Tag Archive for 'love'

love love love

i believe we are living on the precipice of the next phase of our species. and i’m with such good people, people who cry hard and laugh harder. and do one to move through the other, rolling across the full emotional span in epic waves. we feel what’s gaping and yawning underneath both of those releases, that scale of lovegrief that can’t be captured in any words i know…we let it be in our eyes, at our core.

the more i learn/remember how to feel, the more in love i fall with the particular aliveness that only sparks between us. that met longing felt when the interior world unfolding in me comes to a border and longs to be porous, expansive, vast, one, multitudes. this opening, these moments, this work, this makes a viable future possible.

today i remembered a song i was taught over a decade ago:

“oh i say thank you
oh i say thank you
oh great spirits
in this way
i long to give my life to you
in love and devotion
in love and devotion”
(this was taught to me as a gwitch’in song from haida gwaii)

even now, especially now, with a mask over my mouth and a storm at my back, i am learning what i must realize in myself, what i must defend and protect, what i must cultivate in the face of fear and death and supremacy: love, love, love.

one week of poems on love and terror

i was supposed to be working on a novel this month but it will keep. instead i have written thousands of other kinds of words – blog words, journal words, and with my clarion writers group, a daily poem. here is some of the poetry, which feels very much like the journal stuff, my terror/despair/love, clarified.

….

1. survival

the brittle tissue was layered and piled up
rung dry
stretched on a repurposed loom
until diaphanous
torn strips for the days to come

she rolled the flesh up
suffocating the thru line
doubling it, fat grease
thick in her fingerprint
placing gray life on her tongue

it was salt and steel
it was cold and still
it was the fat end of the day
and she was the only one hungry
the open mouth

in this way
she ate her own heart
before they came
to break it

….

2. moving forward

i wake up into clouds
and all day i reach in my hands
feel my way forward
i think forward
its hard to tell
sweeping the nothingness away
i gather the mist with my palms
ready, not ready
for the sharp tomorrow
to slice my fingers

….

3. reducing myself

i am accumulating crust and feathers
pinching and piercing my skin
and threading through me
and making a bloody mess

it gathers at the edge of eyes
too fast to wipe away
the salt-ring
soon i will decide: open? closed.

i used to love all the colors
i used to love all the titles i could gather
but i can let my skin cake up with dust
be a no one from here to there

at first i was so brave
and i had a framework, an answer, a flow
now, i just choose life over death, today,
today,
today

4. becoming brightness

im far away from myself
a distance between heart and skin grows
fills with brush fire
until inside i wheeze and my eyes tear up in public
am i a stray spark
am i of danger

if i keep an open mind it means maybe there are multiple interpretations of “lynch that nigger”
a humorous way to grab a stranger’s pussy
and logic by which descendants of immigrants can tell anyone ever to go home;
that my love is less than sacred

but i am the infinite accumulation
of millions of small sparks in the night
saying:
i am not your dream, i am my own

now i feel smoke in my mouth
now i begin to burn through those i touch
i begin to feel a hunger for anything that stands still
i begin to slip out of system

….

5. every time i choose

on one side of me is the terror
a shoreline with a violent water
sucking back teeth
lifting up to swallow
me and all of us
making all my distinctions silly
drowning my horses and
dashing my obsession with living

on the other side of me
she is holding my hand
she has already lost several nations
and all faith in men and politics
she loves me without ever saying it
watches me until i become goddess
saying its ok to grieve, to be terrified
let us feel as much as we can while we are living

every time i choose her
i feel the miracle of touching skin that isn’t mine
her life comes from a desert
and she laughs at how i am american
grandiose and self important
then she shows me something smaller
and more precise
than i ever dreamed

this time it is a tiny elephant named earl
she wants me to travel with him
before that, a soap from aleppo
to remind me that nothing is forever
and once it was a book of male genitalia
to help us laugh at those who care for power
now, with my sea of terror behind me
all i can gift her in return

is my life

….

