What to Accept When You’re Expecting

 

o9gqwgzo

She scrolled through google results full of bullshit and babies

Google Result 1:
googleresult

Sign # 8
“Can’t zip up those skinny jeans?”
It’s okay, skinny jeans were last season.
The measuring tape around your waist rates our ability to make love stay. It is on a 1 to 10 inch scale.
I will learn how to cook.

Google Result 2:
quiz

Am I pregnant? quiz
Question 2
“How’s your mood?”
You brood over multiple choice’s, looking for one that says “a nightmare from which I am trying to awake”
The voices of Joyce’s are not an option.
You click “I bawled my eyes out while watching something more like How I Met Your Mother than Titanic”.

When I met you, soon to be mother, I was fully aware that babies were a result of romantics.
And I know you hate when I’m overly pedantic,
But I touched your stomach last night when you slept, and it made me dream about violently throwing men overboard to make sure you and whatever is in (there) have a comfortable place on the life boat. With a warm blanket, hot chocolate, and a soft kiss goodbye.
I watched myself smile as I went down with the ship.
It was beautiful.

I woke up,
alive.

You quickly learned to stop trusting sad moms on google and found a book on a local library shelf:
what-to-expect
What to Expect When You’re Accepting (the fact that you are no longer a little girl. You are having one.)

Chapter 1
“Pregnancy Shopping Checklist”

baby-registry-list.jpg

checkGlider or rocker- You will read Berenstain books in this chair until your lungs give out, because didactic bears in the dark think it’s important to go to the dentist, have picnics, watch less TV, spend more time in trees, and so do you.

checkFeeding Supplies- You will pump life into her. Give knowledge to her. Speak kindly to her. You feed mouths, brains and confidence, you are the fuel that feeds wishes, it is important to know this.  

checkA crib and mattress- Also known as: Imagination fortress. Surround it with pictures of princesses. Above it, pin up a wishlist. Every time you see her smile while she sleeps write “I wish I never had to miss this”. On her cheek plant a soft kiss. Make a mental note of her miniature wrists.

They will one day grow to hold a watch that counts away your minutes.
Before you turn out the light,
above her crib,
Write down
“I wish I had more time with you”.
Make time.

checkLast but not least: high chair and car seat- You long for the day that both of your eyes meet. You yearn for cheerios in food trays and chocolate covered laughter in a dirty kitchen. You obsess about cleaning the back windows of your car,
because whenever you buckle her in she gets to see world for the first time.


In case you were wondering. I am guilty as well.
I too have told secrets to my iphone.

screenshotpreg2

Result 5 (I’m not kidding)

dose

In response to this, I created an electronic event on my calendar. Set nine months from now.

A loud alarm that will wake me from sleep and the screen will read,
Cross out wish list above crib.
Turn it into to do list:
Write:
Build time machine.
Travel back 10 months back from today.
Give her a hug that makes her feel like it is going to be more than okay.
Touch her stomach.
Whisper in her right ear
“You will never have to google alone”.
Google together.   

I clicked Alt-left (back), still looking for answers
Result pages full of babies and bullshit.

Click page 26.
This poem.
“What to Accept When You’re Expecting”
Scroll down to the last few lines because poetry is boring.

“Accept that your world is about to change.
Instead of living in it, you will give this blue planet to a beautiful baby and a woman you love.
You are now the dusty book cover of Atlas Shrugged.
Expect to panic and cry.
It gets hard sometimes.
But also expect smiles.”

Expect smiles when she reads aloud to you on that rocker, about those bears and bike lessons. Or when she runs outside on 2 different Christmases,
ten years apart,
with a fire in her eyes and wheels of freedom in the driveway.

Siri: Show me the image of a father.

Google Image.
International symbol of father.
A Man smiling.
Socket wrench hoisted victoriously in the air
on the day his little girl understands

that she no longer needs training wheels
                                                       to explore the world that he gave to her.

unnamed

Reese Weatherspoon

Return to Sender

I closed the door of that oversized gray mailbox as
saliva slowly seeped out of an envelope flap.
The poor paper inside screamed muffled questions like
“Why is it so dark in here?”
“How does that stamp smile in conditions like these?”
“Where are you taking me?”

