Broken

By Alison Stone

1.

I don’t want to think

about broken things, the cracked

parts of myself I’ve covered, not with gold

resin like Japanese kintsugi, an amber river

meandering over the swell of a bowl;

but with yoga pants and sage smoke.

Each day sitting cross-legged to breathe into

believing that the past is gone and there is

only now. The clenched, clumsy

child really is gone. The teenager, terrified

in spikes and leather, gone. Red

streamers unfurling in syringes,

swept away. The AIDS-struck

boyfriend buried. Safer to think about

my air conditioner, humming

the way it’s supposed to; though

three years ago the smug repair

guy said I would be lucky with another

season. Maybe some things can last

longer than expected, like the oil that sparked

the Hanukah tale my mother told

when she lit candles and prayed, then died

exactly when her doctors predicted.

 

2.

Though I can’t sew, I long

to track down clothes

my mother bought me and

stitch them back—a patch over

the hole in the armpit, a new seam

in the crotch. How easily I once discarded

what was worn. The flowered

skirt with tulip buttons, gold-flecked

paisley jacket, countless pairs of jeans—

torn to rags or chucked into

the donation box. Like her letters,

heart-felt tomes I rushed through and

recycled, embarrassed, three thousand miles away,

eighteen and finally free. Her love

cloying, sticky. Not like the men

who would enter and leave me

back with myself, the drugs

which never lasted long enough. She was

always there—in my head, my

fear, my short legs. Fan

who treasured my terse

postcards. Background woman

I thought I could save for later.

___

Alison Stone is the author of Dangerous Enough (forthcoming from Presa Press 2014), Borrowed Logic (forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press 2014), From the Fool to the World (Parallel Press 2012) and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award and was published by Many Mountains Moving Press. A licensed psychotherapist, she has private practices in NYC and Nyack. She is also a visual artist and the creator of the Stone Tarot.


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