day 23: vitamins

These days have begun to stretch. They have begun to expand as though new bones have sewed themselves to the sun, dangling like elongated bells, alerting us that after all this grey shiver, there will be warmth again.

The humans grow more fur to keep themselves warm. They cover themselves in wool and thermal in order to combat the winter freeze.

Recently, I have been advised to ingest more Vitamin D. The sun grows shy in the winter, or perhaps this season permits the sun to go on holiday. It exists, but in far less moments. Gunmetal grey and taupe grey and cadet grey and silver replace cornflower blue and tufts blue and cerulean blue and azure.

When the sun arrives, my friend tells me, walk outside. Even if it is so cold your fingers forget how to curl. Leave your sunglasses behind [I don’t own any] and allow your corneas to inhale the vitamins. On days when the sun forgets to wake, you must take Vitamin D.”

But must I take a pill? I query. Ar there foods I can eat, which are full of this?

We are all vitamins, she insists. We are made up of all sorts of chemicals. Outside, the sun is best, but sometimes you need to swallow what your body craves, even if it is difficult to digest.

reading palms.

PalmistryCharts_02Some palms are like walls. Too spackled and hidden to read. But when she let me grab her left and right and sit it in mine, I could have read for hours. She held novels within each crease. I traced each finger as though I had never seen one before; hers could have lead me to believe in anything.

She told me mine were artist hands. You’ve crossed borders on your knuckles, haven’t you? she said. I called her fingers pianos. I forgot to ask if she played any instruments. Maybe because I already know.

Around us, poetry. Occasionally, we would stop to listen. But I would not let go of her hand. I could not call her beautiful because that word describes days or meals. It is used everyday on too many things. She is more like a mountain. Difficult. High. A rubble of lives. Impossible to leave behind.

I pressed my fingers into her back. Rubbed at her energy. Yellow. Dim. Glow-in-the-dark.

I asked her to hold her gaze into my left eye for two minutes. I needed time to untwist the tether of her mind. 52 seconds, I taste salt. One minute 7 seconds, she drips fourteen yesterdays. One minute seventeen seconds, I see why she flinched when I touched her chest. One minute thirty one seconds and I feel what she feels. One minute forty nine seconds and I see green and owls and can taste the elephant in her.

Two minutes and I ask her what that led her to see or feel.

She smiles and I want to be homeless. She smiles and I want to be homeless so that I can beg her for the shelter that lives inside her smile.

I can’t…I can’t speak, she said.

Her face is contagious. I tell her to pause.

A poet walks on stage and she tells me that he is her friend. We watch and my knee touches hers and her shoulder leans against my forearm and all this touching should never have to end. Should never have to be named.

After our palms become instruments to honor the poems left on stage, she turns to me. I let her move my hair, which is far longer than hers but more masculine.

She whispers: Cement. I felt and saw cement.

I laugh because this is what I do. I touch people. I heal. I read. But I’ve never heard this before. I want her to clarify, but I also just want to leave that word alone.

It is getting noisier, but our pitch remains the same. We are now reading each other’s lips. Hers are small and she bites down on the bottom as though she is reeling it in like something she has just caught. Her teeth are crooked and charming. I whisper into her left ear a paragraph from Fear and Loathing. I ask her what she has memorized. When she leans in and presses her breath up against my hair and neck, she softly slurs: my name.

When midnight arrives, the chairs are put away and the lights tell us it is time to go home. I ask her to drink tequila with me because earlier she called this the liquid that causes her self to be left behind. We walk across the street and drink it on ice with sour mix. We both leave our straws behind as I hand her my passport and go page by page, reading out each stamp. She listens, creating poems in her head that I’m sure will be read on tomorrow’s stage. I want to kiss her but I am indelicate with my mouth and instead I press my chest to hers and we embrace. Tomorrow, her palms will be hungover and I will wonder about the three identities I located inside her. I will try to place the name of the forest her smell reminds me of while finding the remains of her salt still swimming in my skin.

spirituality of kinetics

Dear Kazim,

The wind huddled against my back in the earliest hours of morning. I call this an encouragement to remain. Turbine tickles my spine. Tell me about your clarity.

You wrote: “I am a man with many arrows inside me, each pointing in a different direction.”

I wonder how many arrows exist in me. When the wind gets involved, does it dishonor the direction I should have gone in?

Kazim, there is so much lust in me lately. Might you call it impure if it exists for the moon or that banjo ukelele I plucked in tiny music shop off west fourth street? Even this wind raises my skin into an erect question mark. I am unsure of where I should go from here. However, what I do know is that I do not need a home in order to birth these words. A wise human recently reminded me that spaces exist all over this earth to hug me into another sentence or stanza.

There is so much music surrounding me: Howl of wind. Percussion from moon beating against my hazel. You in my hands with your words and hunger– not for food but for more prayer.

Over in the midwest, two lovers say goodnight to each other as they split into different time zones. On the east, a poet contemplates a jump from unstable home toward collapsible tent. All of this is just another page marked as necessary. As you find your way through hunger, I find mine through displacement.



how the light gets in

Leonard Cohen wrote, “Ring the bells that still can ring/ forget your perfect offering/ there is a crack in everything/ that is how the light gets in.”

I cannot recall the age in which someone tapped me on my shoulder and I became egg-like. I cannot recall the moment when I learned how to swim out of my own body into something safer like a cage made from those egg shells held together by yolk. I cannot recall that first beating of ink against paper of blood extracted from body of memories sucked out from Winter shivers.

How it gets in/ is through the ruptures of skin/ climbing their way out of me.


There is a city and at night, it crawls into my bedroom and sleeps on top of me. It honks open my eyes; it stains my belly from oil-slicked subways and all those footprints of folks too afraid to turn themselves off at night; it leaves track marks on my arms because when there is nowhere else to park (to be still), movement is continuous and angry.

In this city, I rest my body over an informal puddle of leaves. They are wet and easily molded over me. Sometimes when I feel invisible, I cover myself in these leaves and feed myself to the trees.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. I’m not quite sure if you are trying to tell me something. I’m not quite sure if you love me still. I’m not quite sure if this job defines me or if I’ve lost my definition. I’m not quite sure if I will make it to Spring. I am not quite sure if love is just a wind pattern blowing toward the northwest. I am not quite sure if this body is allergic to milk or me. I am not quite sure if I understand your intention. I am not quite sure where home is. I am not quite sure we can even decipher our own spoils…

Turn the light off, please. It’s slurping up the energy stored in our walls and soon this house will crumble. Unplug all the outlets. How much water do you really need at night? If the light really wants to get in, then remain still enough for it to catch you.