on being.

The world has accused you of not being a world./You retort with an acceptance speech/scripted by beautiful gangsters. You live under/the thumb of contracts hoisted/like minarets. Landslides court you/with a hospice of deserted/checkout counters and comic strip altars.[1]   

My identity doesn’t fit on a napkin. I tell this to the well-dressed poet etching out a diagram of his thesis onto paper meant to wipe faces. He makes identity sound so easy and maybe it is for him, so I keep listening. Soon, I am lost in the distraction of his neck, whose tie seems birthed from its skin while the one around my neck seems far clumsier. I tell him it is not so easy to figure one’s self out and that even when we think we’ve got it down, something shifts. We are not static beings, I explained. And for the ones who think they are, I speculate on their true level of actualization (or their rush).

I am not the same me as I was ten years ago. Or five. Or even last week.

The lover who sits beside me gazes at my fingertips pressing into alphabet. This lover is tattooed with my handwriting across the lines of its skin. We gain splinters from each embrace and sift through our varying degrees of lust. This courtship of elocution does not have to end. Instead, we leave each other mid-sentence so we always have a reason to go back.


[1] Italics by poet, Vincent Torro

Your/map/is marred/by borders/that become a sieve/of history, straining the wild/from the willing. Missions and malls encroach your sun swathed/villitas where flowers battle and murals proliferate like thirsty brushfires. 

How much of this you can read, I am not sure. How much of this you already know, you do not need to clarify. I have recently been solicited by an atlas. I am wooed in river slang and late-night mountain chants that chisel away the moan of my loneliness. At each border, we dislodge our jagged wounds and squat over the evidence of our whispers. Some things do not need to be shared with those in search of clues to our existence. Instead, we sift and call this a lung excavation or gender bending or self-love.

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