November 9, 2013

All My Homes. {Poem}

All My Homes

In the space between
water and earth
I have a home made of salt.
3 childhood houses
snuggled inland
among species of
flowers and trees that
are not native
but also call this
place Home.
1 college apartment
along the shoreline
that reminds me that
I’m a monkey—that
trees and hills and
are for climbing, and
second-story concrete
slabs are for
staying up all night
not to write papers,
but to blend
heart-songs with
whose flesh was
created by my
I have Home
in the ritual of
midnight beach-walks
constellation naming,
and houses I’ve
never lived in but
have always offered
me couch and floor
and bed and hug.
And Home is not
confined between walls
or city limits—
it’s in the seven-minute
delay between sun and
ground; it’s in the dirt
my shoes leave on the
doorframe of the
coffee shop where I have
laughed, cried, written,
studied, felt insecure,
worked through shit,
and straight-up blasted myself
with caffeine.
This Home is created
by Time’s refusal to
move just back to front–
that there is a place
where Time moves sideways
and zig-zaggy and in
small bursting explosions,
and in that way
I know that there is God.

And then God looks at me
and says, “Child, I’m
not done yet!”

And he smacked another
visually limitless body
of water in the center of
America and said,
“Drive here, kid,
and set up shop.”
And so I did.
And 2 years and
3 apartments later
I have a Home here
Maybe it was Time that
gave me Home, but
I think maybe it was
also Patience—
patience to bring the space
to have more Homes,
and in that space, God
poured in loneliness and
insecurity; he poured in
daggars that cut me
from my spleen to my throat;
he poured in the word No!
and 7,000 Closed signs.
And only when I gave
him Thanks did he
pour in laughter.
While he was at it, he
added joy and love and smiles
that start
at the ears and carry
upward and downward
both until I am of
the ability to like

As my body sits confined
to shelf that I call chair,
in walls that I call room,
God speaks to me again.
He says,
Do you finally realize,
babe, why I gave you
You are not your body
just sitting here–
you are monkey and
you are midnight
you are couch and
constellation. You are
Time itself and 2,000
miles, and if you listen carefully,
You will know that you
are Me. 


Like elephant literary journal on Facebook.

Editor: Catherine Monkman

{Photo: Wikimedia Commons.}

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Brentan Schellenbach  |  Contribution: 9,380