but this must be why.

Dear Kazim,

You called the body a planet. Wrote: [In] all its strange parts, the wisdom tooth, the cerebellum, the epithelial tissue, the clavicle. Every single part functions together. 

Last night, I fondled the moon with my eyes, while dangling my calves on the edge of a jump. I think I might be Pluto: cold and taken away. I remember when that planet was asked to leave. Imagine existing for so long and then suddenly you are pushed out. Called dwarf. All rock and ice. Called chaotic. I know of the twists that exist within body. It is a constant distortion of perspectives.

As I pack up the lives I have lived in material form, I recognize that none of it matters. Many years ago, after returning from a long trip, I came home to find mold dripped into my journals. Water, arriving from the cracks of a window, kidnapped many of my written words. Though I still have these notebooks, they still smell of this fungus, which is birthed by damp warmth.

And some of my clothes exist from two decades ago during the years my body was still growing into itself. This, of course, continues. I have threads from ex-lovers and strangers, purchased from stoop sales across the earth.

Kazim, if I could only carry five books and leave the rest behind, I’d carry you. And Lidia. And Vera Pavlova. Ham on Rye, of course. And I’d somehow create a hybrid text of Rumi, Kathy Acker and j/j hastain.

We consume far too much. Is that why we must fast? To recognize the importance of what it feels like to be emptied?

Yesterday, I mentioned you to a student. He is observing Ramadan like you. He said: When you finish the book, tell me why you think Muslims fast. I feel close to the answer, but I feel even closer to translating my own need to strip my body of all these things.

an examination of collapsible tent or nomadic bone structure

There is no permanence when home is found in nooks of humans. If you call her a wanderer, then at least you are paying attention to the flap of lashes slowing down. Sleep here for a night. Here is defined by Pluto and that cold beast no longer exists so this is why you are sleep-deprived. And this is why you are bruised. A new woman with lap and highly educated tongue tries to court your childhood away. And maybe your queer is defined by who you spread your legs to but mine is defined by bookshelves and the way my brain gathers when I’m near them. Far from view, where only fires get a drift of that strumming pattern, a human searches for oars big enough to paddle through ocean of birds. Imagine winged water. Imagine salted teeth that heal with each bite. Yesterday, a man grabbed my arm in order to read the drip of skin that is unscarred. That reminds me, I cannot afford this, but there will always be nineteen cent noodles and edible mushrooms that grow in freezers and I can suck the sweat from my hair when there is no water left. Or faucet to receive it from. Or you can build a bridge with your newly gathered gender, strength of army. And although war may be collecting on the other sides of this, a body finally surrenders and walks alone toward the truth of what existed all along.



recalled planet

In 2006, we removed it. Built giant fishhooks and extended them into the sky. Then we pulled this planet out of its rotation. Pluto was no longer part of the gang.

Did we humiliate it further when we called it “dwarf planet” or “minor”? Stripped its name and called it a number? 134340

On land, there is a woman. She twirls pens into her skin like inked ballerinas and calls her body this planet.

I weeped when they took Pluto away. Wore a large white pin against my breast for weeks, which declared:

This woman who walks the earth has perforation plaguing her skin. She is a thunderstorm of beauty. She carries luggage in her pockets. A lifetime of wardrobe changes, notes, address adjustments, toiletries. When her hands dig into the corners of sewed hems, there is no certainty of what she might find.

see body as an arena of trauma victims
see body as a storm-watch warning in effect
see body as a parking ticket
see body as a paralyzed petal dropped to the ground from rooftop garden
see body as a fixed-gear bicycle
see body as an aroma of sewage and buffet grease
see body as this planet….evoked of power, pulled from rotation, stripped of history
see body as a dialogue between past and present with occasional interruptions from future

This woman walks across a bridge wearing black tar fabric over musculature/ This woman waters limbs so that they grow long enough to push Pluto back into its prominent spot, erases numbers and revises them back into a word/ Maybe she renames this planet/ Maybe she calls it by her name/ Maybe she glues thousands of maps together/ carving poems into the infrastructure of state lines and border crossings and/ calls it the formula of existence.