almost as if nothing had happened

“nobody can say you’re not free.”   –ai weiwei

dear ai weiwei,

I traveled toward your photographs in search of the key, which must have fallen out of my pocket years ago, in order to unlock the gates guarding my body. This fortress of solitude is invisible and yet, echoes darkly and loudly against the ones in search of a way in. I spent one morning last week, trying to get to know my body again, using only my fingers. Do you know what it’s like to taste the culture of cloud dust. A swarm of stratocumulus rolled their low grey mist over me one day and I wondered how you might approach the magic of air soot. In silence, you tell me to pray. Hand me an image of you and Ginsberg at a bar somewhere in a village in New York City. Your beards matched, though his claimed grey (much like these clouds) and yours dedicated itself to black. I am having a difficult time committing to my body. You give away your nude in order to challenge the boundaries of governmental restrictions. I have given away my nude, but got locked out somehow. Can you offer me a way back in to my self.


pr _ y _ r.

The way you hang your prayers can be seen like a halcyon kiss; there are waves within each lifted question from mouth. Go there. Huddle beneath the secret lair of your sadness. Make a promise to your toes that you will be aware of them with each press into planet. Stop. Even when it is cold enough to claim your tongue, pause for the man huddled over during snowstorm because liquor stole his balance; help him to rise. You were that bent once. Promise. When the blood in your body feels spoiled due to the words which loiter in the drums of your ears, promise you will switch rooms. Promise to let go of the ones who never really loved you. The one who left before you could. Promise to still leave space in your musculature to let another in. Not everyone arrives from pain. Some understand the breaststroke enough to paddle out of it.  Press palms together; listen to the ocean that exists when your skin meets. You never need another to validate this geography you create. Call this the expanse of sea that sees all of which you were and all of which you will be (once you are ready to get there).

she compared my handwriting to how the nuns would write and now, there is nothing to lose but prayer.

marina's moon.

All of these tiny words just sit like squiggly soldiers on lines that are so thin, everyone who notices brings them meals. If you wake early enough, the moon will wait for you. Even in the morning, with crumbs of broken fasts on peoples’ lips, look up and swallow a shot of its satellite. This blindness is approachable just like cursive ink in abandoned notebooks. The moon and these poems are meant to be read. They are meant to be asked out on a romantic evening with jukebox hip-sway and bites too big to fit into tiny mouths so words are stolen by excessive chews. Tell the moon you dig its humorous curves. Tell the words you welcome permanent damage to your eyes due to squinting just to take in every verb and cross-out. Scrub the pavement with your knees as you bend your way toward prayer. All of this can be defining. All of this can be what love is.


take a knee

for { _._ }

We are often humbled by our crazy. By our hypnosis of chaos and gutted scar tissue. Why must we press pills into mouths who converse with invisible tribes. There is no need to call in sick or call out numbers like 9-1-1 when knees only need some dirt or wooden plank and hands can clasp or shake; there is really no uniform to this. Just breathe or don’t and it will all arrive in time.

A New York City rodent eats away at my french sourdough bread–purchased at the farmer’s market–which I left on my kitchen counter, and I am angry. I grow sad that it didn’t ask permission. And I want to know if there was enjoyment in its yeast. And I want to know if it grew bloated afterward. Or did it take the time to spread some peanut butter on it. And did it pray beforehand or at least take a moment to express gratitude for this find.

A small white dog barks at me on my way home from work and I begin to cry. I think about a big black dog too far away to pet. My arms are willing to stretch far to reach him, but I’d have to remove them first. I pick up one of my tears as though it is a child that just needs to be held. I let my tongue travel through its salt and memory.

I just want to know what home feels like.

Sometimes this city feels like a zipper I feel trapped in and there is too much blood to mention or measure but the music distracts me and the free love overwhelms me.

I see a hazel leaf by my foot, which is trapped in false leather; this smells of dust and Halal trucks fuming; hear the woman by the F train gasping out her cigarette.

am i breathing is this breathing is it breathing if i feel do i feel is this feeling what is felt

Woman plunges her map into my water.

Fall hard.

What is really meant by prayer? My knees are atheists. My breasts are annoyed and what fits between my legs is no longer fitting. What do I say? Forgive me? Reference how long it has been since the last time? This first time is the last time which is the only time which may lead to the next time, but I really cannot be sure.