6. my heart can break but not in two

i am not half of myself
my mother’s cells do not inhale in me
pulling themselves away
from the skin that terrifies
her neighbors

my mother grew up around
men on horses with rifles
told a lie about their hearts
(irrelevant)
and a lie about their destinies
(supreme)

my heart can break on a story
about a poor white person
who lost something beloved
person, place, thing
but show them my picture
ask if i can lead them…

so, my heart can break

i am not half of myself
my father’s cells do not terrify
the tender world in me
which whiteness inhales in infinite lines
feasting on its neighbors

my father grew up around
women who held kitchen courts
lost their teeth early
(truthful tongues are sharp)
lived almost forever
(raising everyone in sight)

my heart can break on a story
about a poor black person
who nurtured the deepest sweet
but stepped onto the pavement
and was swallowed up, whole

so, my heart can break

7. your safety and your pins

there is nothing wrong with safety pins
i imagine that where you are
it is brave
the world around you
held together by a gleaming oil-ish bubble
chartreuse and bulbous
inside like a snow globe
small and white and seeming to fall down
earth flat, that sort of thing
and you want a real life
you want to stop being shaken
and responding to a false chaos
where the only thing that changes is the
position of the sky
you want to feel dirt and
to find a heartbeat in your chest
so you prick inward and out
and with the sharp and rounded pin
you shout:
i will change

and there is nothing wrong with this
it is a morning action
and you still have sleep in your eyes

an emissary from the night might tell you
there is nothing wrong with safety pins
but you may find you need a sword
a shield, a baton, fireworks,
a megaphone and a rested voice
and to feel the ocean inside you
before you can step onto this line
between me and hatred

for the line is long and fatal
and the war so quiet
it could break you in two
like a confession

for the line is sharp
and the war so deep
it could swallow you whole
before you can say stop

come on home to me

come on home to me
black warriors, hard edges
learn soft from my thighs

there’s no drama here
you can leave it at my door
i will wait for you

i kiss your forehead
eye eye nose lips ears and throat
blessing your senses

i’ll wipe down the blood
i’ll whisper your name all night
you’ll wake up yourself

come on home to me
we are two shades of healer
it’s my turn to fight

– #blackaugust #blackaugust575

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black band

i am going to begin wearing a black armband on my left arm, closest to my heart, to indicate that i am a warrior in mourning.
that #blacklivesmatter to me.
that i recognize i am of a targeted nation inside a violence-addicted nation.

i am so moved by and so grateful for the work of #blacklivesmatter, the blackout collective, BYP100, black organizing for leadership and dignity (BOLD) and so many others working to generate actions for our liberation. (give money to each of those groups if you are at a loss of what to do. redistribute a portion of your salary to their work. for serious.)

and…we can’t hope that these currently under resourced formations will just do all the work for everyone. we all need to act. we need a tipping point of brave people willing to move out of complicit silence into action. (yes, i am saying that the resistance in your head or even in righteous conversation between you and a few friends is not enough – honey i wish it were. no one wants to feel all of this and do all of this. but we are in a moment of genocide and anthropocene and we must take ourselves seriously.)

we need all kinds of action – direct action, organizing, healing, strategizing, redistribution. grieving is an action. feeling is an action.

and solidarity. not “ally” solidarity, but solidarity and action by non-black people who recognize we are in one struggle for humanity.

one action is actually being public and open about our resistance, to say we see what is happening and we say no more, not today, never again, stop. we see beyond what is happening and we know love must win.

so. i want to wear what i need – a black circle, a wholeness.

as i cut up a pair of black leggings to make my armband i felt all the things i am longing for. this isn’t what everyone who wears the armband may mean, but i wanted to share.

mervyn marcano posted #blaxit the other night and i thought – ‘yes!!’ and then, ‘but seriously how do we divest from this system of genocide?’

i want to stop paying the percentage of taxes that goes to police, ICE and military forces – to defund this perversion of justice and invest in community models, mediation and healing spaces.
i want to pull all the babies out of schools that teach them they are more than or less than anyone else – either with sloppy histories or preferential treatment and funding of education.
i want a landless workers movement to secure farmland. i want my hands in some dirt – i want octavia butler’s acorn and earthseed.
i want all my money to go to people who love me, love us.
i want the precious earth to be a shared precedent that unifies our decision making.

i want all white people to catch up to the white people i hold close to me, who show me what is possible – those who never make me wonder about our equality, who never say all lives matter, who never ask me to carry the weight of their learning and unlearning.
i want to banish any white people who don’t get it, and who aren’t working on unlearning racism, from my life and the lives of everyone i love (you don’t have the range).

