A few poems from Lindsay C. Lightfoot's collection. The last two poems are about a pregnancy and miscarriage. Lindsay C. Lightfoot recently published a new book of short fiction titled "Looking For: Intimate Confessions From People Wanting Sex, Love, Friendship, or Something Else."
The Lost Decade
During the lost decade, I ate salads inside coffee shops
which no longer exist, their walls covered
with flyers and graffiti, floors barely swept.
I was singular and afraid, stalked and abandoned,
scribbling notes in the margins
of textbooks which always led me to books
I would rather read and ideas of love
that meant the world to me. Crumbs scattered
from day old scones and muffins.
It didn’t matter that I lived on so little,
that I woke up in the bushes outside of a hospital,
that whole nights were erased
week after week, that I bound myself
up in sheets, sweating, praying for rescue
from my apartment or from a strangers.
I knew that the dark sidewalks
led nowhere, that the stylish man standing
in the doorway would talk to me,
but I would bow my head,
burdened by the cacophony of voices
begging me to pay attention,
to watch out
There is no certainty
only a stash of deleterious pills and herbs stashed in the forbidden drawer,
only a racing heart like a rainstorm at night that blows tree limbs into my yard.
I don’t have any control,
other than to breathe, breathe,
let it all in, the world,
images, a new beginning,
a boon, a bump, indigestion, hope,
or another ending.
I don’t have a premonition of my future
or my child’s future, only languid afternoons
and layered evenings when I think of how slowly
the world moved in New Orleans, and I miss
stopping for a cappuccino in San Francisco
and hearing Buon giorno flow effortlessly
from the mouth of a young man lost
in the connective webs of his dreams.
My lover tells me he doesn’t know the future either
but holds my hand and touches my back part of the night.
The next day, he looks at me like a five year old
from behind a thick blue curtain,
frightened of the emotional landscape his mother created,
Budweiser bottles strewn across the table.
I need comfort from my fear,
and he only gives me more uncertainty
and a few prayers.
Growth is Rapid in the Year of the Horse and In the Sixth Week of Pregnancy
My body is submerged in a sea
of swirling, dizzying water.
I can’t breathe, but I must
have learned to breathe something besides air
because I survive the stairs,
I survive the sun, I climb and feel
like I’m falling upwards and downwards
at the same time.
The neural tube is closing along the back,
and the heart is beginning to beat.
Every new adventure begins with a struggle.
Every new century is uncertain,
In the distance
I hear the pounding hooves
of chestnut colored mustangs
hungry for nothing
but their freedom.