“the truth is romantic”

for M.M.

I prefer dandelions to roses

I stole a tube of lipstick once and pants and

When I am nervous, I bite the flaps of length on my fingernails, I drink coffee, I pretend I am a boy, I pretend I am ok, I write hate letters into my body, I write a poem, I speak a poem, I fall in love.

I want to carve trees like my body and ask them to be my mirror

I’m afraid if I bring my hair back to its original colour I will be invisible again

The truth is I am having an affair with the tree outside my window. My apartment is too small for its branches and bark to squeeze in and find warmth in my bed at night. I watch snow slap against its leaves. I study the branches, fallen yet still attached. Phantom limbs still haunting. I feel like maybe it loves me back. I feel like maybe it can love me unlike anyone has (or can). I will call it Arbutus. I will call it Sapped. I will call it Rings of Future Parchment. I will call it when I am lonesome. I will ask it it’s preferred pronoun. I will ask it if it prefers green tea to earl. I will ask if it is hungry. I will ask it to climb out of the earth and run away with me.

I cannot forgive my mother

I never loved you

I never stopped

The truth is I am sensing decay on my hip. The truth is my hair is falling out because of the red because of the pull because of the knots because of that time I decided the dirt needed to remain to remind me who I am.

I want to get rid of these things. Haul them toward the corner and allow passersby to rummage, jump into, steal my life

I’m planning a run-a-way

I am addicted to photographs of (other people’s) homes because I still haven’t found one yet

The truth is when I learned of their upcoming divorce, I weeped. A silent, dry weep because I was surrounded by bad lighting and the aroma of punch cards and workday. Through (their) divorce, comes confession of real love, the kind of love that surpasses jewelry stolen from the earth and ceremonies and wedding cake and registries and 2.5 statistical children. The kind of love that acknowledges the inequality of queer love surrounding them. So a piece of paper is turned to confetti and (their) love still screams just as loud. No, LOUDER.

I am not sure I am entirely comfortable with “she” but I do not want “he”. I want to be called slash/ or inbetween/ or undecided/ or animal

The truth is my body used to be shaped as a mailbox on corners without the blue without the metal. And now my body is shaped as a form letter and now my body is an unexpressed apology and my body is a collision of accidents and my body is in need of a bath where water comes from ocean not faucet and tub is really just another body engulfing me.

if there was nothing to regret, there would be nothing to write

Move closer now.
Closer still.
Get there.

You would know what kind of tree sways outside my window. I call it macintosh because its green leaves grow from seeds and entice me into daydreaming of orchards. Life has become a routine of coffee.poems. poets.chocolate.singing on my way home from museums or bars or stoop sales or gardens.digesting paintings at the MOMA.bike-riding.

Things I have learned while here:

1. there does not need to be water for a drown to occur
2. sorrow may grow inside sneezes and that is how it spreads
3. cockroaches can flatten like slices of paper
4. stand too close to a Keith Haring painting and a swallow occurs
5. dandelions on skin can forget the living
6. proof of poorness will lead to free mammograms
7. walls may be fidgeted against
8. there is restriction in skin tones and cellular phone plans
9. religion is just an excuse to separate stories and sin
10. I distribute my cells and secrets through French kissing

When was the last time your limbs were challenged?
How often do you change your sheets or your mind?
Do you think about me when you think about sadness?
When you think about lee friedlander do you think about me?
What did you eat for supper last night?
Are your lips dry from musical accompaniment of reed sucking?
Are you beautiful still?

sunday times

Keith Haring

Stand too close to a Keith Haring and wait for the swallow.Build a bridge with question marks and flaps of skin.Pray in Italian and see if it means more. Engage in a conversation about the representation of darkness on bodies. Eat a slice of cake made out of despair and nude bodies. French kiss Rodin statue too tall to reach and challenge its boundaries. Walk inside the worry of a wound. Search for the missing head of Cybele. Unfold kneebone. Climb on top of painted reflection, push out push out push out subliminal skeleton. Present table top with split ends and empty bowls. Say a prayer before bingeing on nothingness. Place various historical women’s vaginas on hand-embroidered place settings and decide which ones look most appetizing. Reimagine religion through tar and plastic bags. Call out muse against the magnified hole built into front door reimagined in a painting. Find out where meat comes from, then lick up the trail of blood left from the source. Coat body in chalk/ Stand on head/ Wait for the ache of brain swallow. Place art and sin in alphabetized columns. Organize filth. Request a receipt when purchasing animals, artifacts and love. Remove baby from cartoon-drawn woman’s pixelated womb. Dare the body to promote silence.

photo by Chiharu Shiota.