i want significant work stoppage across the country every time our lives are stolen because someone imagined we were dangerous to them. our money matters, our labor matters.

i want people to know when they see me that i am to be treated like a griever and like a warrior and like a healer and nothing less. i want us to come out in our grief and radical commitment to liberation.

this is bigger than police killing of black people – this band is my public declaration of war on white supremacy in all it’s manifestations, including racialized capitalism, colonialism, difference-phobia, gun fetishes, violence as a way of resolving conflict – all of it.

it is also my public vulnerability – i grieve every time i see humanity turned against itself, i feel it. and i believe it is part of my life’s work to feel it and turn others towards feeling it, to un-numb us so that we realize we are on fire. i am not going to keep adjusting and maintaining the social status quo. i am angry and numb and overwhelmed and terrified. i am mourning and trying to step into the shoes of all my newborn ancestors. i need it to be known. i need the world to interact with me with more awareness.

in studying public signs of mourning this one seems most appropriate and accessible. it has also been a sign of protest and political affiliation at times. i think we need it to be both for grief and for resistance. i also know i would feel safer in a world where those who stood against the genocide of my people were visible to me.

i recognize i may be wearing this armband for the rest of my life. i keep thinking of the length of slavery, how not being the property of a white person seemed equal parts necessary and impossible for generations and generations. not being the target of police, ending white supremacy and racialized capitalism feels impossible to me now…but it feels absolutely necessary.

all the love i walk with only lets me move in one direction, towards our liberation.

join me.

#blacklivesmatter #blackband #blaxit

blackband

(and yes, join in all my non-black and international beloveds, especially those being targeted too – this week i have cried for so many people and places all over and i feel our togetherness in our resistance even if we start from different locations. i wear this band with love for palestine, syria, bangladesh, turkey, brazil, iraq – and that’s just this week. together we are the future.)

lighting candles for orlando, and for all of us

lighting candles of liberation and nirvana for the 50 souls in transition from the pulse nightclub in orlando. i hope they are holding each other in the journey.

lighting candles of inner and outer healing for the injured, may they recover and be supported from the trauma of what they survived.

lighting candles of grief for the queer, trans, latinx and black communities of orlando for this massive loss – we are family, i mourn with you. what a massive loss.

lighting candles of protection and solidarity for my muslim and arab beloveds as this country does its favorite thing – using one phobia to feed another, deflecting blame after creating the conditions for nothing but hate. grateful for those who reached out to me today in love, and who received my love in return.

and lighting candles of fierce love for all of my friends and family who participate in major religions that espouse homophobic beliefs. however you call god, the weight of hate crimes against QUILTBAG people is partially yours, the struggle falls on your frontline. i extend my warrior energy behind you as you fight the ignorance and hate mongering within your sacred houses.

lighting candles under the asses of anyone who still can’t grasp the need for deconstructing the gun/violence-worshipping culture of this nation. you sound unworthy of the miracle of life you have been given.

lighting a candle at the intersections, that we may all see that we are not separate, we cannot separate. last night i gave a speech on abortion at an undisclosed location, kept hidden for security reasons that root into the same violence that was wrought in orlando. i am abstaining from sugar in solidarity with jasmine abdullah richards, who is behind bars for standing up against the violent policing of this country which disproportionately devastates the same communities that were targeted in orlando. i am grieving comrades who have been killed in the line of their work to push back against hate. all of this is connected, us – black, queer, trans, differently abled, immigrant, woman, arab, indigenous, asian, fat, nonbinary, nonmainstream in any way – wanting to live and love as we are – and those we are up against seemingly dissatisfied with disagreeing and leaving us alone. they must take everything, have everything, and kill what they cannot understand. we must hold tight to each other and grow, become indivisible.

lighting a candle for myself, that in this moment of rage and grief i can stay in touch with the truth and beauty of my precious, sacred and very queer life. i choose to live my life guided and motivated by love rather than hate. i know i am free. i know love is what sets and keeps me free.

i found this helpful – some practical tips from suzy steffan via my sci fi sister lisa bolekaja:

A few things straight cis or trans and non-straight cis people could do today and every day to support LGBTQIA people:

1. Listen to queer people.

2. Listen to queer people of color. This hate crime happened in diverse Orlando at Latinx night at the Pulse. That very much matters.

