Jun 14, 2017

Letter to my Wife on our Wedding Day

Dear Marine,

This morning I rose like it was Christmas morning at six years old.

You bring out the child in me.

I have been dreaming of this day for so long,

Going over all the details in my head,

Trying to bottle perfection into one blissful day.

But there will be other, unexpectedly perfect days ahead with you.

There will be cozy afternoons with nothing we need to do

except cuddle each other, eat junk food,

and watch Netflix.

There will be date nights in the city

and vacations to places we always said we'd go.

There will be the birthdays of children

we haven't even met yet,

and graduation days we have been waiting for.

There will be long drives, and shopping trips,

Nights out and days in.

There will be days we don't do anything together,

but where I'll get to meet new people

and brag about my wife.

Today is the start of so many love poems.

This is the day we build something new.

So many people talk about falling in love,

as if they tripped on something in their path,

and love was splattered there on the road,

and thus, they fell into it.

As if it is something clumsy and embarrassing to do.

I never fell in anything.

I willingly opened the door and you were standing there

on the other side, beckoning me to enter.

I crossed the threshold without any second thought,

and today I shall close the door behind me.

Today it is you and I

Together for as long as we are granted in this lifetime.

Today we tie a knot that can never be unwound

Today I shall commit my life to you

and it will not be with fear or anxiety,

It will be with my whole heart,

Which has always belonged to you

My darling Marine,

Today is ours.

Love,

Your (almost) wife.

Comments

Oct 16, 2014

California

When the night creeps in

Long and awake before me

I am remembering you.

I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling

and dreaming of waves

and salt.

To cry is not a weakness-

It is my own attempt

to summon you from the confines

of my head

and onto the paleness of my cheeks.

To let you try to touch me again.

Comments

Aug 24, 2014

Wonder Woman Decides to Get a Haircut. Why?

Because patriarchy is for suckers

And Wonder Woman ain’t down for all that.

Wonder Woman doesn’t have to adhere to archaic standards

Of western beauty.

Also, who can fly around and fight crime

With all that hair in their face?

No one drew her a hair tie so she’s cutting it off.

Wonder Woman ain’t out here to please men.

She has things to do.

She’s gonna get a haircut and keep it pushin.

Wonder Woman wonders why her hair is so damn important

To you.

She saw a note on facebook about how short haired

Girls are damaged

So she got to chopping.

Wonder Woman doesn’t need permission

Or an explanation.

She did not just go through a breakup,

Or a break down.

She is not having a phase

Or on her period.

Trust me,

She can still save the motherfuckin world

While she’s on her period.

Wonder Woman is tired of spending hours

In front of the mirror fixing her hair.

Her femininity is not defined by flowing locks.

In fact, her femininity is not even defined

By her womanhood.

She defines it

However the fuck she wants.

Wonder Woman wants her hair

To match her shorts.

Short.

Also, maybe Wonder Woman

Likes other wonderful women

And wants to display a little more visibility.

Wonder Woman don’t have to explain shit to you.

She only wants to know why you never spend

This much time

Talking about Superman’s hair.

Comments

Ferguson, From Berlin

It is not enough

To unfollow these sorry fools on Facebook.

When my time line

Devolves into bullshit and victim blaming,

A wasteful circle of whose grammar

Is incorrect

As if knowing the difference

Between their and there

Will bring somebody

No one in this thread knows personally

Back from the grave.

As if changing the point from

Someone’s murder

To your personal feelings

A whole coastline away

Is going to save anyone this time.

 

I am sitting in a room in Berlin,

Scrolling through facebook.

Outside the streets are busy,

The market smelling of Turkish delight

And curry wurst.

Not so long ago

These streets looked like Ferguson.

looked like Gaza.

looked like something someone shared

On my facebook wall this morning.

 

And we have started to block,

To unfollow

To click “hide”

To hide from the fact that just because

It isn’t happening here,

Doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

Doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.

 

It is easy to look around this

Gentrified neighborhood

At its graffiti art and high rise apartments

And forget that it was almost

Wiped clean from the face of the Earth.

 

My facebook wall

And the Berlin one

Are covered in chicken scratch,

In ugly and insulting,

But also in art-

In color and expression.

I just want the paint on these walls

To be loud enough.

Because I keep hearing the shit

And the trash and the ugly people

Who keep talking

Because they like to read their words splashed

Across walls

That ought to be torn down.

Walls that tell us that people

On the other side are different.

That struggling is controllable,

That silence is effective

That it’s all in our heads.

 

I am writing in Berlin

Where Hitler tried to murder

Every single unarmed Jew.

And history is shouting at me from every

Street corner and parking lot

While BBC news shows footage

From Ferguson.

Of another unarmed black boy

Being shot on his way home.

 

And I wake up thinking about it

Scrolling through pictures of dogs

And engagement rings

On my iphone

Until jarring images of tear gas

And rubber bullets

Come Technicolor through my screen.

 

I am hurt

And I am angry

And I am tired of people being told

Not to be hurt and angry

Because there are still thousands of humans

That no one got to say goodbye to.

The difference is that our gas chambers

Are livestreamed on youtube.

Comments

May 30, 2014

Conventional

When people ask me

If my girlfriend and I live together,

I tell them no.

Because they don’t know my definition of “live.”

They think it means that we

Reside in the same physical structure

At the same time.

That we always grocery shop together

And make rent payments

And do our laundry in the same washing machine.

There is an old Arabic proverb

That says, “to know someone,

You must travel with them.”

