infinite tenderness

Being reunited with your first childhood love is something that feels very sudden, out of place, yet completely in place: fitting like a puzzle piece into your life. Seeing her again is like closing my eyes on a rollercoaster and opening them again only when they tell you to take off your seatbelt: and you feel like you’ve missed out on this whole middle chunk and you wished you were there to see it (yet you also don’t), so you just get the end product delivered to you. No labels. No preamble. Just the person with a smile that has shifted slightly and eyes that have lost and gained hope for what seems like centuries. And you remember seeing her joyous and naïve and ignorant, her eyes wide open like gemstones begging for light, for life to hit them. But it’s still all there. And the whiff you smell when she passes you is always the same and you know that if you were to squeeze her all into one drop of essential precious oil, it would smell as strongly and beautifully as it did three years ago. She wears scars now, but she also wears the same golden nail polish, and this little curious quirk has popped up in her- and it drives me crazy: her curiosity for life. She’s sticking her tongue out to taste what it feels like to be alive. And I’ll always feel this infinite tenderness towards her.

the job of a writer

As a writer, I must observe the earth as if everything unfolding before me were a delicate petal slipping through the ring of my right thumb. I’m grasping it, I’m nearly there at having it all figured out but I’ll have to take another look- that’s my attitude on everything I discover. I’ll look at you, but not only in the eyes, and I won’t just read you like a book. I f you let me, I’ll submerge myself completely into water colored by the ink of your most terrible impulses. I’ll learn to memorise the way your knees click, how many times a day you tiptoe, what fingers you use to tap surfaces. I’ll notice how the wind creates fluctuations in our lives and I’ll learn that though I cannot grasp, I can try to imitate nature’s way of dancing with me and waltz across paper to explain it all. I’ll never be able to explain it all, and the size of the shard you’re given is either too big or too small- we’ll never know. What I can know is, what I’ll search to listen for at 4am (crickets), what emotions allow me to sink into a leather chair and what environment spills like hot lava over my nerves. I can learn how to sink languidly with how being this “me”, this “human”, feels like. I haven’t been given an instruction booklet so sometimes I still can’t fathom reactions this body will muster up; but I have figured out that this lead digging into paper or what my mind is able to string together and expel into the outer world will always be my task and my mother’s embrace. Not like a net or an anchor, but more like an overhead cloud or the gravel under my feet.

I think the biggest gift is being able to find beauty in the smallest of occurrences. And constantly being shocked by it, like a child.

goodbye, dear mind

sometimes,

i simply wish to

fold myself up

into a so very,

almost invisible

suitcase

i’ll pack a few things;

my toothbrush,

maybe a pencil,

and a glass of water

(hopefully it won’t spill)

 

so, once i’m

all cozy,

fuzzy,

in this small

wrapped up

form,

i’ll bend my knees,

hear them squeak,

oil them up,

and push through,

bounce up,

from this body of mine

 

like a newly

bought spring,

with the sound of

a sparkling water bottle

opening,

i’ll pop out of

myself

not elegantly,

but practically

 

i’ll leave behind

a trail,

of effervescent bubbles

effervescent

preoccupations

as they buzz behind

me, like the engine

of the spaceship

i have become

 

more things fall

off behind me,

indignantly,

and sway back down,

sighing, back

to my old

clockwork body;

 

they’re

crumpled up

repetitions

of repetitions,

reputations,

what if’s bouncing

off walls of

hopes belonging

to cellophane

preoccupations

 

and more

repetitions,

repetitions,

repetitions of

a made up realm

composed of screeching

sonnets about who i am

and off-key

C majors of confusion.

 

gone.

 

inhale,

as it all sheds off

like bored snake skin.

 

at last,

i shoot off farther,

i feel the one obsidian weight,

peel off, finally,

like an old worn sticker

from my childhood.

 

goodbye, dear mind

 

 

 

evening waves

Evening waves,

tell the most beautiful of tales.

 

Electronic

grid-like fluctuations,

jittering trepidation:

 

waves,

 

lulling

each other out of and back to

incandescent

sleep.

 

Murky mercury

hiding under slick

silver.

These

glowing

pre-pubescent hills,

too scared to expand,

hence, retract,

push back.

 

Suddenly with a playful,

almost knowing

glint,

they change their mind,

and roll forwards,

loll their head back,

with hair that

sprinkles baritone

hums

down the ocean’s spine.

 

Hums of

an unrecognizable

tale;

just like the tide,

it spirals out of its

shell as rapidly as it

scurries back

behind a

wave’s swish

of a gown,

hiding their blooming

flourishing

cheeks:

 

ready to exhale

salty relief.

 

And if the tide

subsides

and if

the waves

turn sleepy,

eyelids folding over the shore

with what seems

like

infinite

patience,

 

then, humans lean

over. Look closer,

and in this miracle,

they see

featherlight depictions

of who they dream

to be:

sensual figures

skate alongside

waves,

ever morphing

ever merging,

becoming one.

 

For that second,

life seems a bit more

mystical.

capsize

I can’t muster up,

roll up,

a compendium of courage

just enough

to balance onto this string,

so i’m always on

tiptoes,

either grappling for gravity

or

floating (so high I can’t feel my fingers)

 

teach me these few

things, how not to:

clip fingernails to

split knives, then try to trace my face

or smash teacups

because the house has

ceased to whisper (i can’t stand silence)

or scorch the tips of pencils

when words stay hanging below my throat,

limply,

refusing to move any

farther onto paper

 

sometimes,

if my mind eases on the accelerator,

i’ll make sure to

stand under a storm

and hope for lightning

i’ll have my hands full of

plasma coalesced into electricity

(so blue it could burn your eyes)

at least there’s this

effervescence,

i may say,

that I can dissect,

squint into,

pick and fiddle with

like an old toy

made out of unknown

mechanisms

 

my life is a time bomb

and i’m running away from

the silence between each tick

tick

tick.

from feeling like

an empty hotel room with

undone beds.

don’t leave me vacant,

 

 

I’d rather capsize a boat

than have it float

aluminum plates/airplane ride

It feels so raw,

skin burns on every surface I

press onto.

I’m slicing myself up

to fit into the small seat

compartment

where both handles by

my side are magnets

pulling towards each other

 

the plane aches too.

like my mind,

it swindles,

wobbles,

trembles for a split

second.

before allowing a moment

of catatonic stillness

 

stillness that’s ready to

pounce

my thoughts

ready to bounce

off any

surface, just waiting

for the night light

to shine orange,

or the unlatching

of a seatbelt.

 

anything to grasp on to

hungrily, and

claim it

for its own,

interlaced with

the past,

and

maybe something

stranger.

 

i’ll sit back and allow

it all to

linger

not like in the movies

it wasn’t a spark

it was nothing so romantic

but it kept our hearts

squealing

beating

silently

languidly

under each other’s

fingernails

 

and it licks my lips close

and tickles my teeth.

Ungraspable-

i want to be able

to look past your eyes

catch whispers of ramblings

as you skip two steps

or catch your breath

and hold it in for a second too long-

what do you think of then?

 

i’ll spill out my fears

splay them out on the table

like cards,

shards of my nonsensical mind,

you can pick what you want

or just rip them all in halves or quarters.

 

and this heart can’t expect,

but here I am;

 

and I want to know

how your lashes cut like

the edge of a waning crescent

or maybe how they feel on my skin

after a shower,

 

or count the times you’ve

mumbled velleities about how

you don’t like your freckles

on the seams of

your cheeks

 

and everyday

we’ll stretch like a

spring

bounce back

retract

come back

 

it won’t be perfection

more like a dissection

of this affection

(p.s and that’s what i love about it)