unsent letter 2: visions

I keep having visions, you see

terrible, vibrant, beautiful visions

perfectly intrusive scenes projected across my eyelids

until the moment my frontal lobe winks them from existence.

 

I keep having visions, you see

the olive tan of your skin,

the softness of your expensive clothes, the faint dimples in the cloth

the blue of your eyes meeting mine across the table,

marbles glistening from a great height.

 

I keep having visions, you see

of thick green glass

meeting my skull right right above my brow, right where you kissed me

the shattering of glass and blossoming bruise,

twin stars in the midst of creation.

 

I keep having visions, you see

that someone gathers up the keratinous mane of my hair

brushes it gently, pulls it taught against my skull

the professional updo she would always wear,

and cuts it away in one swift motion.

 

I keep having visions, you see

love and death,

violence and passion,

loneliness and love,

your smile, our laughter, my tears

perfectly intrusive scenes projected across my frontal lobe

until the moment my eyelids wink them from existence–

 

I keep having all these visions, you see

I wish any of them were of you,

coming back.

 

(hello my loneliness)

 

 

 

unsent letter 1: maybe

maybe one day, this won’t feel so bad

maybe the heavy stone in my chest will be eroded by the riverine flow of time

broken down, ground down, absolutely pulverized

metamorphosed into sand,

that will flow so neatly as if from an hourglass,

future, present, past.

 

maybe one day, this won’t feel so bad

maybe the knife in my chest will move

turned over, spun around, excised

metamorphosed into a scalpel,

that will cut so neatly the meaning of your words,

the truth between the lines.

 

maybe one day, this won’t feel so bad

maybe the room in my heart you left so gaudily decorated will be taken over

sublet, rented out, even bought.

metamorphosed into a vibrant space, cozy, warm

redecorated permanently,

no longer the space where you really live.

 

maybe one day, this won’t feel so bad

maybe the songs I used to quote to you will ring out again

less intrusive, more thoughtful,

metamorphosed back into the warm blanket of sounds

that kept me swaddled up, small, safe

melodious memories mellowed out.

 

but maybe, just like today,  you will always be here

this heavy weight in my chest,

the tense tearing of the muscles around my collarbone,

a room silently screaming to be filled with sound.

the love between us metamorphosed

 

Into it I sing our song, hoping

no matter what

that you’re happy.

 

(I am missing you)

renewal

in this age of renewal there are many firsts

first time walking into a new home

first time walking into a new office

first time registering for classes

first time riding the bus to a new campus

in this age of renewal, there are many emotions

I am sad, a river flowing to a lonely sea

I am happy, a pond filled with golden koi

I am nervous, a seed sending out a trembling stem to heaven

I am excited, a cactus flower eagerly opening to the night sky

In this age of renewal, there are many blessings

the joy of bonds between friends well kept

the sound of the laughter between new friends

the gentle hum of many people working as a unified team

and most of all,

the beautiful vision of your smile when we embrace, a string of pearls

friends finally together at the end of a long journey.

 

a good memory

sometimes, I think of the day we met

of how different our pretenses were for meeting the other.

In truth, I wanted to scam you. To use you,

unfurl you like a napkin, wipe away the dust from packing my skeletons back in the closet,

and throw you out.

 

sometimes, I think of the day we met

of how you looked at me when I called your name.

In truth, I wanted to feel powerful. To use you,

wrap you up in my words, smear into you the greasy gaudy nature of my persona

and cage you in.

 

sometimes, I think of the day we met

of how I looked into your eyes

and in that moment, the apparitions came to me

In truth, I was stymied by your gaze. How could I use you,

ignore the bloom of sage that are your eyes, gloss over the smooth sound of your voice,

and throw you out?

 

Sometimes. I think of the second day we met

of how I looked into your eyes

and in that moment, the apparitions came to me

In truth, they met the grey green wall of your gaze and decided. To use you,

wrap themselves in your form, tear away the soft cloths of your words,

and trap me.

 

Sometimes, I think of the second day we met

of how I looked into your eyes

In truth, it felt like being in pouring rain, freezing and cleansing simultaneously

And all I wanted was to use you,

to let you wipe away the greasy gaudy nature of my persona, unfurl my crown,

to let you wrap me in a thousand soft cloths

and return me to the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

a secret?

hey, listen

blue eyes beautiful

you can’t hide

 

not yourself, not your feelings, not your thoughts

 

hey, listen

blue eyes beautiful

you can’t hide

 

not the shaking of your voice, not the quivering in your hands, not the crumbling of your thoughts

 

hey, listen

blue eyes beautiful

please don’t hide

 

can’t you see that I am hooked on every thought, every motion of your hands, and every shaken word

that tumbles out

from your perfect peachen pout?

 

 

surprise!

everytime I think I am finally old enough

have finally done enough work with people unlike you

have finally walked or biked or flown around the world far enough

everytime I think I have impressed every other white man with blue eyes enough

to forget everything about you

 

to forget every moment of hot-faced shame or every stomach dropping moment

where you all looked at me,

laughing with those perfect white teeth pulled back to talk about how much I suck

 

everytime I think I’ve escaped the shadow of all those memories

of thinking I could just sit on the jetty, on the cool black stones until

the bioluminescent sea carried me away

 

everytime everytime everytime

you come rushing back to me,

 

or really, I come falling back to you

like the day the sand disappeared from beneath my feet

and suddenly I was drowning in the freezing sea

nothing but sightless soundless blue water above me

 

desperately crying for help

each wide mouth scream filling my lungs with crystalline pain

eyes flowing their own tiny sea until the salt seared them shut

limbs thrashing desperate for a hold on something, someone

 

until the waves flung me back onto the sand

reeling and retching and crying

for everyone to see.

(surprise!)

hold me tight (or don’t)

hold me tight

(or don’t)

this isn’t that song, you know

you can’t just peep and pick and choose

the pieces of my latinity that you’ll worship to infinity

you either hold me tight

(or don’t)

 

this isn’t that movie, you know

you can’t just say you love

my brown skin my black eyes my sacred hair my divinity

just to reject the traumas you can’t fetishize into something you can own

you either hold me tight

(or don’t)

 

this isn’t that book, you know

you can’t just spend everyday

listening for hours about the million ways I’m nothing like you

just to dismiss this halfway house of an identity the minute your whiteness can’t save it

you either hold me tight

(or don’t)

 

So either hold me tight with a body nothing like mine

(or don’t)

If this isn’t how our story goes then say so

there’s a million stories in my culture that tell me exactly what you’ll do

I’ll keep a candle lit for you, because what else is love for but forgiving men like you

But I hope the distance between us cuts you like a knife

the next time you either hold me tight

(or don’t)