While Staying in a Converted Coffee Mill in Kona and Learning the Ways of the Warrior Woman Who Lives There  

(for Kelly)

I squat on the cold porcelain

and relieve myself.

My city self.

My heated toilet seats at home self.

Far from the world that swaddles the baby

I presently share black night with the

sound of wild pigs, fornicating or ripping

each other to meaty shreds, hard to tell which.

Just below the outside deck on which sits

the lone bowl and me.

Not far.  In fact, much too close.

I clutch my nightshirt from it

dragging to the floor and pray to be spared a couple’s supper.

I want to revile this minute.  Every cell in me does.

I shiver from spider webs and

shadows that limp and drape around

me in this pitch blue January mist,

tickling my arms like a lover trying to catch my gaze.

I reach my hand down into the abyss

of the canyon below as I piss an anxious piss.

Reaching down to God, who lives among the

wild pigs and other hauntings, don’t you know?

Praying for a wrenching.

If I scream wild enough perhaps

I’ll never feel the teeth gutting my innards.

Yet as I pull my hand back, untouched,

the terrored screeches fall to a chorus

of panting huffs, rhythmic, nearly song,

a ritual stomp reminiscent

of the Black fraternity gearing for

a hazing.

I scurry back to the cold sheets

of my borrowed bed and stare at

the moon, who glares back with a warning,

like an Irish koan:

“Beware the lure of the wild, cushy girl.

‘Tis pungent with lust.

‘Twill fondle you in all the places and

snatch you from your illusions of safety

by the kinks of your nappy crown.”

And it does.  It pulls out a good patch, in fact.

Since then, I’ve shaved every remaining hair,

and now chase the wild scent with the

same relish I’ve clung to fears. 

My friend the warrior woman had been

a city girl like me. 

We rose up together, our young ripening days,

in the poshness of Beverly Hills. 

A trial in her life changed her.

Here it demonstrates like a perfect étude.

And so I ask, always now, as lives the warrior woman,

for another chance to try my hand at leaping,

to try my hand at living.

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