Mouth water and oak sap glue congealed my thoughts upon trees cut into dimensions.
I swear I said i would stop killing trees.
But I can’t.
Because if black inkblood does not bleed between blue lines,
than it doesn’t deserve to be read.

The sender and receiver lines were identical.
The handwriting was carefully duplicated with precise strokes.
I wanted to be sure that the letter made it to the right place.
And I wanted to be sure that the person who read it knew it was me,

And I wanted to be sure that the mailman did not confuse the 4’s with the 9’s and the 9’s with the 4’s.
It took me three attempts to get it right.
It takes multiple attempts to get anything right.
Except for love, I hope.

I sent a self addressed letter to myself  because lonely thoughts experience wanderlust.
Lost dreams need to stretch their legs.
I thought that if I sent my words on vacation
they would come back different.

Poetry would become prose,
questions would become answers,
and question marks would become periods the size of fists.

When that white driver in that white truck delivers what I know is coming, will my words still hold the same weight?
Not weight as in 11.75 grams, the exact weight of 2 pieces of paper, one folded, one sealed, once strangers, now friends on an unforgettable journey. But weight like the heaviness my heart felt when I saw the airplanes go into those buildings 15 years ago. The weight of my awkward and growing feet dragging across the carpeted aisles of a New England church, 7th row, to say goodbye to my grandfather. The weight of my eyelids the morning after I stayed up all night with the girl who would become my wife, on a sandpaper roof, talking about the future then

which was the present now.

I hope whatever my heart wrote is still beating in its enveloped skin.
The hands that wrote them tremble at the memory of writing it.
The same way my brain trembles when thinking about the idea of metacarpal catharsis.

The three days that passed between sender and receiver felt longer than a meeting of immortals ,gathering around tables of fruit, discussing immortality. Longer than the lifespan of an arctic clam. 507 years. Longer than the week my Fed-ex thought she was pregnant and I spent hours in my head tiptoeing to the precipice that separates boyhood from fatherhood.

(I wouldn’t have had the chance to become a man)

Here I stand three days later awaiting the white chariot coming to deliver my white package written upon white paper.
Waiting for the wings of a punctual bluebird that lets me know I am her priority.
…Even on Sundays.

3:34. Envelope in hand.
Saliva dry. Same address.
Rustling
and tearing of paper.
Contents containing either happiness or heartbreak.
Two folds and it comes into vision.
A simple quote:

“We’re most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out?”

Yes.

-Reese Weatherspoon

I. Will. Find. You.

leave

I have been looking for you,

Words.

You sly fox,
You ambiguous, scaly, slow-moving amphibian.
It’s no surprise you scare people.
With your twisting tongue and your changing colors.
A real master of disguise.

Words.

And when i need you most you are hiding
in between experience
and the present,
underneath a layer of someone else’s fingerprints.

I hate when other people use you.

I thought you were mine,
But you have slept in the pages of another’s book.

Words.

Sure other poems have been written about your deeper meaning,
Etymologists love studying the depths of curvy body.
I even heard that Shakespeare knew your spot.
And he would whisper sweet lexis in your ear.
Verbal cunnilinguistics.

You silky seductress.
You have played this game of hard to get for too long.
You have slept with both friend and foe.
But it’s time for you to make an appearance
in between the soft sheets of my composition book.

Because I am a still a boy who will always be searching for the words that will make him a man.
A husband who will always be searching for the words that have the same ring as those wedding bells.
A poet who wants to hear that 4 and a half second silence after saying the right words,
in the right combination,
making the audience forget they are supposed to be clapping.

And I am pretty sure
you are pretty close to me right now

Words.

And this is a little embarrassing but,
I have Ransacked and pillaged through everything I have to find you.

I have checked every Journal I own.
And found nothing
but questions and scripture.

I have checked every text in my cellular phone.
I found nothing
but keyboards with pictures.

I desperately searched in my closet alone
I found nothing
But sneakers and sweaters

I have checked every junk drawer in my home.
nothing
but tools and letters.