3. Text us, snapchat us, tweet us that you love us (do not include “no matter whom you love”) and you’re thinking about us today.

4. Don’t deny that this was a hate crime.

5. Don’t make this about Islam. It’s not. It’s about transphobia and homophobia. Oh, and access to AR-15s.

6. Ask local LGBTQIA groups how you can help.

7. Don’t accept one nanosecond, not ONE, of victim blaming from friends, relatives, or religious representatives.

8. If you go to church and your pastor doesn’t mention Orlando or does it in a hateful way, speak up right then or walk out at that moment, and find a new church. Same for any religious organization. You can help your religious organizations be better.

9. Donate blood *AND* tell the FDA to lift the ban on “men who have had sex with men” donating blood RIGHT NOW, as in RIGHT. NOW.

10. Trans and L/G/B cis people of color get killed at disgustingly high rates. You, yes, you, straight/cis people, *have to* speak out against HB 2 and all the other transphobic “bathroom bills” out there.

11. If you have money, you could send it to Orlando (if you don’t live there), or you could help fund your local QUILTBAG organizations. Some links in the comments.

12. If you don’t have money, which I *certainly* understand right now, get books by authors who identify as LGBTQIA out of the library, and recommend them to others.

13. You might, as I have this ugly awful morning, try to get your local politicians to support a vigil for the LGBTQIA communities.

13a. But when that vigil happens, listen to the community to see if we need you there. We might need you as a buffer zone. We’ll be holding each other and crying and singing. You be our security.

13b. Be sure to ask those politicians to get the buy-in of local grassroots and “official” queer/trans rights groups. It’s important for cities and states and the country to support us, but not without our organizations as well.

14. Read up on LGBTQIA herstory and history. (Some suggex in the comments, eventually.)

15. Post about Orlando. You don’t have to share the news stories, you don’t have to share the details, but show us that you see us and that you care about us. We see you when you don’t.

16. If you have QUILTBAG employees – and you do if you have employees! – check in with them today and in the next few days. Have their backs. Be prepared to help them out, to fill in (without asking them to give up paychecks).

17. If you have QUILTBAG students – and you do if you teach! – give them extra love and space to process. Not by singling them out, of course, but by publicly mentioning your horror at the hate crime and privately letting them know that they can take more time as they process.

wedding speech (renna and geoffrey)

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welcome. thank you all for being here. renna and geoffrey thank you for letting us all bear witness to the love you share.

i am holding a box with the beloveds’ rings in them. after today, geoffrey and renna will wear these rings every day of their lives to symbolize their commitment to each other. and they have asked us to bless their rings, to each take a moment to hold them and silently imbue these rings with our love and best wishes for their future. i am going to pass these around so that every person here is woven into that future. (don’t open the box! and…do your most efficient blessing.)

so. we are here today to celebrate good news. renna and geoffrey you found each other – congratulations!

congratulations to your families, to those who created you, to your friends, to every life experience that has shaped you both to be so awesome for each other. well done.

really, what a miracle!

love is always a miracle.

not just dating or crushes or even relationships, all of that is miracle development work.

in this big world where we somehow sift through our portion of 7 billion people and find those beyond our families who we can love unconditionally, you have found each other.

and this is a heartbreaking world. so you have to be making choices along the way, staying open hearted in the onslaught, healing, reopening, being available to scar your heart on the sharp corners and jagged edges of other people’s growth.

and your own.

you have to be willing to be seen in your wholeness. and wholeness is a nakedness, we are taught to only show our faces, our hands. on a hot day some elbows and knees. but love is letting someone see us all of a piece, the imperfections and scars and stretch marks. the funny shaped this or that. the messy mornings and exhausted evenings, the times when we laugh so hard we snort, the grief that has us laid out unbathed and unbothered on the floor. our pettiness, our insecurity, our beauty, our ecstasy. our humanity.

i work as a doula and so far in every birth, there is a moment when the birthing parent says, ‘nope. can’t. mm-mm. i will go now.’

because miracles are inconceivable. even though they happen daily, and even when they are happening…its impossible until it is done.

and in love we do the same thing. we get to the edge and look down to the depths of ourselves and realize we can’t see the bottom. the feeling coming through is too big to speak with our small mouths, to feel with just our hearts.

