a grim arithmetic

“It is not a matter of words for things. Rather it is a matter of distance between the word and the thing” (Nathalie Stephens).

It is not a matter of the limbs of speech, rather the foliage growing from it. 

1. Pasts are like bones. They grow and rip shards of internal bruising from within. When is the right time to disrobe. When is the right time to tell a new lover about the time you _______ or _________ and how about when you used to ____________ and almost ________ because of  ____________. My baggage is mismatched and crumbled. It has been stolen and lost, but always finds its way back to me with pieces missing.

2. Sole mate < or = to soul mate. There is so much fear in learning how to kiss a new mouth. Some lips are dressed in whale fat and others are waxed and peppermint’d. I can love beyond the parts. What I search for now is to find another who sees beyond mine.

3. Stop asking what she is. It is not always one answer; it is not always a word that has been assigned sound.

4. I desperately held onto love as though it could just exist through and with one person. And then, I met another. And then another after that one. When we think love is gone, there is (always) another human breathing up earth…on their way to you. Just inhale and be ready.

5. Pass (verb) 1 move or cause to move in a specified direction:/ change from one state or condition to another: . / die (used euphemistically):/ go past or across; leave behind or on one side in proceeding: / go beyond the limits of; surpass; exceed:/ come to an end……../ / / It does not always have to be this or that. There is so much empowerment in the “other” and in the “in between” exploration of all sides. When I bind [some of my] parts, I am just trying to allow room for silence. Beyond the masculine, there are syllables that have no gender.  [I’ve spent over three decades trying to pass and I am just now figuring out that none of it made sense for a reason.]

6. Everything that came before today is a rorshach’d survival stain. That is, memories are like lovers; they never really leave us.

7. How to love or lust away from what hides behind zippers and skin.

8. Do not wait for death to remember them.

9. Before supper, burn fragments of what must be left behind and what needs to remain.

10. Gorge on the kindled harassment of stanzas that question every entity on [your] skin; this is what happens when the only thing left to distract are pronunciated infernos.

Compare coffee table to love affair: hard, awkwardly-shaped, pointless

An early morning walk back to my Brooklyn and as I pass by bodegas, unopened restaurants and cafes, I think about love.

How many times have I been written on by lovers in bars where pool tables act as backdrops to flirtations like:
“They’ve run out out of chairs, want to sit on my face?” (QJH)

Or scent of western saltwater separating our thighs and I write:
“Real love like Mary J. sung about.”

I am thinking about pace, pause, stop signs, traffic jams and foreplay. I am thinking about how often I have given it up and what it means now to hold back.

What is an alternative to love nowadays?
Screaming a song at the top of my lungs
Dance party sans pants sans strangers humping legs and hipbones
An uninterrupted indulgence of spooned peanut butter into mouth
Woody Allen films
A nap on park bench with the soundtrack of dogs barking and bike wheels churning
Thrift store shopping
Dread locking

Maybe I am longing for the grey

with just a hint of howled love
vulgar love
vulgar enough to replace bathing/ food binges/ and habits like hair removal and loneliness
condemned love
decoupage’d love
award winning I want to thank god for you love

I am in search of the [ ] who can influence my shadow to glow in the dark.