It’s like there’s something missing.
More than a watch you check that’s been left on the bedside table
but less than a limb.
A slight pulling down where the absence is, in the deep of my chest.
A small French bistro I didn’t know of,
I feel it.
Cold sheets as I get in late,
I feel it.
A mention of the place you were born, or a place we said we’d go, a beautiful day we never spent having fried chicken and champagne.
There are still dishes in the sink,
but there are only two.
I needed you to pick up the slack
when I was lacking
but instead I carried the weight
and it weighed me down.
And this thing that’s missing
that’s been ripped from me has left a hole but I guess it means
I can imagine my life in a lot of ways.
I’m an artist.
I’m a social worker.
I’m a traveler with a backpack and a ukulele that walks the borders of people’s lives stopping by for their capital moments and leaving to a port, passing to my next adventure.
The honest truth is I am overwhelmed by the trauma in the world.
Should I illuminate it in scenes that make you question your own morality?
Shall I work, and callus my hands in the rough of the this reality or should I run? Run through and learn and question and return only to realize I can’t live like this anymore. I can’t live in a society of things that hold value, rather than life. In a place where people’s problems are too small when I know that all you need to be happy is clean water, warmth and enough food so you can sit and share, and laugh and love.
But that love is important too. And in whatever life I imagine I want that. A love that stretches past my vast valleys of imperfections and who will share theirs with me. A love that can withstand and give strength in the bends of life. And as we take those tight corners, whatever we imagine, will be together.
In summer I always long for Winter.
I want to wrap myself up into an indiscernible shape of scarves and shawls and pretend they aren’t just blankets that I’m wearing.
I want to sit inside while it rains and knit for hours.
I want to cuddle next to that specific man who will let me read and pour me more coffee when he gets up.
I dream of sugar plums and wooly tights.
But in the winter the novelty runs out quick. I get tired of wet socks and dry heated rooms.
In Winter I always long for Summer.
I want grass between my toes while I lay under a tree looking up at the changing negative space between branches.
I want to play in water under the sun with a paddle and a boat, in a current, on the sand as waves brush up to my manicured feet.
But summer looses its appeal as I overheat in the humidity.
In summer I always long for winter.
How big must my megaphone be
For you to hear me?
This is my favorite dress.
I bought it from a store I managed on Haight Street in San Francisco when I was 24.
It was a sample, one of a kind and I felt like a fairy in it.
It required no bra and I required no restrictions. We were a good match for each other.
Some might say it looks delicate as the lace flutters around my thighs, but, I know. This dress sat on sidewalks chain smoking cigarettes in the Castro. It danced in drug induced trances with new and old friends where we lived like sardines.
This dress moved to NEw York City with me and we endured cat-calls and harsh words. A casting director called me plain in this dress. He explained, to a room full of people, wasn’t it amazing how my talent shown so bright while I was so very plain. And as I walked along side Madison Square Park I saw myself shining in car reflections and my dress told me I was beautiful, and I knew it was right, and that man was insane.
In New Orleans I was invited to a party and I went because I didn’t know anyone. I was New. I wore my favorite dress and as I put it on I thought of the cold California beach breeze grazing my underwear throwing up my skirt, I thought of that mad man calling me plain, and I thought how scary it is to go to this party alone. I rode my bike in the humid air and I felt my pink slip clutch my waist. I felt safe. I sang a song out load. I felt like me. And when I got there you were there. You looked at me like I wasn’t just my dress or what was under it. You told me one truth and one lie and it made me smile. And now when I turn to my favorite dress like an old friend, for comfort or confidence, you are in its history too.
There are allegations
About inappropriate relations
And I hear men say
"This is a hot subject right now."
Well Sir, right now you have to consider if Ashley really wanted to come home with you.
Did Chevon only acquiesce
because she was tired of being pressed
at that one innocent drink you promised?
Right now you have to look at those idols that you hold so dear: actors, politicians, artists
and is it still not clear?
That right now
You are being asked to look into a past
That we have already lived through.
That I can tell you from personal experience is true.
That on the best day it's a passer by
And on the worst it's a professor, peer or partner groping uninvited up my thigh.
A ***** cannot hold a person down and **** them, people do.
So it's not genitals that are under attack in this millennial it is the lack of accountability.
It's a culture that needs to address masculinity.
Like the feeling when you wake up to a rainy morning on your day off. How your neck curls into the pillow as you pull up your fluffy duvet and you feel a special safety, certain comfort.
His words are as exact.
Choosing every syllable carefully as if laying mosaic. I'm not always good at understanding the picture. I obsess about one tile that feels out of place until he asks me to step back, the precision allows a specific illusion, but it's so easy to get lost in the cannery yellow and aqua marine.
Out of context these variants of primary colors can lead me to so many different places and I often find myself in an entirely different scene, drifting down a stream of consciousness made of letters.
Sometimes he'll come with me on this journey, indulging my imagination. But these scenes of mine are more like water color, each brush stroke bleeding into the next.
And he is different.
He is pedantic.
He can obsess over finding just the right way to say something even when I understand, even when I'm there. And while I take an anxious breath allowing us both space to grow and stretch, I take comfort in the universe he creates.
I take comfort in the exactness of the words he strings together.
I take comfort in his pedantic way because he specifically says, "I love you."