then we jump, fall, fly, speak, commit: i love you. forever. you are a piece of my wholeness.

and whenever this feeling occurs, it is life itself, moving up against terror and danger and unworthiness.

true love is always political – it is always a way of being a warrior, asserting a future in spite of and in response to the past.

love is the best of sentient life’s gifts.

in this world where we cultivate hierarchy, otherness, enemies, borders and never ending consumption, love is a balm.

love counter offers equality, togetherness, comraderie, shared land and life, and the deep sleep that comes from having exactly enough.

we need to love each other.

and as we prepared together these past few months, renna and geoffrey and i noted the importance of this particular union.

these two lovers before us today, a syrian woman and a black man, bring with them mutual legacies of persecution. both come from peoples who are in utmost danger in the places they call home.

i was just traveling outside the us, on the same journey these two are about to take for their honeymoon – and i was asked a few times how, why black people don’t flee america, given the frequency of state violence against us. and i was in places where syrian refugees sit in family units on street corners asking for mercy.

stay, go, there is no right answer, no safe geography in this interconnected world.

the only way forward, the only safety, is love. to love ourselves and each other, not just in spite of the messages from the world that tell us not to, but as our act of resistance. as our evolution.

to reject the narratives that say we are separate. then to love each other, unconditionally:

you are lovable
i can forgive you
i can see you whole

we can love
we can love in ways that heal our legacies of persecution and trauma and heartache and loneliness and small thinking

we are whole
we can only remember that together

love taps us directly into that force of life that is greater than ourselves – god, creation, the tao, the way. it reminds us that even in the course of our mundane, frustrating, funny, ever improving lives, we are always miraculous, we are all, already, pieces of divine light moving through this world.

so thank you renna and geoffrey, for weaving your lineages together into a future, for increasing human resilience by choosing love.

thank you for the ease and maturity of your union. it is so healing to be around you! keep it up.

thank you for turning towards the work of opening up to each other, trusting each other and nurturing life together.

james baldwin said ‘love is a growing up’ – you two embody that. for myself, for us, as individuals, and for the species, but thank you both for growing towards the sun and the light.

now it is time for the vows.

(the lovers exchanged gorgeous vows to each other, each based in gratitude that the other person existed, incredible love, and promises to each other. they had the following vows for the community)

community, i am going to read your vows now, and if you can make this commitment, please respond with ‘we do’.

Community, as Geoffrey and Renna’s extended kin, do you promise to do your best to remain sane and loving.

To intervene with hope and possibility during the darker times.

To communicate honestly, past the ‘masks of composure’.

Intervening with truths, perspective, humor and time as needed.

(We do.)

Do you vow to rejoice together, and mourn together, and to delight in each other, helping to ensure each other’s optimal well-being and fullest potential?

(We do.)

three additional highlights:

1. the music! there was a zaffa band to lead the bridal party in and out, and dj emancipation spinning with curator ola khalidi supporting. emanne and i want to manifest being a brown feminist radical love team for sacred unions :-)

(i danced for the first time since my injury – music heals.)

2. meeting a couple who were older and had found each other as ‘spirit-loves’ three years ago. they had such ease, sweetness and gratitude to be in each other’s presence, showed so much care. it is never too late for love.

3. geoffrey’s uncle spoke on behalf of his brother, geoffrey’s father, who passed when geoffrey was young. i wept at the beauty of this responsibility, this love, and then goosebumps moved over my skin, over the crowd – that long gone father spirit swept through the room and we knew the union was good.

so grateful to be part of it – here’s a few pictures of this incredible day:

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interdependence is iterative

interdependence is one of the elements of emergent strategy that i have been studying (and, i thought, embodying) over the past few years.

i love it theoretically – no one is alone! in an ideal scenario of radical interdependence, we would take from the planet what we needed to sustain ourselves, and care for and protect the place and life forms of home. we would take from each other what we needed, what we lacked, and offer to each other from our abundance. its a lovely idea and i am slightly obsessed with cultivating it, particularly in movement spaces.

this past month i have gotten some practice in it, and really noticed the iterative nature of interdependence. what i have been studying by being hyper aware inside my life is how much being interdependent is a series of small repetitive motions.

