Several years ago, I dripped some of my cells onto a manuscript of poetry for a class I was taking called ‘The Long Poem’ . The title of the collection, on blood and the tantrums of memory, traced several disordered blocks of thought that gathered from the language of blood’s memory. It didn’t feel like a choice when I cut open my arm again in order to drip my body’s paint onto the cover. I marveled at how dark my cells were and how they splattered into various shapes like maraschino moons. My lover at that time didn’t understand why I would harm myself in this way. I tried to explain that these poems derived from my body, so why shouldn’t I honor these pages with the freed plasma from within.
Kazim, you wanted to know what lives between the inhale and exhale. I’d like to answer you that I think it may be love. Or I think it might be strength. No, it must be hunger. We are vehicles; we are animals; we are mechanisms for history. We are meant to repeat the patterns of breath control in order to make room for translation. So we translate and we reconfigure and we analyze and we grow.
This earth is one giant waiting room, Kazim! We take our tickets and wait in and out of patience. We begin as strangers, then remove our clothes and climb inside each other’s wombs and crevices in order to understand our selves better. I am finding myself through these humans I find shelter in. They remind me that these poems are breathing for me and through me and with me. I just want it to be my turn, Kazim. But…as I wait, I find that the adventures continue. If I left, I would never have met your words, nor the human who introduced me to them.
The clots unsnarl. I drip my cells onto each city block. I search out my next sanctuary and poem my through each nanosecond I breathe in.