it feels like you’ve been clenching your teeth for twenty-one years. grinding bone until they are dust settled in your lungs which every winter you cough up into pillars of smoke. chimney shafts of tissue and wet parts. in the springtime you once kissed a boy who the night before had walked for hours along the train tracks. he spoke to his mother for the first time in months and felt such love. your lips pressed against each other in a parting, a final goodbye. a first and last kiss because you needed to taste each other.
the first time you met he was holding a sign with the name of your city in dark marker on it. you wanted to kiss him among the bushes of rhododendrons in the tree park. you both buried your noses and smelled them, he had never seen them before. he spoke about a botany class and told you about the blossoms and asked if you knew what he was talking about. you said yes, your mother loves to garden. he plucked a soft petal off and pushed it into his mouth. he ate it with a gentle sweetness. he said it was his way of knowing a plant, by its taste. you wished to kiss him to feel the crushed flower between your mouths and embrace the earth with tongue.
you took him to a stream and he gave you a handful of trail mix. you laughed at the differences in how you ate. he in large handfuls going into his mouth while you separated your favorite pieces for last. then he cut mangoes into halves and you both ate them till your hands were sticky but you were so happy. and you both washed your hands in the stream, cool waters taking away the messy pieces on your skin.
when you stood up he said you looked gorgeous with the flowers behind your head on the tree. and setting sun lighting up your orchid hair, ablaze in halos. and you knew you had to have your mouths joined like one fighting animal, gasping for air—if not for the sanctity of such a moment. you walked down past a fountain dried up of water with cherubs grasping its pillar like a mother’s leg. you imagined each other tangled up like the branches and roots shooting from the ground to wrap among other vegetation. and you smiled softly as his warm arm pressed against yours, mere whispers of skins greeting.
the day you kissed, his lips had been on your cheek. and you pressed forward to meet his mouth in simple wonder of farewells. a homeless woman sang you love songs when you kissed that boy for the first and last time. he was going home and you knew that your words would stop meeting each other in late night conversations on the phone. laughter after breakfast. you had needed this time together and now it has passed. you had shared your favorite words together. numinous, ethereal, imminent. you shared your favorite shades of color: phthalo, cerulean, amaranth. your last words to him were next time I will take you to breakfast. and he smiled and agreed, though you both knew it would never come to be.
that is the simplest of loves. a love needed for a moment. just one kiss.
1 day ago // 40 notes
i. the hospital diaries
I am letting the cold wind wraps itself around my legs to shiver and make them break. I cannot feel anything besides the heaviness of my face—sloping into precipices of empty air. They gave me things to numb myself, to numb the pain but it has also numbed my intentions. I remember when I was in the hospital and the pain made me hands lose feeling and I was frightened. It was so much agony in my back and I could not remember to breathe, my sister coaching me while trying to touch me. To comfort me but afraid she might make it worse so her fingers only hovered above my skin with intention of caring and worry. Perhaps I would fade to ashes before her if she could have held me the way she wanted to. I could not open my eyes as spikes of pain raced up my body into my mouth where the only sound was rigid gasping. And behind my eyes all I could see were marigolds. I once told my sister they were my favourite flower and she said when she was little in school the teacher told her they meant death. It was to injure someone to gift them marigolds. Though I remembered large wreaths of them at an Indian wedding, their orange bodies on the ground and a man eating one of the blossoms. I never thought I would see something more beautiful. And so I saw their fruition of meaning behind my closed eyes as the IV was placed into my arm and my head could no longer hold itself up. My frightened friend who drove me to the hospital said it made her sick to see me like that. Suddenly hapless as a child, cocooned in a hospital blanket and unaware as to what was happening in my body.
ii. the day after
They pumped me full of percocet and sent me out into the cold evening where storm clouds were bubbling above. The next morning after escaping the confines of bed rest my friend came to get me. No more walking, she says. Worry is in her face and I love her endlessly for that. She sits me out in the sun and we eat lunch with dark lipstick and sunglasses on our face. We watch boys play volleyball and I ignore the throbbing in my back. Just five more minutes, a few more minutes in the sun before I have to lie in bed soundlessly waiting for the rolling aches to subside.
