What Freedom Meant To Me

by Marina Eckler

eating the flowers off the wallpaper
a serial liar
wanting to be a nun
but just a nun on the run
pre-inventing cell phones as the screw holding my bike together
transmitting messages to the sky
an angel without a charlie
in the subtle stupidism of no expectations
there’s no one watching
rain and fog on the hillsides like in period pieces
here come the credits, horse and carriage, rolling in, panning out, and
giant palms swaying in the wind
leap frog to los angeles
the first three days of the school year
everything perfect
no fingerprints no fuckups
unraveled by day four: a little bit of dirt mixed with tears
forgotten sandwiches
partial credit
not bedwetting
sucking at science, spacing out in a chair,
sucking at reading, writing, dating, no resistance no register
no curfew no parents
no money no car no bills no ride
eating flower sandwiches
drifting north with california
goals so crazy so quiet
no man no money
no house no housey
a sleeping rotation
sleeping til noon
sleeping alone
sleeping til seven
sleeping with my little son breathing on my arm.
Once you reach water, do you set up a beach town
or build a boat and leave everyone you know?
sleeping on a diagonal
driving to oxnard
driving to kansas
bicycling into the fog
cutting my hair
growing my hair
us against the world drifting through parties
hearing you laugh in the other room
just a small town girl
but not that town or that girl
and not a girl
making up memories in someone else’s home town
others collide so free
that’s empty that’s the best
a stranger in a strange land
imaginary banker boyfriend
vineyards, girlfriends, parfait
something to say
saying what you want to say without fear of violent men
who lord over you but will never know the real you:
fathers, teachers, priests, coaches, boyfriends, bosses, total strangers,
the intermittently violent conserve energy.
flinching children wander off to greet the unknown
standing at the sink expecting ambush
lace shawls in the wind like stevie nicks
flight not fight
road tripping always leaving
freedom from the freedom from constraints, the whole scenario.
freedom to empire
freedom to catastrophe
freedom is the reason for the season
for freedom’s freedom
freedom so empty no strings no astronauts
no church
no oxygen houses horticulture blades of grass
freedom so free no referent
upon penalty of death
no pancakes people plutocracy
a funnel spider backed into a hole waiting for ants to fall in
perhaps a longer shower
handsome husband bring me coffee
free and knowing
a functional folly
falling freely folding
the only one in the house who likes toast
eggs over medium
no cops

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