CANCER

Cancer is the crab
From ninety to
One hundred and twenty degrees
Highly sensitive to his environment
Intuitive
And keen
And ruled by the moon

He is also the same crab
That has made me cry in the shower
Wondering if I, like my grandmother,
Should put sticky notes on the bottom of all my treasures
With names of those bequeathed

The same celestial crab
That walks sideways
To avoid truth

Has slyly walked by us
At night
Scratching his claws on hardwood floors
Keeping us from sleep

Apparently, one can build trust
By not looking at him dead-on

But I do it anyway

Staring into his arthropod eyes
Knowing that he can see me
From every direction

We play our games
Dance imperfect circles

What does he know that he will not say?

The living fossil
He is older
And wiser than us
He keeps his secrets under hard, treasure-trunk shell

So we wait
And watch
His direction

Sleep with one eye open
Dubiously following his moves

LITTLE FLOWER

I simply cannot wait
For anything to happen on its own
So I tend to
Pop the bud before
The blossom

Like a child who peels back Christmas paper
Just enough
To read the text on the box
Retreating to my room with secret information
A squeal of silent delight

So too am I
Peeling back petals
To glimpse at
Style and stigma

Perhaps they are better
More fully realized
More apt to show their rich color
If I were to wait

Because I could never tolerate such a punishment
I will gladly accept the center for what it is:
Green, green
Unfinished,
Unripened,
And unprepared

OLD AND NEW

I attest that I am
Ruined by tattoos
Ugly with broken teeth
Destroyed by wrinkles
Withering with exhaustion
A dying light
A smoldering heap of jealousy
Tempered with experience
Old with love

But also, at times

Gorgeous with laughter
Insane with pleasure
Ablaze with desire
Giddy with invention
And new with longing

I attest that I am not undone
I am not done

4/1/19