6 days ago // 9 notes
The clouds march beyond the hills here with thick legs but soft footing. Quickly they are creeping past the trees and small farms. If the wind rushes into my clothes, is it their hands reaching for comforts? I am finding faces among the dips of shadow on their misty heads and tracing their mouths with utmost wonder. And sad birds sit on the branches by my window with songs that leave their beaks filled with water and dripping. Dripping to the leaves and falling on the head of the old woman who lives below me. Her hair dyed a kitschy red with thick glasses and hands that are larger than her body. She always calls me sweetheart when I pass by the open door and I never know if she is talking to me or the ghost of someone else. A flash of a dress reminding her of a daughter. Or the bags of groceries on my arms of her father before he left home one night, he kissed her on the head and said to his wife he would be back—he wanted cigarettes—but he must have been lost on his way there. Otherwise he should have been back. Fifty years late to graduations and weddings and births and deaths and now she sits beneath my window while the rain taps her hair. Perhaps the clouds will envelop her body in their pale hands and take her home. I never asked where she grew up. Often I imagine large farms in the Midwest where she had a cellar for apples and tornadoes. Or small houses in the east where her grandfather died and left them the bedrooms with welcome ghosts to comfort them at night.
Sometimes she is talking to a son. On the phone with booming voices they must be a loud and fearsome family with love the tears through walls and open windows with veracity. And there is a girl who visits her, a nurse who helps with the chores though perhaps it is her daughter. I do not know but I do know the clouds are coming closer to us with cold winds. And these winds will shake the trees and her heart and I will sit hear listening for the sounds of something ending.
1 week ago // 2 notes
Today I watched new lovers walk by each other. Their hands tried to touch—awkward and fumbling like the night before when they peeled off each other’s clothes like Christmas morning. They tore off layers to unveil secret parts of their bodies and their eyes lit up but were unsure of what to do. So they grasped each other with unintended fierceness and their mouths became bruised from too much teeth. And I watched them walk together with words unsure of sound and her arm trying to link with his but his hands trying to hold hers.
Though perhaps they are old lovers. Silences have become their fortitude of comforts. And instead of growing roots in their feet to bind their bodies in bed, they have drifted. Drifted with sails pointed in other directions with trade winds taking them elsewhere. Though they are too scared to say goodbye. So they push their legs into the murky waves hoping if their muscles burn with the strain of such effort they might find each other in the middle of vast waters and love again as the first night he pushed apart her legs and found a sense of God. They live in a silver room of muted agreement that once was adoration is now commitment. Commitment to ends of not knowing an empty bed even if the person beside them is strange and cold, if their body is no longer welcome but a road sign miles back that flicked past the window
As I watched these lovers I smelled the honeysuckles and remembered my first home as an immigrant child. A bush of honeysuckles grew on the property and Sydney would push their sweetness into my mouth. She told me to suck on them. And their pollen and juice slipped between my slips and I never forget that smell, I never forget that taste. I used to hold their flowers between my teeth so my mouth began an opening for bees to rub their fingers in welcomed appetites. The small blossoms remind me of the gentle parting of a woman’s legs. Soft like the pads of lilies, and inviting to bury my face in its scent. Such is home—these creature comforts in which I am reminded of the first time I felt lust with the honeysuckles and found their taste on my skin from rubbing their petals between my young hands.
Adamantly I missed the touch of a lover I have not known for many years. We had passed each other in the night, phases of the moon not destined to wane our bodies into foreshadowing of dirtied sheets. And when he found me again my tongue was burned from tea and he did not touch me the way I wanted. His hand lightly gripped me and I wanted to bite his mouth till he might put his hands on my waist and anchor us to my bed. I wondered if he might taste of the flowers whose petals I ate as a child and linger in my mouth. If I might smell the blossoms and think of his hands digging into my hips as we rolled like tides from an ocean full.
I have to wait only days before I can map the concourses of his veins from his fingers to his legs. I could worship his body with my mouth and hands to his digits which have brought me to the ends of enlightened ecstasies. And I am ardently his with intentions of old lovers new again.
