Eloise Klein Healy

from A Packet Beating Like a Heart

Entries: LA Log
Oh My Emotions These Days

Firebrank Books, 1991


I'll tell you why I'm afraid of the dark.
It has its own idea.
It's like a bullet.
It doesn't want to know what you know.

The dark is under.
It fits a place to put a hand but I can't see.
It's like a voice behind a door.
It can be just about anything I want to hear.

Darkness comes in every size of threat:
the dark cocoon at the end of my life,
storms that turn the sky into an empty can of dark
fitting snug onto the horizon,
the dark in putting my head in hands,
my head into the cave of a person I don't love anymore.

I'll tell you again why I'm afraid of the dark.
I can see it coming
and can't ever tell just when it has arrived.
I sense it thin and waiting between the pages of books
but it's too fast even for a good reader.

From that place darkness
comes a phone call erratic with grief.
It fills the story called "dying in your sleep"
and was the only time left for voodoo to take,
for rapists to dress in.

I can't get a grip on darkness
though it wears my imagination like a shroud.
I've started hearing sunsets as cracking twigs.
I've taken to hiding a piece of flint in my shoe.

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Entries: LA Log

The stars shine all day
through my scalp
five foot three inches into space
called atmosphere
or one of the ways to understand a novel.

At this address
a bougainvillea lifts her curls
and kisses a Santa Ana with her mouth open
right on its blueblue skies.

I like to ride the fast lane
es muy caliente
and under me a red chile siren
pepper peppers Alvarado with cop sauce
as I cross.

I know I know
I'm dying a little faster of Los Angeles
but I suck in a piece of it anyway,
sing it out in little puffs
about twenty times altogether
like a bunch of cheerleaders
yelling down the freeway in a bus.

Coiling out to Malibu
on a copper strand,
my sunglasses shine
like two westbound storefronts
open to the scenery business.

I never owned a map
to the stars' homes
but I sent to JPL
for 8x10 glossies of Mars
to stick up around my mirror.

I note the traffic patterns
of two Ring-billed gulls
flying the Santa Monica Freeway,
pale boomerangs
arching across their backs
as they exit up.

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Oh My Emotions These Days

Oh my emotions these days
like the bone dance
I ride
over the raised dots
changing lanes
following your car
down the coast highway
with the sea quiet
on its edge.
I have to warn you,
one of your taillights is broken
and I want you very much.

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 www.eloisekleinhealy.com  .  eloisekleinhealy@mac.com