinent pair,
all white and lacey
Some things in life are piercing.
I choose to think on other celebrated life events
that don’t involve stud-ies and laptops
Push to mute
Next time I go out clubbing I’ill wear my clip-ons
Slide down a Sprite
Resign to munching saltine crackers
In easy conversation
No longer crumbling the past
Knowing I can wait a few more minutes
When I’m with you
There is no waiting
for promises of deep green salads
I’ll have cool and crisp and sweet between my teeth
with no more piercings except for pickled beets
to make me stronger, to build hematocrit
This time we’ll leave all our hims
out of it
lunching more lightly.