day 28: territory

You belong to the wind; you carry maps in every pocket from left to right but never peek at them; you are lonely but never alone; you cling to sad but drink laughter through straws that twist and scrape; you are rained on but you know how to splash in puddles that press beneath you; you bleed each month, but you exist on two plains; you are loved but struggle with the aftershock; you are hungry; you sing; you hide yet are not always seeked; you have lied; you collect death behind the yellow and beside the red; you belong to autumn and poetry and every leaf you ever plucked and kept; you are in search of; you are searching; you have searched and sometimes you get closer; you are alive; you enjoy kissing but have a difficult time committing to mouths; you keep an extra set of drawers hidden to keep secrets; you keep secrets; you belong to the trees; you belong to the water that helps you float; you belong to February and blue; you are difficult; you are desired; you neglect your health; you are healthy; you do not always know the status of your sick; you like to dance but only when you are alone; you are often alone; you often forget to understand; you ask questions; you are questioned; you are split; you are; you; belong.

day 27: tracking.

It took you three thousand, two hundred and eighty-five days to get here. You fell in love three and a half more times with six people. You lost a pregnancy; you lost three gloves. You gained weight, several new words and two college degrees. You cut your hair; you lost your hair; you bought some hair. You learned about mountain top removal and composting. You read several books you cannot recall and you wrote some books. There were fourteen blackouts: several from various weather configurations, one due to a past due bill and the others connected to your inability to curb your alcoholism. You took a bath. You learned how to knit. You purchased a mattress and almost fell off a fire escape due to your inability to curb your alcoholism. You became sober. You cooked the most delicious meal for yourself. You learned how to banter. You took one thousand and ninety-five naps. You grew an affection for hard-boiled eggs. You had a biopsy. You moved nine times. You applied for health insurance; you acquired a primary care physician. You gained more weight. You fell in love for an evening. You purchased a pet. You lost your pet. You learned how to play a musical instrument; you lost seventeen friends. You traveled overseas; you took a road trip. You contemplated lipstick. You purchased two succulents. You tried Nattō. You had three affairs minus the six you do not mention. You still bite your nails. You still collect stamps and phone numbers. You still forget to breathe sometimes. You still fall asleep hungry some nights. You still think of _____. You still do not know how to crochet or apologize correctly. You are still alone; you are constantly surrounded. You still desire stillness. You are still learning. You are still drafting drifting dreaming.

day 11: fall.

“She is a letter in the / envelope of your body”  –r. erica doyle

1. You don’t always know. You don’t always know when you lose something. You don’t always know when you lose something, especially when you may never have had it in the first place.

2. Suspend your disbelief for just a moment when I tell you that sometimes love travels with you in silence until you are ready to fall. Until you are ready to articulate your dark, your scary, your spider webs, your uncertain.

3. “I knew when I could combine the disconnection of my nude with my clothed and they still loved me. When I wasn’t shamed into a gender that did not feel like my own, I knew they were the one.

4. Letters. Post. The intimacy of handwritten articulation.

5. Be someone’s Autumn. (Translation: Show all your colors and encourage them to show theirs. Be an adventure, as you give yourself permission to fall and be and belong. Mesmerize.)

6. “She is the gape of a second.” –r. erica doyle  (Translation: Do not look away because there are moments that are like gasps and you may meet someone who steals your blinks away. So brief. But in a sliced-open second, love can be found.

7. The others do not have to hide. You can still find room inside the carved box of your mind to love the others. To remember them. But do not romanticize. There is a reason they are no longer in sight. But love never goes away. It just elipses……

8. Ray LaMontagne on repeat.

9. Unfold your hiding spots and play seek.

10. Love like you have not watched any of the movies. This is your script to write.

well, what are you then?

Last night, you called yourself a dormant addict in a room full of humans wearing name tags and fetishes. When one of them asked you what you were into, you said, “Peanut butter sandwiches without the bread.”

