There were nights
we’d exhaust every expression
of love we could think of

leaving us lively but tired,
worn out but inspired,
passionately, enthusiastically lying down
under think sheets, wrapped
in arms over under shoulders
like a blanket
keeping warm
a pillow

and we didn’t know how else
to show or tell
what we felt
so we always ended up
choking up

we realize
language isn’t enough

suffocating on a lack of words
as if lacking oxygen
cabin pressure
fails and the adjectives are sucked out
through a hole into the sky outside and I
have so much to say
but not an idea to say it

Choking on a lack of words
as if lacking fresh air
a case of cabin fever
adjectives rattle in my chest and I
have so much to sing
but not a breath to sing it

I could fill a book with words
I could chatter away for years
I could stare out the window forever
formulating sentences
but I could never create
a lingual lasso
large enough
to capture it all.

27 Dec. 2009

I remember
Babbling and babbling
All of my old stories
That I sometimes
Still find
funny,

And you were sitting
next to me,
clasping that
glass of tea,
Just smiling,
quietly…
Watching me
gesticulating
wildly.

I don’t even remember what I was saying
on that couch in the den because then

A summer breeze swept in
gently
like a hand behind the head
and
I was in awe of everything
that had happened.

I found the love of my life.
I already knew, even then.

Flamingos pace across the tops of cabinets,
Wings folded behind their backs, feathers laced together
Long black necks craning, peering down at me, at the table.
I’m shifting uneasily and sitting somewhat straight in my seat,
Looking sideways and taking notes.
Napkin on my lap, check — wait, spoon and knife are on the right, right?
The fork is in my left hand but that’s a habit too hard to break.

I trace the gold rim of the plate with my eye. I realize
This ordinary mundane Monday meal utilizes utensils
My home would only hope to have for Thanksgiving,
Not to be ungrateful. We were always thankful still.

The slightest turn of disinterest from the bored dog beneath the table
Could emotionally floor me, leave me lying
On the pink and cream white tile crying.

Luckily, I am stitched to my seat by tight threads of tension,
A slight case of rigor-mortis due to extreme politeness, prevention
From collapsing of fatigue and anxiety.

“Could you pass the bread, please?”

I feel heat. All look down on me, not quite like spotlights
But like payments of attention in passing.

I’m watching my feet near the edge of adulthood,
I’m watching them watch me,
But not the centerpiece
That the basket swings into.

Another flamingo knick-knack foe
Collides with a single glass of wine,
And while the silky seat soaks it up, we all watch
And wince like it hurt — and it hurts, it does hurt.

I am reassured with a word.
“Relax!”
And with that
I try to breathe and breathe easy,
Because there is no way they can like ME
If that is not
Who I am being.

The flamingos that paced across the tops of cabinets
Slow down to watch me, with one eye at a time,
As they balance on one leg, as is natural to them.
Their sloped beaks reach to whisper and assure me,
That they, tropical birds, the feathered decorations,
Are just as welcomed, though foreign,
As I in this kitchen.

The gills of The Shark,
Slits opened wide,
Still fill with water and life.

Her jaw is stretched out, gaping, chasing something.
Her rows of teeth extending, reaching out, hungry.

She is frozen
Moments before
Clinching, closing, capturing.

But Her eyes lack intensity.
They are not fiery, not at all alive.
They are sad, cold,
And they sag and fold.

Her skin lumps over them like loose fabric
That wrinkles around the rivets throughout her body.

Look closely, she does not swim.
It is strings that suspend.
She does not swim, She does not float.
She is a soul-less body on display.

He’s right.
I think of Her as alive.
This magnificent creature, a corpse?

The soul has left,
The electronic pulses that stimulated those muscles
Have petered out, like sparks fly at the end of a fallen wire
The energy runs out, the current slows to a stop,
And then there is nothing. Hollow. Dormant. Dead.

I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that those gills
That seem to fill with water and life
Are starched open, with an artist’s resin.

She floats in
A watery grave,
A tank of formaldehyde.

*sculpture by Damien Hirst, Metropolitan Museum

[I’m thinking about reading this at a Trans-Remembrance Open Mic in a few weeks. Suggestions? Edits? Comments? Please! -J]

The World is a scary place to be
when the difference between how I was or was not perceived

Used to be the difference between being offered or offering
A subway seat.

