Yesterday afternoon I found
myself with Shayla in my room,
in the bed we built together,
making love and sharing a night
for the first time in three years.
She couldn’t make up her mind
if she was grateful or sorry
we now live so far apart.
Me, I think she has problems
I’d maybe rather not share.
Her fibroid tumor has grown
to stupendous proportions.
She looks pregnant.
She’ll try anything to get rid of it
but have a surgeon remove it.
At least it’s stopped being painful.
I was walking out this path
to draw another wild iris,
but instead I wrote about this.
The woman up the road
has two children who watch
a twelve volt television
that runs off a pelton wheel.
What goes wrong is almost
always the water intake.
A creek rushing with rain
defeats my attempts to screen out
sticks, gravel, and mud.
When I’m cold, wet, and convinced
I’ve found and fixed the problem,
the gauges still show nothing,
and the television won’t come on.
On the footbridge over Indigo Creek,
we sit, lovers with long history,
taking turns with heads on each other’s laps,
a moment of watching sunlight shimmer
on water beneath waving cedar boughs.
We were talking about the time
we sat together meditating
till perfect silence filled the room.
I’ve never seen you wearing
anything white or lacy before
but you wore a white lace dress.
You looked at me with eyes of love,
led me through an open door.
I woke up wanting you back.
In a meadow of weeds and wild iris,
our conversation became a kiss
that continued on my bed.
We spent a week together,
driving dusty mountain roads,
camped at waterfalls and springs.
I told you about my dream.
You took me to your closet
and showed me that white lace dress.
I encouraged you to try it on.
The sunbeams through the window
made you beautiful.
It’s everyday life that doesn’t work,
the fourteen year old daughter
with the zero point five grade average
whose joyride with an underage driver
ends in a minor collision.
You both argue all the time.
She makes fun of your psychic beliefs
by pretending to be a witch.
You’re barely earning a living
making tiedyed T-shirts
with lots of black for the punk kids.
She’s always demanding money.
I’m trying to write my second novel,
trying to get enough sleep,
trying to believe in our love,
but each time I come here to be with you,
a new disaster makes me want to leave.
Daylight window sky,
brown oak leaves about to fall,
setting gibbous moon.
copyright © 2005 Carl Miller
Drawing, “Clearwater Falls”: 1987, ballpoint in notebook, 10 x 10 inches, detail about 8 x 10 inches.