Someday,
I will find you

words.

I will find you.
Even if it takes the
                                      rest
                                              of
                                                   my

                                                                        life.

-Reese Weatherspoon

SenTimental SomeTimes

time

Your picture on my wall reminds me of a time I didn’t care about you.
Lost in activity, Playing with Legos.
I could have built you a colorful brick home with many rooms,
a large backyard with a blue lake and a white boat
And a front porch where you could sit and just slow down, because you,
You move too fast.

But I wasn’t aware of you when my creations kept me busy,
and my mind wasn’t ready to embrace your concept.
And now it seems the more I understand you,
The more you seem to slip from my grasp.

Silly girl, You must bathe in baby oil baths,
Because I can’t get my arms around your waist and whisper calmly in your ear,
“You keep moving when the rest of us are still. Sit with me darling.
Tell me about your day darling.
Tell me about your long night and the moonlight, and the stars bright,
and how you felt when you saw the sun peek over the horizon darling.”

But you don’t concern yourself with the trivial past.
You press on, counting, counting, counting as you move toward forever.
You don’t think you will ever die.
And that’s fine,
none of us do until it’s too late.

I wonder when I take my last breath,
If you will even cry for me darling?
Or will you watch silently from the corner of that fluorescent room?
I hate the linoleum floors, they scare me.
And I hate the thought of losing you even more.

Because you are my beacon sweet one.
Your guiding light moves me.
You taught me how to long for something.
How to yearn for the future.

Remember when we booked that cruise, my love?
And how I told you every night before bed that I wish it would be tomorrow?
I spent my days daydreaming of sun decks and daiquiris,
looking over the ledge at nothing.
I spent my nights dreaming of white sand beaches,
and busy bazaars in the streets of Belize.

I wish we could have connected more that weekend, beautiful.
Too concerned with itineraries and next stops.
Your face remained white when we disembarked.
You forgot to soak up the sunshine, darling.

I don’t know why you still get to me.
I still think about you constantly.
Images of your body everywhere.
I see you every morning when my alarm goes off.
I see you looking back at me on my drive to work.
I even saw you last week as I sat in a dingy waiting room
while oil stained hands fixed the vehicle I use to try to escape you.

It’s odd, how the ones we think we love the most end up hurting us.
But maybe you can heal me.
You play a great game of hard to get.
But someday I swear I’ll reach for your second hands and you will clutch mine back.
I’m counting the minutes until I can count the hours with you, darling.
And maybe one day we can stop this vicious cycle.

Maybe one day we can stop this vicious cycle.

Maybe one day we can stop this vicious cycle.

Reese Weatherspoon

 

Friend Request Sent

like

Friend
You are a contact.
You are a picture on my screen.
You are a man whom I once knew as a boy.
And rather than speak with you again,
I click a button.

Friend.

You are a memory passed.
You are a series of well placed comments
and hyperlinks.

We once were hyper together.
We were once linked.
We used to run though the woods together,
hand in hand waiting for the beast of the forest to announce himself,

and we talked about how we would be fearless, our chests held high.
Wielding wooden branches for protection.
And we would slay that neighborhood monster.

We were invincible, you and I.
But now we are just visible.
As I watch you kiss your lady,
play with your dog,
And ask me for candy crush tokens.

We used to feed off each other.
Now you are just another one finger scroll on my news feed.

Friend.

You were my (knock, knock).
Is he home yet?!
You were My clap, fist bump, fingers like this, handshake spin around double tap.
Now we are just a series of these (thumbs up).

I think about that picture of us.
Outside on our mountain bikes,
with smiles that would make Colgate proud.
It was the day you fell off your huffy.
You skinned your knees real bad.
And we walked 4 bloody miles home,
your arms around my shoulders.

You told me I was a good friend that day.
You were my first one.

Now you are a profile picture that hasn’t been updated in 6 years.
You are a 14 character “happy birthday” one day a year.

Friend.

I thought about getting on my bike yesterday,
And riding to your house.
And pulling a (knock, knock).
Is he home?!

But my digital mind lacks the motivation.
And the more we avoid a conversation,
The more comfortable I become,
lost in a sea of notifications.

