The Old Stomping Ground

For M.C.

I met my old lover on the street last night.~Paul Simon

At four in the morning, I detour from prone
shadows rasping through the sudden chill

winter’s first hard shove and though I
bunched my summer blankets in a scrum–

nervous dreams–still sharp cold nipped
every inch of skin I offered. When a lover

dies, we all clamor for recognition, jostle
into chronology as if grief gives rights

at last. All the newly revealed lessons,
once mouldering in the dank basement and that

final call we never made–did I think that
he would rise from his deathbed, demand

my distant voice? He plucked my heart
in his passing, so I reenter that sticky

web I fled so many years ago, the one
I carry with me still, in the dark enjoining

strangers and new friends, regale my
side, painting romance over the edge

of terror and pain revisited. Oh, I saw
this day coming, long ago, and yet right now

there is not even a glimmer of dawn, not since
nightfall descended. The moon is bursting

wide-eyed full over my shoulder as I peer
into indigo east searching for signs.

Inspired by: Detour, Nervous, Shadows, Nightfall and Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness prompt: ground (which means no editing, just put pen to paper and press publish.  No matter how much I wish I could change.) The soundtrack for this one is Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years and Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Feed The Truth

At this moment, you’re host to about 50 trillion cells, and each of them is really a sentient being in its own right. They all act together as a community, implementing the monumental collaboration you call your body. — Rob Brezsny

It’s hard to grasp that I am a colony

of sentient beings.  Not until a few days after

drinking a delicious pineapple jugo at two a.m.

on the outskirts of Riobamba

did I have my first brutal lesson.

Don’t drink the water means

stay away from ice, as well,

but when you are half asleep

and thirsty on a slow bus,

sweet cold juice tastes like ambrosia.

It takes at least two days

for the fierce war to break out:

foreign amoebic armies

bombing indiscriminately

to stake their claim on intestines.

I’m sure the warmongers would call

my diarrhea collateral damage.

I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink,

they damn near killed me.

So who is me?  It’s not the face

of the woman in the mirror,

who sometimes seems a stranger.

Perhaps it is a shifting constellation of power

that urges me to

feed my gut flora precisely

because when the “good” ones lose their grip,

the “bad” ones summon unspeakable grief

or lethargy, and a craving

for sugar, more salty snacks

to cement their dominion.

That is how “I” know the bad guys

are hoisting their flag, confident

in their eventual overthrow.

Who is it who knows to drink kombucha,

eat kimchi and pickles?

Fermented food feeds joy,

makes me laugh

and loving.  And which wise colony

deliberately seeks asparagus

and broccoli, leeks and

cauliflower, the prebiotics

creating harmony and balance?

Close your eyes when you approach

me, and perhaps your colonies

and mine can meet without distraction.

Perhaps we can finally know

who we really are.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: grasp