i am excited to share observations anytime i am able to from inside an experience, and that isn’t always possible. much of this past month was hard in ways i couldn’t move through my mouth or fingers with any coherence.

the feelings were clear, though…

perhaps not all feelings fit inside of words anyway. it is presumptive to ever assume we are understanding each other, but what a balm it is to feel understood, or even just held tightly when your spirit is dancing beyond comprehension.

the things i had do repeatedly towards interdependence:

1. be seen.

initially with defensiveness (i am not like you say i am) even/especially in the face of experts (i have diagnosed myself, i know what is wrong with me).

and then, perhaps, without agency. because being seen is actually non-negotiable, though i can hide or i can determine my level of grace and relationship in it.

on so many levels, interdependence requires being seen, as much as possible, as your true self. meaning that your capacity and need are transparent.

meaning even when i don’t want to look in the mirror, i am (and i choose to be) open to the attention of others.

sometimes i start with my w.o.e.s., or those with whom i am co-evolving through friendship. i show something i’ve been hiding, and hope i’m still lovable. this generally goes better than could be expected, every single time.

i have also tried starting out naked on a hard table under a bright light, shivering from the cold of so many strangers’ eyes.

i can walk towards this ‘being seen’ and experience the beauty of releasing all that guard and protection, that miracle distortion. or i can resist it and only be seen in moments of trauma and loss of control.

but i will be seen, and the more i open to it, the gentler and more necessary that attention feels.

(as i was writing this i was reminded that interdependence is basically the song lean on me in practice: ‘for no one can fill those of your needs that you don’t let show.’)

2. be wrong.

there is nothing like the wrong feeling of being an intuitive witchy healer and having to be told something indisputable about your body.

particularly if you’ve already done the thorough work of disputing said something. out loud. at a volume that might, by some, be described as unmedicated anguish level. it’s pitiful wrong.

the easier ‘being wrong’ is for you (the faster you can release your viewpoint), the quicker you can adapt to changing circumstances. adapting allows you to know and name current needs and capacity, to be in relationship in real time, as opposed to any cycle of wishing and/or resenting what others do or don’t give you.

sometimes there isn’t one definitive truth (my favorite situations).

and sometimes there is one and you can’t see it. (least favorite. least.)

just at least consider it, that place where you are wrong might be the most fertile ground for connecting with and receiving others.

and in a beautiful twist, being soft in your rightness, as opposed to smashing people with your brilliance, can open others up to whatever wisdom you’ve accumulated. i am grateful to all the people who were softly right about me this past month when i couldn’t see my own needs.

3. accept my inner multitudes.

an honest self would agree to some self-care practice or limitation that would protect my recovering wounded body. and then another – honest, even earnest – self would almost immediately act against that agreement.

i’d be half bent over to lift something when the voice of one of my precious beloveds would slip through – ‘seriously what the fuck are you doing?’

(my loved ones are pure molasses sweetness.)

there is a me that wants to get that sugar devil away from me for good. there is a me that can’t go through physical trauma without ice cream, can’t even imagine that.

the more i accept this, the more i can share my contradictory truths with those who can support me, help me move towards my best self.

i am not turning against myself, i am multitudes. the tide to be turned is a process of inner alignment, those who wish to support me need me to be vulnerable with that inner contradiction.

4. ask for, and receive, what i need.

can you drive me to the hospital?
can you explain what is happening to me?
can you stop my pain?
can you open this water bottle?
can you help me stand up and sit down?
can you open the door?
can you put my bag in the overhead bin?
can you bring me groceries?
can you drive me to the airport and actually park and help me bring my suitcase inside?
can you hold me while i cry?
can you heal me?
and so on for what feels like forever…

and most of all, the childlike request inside of story telling: can you listen while i feel this?
again?
again?

i’m learning that interdependence is not about the equality of offers in real time. i had to ask most of these things of people i didn’t necessarily know, or knew but wouldn’t be able to offer anything to in the foreseeable future. i had to trust in that karma-ish idea that the support i’ve offered in the past or will offer in the future would balance this scale which felt so me-tilted.

over and over and over i offered up my small self and was held in big ways. thread through me, again, again.

