Call this Sunday. Order up two hundred kites shaped in sizes ranging from dragon to sperm whale. Turn up your boom box attached to hip, playing a mash-up of Charlie Parker and Tupac. Gather up your grass stains. Dig toes into flesh of earth, meaty syllables of soil. Stop worrying about what your hair looks like or if there is dirt on your face. You are meant to get messy sometimes. Write a poem on a rock, found beneath a leaf. Turn your handwriting upside down. Throw it into a puddle and if there are none nearby, make one with stored up tear drops, created by the wind. Have an impromptu picnic in your neighborhood park with local fruit purchased at nearby farmer’s market. Stain your fingertips with ink of recycled newspaper. Depending upon how bold you are, make love beneath this hunched-over sun and blanket hiding the limbs of you and your other. The ones nearby will leave you alone, too impressed by your boldness to interrupt. Remain until the air drops causing your sweat marks to shiver. Bike toward the sun’s replacement called: moon. This one is dripping lust. All around it echoes of moans. Offer up your black-and-grey lips to a rainbow. Watch the stain saturate the rest of you. Call this love’s contagion.
This is what was waiting. Behind all those Brooklyn traffic lights and spray-painted stop signs: you. We must be reminded of what hides in order to remember what we have been seeking. Get lost in order to be found. Even when it rains, there is enough sun saved up for you to get tan lines beneath a thunderstorm. Don’t be so afraid of love. As a child, you climbed enough trees to grow splinters from your veins. And when you cut yourself while making meals for others, one could certainly measure the sap stored up in your blood to classify your species. To the ones you matter to most, they call you Major Oak. The one who loves you loudest calls you Sacred Fig. Stop running so much. The roots of your gender are endless. You may need to replace ink with lead during this phase of existence. You are in constant revision. Even when all the lights have turned themselves off, there is enough glow in you to survive a forty-two hour blackout. Remain because the ones who came before this one prepared you to grow up.
It happens like an unexpected tap on shoulder. You are walking or riding your bike. You are engaging with the outdoors in some way. Perhaps your jacket is unzipped. You left your scarf at home. If you are wearing a hat, it is only because your hair got lost and has been traveling in opposite directions, not to keep your scalp warm. You are lost in the language of clouds that you are either humming toward or meditating with.
You feel a drop. Maybe two. It’s Brooklyn, so that drop could be the wind pushing someone else’s spit against you or a pigeon excreting its breakfast onto you.
Then the drops turn into many and more and faster and harder and there are no more individual clouds. You look up and the sky has unzipped just like your jacket. You are about to turn mad until you realize how beautiful all this is.
This rain becomes your lover for the afternoon, showering your skin with so many kisses, that you grow giddy. Your clothes become a new layer of flesh. You skip, splashing in puddles, pick up leaves that bathe in this spring moisture. Your bones want to push out from beneath its protective layer and play along. This is when you start to dance. Maybe sing. Definitely holler toward the peeking moon.
In the summer, all of this will get even louder and hotter and this free bath will be even better.
For now, this is spring and this rain is meant to wash winter’s footprints away. It is meant to summon the flowers, planted months earlier. Reawaken the trees and hibernating animals and humans.
“In the garden of gentle sanity. May you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
This palm is fibrous, a woody husk hanging on to the instrumental shake of its juice. It grows in order to be eaten. This garden is progressive. It is hairy and hungry for soulmate of medicinal consumption. Annually, one wakes engulfed in the fear of placebo lust. Here, in this perforated part of Brooklyn, lucidity is found nearby between full-figured moon and switchblades of grass.
To no one in particular, the poet says:
If only I could lose all my words, soak them in bleach of forgotten cries so that when I speak them again to you, they will still have their roots dripping as I press them against your chest. Our mouths will stink of soil and earthworms. We will know nothing of scars or bruising or words like provocation. Everything will be dressed in unworn rhythm. How much does all this cost? How much to traumatize a memory so distinctly that it no longer howls.
There is such a thing as a cloud forest. Beneath the fog of traveled tropics, there are so many branches that when feet get too tired of standing, one can swing from the skinny roots dangling from heights too high to climb. Leaves catch the drip of moisture and one can easily swim inside this meditation of wet. The ground is hairy. Carpet of flowerless green. Or moss. Or earthy currency, which can easily buy you a meal of nourished oxygen. The clouds run marathons in the sky. Call them yungas or laurisilva or afromontane or poema.
Nothing is thicker than love. That molasses you drip into metal bowl for the cookies you make this time of year does not compare.
The sky drenched in fog that forgets you need a light to get to the end of the block and causes you to lose track of space is not even close.