You wandered around that room searching through poems hidden beneath piles of skin. One of them stood so close to you, you could smell breakfast on his breath, even memorized the pattern of his lungs extending and retracting.

On this night, you chose seltzer over whiskey and when there was nothing left to sip, you stole ice cubes and leftover limes sliced over glasses.

One of them wanted to kiss you. Another mislabeled you as woman and child-bearer. You looked all over for humans who had no ownerships to boxes, but many seemed in need of calling themselves something.

Finally, when someone asked, well, what are you then?, all you could say was, “Decapsulating.”

emergency contact.

It is 5 something in the part of the morning where it is still dark and quiet and the floor does not creek above. Sleep is being digested in every direction. Your body is cold or covered in sweat. Your only company is the dryness on your skin asking to be itched. You are nude or gathered up in cotton. It is too soon for an alarm to alert you to wake. Not too early for cars to speed over potholes; you can hear their tire marks and the traffic lights turn. You can hear the weight of too many thoughts climb away from you. Who do you call?

The sun is in a dressing room somewhere, too high up to be captured by photographers. It is getting fitted for a new layer of heat. If the sun could speak, it might stage a performance piece that addresses the discomfort of trying on anything new. It has a complicated relationship with the moon; in this moment, they are treating each other with silence. There are birds, but the phone cord doesn’t reach. Alone, the sun wishes to call someone, but its height and burn has pushed everyone away.

The elephant gets distracted by the shine of water reflecting off rocks and leaves like skinny, green rafts. The others have gone off and it can feel a shutter resonate from the ground below. Footsteps can be a map back toward where one needs to go: an indentation or rhythm of heel pounding against earth. But the connection is bad and these impressions are full of static. So, the elephant remains. There is nothing left to eat here, so it chews on its loneliness, caught up in the grooves of teeth and breath. Time is marked by temperature drip and the way the light turns into an overwhelming shadow.

The human sits inside a room, which is window’d and warm. Their body is empty from dreams carting away the indigestion of the previous day’s meals. They search for the right words to call this feeling. Letters become replaced by soundswhich become a collision of wails. This human ages and is alone. Feels like the sun because although this human has been described as bright, isolation has become its emergency contact. Feels like an elephant because although this human has been titled traveler of pages, wrinkles of sad decorate each fold and tumble of bones.

It does not get easier. So there is a cling to meditation and old habits. There are diets and doors. Everyone is so attached to the plastic in their pockets, but when it rings, no one answers.

If this were an emergency, could you be found?





all of this will soon be past.

“If this life isn’t enough/ then an afterlife won’t be enough”      -fanny howe

Dear Kazim,

There are presents to be received when remaining in the present.

You wrote, “The body is like a day: it begins with the darkness of evening, ends with the ebbing of light.

I say to you: Within this wander, I recognize who remains. That in this present, my past exists like swollen gifts. Some I sense the need not to open. Some I must not only open but rummage and fondle. Kazim, I am tangled. The knots wrestle themselves into my hair and my loins and even in my words. I like your sense of beginning in the dark in order to travel toward light.

There are these humans hovering around me: a music MAker, a soul sister, a brother, several lovers, the satellite that exchanges shapes each night, a Rebel, a father, a gender warrior. Each one tells me in their language how to remain. How to remain.

Kazim, you remind me: “If the plot of my life is writing then I have nothing but time.”

What is this rush to unpack my boxes. Perhaps I need to wander in order to remember what it feels like to be still. The writing exists in me; this earth has many desks and “rooms” that permit and encourage our creativity.

A traveling human tells me that all we really need as writers is time. Space is everywhere.

