some thoughts on magic and measurements.

…..first Sunday of new year and toes begin to weep away frozen hangnails
I traveled under
the brooklyn queens
over black and grey
snow. Got lost inside
a taxi cab just for you
to read my skin again.

Yesterday, this face was called unpretty. What is it about measurements and masculinity that causes others to feel so threatened or disrobed.

After the romantic comedy ordered for free on computer screen, she removed shirt and began to cut her hair. Each slice was deliberate. Hair was pressed into last plastic bag meant for sandwiches not split ends. This pile of locks is for the woman who lives underground and all around me. When others visit her, they bring rocks. I give her my hair.

After three decades of back-and-forth addiction, I may have settled on this last one. Call it magic or movement. Cannot be purchased from neighbor who cooks it in his kitchen. Or bodega window where if you only want one and not the whole pack, that can be arranged. Or from lover who stores it in jars meant for fireflies or love notes. This drug is less visible and cannot be hidden in pockets or up nose. Last night, when I chased it all across Brooklyn, I fell inside winter potholes, hidden by frozen water. Most drugs can be purchased; this one needs to be found.

We can talk about our gender all day, but when I think about your mouth, I am reminded of the canoe I clung to years ago. You make me think of rivers and walls removed. You make me think of yellow and that photograph of costa rican sunset that hired a muralist to create such an exquisite marriage of red and orange. You make me think of oxygen and the ways in which you have trained yours to communicate with the earth to wrap itself around oceans and caves. You make me think of the labels sewed into the roots of my skin and the sensation of digging these restrictions up and out of my body.

Last week, this body was called gaunt. What is it about binding my body into a carefully unedited story that causes others to fear starvation.

Here is [some] modern love. This has everything to do with the love affair I find myself in with my osteoblasts. And the night I thought about Rebel’s question of rebirth through orgasm. So, I found my nude while rain wrung out its sad against my windows. And I did not think about addiction to magic and melting measurements. Instead, I gained entrance to the parts of me I am strange to. It is too soon to call it rebirth; maybe just a new devotion to the complication and deeply erotic overwhelm of my self.


Dear Kazim.

They thought I was asleep, but I heard her scream out at that star that may or may not have been a swollen airplane. She called it another place to live. She called it a high wire pause. Or was that me.


Dear Lidia.

I scrubbed my hands better than I have all year, before I plunged them into my body to rip out the mail. His name is ____________ and full of papercuts and improper postage. We are already in love.


Dear Rebel.

How about we stage a protest this year. Eat only syllables and postures. I will continue to challenge the disobedience of my breath and you can remind me that gender is a disco ball better left rotating.


Dear Poet.

You owe me a letter. But I will wait for your shadowboxing bellow. As I sit here, sore from an early morning bone stretch, no longer calling tomorrow a clean slate. Instead, a movement of magic.

they won’t stay

Leaves are pressed between pages because we just cannot handle saying goodbye to them even if just for a winter. So we thin them out and capture the red or green which turns brown and the ends perm but even in February you can visit that leaf and touch its skin and tell it about the time you found it on a sidewalk so calmly sleeping beside an ant and chicken wing and you will say that it was its shape that caused you to remove it and bring it home. You will tell it that it looked like a dream you once had about spider webs in bathtubs and a sun dripping from a tattooed sky and in your hand, it looked like it was smiling. In April, you will remove that leaf from old journal and tell it about the time you fell in love so deeply it was as though you and love were constantly climbing trees, jumping from branch to branch to the scalp of where the tree itched most. And you built and you ate and this leaf will listen and understand because it was once in love too.

Spring is here now, it will whisper through its softened veins. And you will find more of me.

But then you will say: But none like you. Because you have been pressed so close to my words for so long there is no need for speaking sometimes. You just rub my body like Braille and know my movements. 

The leaf will bring you back to that sidewalk where you first met. You will notice no ants nor chicken bones. The trees are still nude, but slowly budding. You will notice a yellow daffodil to your left. It is so bright, you squint and the leaf jumps out of your palm and toward the earth.

Be inside this, the leaf says. Walk along a new block where leaves will soon grow. Wash your eyes out; get ready for their colors. They won’t stay, so memorize and be in their moment while they remain for you.