My relationship with my father is fine, is unexceptional, is of no note. He is a father.
I have not spent my life trying to gain his approval through crumpled photocopies scrounged up in the shapes of other men, and pressed sweet against me in the dark. I don’t hunt for his Love, because he gave it to me before I was even born. He put his hand on my mother’s stomach when the fetus of me couldn’t kick yet, and he loved me.
The sort of “issues” I’m working with, they’re not about a Father. A Dad. A Pops, a Padre, a Holy Ghost. A Daddy.
My “issues” are your boy held me down by my throat in the dark at a party, that I didn’t even want to go to. That his best buddy took photos and passed them around. That one of their group was on Yearbook and blackmailed me and I was sixteen and didn’t know better.
I didn’t know better. I say that as if it’s all on me.
My "issues" are seeing a girl I used to climb trees with when we were kids, writing **** on my locker in marker. That I know her grandmother tsked when she saw me, gossiped about me after church. Told her granddaughter to make sure she “Doesn’t end up like that girl down the block.” Made comparisons to cows and free milk while I hid bruises under the dresses she disapproved of.
Sometimes I’d see that girl in the school hallways, sometimes she and her friends would eye me and whisper. Always I wanted to walk over and ask
what her grandmother said about the boys.
My issue is with the ones trying to exploit possible issues. // Remember being a teenager? That was messed up.
We read our books and pretend to not make glances at each other. We smile as if the pages in the book had tickled at our sides. We write love stories in our heads and forget about the ones on the page. An uncomfortable warmth surrounds us as we pretend not to pose ourselves in our chairs. As if we are offering ourselves to the sun to immortalise this youthful love. Our hands quiver as we turn each page. Like these stories will ours come to a brief end? And though you and I are nothing, destined for deletion, taunted by extinction. We pray that these feelings are more than that. But when I see the stars in your eyes my worries float away, for I know this love is cosmic.
~ Holding court at the Zanzibar, they looked on good nights like Egyptian Queens, like Ancient Babylonians.
On not so good nights, they resembled Brassaï's Moma Bijou - "fugitives from Baudelaire's bad dreams", and even then they looked magnificent.
Identity wasn't something you nailed yourself into in late adolescence. It was a trick of the light, and if you were to avoid burning yourself out, then you simply let the flames lick over you and turned the ashes into kohl. ~
Deep sleeping delta breathing Breath of subtle water air Salivating in mid summer airs- Night view on the dark pavement. Hands on it feeling upward rising Warmth. Gazing up at the sun Red, Pink, Orange and Blue coalescing infinitely. The Sky Earth Action in my memories m e m o r i e s
We never got to be teenagers together, because by that time, I was gone. I needed to be, or I would have been forever but leaving you behind was painful.
You bullied me, but I held faith that it was just you being a kid.
But we never got to be teenagers, doing the simple things like sitting next to eachother on the sofa I wanted to be there after your first kiss, to gossip over boys. I want to share a drink, a joint, a tattoo, with you.