-Reese Weatherspoon

Let’s Go Places

tacoma

On a cold day, in a gray house, in a well-lit room, in a good book,
I found you perched on couch cushions.
Desperate to add dog ears that mark places to revisit when you decide you want to change the world.

I looked at you. You looked at me.
You looked at our cat. I looked at our cat.
We looked at each other.
We gave off some strong signals that fell on the “let’s get out of here” frequency,
exited to our respective closets, met back at the front door, made out quickly, and bolted for the driveway.

You yelled “shotgun!” and made it to the passenger handle before me.
I let you win because I like looking at you looking at things.
I steal Polaroid glances while you observe our planet through a tinted window. 

Someday I am going to become an artist, just so I can paint your tears
as you watched that one sunset, on an open road, in a white truck, surrounded by mountains, melting into a Jethro Tull song.
“No man’s an island and his castle isn’t home,
The nest is for nothing when the bird has flown.”

Sometimes all you need is a look and an open road
to be a poet.
Late nights, headlights, and hairpin curves.
They drive us.
We let go of the steering wheel a long time ago.

I leaned over and whispered softly in her ear.
“Have you found what you are looking for?”
She replied with a quick shoulder raise.

Distracted by the sun’s fingers poking through redwood trees.

-Reese Weatherspoon

Old Sole

oldsole

Loose arms, back straight, drive legs
Pretend like you are holding the worlds smallest potato chip
Heel toe heel toe
Drown out screaming hamstrings with guitar strings

these headphones are never loud enough.

Come on, you just started you can’t quit yet.
Suck it up buttercup.
Heel toe heel toe
cold invading core
Inhaling stomach pins and chest needles

It’s a brisk one

I pass those same tracks where we spent our first days

The rails shine as our song plays.
It’s been thirteen Mays
Since I was your mason jar
And you filled me with light
That jar was made of glass
And You mishandled it.

It broke and the insects you were collecting shot toward heaven.
I can’t look at the night sky without the thought of firefly-stars that once burned bright for us.

But I press on
Heel toe…heel toe
Into my next memory.

That coffee shop looks barren tonight
As I make an observational lap around it
Remembering that time
I crushed caffeine, philosophy and nicotine
And tried to see the future.
I thought that a pen and faded notepad would save me
It did.

Palms sweating, heart racing
I dart in front of cars. real life frogger.
In this same spot. as a boy.
It was wet and my growing feet did not match my small frame
And that black Acura was the face of God.
How am I alive? And on a night like tonight. Far from the finish and close to caving. I understand living. It is the space between those heavy breaths.

Right foot aching
The cigar bar comes into focus on my left.
I cannot help but stare
Men whose lungs are smokestacks.
Back straight, head up, they exhale grey ghosts
They recount stories of the 1982 World Series.
They shake bloodstained hands and talk about connections.

While their wives sit waiting next to cold abandoned dinners.

That could have been me.

Heel toe heel toe, halfway mark
Start to end, now halfway back to start
Run consumed by recollection
I head back toward the same direction

I pass 6 orange hands telling me not to walk
the aroma of coffee grounds overtakes me again
In the black water window I see a silhouette of my former self
Crushing caffeine, nicotine and Carnegie
Setting goals, setting goals, setting goals
to fill my lungs with purpose
And scream freedom from those necktie dreams.

re-read that black ink which is actually my heartbeat.
Bold,
underlined. Wrong American Dream.

I never thought a pen and a faded notepad in a cafe could save my life
It did.
And just like my legs,
it took me from cigar bars and pant suits,
to coffee shops contemplating self worth.
We are worth it.
And sometimes it blindsides you at 9 p.m when you are fighting for that extra mile.
But I’m 12 in and surprisingly I have found my smile.

Left right left right, heel toe, heel toe
We keep running.
Not entirely sure exactly where,
But realizing that anywhere but here is somewhere
Because every step we recollect, is another step forward in retrospect.

Deep breath slow strides
Railroad finish lines

I’ve always hated trains because they never stray from their tracks.

-Reese Weatherspoon