So if these people mean that we have

Seen each other

Lost in another country,

Weary and tired somewhere in between

Boston and New Orleans

With the same dusty pair of sneakers on,

And a number of times I probably

Took my frustration out on her.

Rolled my eyes

At her in Providence

And she rolled away from me

In the pull out sofa bed

In Columbus.

But she kissed me hard

On the train platform in Chicago,

Wrapped her arms round me

In San Francisco

And looked painfully into my eyes

In Dallas,

When the bus driver called everyone

To prayer,

And it was safer to just wait until we got

To Oklahoma

To hold hands again.

When it was pouring rain in Minneapolis

And I made her laugh when I said

This place always has too much weather.

She kept me warm in Vancouver

When we stayed in the cramped apartment

Under the stairs

And she complained sometimes

About me complaining.

She didn’t like how creepy Santa Cruz

Was in its off season

And she got frustrated when

I checked us in on facebook

Instead of checking when the Greyhound

Was leaving the station.

When we watched an Oklahoma sunset over

The flatlands,

And danced down Bourbon Street together,

Made love in more than a few odd places,

Learned to two step in Denver,

Finally met my grandfather

In his porcelain urn casket in New Jersey

Then cried about it

At a Taco Bell in New York City,

Spent the last of everything we saved

On a blackjack table in Vegas

And didn’t regret a thing.

The real adventure for us is going to be

throwing our roots down someplace.

signing a lease,

And loading our lives up into the same space

At the same time.

We have never lived together

In a conventional sense of the term.

But we have lived,

And we have done it together

And neither of us

Are very conventional anyways.

 

Comments

Apr 22, 2014

A Moment of Silence for Those Still Active in Their Addiction

My heart cracks
Each time she comes home
And tells me someone else
Has died.
Sometimes the names are familiar.
Sometimes they aren't,
But they sound like
"Sister"
All the same.
Other mouths are all gossip
And speculate.
Hers is a straight line
Begging itself into quiver.
She is learning now
More than ever
That addictions like these
Are just suicide on layaway.
That all of our bones
Are inches from the cliff
We will ourselves
Each morning
Not to jump from.

Comments

Mar 27, 2014

Comments

From My Eyes to My Stomach

After Andrea Gibson

Sometimes my tears

are just love letters

flying first class kamikaze pilot

into a gravity of weight

I will never be able to touch.

I peer down and see what the heart

and brain tell me I cannot.

This nervous system is a nervous wreck

masquerading itself

wretched and terrifying.

You are a stunning eclipse

A heaviness my eyelashes

will never understand.

One my eyelids do.

They close heavy at the thought of you

not understanding your purpose.

There are beautiful things you were made for.

You allow me to see better.

To not judge character by first glance appearance.

To look into eyes and hands and hearts

To cry open and often.

I pass you in mirrors-

Awestruck and shaken

You dart by and do not let me exhale

in the girth of you.

You are the ghost in the funhouse

Passing through mirrors

as if they don't exist.

As if they are stretching the truth

and I am still trying to convince you

that you are the best thing I have ever looked at.

Have I not told you that you are the only body

I have ever seen from and everything

about yours is perfect?

Everything about you is battle scar and war torn

and I swear I tried my best to help

but all I could do was watch.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

This at least is true.

Oh how I envy the hands

And that they have held you.

How I envy the legs

that must carry you.

How jealous am I of the blood

that passes through you

and the bones

that rest beneath you.

How painful it is to send

Each tear rolling off the cliff

of the chin.

Each drop is a love letter

the brain keeps telling me not to write.

Comments

Jan 15, 2014

Brandon

Last night I drove past the old train tracks

In Torrance.

The ones wedged between the high school

And Wilson park.

I thought about the summer nights I would sneak

Back here in the ’93 Toyota Camry

And let Brandon sit in the backseat

And kiss me.

He would open his mouth like

A slingshot

And his arm of a tongue

Would reach out and explore

The soft wetness of my mouth.

His face was clumsy

And his teeth covered in braces.

Brandon was an overgrown middle school

Mama’s boy,

And I was an overweight daddy’s princess.

Neither of us really liked the other.

Our late night make out sessions

were rehearsal for a play

Neither of us were pretty enough

To be cast in.

Two fumbling people searching

For someone else

To be alone with.

I liked his embarrassment,

His unwillingness to talk about us.

To proclaim to no one

That he was never in love with me

Because that parking lot

And those train tracks were not dress rehearsals

They were stumbled lines and script reads

With no stage set, no lights

Or costumes.

Only two people attempting to be the star

Of a show no one would ever watch.

Occasionally a freight train would rumble by

And I’d realize it was past 2 in the morning

I’d tell him I needed to get home

And he’d ask me to stay

And I’d say staying is for girlfriends

And I am not going to be that.

I’d think, staying is for people

Who love each other and I am just a freight train.

Rumbling through your mouth

In the middle of the night,

Not interested in the journey,

Only the destination.

I wonder if the train conductors

Ever noticed the steamed up car

Pulled over on the side of the tracks

And thought about who was inside.

They never thought about how we

refused to hold hands,

To only carry on our public displays of affection

In the backseat of my car,

How I reimagined other people

Across his face,

How we had classes together and never

Once caught each other’s gaze.

That boy was my starter kit for disguise,

An opening act for how

To hide men’s smiles in my throat

He was merely practice for

How to kiss a man

Open mouth

And never

Feel a thing.

Comments

Nov 21, 2013

A Response

NYC's The Inspired Word

Comments

Tumblr