1 week ago // 4 notes
When you said your bones were carved by man men with fingers pushing dark soil into your mouth, I wanted to push those angry truths down your throat. A lion’s den where fierce teeth grind against each other to crush remnants of seeds. Those of troubled times when keys to a gun case were given away. I hoped if I used my tongue to push those memories to the pit of your stomach, flowers might bloom till your eyes were marigolds and your voice became crowns of baby’s breath. The sound of your voice crackling from hollow spaces to each mine was filled with tense words. It sounded like drowning. It sounded like buried things pushing their hands to the surface, bodies bursting from sea foam like once ancestral creatures though now riddled with harpoon holes. I remembered the body of a gentle thing lying on the sand and I could not touch it with my fingers for fear it might bite me though not to be cruel. It wanted to die softly and untouched. So I sat with the sad thing and buried it in seaweed when it no longer looked at me but beyond me, beyond us, beyond the water reaching its stillness. And I felt that summer wind in my hair and sand biting my calves as I pushed it back out to sea to join the drift woods of former things.
And you sounded like the sad thing I held wake to on the cold coast. When you said I kept you from those dark parts, I wanted to cry and said do not give me that. Do not give the responsibility to hold your pain. That is too much to give any person. That is too fragile to hold in my hands that is always spilling water and breaking glasses. Too precious to give to a girl who loses wallets and phones and diamond earrings made for grandmother and do not give that to a girl who is scared just as much as you were before. I cannot push anymore bodies out to sea.
I have spent lifetimes salvaging sweet things in strange clouds that lurk above my bed in early hours of the morning. When the blue hour is fading beyond the peach trees of my window. And I cannot salvage your soul. I cannot take away that madness planted there years before I knew the imprint of your lips on mine. Fossils of old loves on chapped skins. Your fingers drifting up my thighs like soft winds and my body is leaves, I am threatening to spread apart till I am scattered though carried by you—do not ask me to carry that kind of love. Ask me to give you my heart and you have it. Ask for my body and I shall share it in your sheets with my fingers in your back till we are creating stars with the pressure and heat of epidermis and bruised mouths. And I will ask to not cure you. I cannot take the darkness from any mind. My own shadows linger like small eyes looking through a telescope and finding the pockets of dark in the moon. And they might seek the part we cannot see and say the moon is flat but my flesh is dipped like hers and I have my own burdens. We were each born with our aberrations. Like notches from a man unskilled there are parts that slip against each other and we are flawed. Devastatingly tragic in our humanness, in that nakedness where I am bearing my arms open like a sacrifice for a chance to give you endless adulation.
I want to quiet your mouth. I want to quiet your atoms. I want to quiet those thoughts, till we are nothing but lovers in a room where morning slips in and finds soundless union.
1 week ago // 16 notes
It is hard to make my heart tender without my lips beginning to form hard lines. Those soft things make way for an anxiousness that pulls hems on short skirts and biting off nails. Anything can be unraveled and broken if I find its weakest moment. That smile that ceases to know a reason for the little joys. Hands touching an arm creating bursts of enlightenment. When those I’s and mes become we’s and us. And how terribly frightening it is to let those vulnerable shafts of my body peel apart like blossoms. Though hoping open palms will catch those petals when it is time to let go of the branches. I do not want to be crushed magnolia on the ground when I am lightness. And so I find my words to sharpen their edges, my tongue becoming split like a snake to sink pronged fangs with venomous intentions. It is out of love that I am fearful and scared, that I run. It is hard to love without those nagging thoughts and pictures, of other lips knowing other bodies except mine. Selfish love. Young girl. Too ashamed of the fact that I love so openly that I am soon overwhelmed by the quickness of which I surrender my soul. And I falter in trying to be slow with my body, with my heart because even the most ripe of fruit will bruise if fingers press hard enough on its skin. I try to hush myself when the urge to dig my nails into their hearts till they are pith and angry dusts of my foolish hesitations is consuming.
2 weeks ago // 3 notes
Little parts of me cease to care. Apathetic pieces from immigrant diaspora and flux of angry hearts built on family tragedy. They are stringent on alcoholic grandfathers and runaway sons who look like runaway fathers. And in a chrysalis of old hopes, witches find their spells to no longer exist. No one needs the far untold stories before the fires. In native tongues no longer spoken because they were cut out and buried. And they reminded us with signs, Dead Indian Road. We cannot pass here. They have taken it. Once places my mother’s people lived are now capitalist crosses burning on the precipice of a self-hatred so intense that nothing grows anymore. The birds have left. The animals are gone. Flowers now have to be planted because the soil is filled with such despair that nothing will take root. Old forests that held the hands of each other are disappearing, they are waving goodbye to each other and their sap is them weeping. Weeping for fallen sisters and brothers. And for lovers to no longer lie in their shade but sit on the smooth, polished limbs now as benches—now as coffee tables with water rings staining their skin. So they wonder why small parts of my existence are riddled with anger. Though they fail to acknowledge those of equal parts love and the passion of which I give my lovers. I am an angry immigrant woman who is tied to lands in the South but was born in the frozen North. I am angry because I was never given a home, because it was taken from me. And I can hold those notches in my rib cage like weaving from cattails. And they can hang above my door like the dry cedar my Uncle gave me for protection, for magic. Until I can claim my home again. And give it back to my mother.
