Archive for April, 2012

For Sabrina, For Always

I think I saw you looking at my scars. And if you saw them, you didn’t say anything. If you saw them, if your eyes saw what hurt I went through when you weren’t around, then that means my best friend of thirteen years had speech fallen silent on her tongue when it came to that part of my past. And even if you saw them, perhaps you knew you didn’t need to say anything, didn’t need to speak how I knew you wished that didn’t happen, and how I know you wish you could have been there for me. With over 1,000 miles between us during those years where my skin broke open to my pain, I always knew you were there for me, that I could reach out to you if I could have just figured out how.


You said you like my writing. Even when it’s just about me writing at 3am, you like my writing. This makes me smile. Here I am, Sabrina. It’s 6:13am. I woke up later than usual because I was out late with you. Past my bed time, I stayed up and watched Roller Derby with you and your family. I watched as the women found their way around the track, found—as you stated—who they are through this sport.


I sit at the desk Spence got for me to make me feel at home here. It’s my writing place, and it’s the best I’ve ever had. It has a glass top—a bit milky, or is it frosted? Either way, it shines back to the world what the candlelight spotlights on my desk. Books of poetry, a carton of cigarettes, the flame of light itself.


The world is still right now, though I hear my lover rise in the other room. He and I are two souls finding their way in this world through writing and creating. And this is how we live—through creating and breathing. He leans over and kisses me, and I put my hand on the small of his back. My index finger touches his mole. I am starting to learn about the geography of his skin.


I wonder if you want to know this. Does writing about my lover satisfy you in the same way all of my other writing does? I would like to think yes. Even if this lover is a man. And you said to me last night how you didn’t care that we wouldn’t grow into old dykes together because it’s him, you said. He is the only man I have ever trusted, the only man you would ever trust to treat me properly, like how you treat me, with love and awe and honesty.


But the writing this morning isn’t about him. It’s about how I saw you yesterday for the first time in a few years. How you had on those bright orange sunglasses that nobody else could wear but you. How you had on white cargo shorts, and wouldn’t sit on the rocks because you didn’t want to dirty them. And your eyebrow is still pierced, your hair sticks up to the sky. And we both wore black t-shirts, because some things never change.


What else hasn’t changed: the way you smile around your family, the way your family hugs me after all of these years. Your sister has grown up, is now coming into herself and her own sexuality. I remember her at sixteen, when she was just starting to figure out who she was. And I remember you at that age, too. Your blue car with the Limp Bizcit sticker on the back. The way you wore that Adidas visor turned backwards. The way you always smiled at me.


What has changed: our lovers, our lives. The fact that we only see each other every few years or so instead of every day. Our jobs, our houses. But what we want in this world is still the same. You, providing for your family, those you love. Me, writing. And we support each other in that. I see you around your family, and I can still feel that love you have for them. And you told me you like my writing. So thank you, Sabrina. This one’s for you.


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A Greedy Yes



The stirring rhetoric of this space. Language leaking out of the walls, slushing down to the carpeted floor, my toes.


You do understand, don’t you?


Here is the place where a heart may beat if it wishes. The skin crawls without chronology. These hands are awaiting recollection. Our fingers weave the grammar, the exact notion of something well structured. Behind everything the sound of something heating. The point of calm to a wavy boil, your hands redden the skin into overload. Blood that rises. Filled with the sensation of being suddenly completed. The never to lose its strength found in this loose subjective weave: my name. I am not brought into this delicacy. Did you hear where my lover has gone? A silent sleeping, steeping. I point my fingers up to the sky. And a butterfly licked his finger not just yesterday, but when luck shimmied  down into his heart. How we hope, hold whole. How we unhinge from this narrative. Gender crossing boundaries, infringing into new territory. Strike me down with your story. And with.


The elasticity of not knowing. And the reader should know how his t-shirt slings across my shoulders, sucks onto his chest. The hair, the tangles in my own, my legs folded around hips like origami cranes. There is a packet of poems stacked up against memories. The rose bushes and the nautilus shell. The inner ear. You hear? How the tapping of ants rhythm me into a deep. And for a time, a treasure with a feeling of _______. Like nine dried olives hanging from a string. Lightning crackles in the shape of my finger moving. I whisper. Lounge into the luck. Hold into the hope. Sing into the sway. Here is another day. As where to make it into home. A breath of finally, the grammar grows. Greedy for the thought of yes. An absolute infinity.


Did you hear how the spider hangs mid-air? The shadow of smoke stacked against the wave (length) of legs. Here is a face that screws (yes, screws) into the pattern of desire. Dipped into that photo today, the one where you held my dog’s foot, belly up. Astrological meanings in your lap, a book. How we weren’t meant to know this lineup. Pick through the _______. We weren’t meant to concede, then. Then–


I am waiting to hear your legs. See your torso turn over in sleep. Greedy for the thought of yes. You may approach me. Behind the shoulder, I glance over the owl that used to hold meaning. The stars align, that meaning. She was not you. Six she’s stacked against years of wanting to know. The denial of desire weeping. An anxious smoke held in this world, my hand. As where it feels like living. Like life. Sun slinking away from shadows, receding into a textual pause.

