You have nothing to be ashamed of, whatever it is that they mock you for, it is also them; There is nothing that belongs to you that is not also theirs. The streets are hungry and the alleyways hungrier still, and you will find in your own way that language is only yours and that miles divide us what is right here next to each other. So don’t be afraid to stand on your own. Don’t be discouraged that they have what you seem unable to possess; if it is possessable at all you too already have it. Whatever it is you fear that you are, in solitude, alone, know that it was made right here in the interconnectedness of all things, in this world. Whatever you fear you have made others into, know that you have that capability and choose to make things well;
It’s lunchtime and here i am sitting in my van parked in a grocery store parking lot, blowing my nose in a used napkin. A napkin previously used to blow my nose. Homemade vinaigrette sits on the dash
in hopes that the December sun is heavy enough to break through the overcast and liquefy the coagulated coconut oil. It won’t. And I realize that if I were sitting in my Prius, instead of my work van I would satisfy so many generalizations right now, with my pony-tail, writing poetry, drinking kombucha. Maybe I don’t need the Prius after all. Maybe the Prius needs me. And the high-schoolers yell at each other across the parking lot, desperate for attention, and the stay-at-home moms sit
in their vans, just a little longer, enjoying the silence that comes from an afternoon car-ride nap. If i listen closely, the traffic swells become fingertips of the beach, trying to pull me back into her, while the douglas-fir gently wave goodbye.
Wave after wave lapping at this molecular shore wishing to be dust. We’re gathered on this family bed playing at making each other laugh— her joy and his excitement have no lampshade. We watch each other learn from each other, still these voices echo into some distant future where caves have not yet been painted. I’m gathering all of my attention in order to try to give it to them, yet the best I can do is tell myself it’s not enough, and they don’t think so, but they do think something is missing. They know it and show it in there timidness which is just questioning acceptance. Self-righteousness is innocence refracted. In my head the next morning the scene is something like the end of the world and we’re bunkered in a cave instead of the bed and I’ve got my arms wrapped around them trying desperately to apologize, to make amends, to comfort them and I’m singing in my head but crying while rocking back and forth while plump, fat raindrops smack the windshield and I realize that all of these receptors are also transmitters all that receives also gives.
I woke up this morning to a wrinkled face in the sheets staring back at me, mouth open in sleep. I thought maybe it is the sheets memory of you, and this its performing art. Or is it my performing art and the sheet my stage? I like the way you look when you’re sleeping, because I know you won’t be asking me for something, at least not anything that I’m not already willing to give. If I try to whisper into your ear, or where your ear should be, would the words animate the bedspread, get it to do a little jig? at least that’s what comes to mind in this morning reverie. I haven’t gone outside yet, but I know its likely to be peppermint and whiskers. Like in a dream that’s a memory of a dream, I slide further into the covers and wonder at what it might be like to stay in bed all day. Blanketed by crow haws and blind-filtered light, and the answer comes by the way of cramps and a runny nose. And I sneeze and the sheet- face is covered in snot and spit and now it really starts to get real, I’ve got to jump out of bed, otherwise the day, like this poem, would have no point.
How was it that your skin and my skin got wrapped up in these melodies. Vibrations. Incantations and memories. I can feel you now, closer. Can you feel me too? We look to the sky as if it holds our meaning. You are like a ladybug living in the creases of a door jamb, who may not ever know the full breadth of the sky. Still we wonder why. With your look and my hook we fall back into each others skin, drifting, to our own rhythms. Still, the way forward is back and we’re always trapped, trapped, trapt. Still. Your eyes and my lies are like oceans of sky and we are creators of clouds and rain and mountains of waves. Leave. Don’t leave me. Bleed. Don’t need me. I do not get lonely, I am lonliness. I hold you in my caress and it’s always me me me. Leave, but don’t leave me.
It’s like that time, remember, you drifted through the crowd with purpose and ease. You saw every way forward, every crease. With only one aim in your heart: to feel the music. Toward the thumping speakers you drift, beating with the rhythm that held your whole body together, held the earth in place. Holy melodies shook thunder from the dome-sky. All you wanted was to feel it, coursing through your entire body, like aching desire. And there was no stopping you. Remember? the sweet release.