almost as if nothing had happened

“nobody can say you’re not free.”   –ai weiwei

dear ai weiwei,

I traveled toward your photographs in search of the key, which must have fallen out of my pocket years ago, in order to unlock the gates guarding my body. This fortress of solitude is invisible and yet, echoes darkly and loudly against the ones in search of a way in. I spent one morning last week, trying to get to know my body again, using only my fingers. Do you know what it’s like to taste the culture of cloud dust. A swarm of stratocumulus rolled their low grey mist over me one day and I wondered how you might approach the magic of air soot. In silence, you tell me to pray. Hand me an image of you and Ginsberg at a bar somewhere in a village in New York City. Your beards matched, though his claimed grey (much like these clouds) and yours dedicated itself to black. I am having a difficult time committing to my body. You give away your nude in order to challenge the boundaries of governmental restrictions. I have given away my nude, but got locked out somehow. Can you offer me a way back in to my self.


call out the parts of you that need to be rearranged.

dear ai weiwei,

You tell me that the loud stirring of speech (often) leads to eviction, so you remind me to buy stronger boxes. I am thinking of ways to become my own physician. A beautiful human told me that ‘I am the cocktail and the bartender.’ I wonder about previous elixirs I’ve digested in order to well myself toward something better. Mostly illegal, though some prescribed and here I am in this moment suddenly contemplating an intake of stimulants to regulate what is perforated in me. When the Sichuan police pummeled your brain just for challenging what existed around it, you hemorrhaged and scarred. Why do tongues get punished for challenging earth’s corruptions. How many prisoners did you memorize before becoming one yourself. How many question marks must I digest before I finally reach the answer of what frees me?