I am petrified stoney
of all the jammy things
I will come to forget,
their juice wrung dry
from my mind.

What if one dread day
I wake up wide and can’t
remember how my
Dad’s voice sounded
(like cannons, like rivers, like trees)
when he was
trying to tender-tell me
he loved me?

Or that loud unspoken
change in the living air
that I tasted quick and lively
when I opened the window this morning
and knew that airy Summer
has turned to earthy Autumn?

Or how the wind
burnt in clear flames
that night when I climbed sweaty
up the old hill from my house
and suddenly realized
I was no longer a child
and on fire?

key moments in my life,
simple sensations, brief instances,
and every day, they fade
a tiny bit,
dissemble, dissolve.
one dull day
what if I am
an old lady
dried and pressed flower
with nothing but ghosts of fleeting moments
inside my brain that
I can’t catch hold of?

maybe those forests
got it right, way back then
when they bathed in lava
to capture the moment then



Fluttering Fingers in God’s Face

how much is enough?
I ask this because…growth.
how much is enough?

is growth a candy-cane, a barber pole
spiraling and twisting twins of
life and death entwined?

or is it a mountain trail,
switchbacks and double overs
and 2 steps back for every 3
each time you’ve gone a hundred.
and sometimes you just march in time
or stay beside a bush
to see if there really is a bird in it.

oh wait! maybe growth is
the wind, catching us up in it
like kites to kiss the sky and dance
while our bones are picked clean
by its breezy nips and us clutched in
airy talons by our hips.

if that is the case, then
the answer is never!
Growth is never enough.

No, what we need to go along
with the never of growth, is loyalty!
Cus loyalty is either there,
or not there…no one can be loyal
only when they feel like it!
you either are, or you aren’t…

so spin that barber pole of
growth and loyalty
while we wait, and wait,
10,000 little prayers like
fluttering fingers in God’s face.

your hands are muddy from
digging and investing in growth.
my hands are hot from
stoking and cuddling fire!

together, we can answer the question
that cannot be uttered by only one person:
how much?




What happened to me in 1965…

When I had just turned 6, I was pulled in two…for the next 45 years…

45 years.  Sounds like a prison sentence, doesn’t it?

“Charissa, we the jury sentence you to 45 years hard labor

in the male body penitentiary, no parole, no time off for good behaviour.

And you can never know what exactly is wrong with you

just that something is…wrong with you.

You are required to only know about part of yourself,

the other half belongs to us, in the name of gender, amen.”

*Gavel slams down and logs go bang in the fire*


I am the wings of birds

Time flies by in birds’ wings
and the sounds of flutter and
rustles of winds
tugging at leaves,
leaves that want to leave
and yet still hang on
still hang on.

and me? I stand still
while time whirls by,
seasons twirl by in
turning unfurling
display, all
pomp and pageantry.

but sometimes I think
secretly, that I am the
wings of birds flutt’ring
and the wind rustling…

…but mostly I am
the leaves
groaning to let go
but still hanging on
still hanging on