Shoulder

This city is too big when I can’t place you on its map
you’re everywhere but here
how hard it is to cross paths with someone accidentally
how simple it is when it is planned
how true it is that we make our own way in this world
and I would make mine towards you, if only I knew how

I have my camera with me today
I normally tell you when I have my camera with me
but not this time
regardless, though, your chin will be resting gently on my shoulder
as always
and always.

A Small Reminder

I fear you are forgetting me
and so I write this small reminder
that I am still sat in that garden
which is no longer riddled with petals
but could still somehow be kinder.

I watch the sprouts we planted
they’re peeking through the soil
their small green heads are hesitant
they remember February’s toil

They know that once they come up
they will face the sun’s sustaining light
they will feel its warmth encompassing
its touch, its prospect, its bright

So, yes, the sprouts are wary
for they know of the sun’s rays
and how although they come out reaching
they always recede at the end of the day

And so they quiver in ground, a meadow of disheartened seedlings
for its painful to grow accustomed to something
that is so often prone to leaving.

Before Sleep

Here is your bed
which smells of you
you wouldn’t know it
but the people who love you do

Here is the curve your body made over time
here are two rows of lashes
meeting in a single dark line

Here is the quiet
the hush
the hum
here are all the thoughts you try to run from

Here passes the face of the person you miss
here comes the sudden phantom of that kiss

Here is the wondering what it means to be you
the answer changes nightly
but every answer is true

And here comes the stillness
may in it peace you find
look, there goes your soul – upwards
and your heart 
mingling with your mind.

A Brief Description of My Quarantine Body

(written on april 30th, 2020)

It’s the same as my normal body – it is my normal body – just thicker. When I lay down, I can reach my hand up my shirt and grab at the skin below my ribs, and it packs between my fingers soft and pillowy and thicker than I remember it  being in a long time. I’ve picked at the stars on my thighs; they’re red now, inflamed and bursting. There are jungles growing, with new species emerging, making sounds like obscenity in the most holy of hours. I’ve cut crescents off my finger tips; one got caught in the sky and now it’s Ramadan. My curls are slept on and silly, like little me in a rectangular picture, smiling carelessly with small, new teeth.

New Star

I miss the sounds of engines
tearing through the night;
do you remember when you went 100
on that dark road beside our secret
and I gripped the seat and laughed?

The silence isn’t so bad
sounds reach me from every corner of the hills
dogs barking and insects chirping and children screaming;
spring is still spring, even now

The sirens don’t disturb me much anymore;
I forget about them until they seep in through the screen windows
and I stop at the kitchen sink with a suddy plate in my hands and think,
“Oh,
that’s right.”

Mama found a new star in the sky
she sees it when she’s on the balcony smoking
at first, she thought it was a plane
and watched it and waited for it to move but it didn’t;
she tells me to take a photo of it
I say my camera doesn’t go that far

I don’t know when I’ll see you again
I think about it sometimes — often
the weight of my body hitting into yours
and the way you’ll stumble backwards when you catch me;
if that star is still in the sky when we meet, I’ll point it out to you
and maybe
if we both reach together
we’ll be able to grasp it.

Quarantine Stream of Consciousness (2)

It’s apparently day 5. It feels nice to know — I  had already lost count. There’s music playing right now so I may not be able to formulate proper sentences. I keep having bouts of feeling really low. It might be because I can’t leave the house and distract myself, and it might be because even when this ends I still won’t be able to go see him. I was reading some of Sylvia’s journals, and it broke me to see that she did not want to die. I don’t think anyone does, even if they do end up taking their own life. It feels like a necessity to them, nothing more. I’m trying to surround myself with the thoughts and writings of strong women, I don’t want this to break me, though when I think about it I feel as though I’m going to drop down and die. I am not talking about what you think I’m talking about. I would rewind. I would go through those days again. At least the outings. I wish I had done more in them. But I don’t think I would have been able to act any differently even if I was aware. I still don’t know what’s going to happen. I know what must happen, but I don’t know what will. Both outcomes are up to me. I think I may choose wrong again. I don’t think I would be able to forgive myself for choosing right.

Quarantine Thoughts (in an unedited, stream-of-consciousness, numerical list)

The world is being asked to stay indoors. It’s something I do often, but certainly not this much. Being at home when the world outside your door seems to be catching fire, you being to think, and become more aware of your thoughts. Here are some thoughts I had today.

  1. This virus is making me nervous without me realizing. It comes out in a temper I haven’t felt in a while.
  2. I miss him.
  3. The garden of my home is enchanting in the rain. Pure magic.
  4. I can’t keep eating.
  5. Getting paid for writing actually sometimes makes you want to write more. Sometimes it doesn’t.
  6. I’d write for free, I always have.
  7. There’s that longing again. I miss even his nose.
  8. I am very aware of my hands and the things they hold.
  9. Don’t stay on your bed for too long.
  10. My mother is everything.
  11. I hope my dad is okay.
  12. It should have been me.
  13. When will he do it, when will he do it?
  14. No, I can’t sleep this early anymore. Midnight is early for me now.
  15. Who knows when it’ll happen?
  16. I’ll keep praying, in the mean time.
  17. Germs on the carpet.
  18. Pray anyway. Pray.

A Wind that Won’t Stop Blowing

Since February 8th
I have felt as if I were sitting on my knees in a garden in which all the flowers have been ripped out;
there is nothing around me but overturned soil and leftover petals
and a sweet perfume
that every moment gets swept away more completely
by a wind that won’t stop blowing.

Forgotten Things

I half-woke at night’s peak
he stirred me, he must have
and the first thing I felt was the breadth of the sky
and the boldness of each star
hinged there, pridefully in their domain;
I had forgotten they were of the throne

At night’s peak, heaven is widest
so wide that it engulfed the bed
and yet that warmth dragged at me
the warmth of my blood, which in sleep means ‘life’
which I knew once I had been drained of
though was somehow still kept breathing;
I remembered this curious fact at night’s peak
and other forgotten things

But they were not enough
not on their own
to shake me from my warmth
so he willed a timely reminder
an echo that met no walls;
I shuddered, the half-waking now full
and the starlight surged
and in its glow, I saw beneath me not a bed
but dirt.