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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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?

 

 

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)

 

 

 

 

al otro lado de la pared

on the other side of the wall

that plexiglass fortress that keeps you

sequestered away in that little office of yours

complete with windows barred in rusted iron

there’s a million sounds to reverberate the air

 

there is

the sound of your tongue

tliq*tliq*tliq

against your teeth when you talk

 

there is

the sound of my feet as I skitter over to you

tuuk*tuuk*tuuk

a baby’s footsteps on the hard corporate carpet

 

there is

the sweet serious baritone of your laugh

heh*heh*heh

honey flowing from deep in that broad chest of yours

 

there is

the sound of wounds healing the

swish*swish*swish 

of your hand on my back the

scritch*pat*scratch 

of your fingers in my hair the

softest thud

tuht*tuht*tuht

of my chin on your shoulder when we hug the

prosaic hum of our bodies falling into safe rhythms

zoom*ziss*shhh*

 

all these million sounds to reverberate the air

in front of that red-iron barred window

where you’re sequestered away in that office of yours

a tiny fortress of gleaming plexiglass to keep you

on the other side of the wall.

 

today

today is a hard day

hard and crunching and cracked

like the gravel on that middle path

where you greeted me

 

 

today is a hard day

like Samson I thought I slept among friends

only to wake up alone

to a bald head and barren lands

 

 

today is a hard day

hard and crunching and cracked

the sound of my voice or

the sound your straw made as

you twirled it in your iced coffee

 

 

today is a hard day

you heard it in my cracked voice

as I crunched cool tears back behind my eyelids

to try and talk to you.

and you know and know and you always knew

what was really wrong

the din hidden just on the other side

of this round face and these painted lips

 

 

but you try and you try and you try

to tease to talk to treat

to coax away the voices

of my mom of my ex-boyfriend of all those people

those resounding words of exclusion

 

 

and today was a hard day

but the sun kissing our faces

brightened my day

and that scent of

honeysuckle and fresh water and sunshine on the mount

the sound of your voice

the blue of your eyes when they peer into mine

the warm soft safe place that is your embrace

these are what light these sunset eyes

and these are the air in my lungs

and these

the gold honey of your voice

the gentle grip of your hands

the way your face is filled with love when you smile

these are things which carry me

 

on days like today

when I am hard and cracked and crunching

like the gravel on middle path

on the day we first met

four years ago.

soft

please please please

can we talk? can I

bare you my square teeth in full grimace

suck in my body til I collapse

like a dying star?

 

I know I know I know

you

lift me up you are

the rock on which I stand the

reason for everything I am

 

please please please

just hold me once more

even if I

don’t

deserve you.

 

I know I know I know

your migraines don’t touch the

heartache

just ignore

the bruises the torn hair the ring

just

 

please please please

hold me in

that strong

grip, that warm crush of

two bodies together from disparate continents that

soft warmth

that wraps around me

like the ocean

like golden sun at the mountaintop

like the desert sand around my feet

let me breath in that scent

soft blue and sunlight like your eyes.

 

I know I know I know

we always end up here

tears on someone’s face

I know I know I know

the way

my makeup stains when

we remember what your

forefathers stole from mine

just

 

please please please

just like that first spring

when you saw me smiling

dancing

when my eyes watered and glossed

the image of you untwining

the flower from my mat of hair

when those thick curls didn’t bother

your hardened hands when

you first held this clay body;

 

just please please please

I know I know we know

soon it’ll be the last

but just one more

soft sweet sound

of your arms wrapped around me

before we’ll never be the same again.

 

 

 

 

 

safe (2)

I brace myself to race myself

force yourself up the stairs.

(its been too long)

you know full well, just tell

Let him know not listening is disrespectful

who cares that he’s the light of your life

the only reason you smile

(he has a wife)

get past the kind eyes that leave you tongue tied

Be the strong woman like everyone always tells you to.

I don’t need your charity, just for clarity

I could’ve done this myself

(with what money?)

maybe i just want to taunt

others with how well I get by in the cold.

none of this comes out in our roundabout though

just the sunshined scent of your skin

(cariño mio its you)

nullifies what I had within

i cry instead of yelling.

just let me be! don’t do this to me

my mind is a steel seive

( you’re amazing)

all brave no cave what a lie

I turn into a little girl in front of you

this is a little city quite pretty

but its one giant hell

(I’m just a puta)

if people knew you bought me things too

this would not end well.

i feel so dirty please don’t think I’m flirting

I’m spaced out on a flashback

(who would trust me?)

I brace for a chase as you get up from your chair

But suddenly you hug me.

what do I say as the world melts away

I press against you, trying to melt

(I’m flirty, just like the dad I never had)

all these words I’ve never said try to leave my head

I bite them back

(I)

you’re saying words but my thoughts chirp like birds

(love)

my arms won’t hold you but in my mind they do

(you)

(I just want to feel safe with you)