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Be More Than Your Smile

Be more than your smile,

he said to me.

My butterfly earrings,

catching the sunshine,

light off my own reflection.

I am in love with an illusion,

my friend said.

It’s about the ego,

she said.

That wispy ball of candied fluff,

crescendoing us ever up and up~

Thanks for opening these doors for us,

my baby said.

Oh, you haven’t seen our new place?

There are new walls to decorate, furniture to buy, rooms to fill…

until the project’s finished,

and then?

The instructions say to rinse/repeat.

But wait, let’s:

Breathe in the sharp air.

The one that smells of burning wood, your past.


let the cringey memories rise up,

bobbing there alongside the more becoming ones.

Fragments of life,

collaged together—

discovery in the juxtaposition.

What do you need, my dear?

When you have a community,

you have a foundation to express yourself,

Eric Mosley said.

That’s it. The foundation is shaking.

Left instead to root within,

without that mossy sponge to cushion my feet.

A chapter’s closing.

Do you feel it?

Spring was exceptionally rainy and cold,

like palms

ripening with beads of bittersweet.


she comes and goes in starts and fits.

And here I am,

back down,

subsumed by the minutiae of it.

Forgetting is a luxury of our time,

Dario Robleto said.

And yet, like a child dreaming of Marzipan,

Lyn Lifshin said,

we whet ourselves again and again.

What do you need, my child?

Whisper it softly like soundless tears,

let them barrel down.

I’ll be here to hold you,

hold you here in your own creation.

Be more than your smile.

That’s what he said.

And, where’s that smile now?

I’m reaching back round to the beginning,

— arms stretched - fingertips extending —

to that one I’m more than now,

now that it’s all there’s left to be.



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