“B”

I thought I knew you

from another room,

but you said your name was Gaby

and I only knew one of you,

(and I didn’t want to know Gabby again).

So I crumpled up “b” into a box,

pushed it to the back of my closet,

burned the closet,

and looked up, at you.

 

You are bright, flowing, happy.

 

You make New York trees laugh in winter,

the ones with no lights on 27th street,

swaying on sidewalks.

 

The voice, the energy, the knowing.

 

Who knows why.

 

Your voice draws me in:

low and light and dark in one moment,

calm and cool, you collect me up,

make some joke about not knowing street signs

so I laugh,

I walk west,

explain what west means in a city on the East coast,

far from home.

 

I’m wearing the hat that made you laugh

and call me cute, and I smile,

because I know I’ll see you again soon–

new room, new puzzle, one less “b.”

 

December 5, 2018

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To Men Who Take But Don’t Give

You’ve taught me:

it’s hard

to love yourself

when you give yourself up

like meat for slaughter

when you’re taught

you are not an animal,

you are the meat;

you are a hole to be filled

and wiped clean afterwards;

you are the microphone

through which he speaks.

 

Even before I fuck you

I’ll remember my name,

part of the heavens you’ve never seen,

let alone touched.

 

Leave me alone to write, without you.

 

Your gaze makes me too tired to speak.

 

This is my time to breathe,

not your time to sink me down with you.

You’re 4 months into America

and you think you can laugh at our president?

Tell me what street to take?

 

Sex led me to you?

 

Is that what we did?

No.

 

You cannot touch

what you cannot see–

your heart is nowhere on this table,

on this bed. Your ego lifts you

(to make up for your small dick).

 

Am I right?

Do you believe in “right”?

Me neither.

But I do believe in justice.

 

What do you believe in?

 

December 6, 2018

An Apology

Does it feel like I’m standing on a pedestal,

lining up facts to throw at you

like pies in the face:

wham,

wham,

wham?

 

Is that where the education you sacrificed

so much to get me has left us?

One longing to be understood;

one in another world,

where fathers raise belts

and call their daughters stupid

and cheat on their wives,

make their daughters believe it,

even at 55?

 

Is that why you look away?

I feel threatening,

on another plane,

a plane you do not think

you are capable of reaching?

 

I am sorry, mom.

I never meant to make you feel alone,

abandoned, like he did.

I never meant to shut you out of another world.

 

He was wrong.

Look at all the choices you have made:

look at all you have created for yourself,

for your children.

 

I want to look you in the eye,

tell you you are smart before beautiful,

that it is okay to talk about difficult times

and keep going with no interruptions

until you run out of words.

 

I want to tell you how proud I am of you,

how lucky I am to be your daughter.

 

What different lives we have lived,

both birthed from the same stone.

 

We are humming, we are singing,

and we will dance, hand in hand, soon.

 

November 22, 2018

Oh, heart

How many ways can a heart break?

How many ways can it be seen?

 

It’s different than being watched–

that’s what they teach us

(that’s what I’ve learned, anyway).

 

They are watching me, all of them:

walking, sitting, eating, drinking,

readying themselves

to be the same animal I am.

 

But they don’t teach us that.

Animals?

What animals?

 

Do squirrels know a broken heart?

A lost friend, cousin, partner,

hopeful wanna-be?

Do humans have a “special”

bone in their bodies?

 

Back to heart break, then.

 

One way, friendship.

You make excuses.

You give them the room they need to hurt you

because you love them, and so they leave you

(congratulations on your wedding–

your dress was snug, but otherwise alright.

P.S. I don’t know how to forgive you).

 

Sometimes, you hurt them, friends.

Sometimes, you don’t know how or why.

Letter to future self (heck no, past self):

communication is a measure of maturity.

If someone won’t talk to you, it’s not your fault.

Go find someone that will, and send your love

to the quiet one. Fuck them, but love them anyway.

 

And then there was the time you fell in love with her

anyway, the time you learned that it was possible.

The world of love is not only “he’s” and “she’s.”

That is good.

 

And then you look behind that crevice in your heart’s

third chamber and you see all the “he’s”:

the high school acquaintance, the high school sweetheart,

the best friend. You see the quiet, lonely college boy

in the body of a man, the head-one-size-too-big gentleman

who was not so gentle, took a plane to Berlin

and never called again. You see the stupid in-betweens

who you never really cared for, who sunk you down

slowly, slowly,

and the one you learned from for a year,

but still kind of reminds you of Arnie.

 

And then there’s you.

The perfect face. The perfect hair.

The perfect laugh. The perfect stare.

All the perfections of a momentary crush

that don’t seem to shake off.

 

You’re just the next one to break my heart.

 

I don’t want you to, though. It feels too good

thinking of you. So I’ll keep the talking to a minimum

in my head, save it for next time I see you and make up

another story of how I’m not good enough,

of the ways your perfection (I know “there’s no perfect,”

but you still mesmerize me)- could never consider

looking my broken hearted way.

 

But you don’t know how I feel, do you?

Why would you?

I’ve known you for 2 years

but have felt this for 2 months.

 

It never makes sense, remember?

 

Because humans are not special.

Because no one is watching.

Because we’re all just trying

to find someone,

some one,

to see us.

 

Titled inspired by/owed to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqvuydbEv10
September 30, 2018

A Song For You

To write a song for you…

I’m not sure

that would be enough

to conquer all the land mines

and droughts of ego,

to call back love and light and mystery

all in their due time.

You are an angel

from a sky I have not seen;

you are a fighter

sent to battle with the demons of our ancestors,

a capitalistic machine

that drowns us all in its own way;

you are the oxygen tank.

 

Take your place on the stage, my dear,

and I will hear your heart sing before your lungs,

will promise to throw every rose

from my garden up to you,

to let you take a bow,

to strike up a conversation with my neighbor

when he says, “God damn, that child sure does know how to sing,”

to which I will say, “And she sure does know how to live.”

 

May 6, 2018