Several months ago, I met a woman who wore earth on her skin. One day, we sat beside each other in a room full of others and we painted. We were each given blank circles and asked to fill them in with our souls. With our souls, Kazim. Can you imagine this task? So, I painted a tree with branches of words and she combined colors into a womb and sperm and there was dark and light and I could smell her tears even before I noticed them bungee-jumping from her eyes. In this human, I saw hope that even in such sadness, there is desperation to live. To remain. Before I said goodbye to her, I gave her a tulip, which someone else had given me. This flower is like youI said. Alive. Watered. From the earth. And breathing. And giving. And giving. And giving. 

it’s been in *here* all along

Pay no mind to the dripping roots, which dangle from each limb. I’ve been dug up but I have some time left to search for a stretch of earth to replant myself in.

A beautiful woman named Audrey serves me a fresh-baked spiced muffin and cafe au lait. Tells me spirituality is everywhere. Calls me fire. Tells me that the poet in me is a fighter. I will give you a book, she says. And I’ll mark the spaces that you’ll want to read twice. This book will take a year to read. Maybe longer. Come back, she said. (As though she sensed my inner EXIT sign).

Young red-haired boy named Rainer asks me for my autograph at a secluded island where poets gather. In turn, I ask him for his. We curve the alphabet into each other’s notebooks and admire the spread of our names like a slow leak.

For several days in a row, the moon drips out of sky and saunters toward me. Tells me that monsters exist in hallways and dreams and some look like three-legged creatures and others masquerade as housemates. I house the moon’s glow within my pupils and between my fingers. I find that home is no longer attached to an address, rather housed inside my hips and the drips of my mind.

Human out yonder calls out to me through the wind. Curls their language into mine and we create long-distance music together. Another home: inside watchtower as we watch each other breathe through moments of remembering.

But if you leave, remember to leave a note. Remember that the poems on your flesh are not enough to explain all this. All along, these mailboxes and square footage have all been distractors. The real residence lays on your tongue. With each spoken word. With each admittance of pain or panic or promise or please.

speak your voice, pirate

I could be on the top of this earth, testing the width of my thigh span. Perhaps my right leg grazes Colorado and left leans against Missouri. When a body sits on an airplane, pressed between window’d seat and neurotic woman studying the “idiot’s guide to buying a home”, one may notice how square everything is down below.

There are perfect right angles and circles and everything is fifty shades of brown.

In this moment, I am so close to first class I can touch the curtain separating our economic differences and breathe in their high-thread-count-upholstered seats.

How many times have I fallen in love this past week? Safe love. The kind of love that needs no explanation or physical representation. The kind of love that remains in silence.

1. miso ground into a dressing over arugula salad with edamame and beets.

2. the lizard doing push-ups on Anne U White trail in Boulder. Even this tiny creature contemplates it’s own arm strength abilities– this is simultaneously sad and charming.

3. a young boy on his way toward second year of life and all the reminders of how two moms are so much better than one.

4. an attraction between cross-genre genders/ slur of denim’d hips and mutual vests on opposite chests/ eyes greener than sun-soaked moss/ a lick of lips as though preparing them for mine/ teeth large enough to bite into my language/ a flirt/ a missed connection/

5. everyone is trying to flatten themselves away! My stomach refuses to section off into six separate packs. Instead, I channel these mountains, which are far sexier in their curves than the flat screen door pushed close to get here.

6. boy raises money to remove breasts and I am in awe of his awareness of body. What gets to stay and what impostors must go? I’m still taking inventory of this body.

7. the couple who collide due to persistent photographer with bones made of magic fairy dust, sparkling beyond manufactured flash. The ways in which love can be seen, can be pressed, can cohabitate. I want to copyright the three beautiful versions of love I got to gaze upon in order to find some of my own.

8. that deer.

9. that cafe au lait with soy milk slinking down my throat and pressing me into wide awake-ness.

10. and what if I were to mention hym again? A mouth traveling miles before the first word emerges. Engaging in topics like coffee and hormones, and stimulants like caffeine and boners. I should have asked about preferred pronoun, so I’d know the proper way to press gendered human into this poem.

11. miles. voices. lawns. gardens. drag kings. poets. and a pirate that somehow lives inside all of us because we are all just choosing our own adventure within the shapes and colors and dialects around us.