Take a hit.

Watch the moon slip to new moon. Listen to the lady you
Work with talk about ghosts, and start to cry as she does.
Hear the other lady talk about God.  Take a drive and believe
In that time that you knew what you knew was right.  A sitar plays
In the background.  Believe that what you hear in your heart
Is all there is.  Ignore logic.  Wish for something, and mean the wish.
When you are forty, you will second guess it all. You will for the first time
See your life from every point of view. You will see yourself a young girl.
You will see the men kiss you, and the beer drip from your lips,
And the pillows you rest your head on, and your face like paper.
You will see your life. And you will see yourself old. You will see
Yourself walking a street, barefoot, and your children embarrassed by you,
And you happy, and dirty. Your wishes will sparkle. Your voice
Will echo in the night. You know this truth. Your dreams will
Appear like magic and gray, and glittery trees that hang low.
This is the long road. This is the long road to you.
When there is nothing guiding us, there is nothing at all.
When there is blindness, there is only you.
I do not listen to the cards. I do not list to the prophecy, even
When every card is turned upside down, and the only one facing
Forward says, judgment.  
It is 3:00 in the morning, and I stare at your picture, hoping that it speaks,
And it does not. And there is darkness. And there is no answer.
And there is dancing, and a husband in the other room. And the affair
That you want, exists only in your dreams.
There is a longing that goes deep into the dirt. It is in the cactus roots,
And the humming birds, and the coyotes that scream.  There is an oracle
That tells you to forget. Forget it all, and you will be happy.
But in your heart, your happiness will only be in his mouth. In his words, in
His longing.   And you stay up at night, picturing yourself sitting on top of him
Naked. Rocking back and forth, covering his mouth with your hand,
His tongue licking your palm. And when you release.
And when you release you want stars. You want promises.
And what you hear is a drive. You hear wind going through your car windows.
You hear the desert air, and Oklahoma, and a diner when you are 21, that you sit alone in. And you eat eggs, and you realize that you are young again, driving across country,
Thinking of a boy who does not know where you are.
And you realize that you spend all of your time on him. You wake up thinking of him,
You go to bed and dream of him, you take a bite, and he is in it all.
And you wonder, am I in his every day? And the answer never fucking comes.
It never fucking comes. You see only deep blue sky.
You see fat clouds, and dead trains,
And a wash that is barren. And you know now
That you may never know. You may never feel any of it.  But at 40,
You realize that you are at the mid-way. That you have only moments
To make your get away. The sky is violet,
And the hands. Oh, the hands when they touch you feel wrong.
They feel like steam. They feel like smoke.  Where the fuck are you?
Why the fuck aren’t you hear?  I fucking hate you.
I fucking love you.  
Take me and tie me to your chair, and call me a fucking slut.
And then call me the love of your fucking life.
And wait for me to cry. And wait for me to say, I love you.
Wait for me to tell you that I will give you everything I am,
And take everything I am willing to give,
And that love is only. It is only what I know. I will love you
Until there is no air, until there are snowflakes in Arizona
Falling in a crystal pool. I feel nothing. I walk into the bar, and the men all stare. They
Stare as if I am the only woman on earth. But I am dead.
There is nothing when I see them. Their eyes are zombie eyes
And my want for you is cursed.
And that’s when you realize, that what you see in the stars lasts only moments, and that woman who spoke of God, she knows nothing.
That woman speaks of nothing.
And more, and more, fucking, nothing.

Kathy Bailey

Kathy Bailey is a graduate of the University of Arizona's MFA program and holds a BA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. She is an English Professor and Academic Administrator, and currently resides in Tucson, Arizona.