--THINGS CAN GET BETTER. WE CAN MAKE THEM BETTER
Hope In Rainbows
I found him hanging onto to the end of a rainbow
outside a bus terminal
where trash and insect husks had gathered at his feet.
No one else was watching,
not the saints or hecklers,
not even the sulking winter sun.
Gusting winds kept threatening to break his hold but
this one was a fighter,
cackling as he battled back.
And when I asked why he wouldn’t let go,
he turned and gave me a toothless grin, saying,
“I still believe.”
She gives me her half of the rainbow.
“To borrow,” she says.
She’s loaned me other things—
a life in purgatory—
and I’ve been stung enough times to know
she aims low and never misses.
It’ll be three years tomorrow
but I don’t want another day,
so I tell her to keep her rainbow.
walking out of the house,
leaving without a plan,
happy to finally be free.
The Girl Who Once Loved Rainbows
My daughter paints rainbows on her fingernails,
thinly striped but bright as crayons.
While she waits for them to dry I ask about her new boyfriend,
the one named Axle with a silver hoop through his lip
and two big fists.
She says he’s fine, he’s good, he’s looking for work, why am I always asking about Axle?
My daughter doesn’t know I’ve seen her bruises,
that wearing a turtleneck in summer calls attention.
I look at her face, trying to find the little girl who once squealed over seeing a double rainbow.
I search and I search,
but her sky is clear.