A Letter to My Grandmother
I remember your breathtaking portrait. Your eyes were horizon-blue, awake and ignited in love with a modern man. In a modern era a love so hot you’re prepared to grieve it for the rest of your life Just to dance in its fire until it fades. You burst forth and lit the fuse, Loving hot and working feverishly to emerge and Forge futures for your daughter and I. But her father burnt out young, And his ashes lured her into a shivering, toxic sleep. In that future she also loved a man she would widow young. She has felt the cold fire of snow on her face Passed or thrown out onto the ground But I can’t tell you if she ever felt that love again. I won’t tell you about all the cats and dogs she slept with Or how she threw me and threw at me and all through me To the sheriffs in a wild state. Then, with you, she lost love in the last person who loved her. Her voice cracked and shaded when you couldn’t remember her name. She drowned both of our spirits and we slept poor, wet, drunk. These decades have tired her body And I refused to allow its cold hollow eyes near mine. Asleep, I consumed myself with the loves of men and the grief for each love. I ate and breathed men and fever-dreamed through relationships. I aimed poisoned golden robes at lovers thrown with a motor’s velocity And then ran loud red lights smoldering through hot teared eyes With the unsober intention to silence us both in the burning frost of February. Hate veiled all reason and hystericized my being and thirsted for more: More prohibited liquor than I could ever nurse it with More pills than the pock-nosed doctor would give when he Sliced open the belly of a howling wild animal mother me. Many more. And when I died I awoke in ice and raged my way to the surface of the Styx. It was there I emerged warm and wet next to a modern man who reminds me of you. I fell and I rose through our molten love and forged myself within it. We, in a worn and unwealthy future still love and work for our unborn daughters As hotly in dynamic color as you did in crisp black and white. Through him and through you I can love her again. And when our daughter bursts through, undrugged and undoctored, She will incite her own century’s hot voltaic Spring, In a pyrotechnic era of alive and alert daughters, Gaining ground and dimension and speed, Because she will know our love. I wish you could see the horizon in your daughter’s eyes When she sees our yet unconceived apple of discord. I hope the warmth will awaken her, and she will emerge and forge herself And know again the good rage of a fiery and awake love Worth grieving.