Eternal Sea

When I wrote the slim, hasty, typo-ridden memoir Just, I used pseudonyms.

I chose to link my adopted children’s pseudonyms to their first initials C became Sea,

Sea like the color of his eyes

Sea like the cold ocean we stood in together

Sea like the depths, the hidden things both beautiful and terrible, the bigness of it all

Sea, placeholder for the God who makes seas then makes them evanesce

C is lost to me for now. He has disowned both me and the God who made me

But I can still remember

The time you hit your mouth on the hard metal of the seesaw and we had to rush you to the dentist

The way we would wait until you were sleeping to exclaim over your cuteness because

Most times when you were awake there was both sturm und drang

The time we went to the shore and I carried you on my back and you pummeled my head all the way back to the car

If I had a dollar for every time you hurt me or someone else I love dearly

It would not begin to be as much as you are worth

Of your eternal value

Of the Light you can become forever

If you just

Turn and face the Sea.

Frankie Gonzalez

I can feel the force of the grief, another small tragedy. His death, like his life, will be a small story, buried beneath bigger fires, the roiling of big boy fights, what is the death of one little boy when the world is burning?


His life was everything

To him

And to the One who stood at the field of Heaven

Waiting all those days to welcome him home

Wipe away every tear

No more crying

No more pain

The Multiverse You

It is 4:53 in the morning and the-multiverse-you is sleeping somewhere

(Perhaps held in the arms of her beloved)

…she does not know about the foster children, or the loss, the things you use to distract you

From the sound of being cracked open

a meal, a primitive marine creature–a crab, a lobster, a clam

The oral surgeon calls the missing piece of you by the kind of nickname you might use for a lovable but naughty child—that little stinker or cuss or rascal

Only, the-multiverse-you tells it as though it were a puzzling but mildly discomfiting dream

No mention, no hint even

Of global dishevelment and chaos on the planet where she sleeps,


As you fiddle with various words for comfort to mask the pain

In all the broken places.

The Feast of Thorns

Long before our terrible story your birthday was already

the feast of Servites pruning winter roses. I cling to that now, all the other days this day could be:

Obstinate mountains lumber into obeisant seas

Lame men whole, blind men see

Dead men rise and shake off their shroudy bindings

impossible things all around ya

If only you will


Writer’s Block

I learned a long time ago that even a child can have dark spots, scorched places where

Love should have been

She writes to probe an old wound we share between us

A ghost who walks and spits and curses his proper Maker

What can I say?

What can I tell you that has not already transpired between us?

Only that God can tell a girl to go look

For her little sister (to play)

Then set the captives free

Burlap Bridegroom

Any day–today


could skitter down the concrete spillway, slide unceremoniously into

This river, dying leaves catch in our hair

We suspect we know who burned the burlap wedding gown used to dress the

Wounded tree

no way the boy could

have mistaken the signs of our ministration

For kindling

Yet, all has been

Inexplicably paid

by The Burlap Bridegroom

Who takes the flames

Restores the river

Revives the tree

And fashions

wedding clothes

Out of light

Matthew 25:10,13 NIV

[10] “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived…[13] “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

We Speak in Tongues

I have sometimes heard

The voice of God

remarkably salty

And full of fire

He is both

Placable and implacable in His anger

The first with sullen men

Then unsparing with his only Son

No siblings without the unendurable

No blind and lame set free

Without his blood for me

1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV

[1] If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Alpha Centauri

An old lady sits in the light-filled atrium, says there is a special place in Hell…a special place in Hell, there is a special place in Hell..there are bombs going off somewhere and she refuses to watch, she says she will not watch while behind her emphatic form, the nearly full moon slips its moorings and floats across the pierced blue sky.