Modern Masterpiece

This poem is intended to uplift you in your journey, remind you of your capability and grant you permission to pursue whatever it is you most long for. This was performed during the book launch for The Unfolding. 

I often toss and turn
beneath the watery shadows
of twilight.

Wondering about this life
and what it means to be alive
and what soft footprints I will leave behind,
if any?

Who will write about the girl who sits upon the window ledge?
Dangling bony feet above dampened streets.
Clouds the same color as the smoke wafting from her cigarette
racing across the moon.
She is suspended above San Francisco
like and uncaught bird
hovering in rarefied air.
She hears no sound from the world below,
only an occasional hiss
as she inhales.

Will anyone remember the portrait of
a busboy in Italy?
Working in a dim cafe,
where every sentence spoken
fills and eternity
as he tries to understand
the fast-talking American at his table.
The boy furrows his thick eyebrows
and nervously runs a hand through his hair
before throwing them into the hair
in frustration.

Who will be inspired by
the seaside motel in France?
Where the lace drapes close to
a misty ocean and rosy rocks.
Where there is a shipwreck
when two romantics leave the door unlocked.
And a wife clambers inside
with bewildered eyes
before dashing back down cold stairs
to the car she’s left running with a baby inside.

Will a monument be dedicated
to the Burmese refugee?
Practicing english
as she carries Chang beers
to tourists in Northern Thailand.
She has long ebony eyes
and hair that shines in the light.
She named herself after Sophia Loren
and she dreams of Universities in New York City.

We live lives as fleeting as
silences in conversations
and motel room romances.

Our bones bloom bruises,
our hearts break,
and our dreams drown like the inky lines of books left in the rain.

We use anger to carve deep cracks
in fragile, delicate things.
When those are the things that must be
watered by love,
despite their vulnerability.

We must catch every word of our stories,
and hold them with care,
like butterflies in closed fists.

We must remember that our history
is no more or less enchanting than
those of anyone else.

We are the mothers,
the captains,
the soldiers,
the celebrities,
the poets,
the philosophers,
the psychologists,
the drifting and desolate,
the over-bored and arrogant.

We may not be immortalized in marble
like Bernini’s Pluto and Persephone.
Our decay in old age may not enchant like
the rotting fruit in Caravaggio’s basket.

Our love stories are not Shakespearean sonnets.
Our most reckless and riotous nights would not charm Hunter S. Thompson.
We are not characters from Oscar Wilde fairytales.
We are not Jane Austen heroines or Homeric heroes.

We may never hang on the walls of museums
between Michelangelo and Botticelli.
We may never sit on shelves
between Nabokov and Dostoevsky. 

But, if we peel the notes from the songs,
the men and women from the paintings, and
the protagonists from their novels,
then we are left with two human hands.
Two human hands
just like our own,
carved from the same strong bone and fragile tissue.

Perhaps, we are not works of art,
but we have two hands that we can use
to create them.
And this is why, I believe,
that we are modern masterpieces.