I am not good at waiting. It makes me angry to be caught in that impossibly itchy space where I want an answer right now, any kind of answer, but also I don’t want an answer, because what if the answer is no?
I want silence and salt and a temporary reprieve from wanting.
I want to be enough. For others. For myself.
Aries: This week let yourself be open.
Not like a door but like a hand,
which is to say you must break
any promise you’ve made to emptiness.
It might take practice.
Open a book you’ve already read
and imagine yourself as a short sentence
at the end of a long chapter. How you might
be an answer if you allow others
to claim you. If you don’t run.
On Tuesday good news will come to you
or at least rain on a sidewalk
your knees have already memorized.
Don’t go looking for guilt.
It will leave a stain no amount of blood
could ever get out.
This morning a girl in her early twenties sat across from me on the train. She was so beautiful it was painful to look at her. I tried and failed not to stare.
She was heavily tattooed. Ink covered her hands, her arms, her neck, her face. Under her right eye it said “Beauty” in a loopy script. Above her left eyebrow was a long word that began with a W: “Wonderland,” maybe.
Beauty. I wanted to ask her about it. The irony of permanently labeling something that won’t last. The irony of carrying a word you can’t see unless you look in a mirror, and then it’s no longer itself but only its reflection.
This post by Roxane Gay—http://roxanegay.tumblr.com/post/92447793995/we-lie-the-most-to-ourselves—my god. It kills me. I love that woman. Brilliant writer, incredible person.
I’ve been thinking a lot about personal narrative lately. How we make ourselves vulnerable by sharing something, but also how it makes us stronger to acknowledge an experience or a feeling. Here is this thing that I lived through, and now that I’ve labeled it, it’s outside of me. When you can name something, you have power over it.
Today while I was reading Roxane’s post it occurred to me that I write about personal things because I don’t want to talk about them.
I want to make something with words, every day or most days. Something small.
A thought a question a scream.
The ENT doctor says I should practice screaming. Go in the closet and scream, he says. I would have to slip a note under the neighbors’ doors. On Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. do not be alarmed by the screaming. It’ll be just me and my paralyzed vocal cord learning about each other.
I had a daily origami calendar some years ago. Today let’s make an elephant. A boat a butterfly a crane. Bright glossy squares of promise.
Today let’s make a song for one vocal cord.
palmarejo’s got front row
seats if what she thinks
is true about poets. i know
how you poets gets down
she jokes. cos she always
jokes. about my loneliness.
i know how you poets
get down she says watching
me watch the waves wipe out
whatever’s out there. give me
all the pretty heavy stones for
the pockets of my old floral
dress. & yes i’ll let them take me.
not cos i’m a poet, but cos i need
to know who should, on their sunburned
knees, beg for mercy
the rocks or the sea.