December 26, 2009
There are days
when the sun shines
bright against a big blue
sky filled with
white cotton clouds.
dance across the flowers.
sit quietly inside
my dark house
where even the open
blinds can’t pour enough
sunlight through the room
to inspire me
to get off the couch
and get dressed.
Instead I sit
I’ve seen before
while basking in my loneliness
(though I am not alone)
wearing my pajamas
my hair still a mess
from a restless
night of something
but not quite
It is days like this
that I feel my smiles
I use to hide my sadness
and I should hide myself away
keeping quiet so no one will notice
as I tread water
in my drowning pool
staying just above
the line of breathing life
and swallowing death
I tell myself
I will not die this way
lonely can be so loud
it penetrates cupped hands over ears
and pure deafness
But I hold on to the sound of my baby’s
and his honest I love you’s
to make it through
A bead of sweat just above my lip
slides down to the upper curve and rests
at the line between lipstick and skin
Summer always reminds me
of the death of flowers
and the betrayal of sheets
when my childhood bled
into an unwilling woman
sooner than expected
I bloomed in wilted petals
afraid of the return of bees
despite the longing for honey
upon the tip of my tongue
Smiling became an art
as I walked through the fields
to watch my early hours slip away
through the wave of my hand
that said good-bye in a whisper
Fall came early that year
I watched the dying of leaves
cover the earth in colorful death shrouds
where the flowers used to be
In the spring I kissed the fireflies
and told them I know how it feels to fly
as I waited for the awakening
of the flowers
Quickie for my ex
time well spent
that you only wasted
in the end.
I wish I could say this man
laying beside me
inspired me to do more
than have sex with him.
I look over to watch him sleep
and realize I have no clue
what he does for a living,
yet we’ve been friends for years.
I climb out of bed
and pick up my clothes
along the path from bedroom
to living room,
putting them back on
as I go.
I tiptoe back to the bedroom
lean over and kiss him good-bye.
He gives me a kiss on my forehead.
His lips are soft and warm,
but for the first time
the sentiment feels so cold.
I grab my shoes
as I turn away
and walk out the door
into the chill.
I feel safe as I climb into my car
and start the engine.
It’s almost 4am.
My eyes are tired
so I close them for a moment before I go,
breathe out slowly,
and say good-bye
I imagine kissing him would be like
pressing my lips against a cold push-up pop
all the lusty flavor melting in my mouth
tickling my tongue in the delicious implication that orange sherbet brings
and somehow sex smells clean in my mind when you add a hint of citrus
so I focus on the sugar,
the velvet cream
calorie and fat gram that will ravage my body
the way he will if I let him
and I imagine I will
because the thought of his sugar lips on my nipples
sucking like a hungry baby drinking himself to manhood
drains me of every good Catholic notion I was taught in school
and, Oh Heavenly Father, forgive me for what I may do, but this man,
this man is a delicious temptation I can’t resist
this man will spank me like a bad girl
and I will beg for more
I imagine he’ll be kind the next morning
kiss my cheek and say good-bye
maybe he’ll call out of obligation
then slowly fade away like the flavor of a push up pop on my lips
when summer is spent and the ice cream man closes for winter
then again, I imagine I should stop daydreaming
about men in grocery stores
and just buy some ice cream
Every time I see a new freckle on the sweet plump face of my little boy,
I feel jealous of the sun for having the power to leave kisses
that cannot be removed by the rubbing of a sleeve or
the smear of a warm, soft hand.
My son doesn’t say, “Ewww!” when the sun touches his cheek
and he certainly doesn’t giggle and hide from another lip print
cast upon him while he plays outside.
At night I tuck him in and fight to remove the covers from his face
so I can count the kisses the sun blew across his nose
with the help of a wind.
I say, “Sweet dreams, baby.”
He says, “Sweet dreams, mommy,”
purses his pillow lips and gives me a kiss.
He curls up on his side and closes his eyes to enter dreams.
I turn off his light, close the door, wish the moon a good night
and smile knowing the sun isn’t as lucky as me.
Stacey Mangiaracina was born with red hair and southern sass in the always laid back city of New Orleans. She discovered her love for poetry in high school when she was assigned to do a poetry reading in class, and has been thankful to her teacher since then. Stacey attended the University of New Orleans and found her strength was in descriptive writing. Tragically, her father died unexpectedly at the early age of 40, and she left college and her dreams of writing to work full-time to help her mother. Today, she is the mother of a wonderful little boy whom she refers to as her sunshine and her daily inspiration to smile.
Stacey was published in the Fall 2007 issue of Falling Star Literary Magazine, the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2008 issues of Luciole Press, Meat, and one of her poems was recently selected for the first issue of the literary magazine Smoken Word due to be published Winter 2009.
In her spare time, Stacey serves as the co-founder and CEO of the World Wide Word Radio Network along with Rafael F. J. Alvarado and S.A. Griffin (both from Los Angeles, CA). Their shows feature many great poets, writers and publishers such as Martin Espada, Al Young, Chris Abani, and Yusef Komunyakaa . You can hear her co-host with S.A., Rafael, or Roy K. Johnston or hosting her own shows Neutral Ground and Between the Sheets: Conversations with Publishers and Editors on www.blogtalkradio.com (Check the website for schedules.) Stacey has finally found her joy in being able to bring poetry to the world.