Tuesday Artist Date: Poetry

Today I went to the dentist, read O Magazine in the waiting area, and had lunch out afterward. From my journal:

silver-haired grandmother
your hair shimmers brighter than the golden
sari that drapes your ankles in embroidery
     skimming the tops of your vibram fivefingers


a thin metal instrument
     to the base of a tooth
          my nerves cringe
as if you poked
the center of my bellybutton

          what is that sensitivity
               that can’t bear to be touched?
          where else
               will it surprise me?


Today I am reading the O poetry issue and I am feeling the poems in my soul. I’ll be getting my period so this is surely part of the why, but it’s the chickens too, the thin lush indigo irises in a yard on Homer Avenue and the growing new cilantro on my kitchen counter, the two watercolor washes I had time to put down before I left this morning. There has been poetry growing in me, and it feels good. I think it is my own poetry but before I knew that I already discovered it was also others’ poetry, the missives of other souls finding a place within mine for the first time in years. I almost cried in the dentist’s waiting room, reading W S Merwin and the words of a Bronx teenager for her little brother. The first meeting of the IWL reawakened my child’s connection to all things and I can’t turn it off. Won’t. It makes me feel so alive, because it’s not just me alive but everything, all these plants and creatures. A vast army of life.

I wonder how my cousin Angela feels, cutting and sewing bleeding American bodies in Iraq. Does she see my army of life? Would I, in her place? And those who wait for her and her patients — can they hear my army march for them? Would I?