Looking for Love

It’s not your fault.

I say the words as I stroke his back, nuzzle his muzzle, watch him fall asleep curled into my lap as if he has found home.

Tears trail my words and gather in my eyes. Tears unseen and quickly blinked away in the chaos of dogs running, barking, leaping, of people looking and deciding and considering.

It’s not your fault.

It has felt like my fault. Simple words spoken to the mixed-breed never offered a home, to the ten pounds of love in my lap. Simple words to take away the blame.

From him.

From me.

It’s not your fault.

I lean my face into his, and thank him for healing me.



True to self. I struggle to find me in a sea of others, others who gather like a school of fish, swimming in unison, following the leader, accepting the hand off to swim in the front, but always going together. I drift on the edge like a piece of floating sea junk bobbing up and down.

Pulled into the updraft, I slide into the stream. But the school takes a sharp left and I go straight, fast and furious as if my steering is set on ahead, cruise control, no means of adjustment.

They don’t see me leave, don’t care, don’t notice. Except for one, out of the corner of her right eye. A pulse of kindness, yet she stays with the pack.

My eyes follow the ocean floor, notice the sway of seaweed, the loner fish dipping in and out of rock dens. I let the current carry me forward, trusting the glide, trusting the ride.

The colors reside in the palette of cool with occasional punctuation marks of red and orange. My arms extend wide and I am an airplane underwater, dipping and soaring, dipping and soaring.

Ahead the sea grows murky, cloudy, destination obscured. I disappear into the haze hoping to emerge into clear when the sea rests, when the waves stop, when the sun shines down from above.

Patience, I tell myself. Patience. And I close my eyes.


4 a.m.

The sound of the quiet wakes me. My ears strain to absorb the white noise of life sleeping, the molecules of sound that lay like a blanket over four a.m. I picture soft-spoken particles colliding in air like flitting dots of dust that dance in sideways angles of light beams. Despite their tiny size, their lives are full.

With these awakenings now a regular occurrence, I wonder what predawn wants to tell me. I roll from side to back, back to side, in search of comfortable. I name the hour peaceful, for that is how I feel, except when I imagine four p.m. and the sleepiness that will descend in protest to my early waking.

To remain with eyes and ears open or to negotiate a return to sleep? I want to treat the waking as a mandate and follow the natural flow of my rhythm. And sometimes I do. Sometimes I reach to the nightstand for the laptop and start my day in the silent darkness. And sometimes I reach for the stories of my dreams that slip back into silence when I open my eyes. And sometimes I squeak out a couple more hours of sleep.

But mostly I wonder what the predawn is trying to tell me because I believe a secret waits to be discovered at 4 a.m.