something found, something borrowed

He shows me a piece of glass, shaped like the moon landing, found while biking home from work.

“I was stopped at that intersection where we we were stopped by police that time we tried to break the rules. I looked down and there it was. Hopped off my bike, leaned it against my hips and picked it up. All its edges had been dulled; who knows how long it had been resting against Brooklyn pavement. But…”

I waited as his voice trailed off.

“But even as I put it in my pocket, I felt like I was borrowing it. Maybe that’s always how it is. We borrow the things we take from the earth and then when the earth is ready, it takes it all back.”

I tasted many words on the tip of my tongue, but I wanted him to continue. I wanted him to never stop talking.

“And look right here,” he points to several arches in the center of the glass. “Don’t you feel like it is an imprint of the moon landing? Minus the proud flag waving. But if I hold it a certain way…” He tilts the glass sideways. “…you can almost see the flag and feel the wind from its fabric swooshing against the air.”

“Something found, something borrowed,” I finally uttered.

“Exactly,” he said.


There is discomfort in the length, breath, width, movement of silence.

What does silence look like?


On a different night than this one, a stage is covered with dancers. Smooth skinned spandex’d movers lifting and lunging and plunging their bodies into a room where orchestra pit has been gutted and abandoned.

I listen to their bandaged, ballet’d feet curve and cringe against the wooden planks of the stage. I hear the stretch of limbs, the lift of bodies, the rocking of bones, the tapping of heels.


A cough.

And then another.

And another.

And (gasp) a cell phone ring?

Setting: The ballet.
Audience: A room full of too many white people and I look down at my mismatched odd choice of outfit and wonder if my economic class is louder than the absence of percussion and strings.
Contemplation: I am suddenly too aware of what I don’t have. I don’t own high heels or dress with beaded casing. My shoes are Converse and my legs are covered in hair and bruises. I am high on the elegance of what bodies can pronounce. I want to feverishly write in my notebook, but instead clasp my hands together and engage in single-tasking, replacing my “normal” multi-tasking lifestyle.

These dancers do not need music. Their rhythm is in their ankle twists and twirled exclamations. And then I think about my love of bike-riding. How music plugged into ears was replaced by spontaneous outbursts of singing. I belt out improvisational songs when I pedal past commuters and Brooklyn walkers. The music is inside me; the music is inside them.

And when the stories/movements are incomplete, I fill in the gaps. I study humanism on subway trains and commemorate existence through deep intentional stares. I weep when someone else does and wish I could turn my body into an enormous tissue to wipe all the troubles away.

At a poetry reading on a night different than this one, a poet exclaimed:
“How do I make myself a body/ How do I make myself less crowded?”

In silence, we find these answers because we are offered enough time to take in what is seen without the distractions of sound.

I am cleaning out the cupboards in my skin folds.
I am dusting out the remains of someone else.
I am daring my mind to shout quiet and instead, answer you with my body.