A Note

To my beautiful baby brother:

you have to grow up in an age of social media

and all of its toxins

and it is not your fault.

You have no control over it,

nor do I.

All I want do to is live it for you—

the suicides,

the mass shooting threats,

every day life in boring ass high school —

keep it boring!

School was meant to be that way,

safe enough to be boring.

Not even the white people are safe,

not even the rich people.

My beautiful Puerto Rican brother:

do you fit in? do you like it? do you not?

Tell me more than “ugh.”

I know your innocent face,

your soul-searching eyes

I have seen your heart

and its pure essence

a thousand times.

I just hope I told you enough stories…

about how much you are loved,

and how smart and kind and handsome

you are, my brother — you can do it,

because it cannot last for much longer.

I will take every bullet of some child

calling out for help;

I will relive 9th, 10th — fuck, every grade

if that is what it takes to protect you,

to take up that space of wondering.

The world has changed

in just 10 short years between me and you.

Look at what Facebook has done,

kids sending Snaps 1,000 times a day.

My brother I do not know shit about “SnapChat”

but I know you are more than it,

I promise you.

Everyone is wandering,

looking for more than a screen—

and yet video games have saved you.

Play SmashBros all freaking day

if that is what it takes to save you, my boy,

from giving a damn what people think.

How do I protect you from this world…

this pit of society

that is eating minds and bodies alive?

How do I get you to talk truth?

Who cares “how.”

Know that it is enough to try,

enough to be with yourself,

fully.

Whenever your body yells,

“Trauma!”

“Pain!”

“Greif!”

Cradle every part

and say, “I am here for you, always.”

And remember:

your sister is here for you.

Always.

 

March 29, 2019

When you say “androgynous” I hear

bits of masculinity:

I feel more real this way.

Do I miss the flowing hair?

A veces … the high ponytails

and free forehead.

When I dress more “masculinely,”

when I embody that “ethos”

I flow out of some societal lens,

into some truth

that maybe the earth does have “feminine energy” —

astrology teaches it and lesbians believe it —

but I am a Capricorn and I am content

being grounded in brown boots

and only Earth below.

When we say masculinity belongs to

one group only

what does that say to the rest of us?

Dressing like I am not just

a pretty fucking flower…

it is so liberating

and yet one big fat nada:

it’s all I’ve wanted to be,

want to be,

and have been,

all along.

 

March 27, 2019

 

Also, check out this cool video on two folks’ definitions of identifying as non-binary versus androgynous: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsJUDFmauCI

 

 

Starfish

On Fridays,

I volunteer to bring food from companies around New York City—

consequently, close to wherever I am to begin with—

and bring it to nearby shelters.

It’s a lot easier than feeling like a shit

as a homeless man walks by on the subway

but what am I, are we, to do?

It’s somehow, in the mess of human history, a collective fault.

One of your great grandmothers or great uncles twice removed

allowed this to happen, god damn it (I wish it was that simple)!

He walks pigeon toed like my brother,

who was bought $3,000 orthotics and attended therapy for years.

He walked past 10, 50, 100 people who look more or less like me

and I don’t care if you’re a Puerto Rican-Italian mix with Brooklyn roots:

You have some money.

You took a shower this week.

You have some way in your pocket or in your chest

to communicate

and be heard…

We are all starfish.

How many do we save?

 

If you want to volunteer to help rescue food from companies and restaurants around New York City, check out https://www.rescuingleftovercuisine.org/. It’s a simple way to make a difference, and you can choose rescues that best fit your schedule. xo

 

March 15, 2019

White Houses

When someone lives

both near

and far

from your heart—

where do you go,

where do you start

to make sense

of that sense of loss,

that sense of time

passing like a train

past white houses

they have sat

and waited,

sat and, sat…

I see Paul in a fresh tuxedo and his bride in a gown

and I laugh:

how could this idiot get to be this “happy” before me?

Bullshit.

How’d this boy once a man cut me out of his social fabric

and still get the chance to be walked down the aisle?

Shit…

men are socialized that way:

the give and take, the call and response.

Somewhere in my heart, I missed you, Paul.

I missed all of you.

But finally, I am waving goodbye…

 

A throw back in many ways. Thank you, Vanessa Carlton: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SM3fEJyPrrg

 

February 28, 2019