Now it could be
Life or Death
Or maybe
Just Death or Rape

For wearing what I want to wear
Instead of what is ‘innate

Or maybe
What I SHOULD feel is inherent

What’s the difference,” I tell him
When the borders are ALL constructed,

And we are living proof that they are Man-Made
– – > But what makes a Man “a Man” anyway?

We almost feel as though we are
The only ones who “get it

But to say that we, ourselves, FULLY understand
Might be just as ignorant

As those who say they “just don’t get it
And outcast us for that because

We do not fit in their pretty plain frames,
Their categories and boxes of -

Who is offered, and who is offering.
It is an endless debate.

But I was Born into this scary World this way,
So I, too, MUST have a place.

Hell’s Gate,
the narrow strait,
not the bridge,
the thing about it is
its known for being very dangerous.

Numerous
ships
have sunk here, yes,
and many have died.

But that isn’t necessarily
the fault of the strait, you see.

There are times
in its tidal
cycle
where it slows
its currents until it flows
as placid as a lake
on a windless day.

For most of the day, yes,
it trudges
on just like the rest of us.
But at moments,
it stops near completely,
as if it were to look at the city.
People watching,
if you ask me.

[New piece, still a work in progress. Tell me what you think! What you liked, what you did not, what you got, what you thought you had, what you left in the car, how your day was… Anything you’re thinking. Hopefully related, not necessarily. -J]


How To Survive Being Trapped At The Bottom Of An Hourglass

I once felt trapped
At the bottom of an hourglass.
I
Felt the steadily increasing weight
Of pouring sand,
Drowning in dry grains,
Swimming in sediment,
And the feeling of being buried beneath it.

With each tick of the second hand
And with each drip of the sand,
I
couldn’t tell which
I couldn’t stand more,
The wait, or the chance
One slip could be my last.

*

Today,
Those hands clenched a fist
I struggled and wrestled and kicked

And by climbing onto
What once tried to bury me
I could reach high enough
To stop which was on coming.

I obstruct
The hole in the ceiling,
The bottom of the top bulb
And stop time.

By climbing onto
What once tried to bury me
I find you, waiting,
Over the dune, for me.

*

One hand
Will block
The eye
Of
The glass,

While I
Will eye
The glass
For
A crack,

To worsen and pressure
To shatter and break free
And release us from time’s keep
To live immeasurably.

We could walk in the forest, hand in hand
Or watch life go by as we lie in the sand.

We could keep climbing these mountains,
conquer each daily high and low
Or I could try a new path, scared, and alone.

The less traveled road
As far as I’ve found
Is trampled, and paved
And there’s always a crowd.

The Ancient Greeks
Always had this thing,
This ‘big deal’ about
Hospitality.

I wonder what
They’d say to me.

Cue Socrates:

Listen to Lennon, McCartney!
Let her into your heart,
Let it be.

No one’s words
Can comfort me

Like yours, as you
Whisper softly
And sweetly
I am fat on ear candy.

Love obesity
Is an epidemic
Foreign to my country,

So although,
All f the Above
Is true,

I try
To hide.
I do.

Flying down the Whitestone bridge
I awaken from the bed I had made on the back seat to see
The city.

Like a fly to a flame
I’m drawn to it, its dangerous
It’s polluted. Soiled, yet sparkling.

At this very moment,
A plane lifts out of LaGuardia
Like a tin can on a marionette string

Pulled by the slow, but steady, hands
Of God, the same hands that
Shift the suns and oceans tides
And pull the clouds across the sky.

Already awestruck,
Then a seagull soars past
My car window, then
Sharply, but smoothly,
She veers left for the open air of the bay,
Towards the flight leaving LaGuardia.

Soon, she is close, or far, enough
To appear to me as the size of the distant jet.

Gliding above the coastal winds
The two continue to rise
as the Whitestone bridge descends.

Should they collide,
Nature and machine,
And the broken bones break the engines that break sound barriers that
break the surface of the water that break the promises that they made before they climbed aboard that break hearts that break vows that break–
–like, God was tired, perhaps absentminded,
And had maybe, puppet strings in hand,
Crossed arms, slowly folded them proudly,
And sighed to self, Marveling ones own work.
Somnolent yet satisfied
Looking down on the Whitestone Bridge.

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