the result of this experience is that i feel so much more woven into the world. i still anticipate my independence, my default can-do self space. but i don’t want to sever any of this connecting fabric between myself and all of the incredible people who held me through this past month, saw me, corrected me, held me in my contradictions, met my needs. i want more of my life to feel this interdependent, this of community and humanity. i love knowing how incredible it feels to have a need met, to be loved and cared for, and also know how incredible it feels to meet an authentic need.

it’s data, all this learning. tender data.

y’all who fed, held, carried, cleaned, transported, protected, scolded, listened and loved up on me through this…i’m in really love with y’all.

love in space (30/30)

prompt: write a poem backwards

a love which grows us up
a world which holds us tender
all of existence is in the sweet you cannot swallow

heart, get soft and open
bone, yearn to be rock and ash
stardust, remember the bright
a planet lives off of these longings

love is the orbital swoon
the outpouring of self story
the dark hours of sparse words
the shimmer of such kisses
the wonder at another’s existence
the flash in the eyes

whispered into the womb
whispered into the dirt
it is the magic salve
love is the source of all life
love is not held between two

it is all
there it is
love

24-27/30, poems

catching up on poems.

home to e— 24/30

going off prompt to share queen aya’s first love poem of her second affair with e—

in the end
coming home was easier than departing
that was how i knew

she was hearth
i was unable to explain
or step away

i found the little bird
puffed out black chest
you have never seen such plumage
and fragility

i was holding her cupped in my palms
and then she had me
in careful talons
a million meters up
breathless, knowing only her name

she is a stranger still
made of years i have no reference for
in her eyes
in her hands
the exquisite now is enough

aya’s return 25/30

going off prompt to share e—‘s first love poem from her second affair with queen aya

the queen has returned to me
more accurately
none of her reasoning could keep her from me
none of her strategy

when i was delirious
she could be trusted with my blather
when i was coherent
she blushed at my sharp desire

people say she is a sort of goddess
but she is softer than that
no lightning, no arrows
she is more solid than that
she has the constant presence of a planet, or star
orbital, molten, bright

my armor piled in the corner
my footsteps brilliant with dust down her hall
i made it through her organized doubt
her thighs are open beneath the sheet

the vermillion moon sees 26/30

prompt: write a persona poem (a poem in the voice of someone else – mythical, historical, fictional, inanimate)

i know water and salt

wherever they move together
i come pulling

i tug obsidian round
and turn her away
our dance is forever

i am the first moon of blood

their taste was familiar to me
the first two barely spoke
for weeks they lay on the surface
a new home, but they only explored each other
conversations with closed mouths

in the silence of miracles
the other who came through them
belongs here
belongs to me

i lay her to sleep, rock her
bring her up to the surface just before dawn
so first light won’t startle her

i make her dream her hands are made
of shadows and sequin
the whole system whispers it
‘she is obsidian’s child’

the humans don’t know
obsidian heard them coming
and became a home for their love

i watched her choose her textures
adjust her orbit to match their rhythms
become irresistible

she fell in love with them
so alive
in the heavy quiet of space

the humans don’t know
their first child is not only of women
but half planet
veins full of stardust

aya and e— lay down and talk 27/30

write a hay(na)ku, a variation on a haiku. write a single three line stanza, or string them together.

a single piece of papyrus, passed back and forth in a planetary collective meeting between the reunited queens.

lover
the child
is she well?
beloved
she’s impossible
and so joyful

heart
tell me
do you remember?
slowly
tender moments
return to me

witchcraft
your touch
has not changed
perhaps
my heart
can not change

baya
her skin
is growing dark
daughter
our alien
she is home

lover
can we
twin the miracle
beloved
hold me
i have millions

two of keys (23/30)

prompt: take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (I used thecollective tarot), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Make a poem from it.

from the manual on memory displacement, in the obsidian guide witchcraft and medicine files

there is no way to remove a memory
…yes sure from the mind
but so far, in our experiments, the heart cannot forget love or grief

these memories can only be displaced
locked deeper in the heart
than the present moment

it takes two keys to lock the memories away
one belongs to the memories’ owner
the other to the master witch

trust your witch
even a master can be a fool

addendum:
so long as the master witch lives
the memories can be recovered

but the process is violent
to the tender system
and can never be repeated

when the memories return
they take the center of the heart
for a year or more
before integration

when the memories return
all that wholeness can overwhelm
a halved heart