all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Monday, March 21, 2011

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Say heater is another word for love
and the rug in the entryway, dusted with bits
of whatever I carried in at the bottom of my shoes
is another word for loyalty. Winter is another word
for patience, and of course kitchen is a combination
of two words - earth and body - and laundry basket
is another word for tired. Television is another word
for forget the story and art is another word
for tell it again. Window is another word for
acceptance and dinner is another word for us.
The track's bouncy pink surface is another word
for return to where you came from, and the callouses
from rock climbing are another word for hang on.
This moment is another word for where did the time go and
the doctor's bill is another word for luck. The bedside lamp
is another word for waiting. Silence is another way
of saying it. Tea is another word for mother.
Orgasm is another word for God.
Ambulance, for gratitude. Sweater, for not ready.
Book is another word for innocence,
rain too, and mint chocolate chip, and slippers, and sleep.
You are another word for me, and I am another word for you.
Dream is another word for fear and hope, and so is loss.
Sunlight is another word for try again. The hail at the cemetery,
for believe in miracles, buckle your seat belts for
don't leave just yet. Late March is another word for
you are where you are. Muscle is another word for yearning.
Mud puddle is another word for permission, and sink
is another word for letting go. Swallow is another word for
breathe, and breathe is another word for one more chance
and one more chance is another word for I will get this wrong again,
I can promise you.
So forgive me. This will all be imperfect.
No matter how I say it, it will never be the same as what it is.
But here. Take this beach pail and the shovel too. These
are other words for come with me, for keep digging,
for we're almost there.

11 comments:

noonce said...

oh maya...aching and haunting and heartbreaking and hopeful...tears streaming down my face from the sheer magnificence of everything you say here and do not say...thank you
~ nancy levin

Joanna Paterson said...

This is fabulous Maya, thank you.

Thank you is another word for your poem moved my heart, and I cannot explain what that means to me.

GailNHB said...

What they said.
And what you said.
Which is always so powerful and beautiful
and detailed and right on time.
Every single time.

Christina said...

Oh. Yes.

And thank you.

And oh, my heart is so full with these beautiful, beautiful words.

Jack Rabbits Eat Carrots said...

This is beautiful. The idea of it...
I love it.
True art.

Amy said...

oh maya, you do it to me every time. i cannot read your words without feeling. something. everything.

Alexis Zinkerman said...

Hi, Maya,
I love your poetry. Glad I found another Jewish poet out there. Keep writing. Alexis

Elsa said...

This poem just stopped my world, and then started it again. Thank you.

Rachel said...

This could not have been more timely. I have printed it (with full attribution to you) and will be framing it to hang in my bedroom.

andy said...

wow. just wow. that is remarkable.

Mud puddle is another word for permission

newnham said...

Damn, Maya. So, so good.