2 weeks ago // 20 notes
Melancholy put her heavy paws on my shoulders
and breathed softly into my ear
as eyes closed under the weight of her presence
hush now hapless child—your little lips are tired
of feeding yourself endless stories
the propinquity of tireless wandering
into thoughts did not seek answers
but lonesome endings where perhaps I did not find
myself where I needed to be yet my body knew those
edges of the bed like wholesome creatures
with soft mouths that could wrap their tongues
around my ankles, waking to new bruises and never
questioning their authenticity
and accepting the susurrus under my bed
as the crawling of faint things from lovers left
in early hours when the sun chases my eyelids
her head might rest on mine
and I know nothing but deafening lightness.
2 weeks ago // 4 notes
Rolling thunder is shaking the leaves outside my window. Drops of water cling to their edges, weeping beings pressed against the glass. Their fingerlings trying to reach for inside comforts. I have not heard the thunder for over a year unless through the crackling of my father’s phone on his nomadic paths. Or early mornings in Idaho when I rose before the sun to watch lightning strike the lake and raspberries pressed against my lips to stain them in admiration of those things much more sanctified than this body. Its pulse reaches my feet now and I wish light would rip apart the clouds in flashes. Staring out my window I watch the Earth rumble, imagining the hills as her pounding fists. Each curve another finger dipping into the ground and gripping finer roots of old growth forests. Then slowly rising into the ponds on the surrounding farms who wet the lips of creatures. Her thunder was the rara avis, drumming on roofs like syllables once said in my mother’s native tongue. I may have sojourned in the desire of having a body against mine as skyline vibrations trembled these sheets. Though the man is far away and here—a constant presence that has not explored this bed but the folds of my adulations. His fingers have not pulled lace down my legs. Though sentient desires might beg he has felt those things before. Vehemently I yearn for that man as the thunder passes and slate clouds blanket the hills. And it might seep into my skin, to pigment my body in its constant waiting for the man. Perhaps when I find him again the thunder will be born in the crashing of teeth.
2 weeks ago // 7 notes
Greedy foxes reaching from your fingers to feast on tender gazes. Whose penchant is the undertows that pull her body to yours. And for a moment you know not where you are and whom you are with, but the creation of souls flickering. Bottled in blue mason jars from your mother’s basement, they light like fireflies—suffocating from a lid too tight. And their diminishing glint is the look she gave you in a teashop. Where you wanted to hold her hand as she touched your arm, and held you in place in dark parking garages. Coquetry of lovers not known. Though her eyes were not of unsatisfied intentions. They were of quieted questions once lodged in her ribs, tapping branches on windowsills on nights where the breeze is urgently beckoning. And now those words slipped from her mouth as her tongue was burnt from Chai and she tried to remember the way your lips tasted. Wondering if she kissed you those memories might flood her limbs or numbness might take her body. She might want your creation with inexorable purposes though with hushed lips watched you walk away. And you brooded in your car while rain tapped the windows, urging you to go back and push her into the backseat. Inveterate intentions buried into her back and marked with sun spotted shoulders, darker with each summer. You spent six years trying to recall mewls from her mouth when your fingers touched ineffable parts of her body. And the way you stooped to kiss her mouth, five inches beneath you and you gave her a name which took her moments to remember. You never knew the smile that traced her face when she felt those syllables on her tongue again. She felt the restlessness in your leg and wanted to crawl on to your lap with coy eyes. To bite and bleed those lips cracked from constantly licking until they were bruised like hers. A dark spot on her lip from years before. Shadows of the bodies once on her but never to love her, to covet those kindnesses.
3 weeks ago // 6 notes