The layers that live beneath our steps that go from hot to cold to hot to mold and matter and all those animals, still alive, that arrived centuries ago. All that rock and soil, still not thicker than love.
Try to push it back. Challenge your stamina. Force it into padlocked closets, so dark that it is difficult to remember what really lives there.
Remember that you do not need another human to help you to feel this. Go without coffee for five days. Then, wake. Pour water and watch the bubbles heat. Measure the grounds and rain it into french press. Drown in heat. Sit. Wait. Drink with oat milk. That feeling is love too.
Sit inside a home that although locked and warm, is thin enough to remind you of the sirens and screams outside. Unhook your restricted thoughts. Call everything a poem, even your screams. Even the gashes of tears that interrupt your face. Each cough or sneeze. Each twitch of bone. Poems. Love.
Put on your shoes at 4am. Admit that you are still asleep and you can call this an interruption of night. Fill your skin with fabrics that are heavy enough to fix your nudity. Walk outside. Not too far, but enough to get a perspective of sound. Admit it is colder than you desire. Wrap scarf from neck around head and ears. Look up. Yes, like that. You know this as moon, but call it something else. Just catalogue how its thrill makes you feel. Count enough stars to make you lose track of the chill. Do not photograph this. Do not tell anyone of this late night encounter. Just feel it. Breathe in this entrance of genderless satisfaction. This feeling is detached from politics or trauma. It just is.
Stay away from others for awhile. Or. Move toward the ones that remind you of all this.
It is not yet the end
This city beats its traffic into us. Of course you would call it percussion and I might call it a thunderbolt of forests parading like a holiday of bark and moss. The light caught me at an angle of sobriety and solitude. You never knew me when I was aggressive with my liver. You wouldn’t have liked me when I handcuffed my ankles to strangers and removed my gender in order to survive days. After you left, I noticed a human reading “The Bell Jar” on the 4 train heading back to Brooklyn. I wanted to ask her if it was her first time or fifth and if I had approached her, I might have mentioned that the last time I read it, I tried to kill myself. I am not a fan of warnings or patterns, so I watched her and read along, wondering what risk we were taking. All of this reverb causes my skin to faint into the shadows napping behind my veins. Some of us engage in an annual faint. I’ve fallen once and now I prop myself up against borrowed guitars or humans tall enough to climb my heels away from concrete in order to reach the weather in the sky.
When you are least prepared, someone somewhere will give you flowers. They will not come with packet full of powder meant to dilute water into something stronger than tap. They will not be wrapped in cellophane or tissue paper. The stems will not be choked in ribbon and there will not be a portable shelter like vase or pot to house them in. They will not be carefully cut or angled toward a collision of colors.
These flowers will still reek of earth. They will be clumsy and stolen. They will still have bees burrowed into their petals.
They will be far more beautiful than any florist’s version because these flowers will be tangled into the fleshy fondle of her fingers.
When I was a child, for a brief time, my father delivered flowers to my mother every Friday. They arrived like romantic love letters hidden inside various wildflowers and baby’s breath. Each bouquet was different and boasted the most glorious scents and colors. As quickly as this ritual began, it ended just the same.
There have been many times in my life where flowers found their way toward me. Weaved into bicycle basket. Clasped by rubber windshield washer against cracked car window. Hidden in messy, black converse. Beneath pillow. Worn within the knots of my hair. Delivered to a bar on an evening when poetry got pushed through the deepest of microphones.
My favorite way of getting flowers is noticing them in their natural setting. I like studying their grip and pondering how deep their roots go. I do not need to take them home to fondle their silky texture. Sometimes, romance needs to stay where it first began. To honor its origin without ripping it out.
And put your phones away. All this beauty will still exist even if you do not photograph it. All of this elegance is far more romantic when we just digest its moment.
And no one needs to know. Because the one who first weaved that dandelion, sparkling and golden, within fingers is all that matters now.
What are you blooming up there in the wind of outer space. I am collaborating with you, moon. On a morning where you refused to exit stage left, I noticed your sleepy yawn. I parted my mouth not quite as wide as yours and we welcomed in each others’ breath. Mine smelled of peanut butter and poetry; I might describe yours as bergamot and soapy. Tell me about the context of your question marks stabbing at your cheeks. What is it you want to say, moon. There is no need for shyness when the earth is our matchmaker and it seems we have been listening to the same song for decades. You are a rhapsody in blue. You are the one who steals moments and there are no photographs that can compete with the stun you exude from all the way up there. Water is like happiness and I am floating my way in rain and pre-dawn dew toward your lust.