Patricia Jacaban Miranda
Some things need wind
simply to become: ember
to spark, canvas to sail.
Even dandelions launch
their astronautical seed
on a bit of breeze,
having escaped our childhood
game of popping one golden
head after another.
When your Aunt Glory died, I helped
you write to scattered cousins.
We made up nicknames as we licked
envelopes. Alice, we called
Heroin. John was Wondercat,
and inexplicably, Paul became
Syrup. After, we made love.
On strict count, our third time
—but how so like a first
for the kite's high of it:
the becoming of we, wind-born.
We made it to three years.
The telltale tendrils
wrapped round us,
like morning glory that strangles
with its unabashed charm.
I keep hoping for a wind
to sail the part of me that knows
you've gone for good.
But when I cast about, what flies
into my hand are things that can't stay aloft,
unless on borrowed energy:
golden memories scattered on the far.
I'd reach if I could for a thing
of heft. My rage. Your regret.
But their being no wind
I send this poem instead
airborne like a boomerang
already arcing into its return
and aiming to kill.
Seventy and More
In the x-ray of my wrist
a distal radial fracture
shows how I’d tried to break
my fall, my phone
clattering down the steps,
the message he won’t be home
finally going down
and I suddenly
wonder, if the rate at which I fall
were as inconstant as my faith,
would the catch be worth it all?
With the cast on, I sink
into an opioid stupor
and the doctor warns,
Just seven days of this.
You don’t want to get
addicted. I nod and think,
That sounds about right.
Seven times seventy:
the count, for us, to forgive.
The hatching takes hold of its moment. The eyetooth
descries an arc to match the curve of the shell, drags
and drags, then snags upon an imperceptible etching,
presses and is suddenly through. On the other side
the nob of the eyetooth appears, so tiny, also milky,
not the calcific gleam, not the flecked green
of the harboring shell whose cracks now show, thread fine.
Temporary, the eyetooth breaks something else temporary,
the necessity of it so simple, I'm moved to tears. Later,
when the phone rings, I don't recognize the number.
I haven't called my mother in weeks,
but told people anyway, She's doing fine.
The fact is the cops had to call. Neighbors said,
her dog is howling, she didn't make it
to the senior center, no one's answering
the door. An officer can meet you at the house,
says the message, if you want to check on her.
When she turns up, grocery bags in hand, she's
confused to see us. She'd written the wrong date
for the luncheon. I'm sorry, officer, to take up
your time. When she pats my cheek, I smile,
embarrassed and enraged. We put the food away,
take the dog for a walk. She reminds me to call
when I can. We sometimes hear of imprints gone wrong:
The gosling cranes toward an indifferent hen
or the duckling flaps after the farmer's daughter,
her boots grinding shell bits into the ground, her
thick ankles forever carrying the mother source away.
About the Author: Patricia Jacaban Miranda's poems have been featured or are forthcoming in apt, DASH, Frontier Poetry, Heron Tree, Hyphen, Into the Void, Kitaab, Mount Hope, and several other literary journals. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two children.