lost and found

6.09.2016

you send the beacon out.
I sit in the dark, watch the
blooming, bloody red light sizzle into nothing,
and still nothing comes. no matter, you say,
you know the way. you make your maps and
i listen to you, whether I mean to or not.
you go the wrong route, and i follow, I
can’t find the words and my eyes hurt, the ragged breathing,
My mouth

 

yawns wide, canyon-big,
but i can’t tell you
what I think; you don’t want to hear it now.
we should be heading home. we need to backtrack;
back crack from exhaustion, i am the chattle
carrying your precious cargo along a ridge.
rocks snap quick across the edge, skitter into dark oblivion,
and what if I fall in?
i step lightly. I stomp my feet.

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The List

4.09.2016

I have a little book.

It fits in well; it holds in my hands and on my lap, and it never tells my secrets. The clasp holds tight and hooks my pen. The time has come to open, words creeping out as magnets separate.


  • Grocery shopping.
  • Chores.
  • Clean out that bathroom grate.
  • Bathe the dogs and air the bedding!
  • You still have coursework on the couch.
  • Meditate and practice yoga; don’t get so relaxed, there are about a million more things to do.

I write the date, scrolling through lists past and gaze forlornly upon what I did that same day so long ago. What I didn’t do. What did I not do?

And I write. I write important things. Send that birthday present to her, do NOT forget, you have flaked on her so many times before. And I write mundane things. Laundry. Now. Your socks stink! And I write little, silly things. Play a game. Make a friend. Knit a mouse with a scarf.

Sometimes I cheat.

I write some things I have already done, to revel in the pleasure of crossing them out, to be immediately upon the finish line. I continue to write them, out of habit and not obsessive thought, to see the day when I can have no lingering feeling of something I did not do. Did not get to. Will not get to. Why should I bother?

And of the (hundreds? thousands?) of lists I have made, I have never finished a single day. There is always more to do. There is always a better way, more to be responsible about, more fun to be had than I am capable of having with this list-making, body-aching anxiety of forgetfulness and panic attacks. The falling and not getting up, not today, not now, I just can’t. The perception of failure each new day should be immense. And yet, when I am crawling into bed at night with my well-worn book, looking over what I have done, what has been accomplished despite the time constraints and mind breaks and body complaints feels like I am winning a gold medal for something.

Am I beholden to the list? Or is the list beholden to me?