you can be mountain and i will be skyscraper

Dear Rebel.

Johnny Cash sings to me from a Brooklyn cafe. Somewhere in the walls, he lifts himself through circular cracks called speakers and haunts me into this letter. Are you writing. A woman on the 4 train with dark roots and red-drenched locks asked to read my shoulder today. I watched her from the Bronx into Brooklyn, read local newspaper out loud to her partner. I first grew distracted by her voice, which sounded carved out and scratched up like acidic-graffiti on subway windows. I watched her mouth move, a bit sunken in from lack of teeth, slowly sound out each word. With invisible straw between lips, she sucked up each syllable, then looked at her partner. That’s from a book, she said.  I can tell. I wanted to tell her that humans hit the height of their beauty when they are reading. Humans who swallow literature in ways that sometimes cause indigestion or sometimes create strain in the gut. This is the stun of cognition.

Rebel, I wonder about the state of your mountains: the peaks of earth that grow inside you. Perhaps I can lend you some of my bolts and windows. My glass is streaked but so is this planet. How about you throw ink into the air and let the wind bring your liquid permanence toward this side.

Johnny twangs his teeth into knee-slapping rhythms and I’ve put on some weight. It is either a baby or a prose poem gathering dust inside my womb and I may need to whisper into my body that I am not a fan of over-population, and much prefer the narrative of metrical structure. Can we yurt soon. There is a home that is red on a street made of crowns and it waits for me to insert my key. I think about what home has meant to me this past month of wander. Suppertime with a human who has reintroduced to me the importance of starting over. Adventures with a three-year old who notices everything that gets lost once you reach a certain age. Sleeping in a room where a pile of bags remind me of impermanence. There has been love and some wanderings of grey. Contemplations of exi(s)ting. Rebel, I will cook you kale and poetry. We can drip coconut oil from our curls into a cast iron pan and devour the days that cling to our twists. I’ll keep my windows open.

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