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Color Me


There’s a history between my lover and I that I am trying to remember, to make live again through these words, to bring new life to old meaning. There were the times we spent living together in college, the endless nights of drinking and talking. I remember the house on East 15th Street. A small house, technically a three-bedroom, though the third room was half the size of the other two. That is where he lived, his little hole in the world in which he carved out his existence. The small mattress on the floor, a navy blue blanket covering it. I remember his small black desk pushed up against the opposite wall, leaving a thin open track of white carpet in which to step through to get to the sliding glass doors, the large porch and long backyard. He had a tall bookcase against one wall. Dark brown and full of schoolbooks. Literary texts, poetry, and theory. He is an intelligent man.

I remember a night I sat with him on his floor. He had an art book open about the energies of the body, about the microcosms of life. He explained these things to me, showed me the book, the colors coming out of a diagram of a skull, a soul. I didn’t understand it then, but I could feel what he was saying, could sense he was discovering something about himself as he gazed at the words, the artwork.

This is how we created a home—on understanding and sharing. How he saw me through my father’s death, how I thought about him when he wandered off. And I always wanted him around, always wanted to feel our energy fields cross, combine.

Much later, six years after our time on the floor discussing the energies of the body, I will fall asleep on his naked chest. My eyes will be closed to the pitch black room, but I will be woken from my post-sex daze by a striking white light. It does not exist when I open my eyes, but I can feel it in the air, can see it swirling underneath my eyelids. It shifts from each corner, swishes and shimmers across my pupils. I’m seeing a bright white light, I whisper to him from underneath his chin. He asks me to describe it, but I have no words, can only see it with no description. Maybe you’re seeing our energy fields, he says. And with his rough chin hair tickling my forehead, with my hands grazing the hair across his chest, I fall asleep in the ensconcing white light knowing his explanation isn’t absurd.

He tells me now about the dream he had back then, the one that occurred seven years ago when we were living together in a different house. This is a dream he could never forget. This was during his juice fast, when he was trying to rid his body of a crazy feeling, thinking if he took away the toxins perhaps a bit of sanity would return. He was in his room that was a quarter of the size of mine. This is in the house on Olive Street, the one with five bedrooms and a hole in the floor. His bed sat up on stilts, a loft built in order to make more room in his small den of the world.

He lied on the mattress and either fell asleep or passed out from his juice fast in the Texas heat. He slept. And in his dream he traveled to my bed across the hall, and laid down next to me. In this dream, I told him something comforting, some passionate words, I wish I knew what they were, and he says he saw a green light engulf us.

He woke up to that feeling of me, of us.

Seven years later I awake to him in my bed, his back turned towards me as I wrap my right arm around his shoulder. And the moonlight is streaming in through my window, creating a glowing silhouette of this man in my bed. This best friend that became more.

I am moving across the country to be with him. How I can’t resist living with someone who helps me to  see a vibrating orange light after he makes me orgasm, makes me come, yet again.

I have two weeks to go until I can reach out and hold this man again. Two weeks in which my eyes will be dull to the world, will not see the colors of our energies. But then there’s this: a night, on the phone, his voice streaming into my ear. I close my eyes against the want in my chest, hug a pillow to soften this need. The white light returns to my eyes, pulses with each word he says. And I can feel him lying in his own bed, feel him reaching out for his creamy pillows, for me.

He wore a gray shirt the first time he came to visit me, when we saw each other again, and for the first time, and in a different light. Six years had passed. His gray shirt was hidden underneath his black leather jacket, and I saw him walking across the bus terminal, striding in front of me. I was so in awe, so shocked by the fact that his flame of energy was finally near my own, that I couldn’t find my breath to say his name. Then he turned. Then I ran up to him, my red and tan cowboy boots ka-thunking on the white tiled floor. A huge hug, bodies colliding, and I turn into him for our first kiss. He plunges. Eight years of wanting,  of waiting, of knowing, and we finally find our lips together. How I closed my eyes right then and saw yellow. And yes, there were sparks. And yes, they flew. Electricity through the lips, this is what we do, how we love, the colors increasing out of our skulls, our souls.

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In this room, the reader should know: crawling love letters, silent words, a clay feather, pictures of a dead grandfather. In this room, the reader should know: a table that cannot be moved until Sunday. Kept in place, belongings seek to be tossed away. Dumpster waits patiently to be filled. She did not think she could stand more waiting. He stood on the bed, soon in Texas they will be robed. There is the fold-away desk and the notebook that asks for more. The notebook is drunk on ink, her shoes tile the floor.


What the reader should not know: want.


She smells like herself today, the weather is so nice, etc. This was before the cream tasted like coffee, and cigarettes ashed themselves to sleep. She did not think she could stand more waiting. How long will the want last? The reader should know this. There is the coffee mug full of ash that piles itself awake. She has another month to wait. On the floor, his clothes. On the floor, a cigarette butt. On the floor, want waiting for Texas. A notion of a pool. The weather is so nice, etc.


There is sweat that drips from her knees. The reader needs to see this. Unlocked, the doors swell with wind. What the movers forgot to do. Unwait patiently—or—wait dispatiently. What she must not do. In this room: mess of missing, the over-used image of sunlight streaking in, bursting bins. The other rooms are full of empty.


The reader should know: are you from here? He said (fingers unfurling) you smell like you today. The moonlight swam around his silhouette, etc.

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