Today, the Dragons Came

Today, the  dragons came. I stood by the hill, overlooking the sea when from the horizon I saw a shadow—majestic, massive and overpowering. In that moment, darkness overcame the land—as if the mother of dragons swallowed the sun as it flew towards the hill.

I stood frozen, frightened by the sight of its wide wings, impenetrable scales and its powerful  claws. I was too tiny, too insignificant for its presence and yet, here I stood unmoving. What can my weak arms do to overcome such power? What kind of fight can a spirit overwrought with fear be able to do?

Continue reading Today, the Dragons Came

I Never Knew

“Like air” he said as he raised his hand in a graceful surrender to the breeze sweeping through the tiny hill we stood on.

“You want to be like air?” I asked as I watch his hair fly in disarray. He hadn’t cut it since September, and now it was a mess of brown curls sweeping across his face.

“Yes, then I’d be essential to you.”

I laughed and stared into the horizon he had been staring at since we started this absurd conversation.

“You already are. You always have been.”

I feel his eyes on me. I keep staring into the horizon, wiping my mouth with my hand and feeling the growing beard I was too lazy to shave this morning. I look down and watch our shadows meet as the space between us fill with the words we kept inside.

“I never knew.”

“Now you do.”

You are My Dance

To me you are a dance

My body has yet to learn.

Where my joints mimic

The shape of you—

Filling spaces in the cavity

Of arms and legs

 

This beginning, though

Are filled with sharp

Angles, elbows flying

And feet that know not

Left from right, heels from

Toes, each movement

A moment to pause

And count again.

 

You hurl in pain

Each time I step on your toes,

Each time I fail to catch

Every jump, every ache

You throw into my arms

And how my wobbly

Arms fail to hold the weight

Of you, each lift

Each time.

 

Let me not stop from dancing

For now I know to hold your hand

As I release you out into

The world, to twirl you perfectly

As you celebrate yourself

To step with you as

You gain foothold.

 

For while my body knows

You not from its womb

While your first cry was

Soothed not by these hands

And these arms held you

Not in a cradle

As you sought comfort the

Day you were born

You are the dance I chose

To learn, my body

Chooses to know-

To hold, to lift and catch

In every rhythm of pain

In every beat of heartache

 

To me, you are the dance

I will always learn,

until you become the dance

that echoes in my soul,

fitting perfectly in the cavity

of my embrace.

 

The Weight of Memories

Memories, what are they for?
To him, they were ghosts plaguing his mind. For there was no choosing. The happy recollections came with the painful ones. He despised it.

At night he lays staring at the empty space beside him. He hears laughter and feels the tears well up in his eyes. His stomach turns. Anger seething beneath his chest. Running to the kitchen, he opens a can of beer and gulps it down. One after the next.

Six empty cans on the sink. A few sleeping hours free of memories.

Four hours later, he wakes up to the sound of an intruding alarm clock. He throws it across the room. Silence, then throbbing. His head pulsating with its own heartbeat. Splashing water on his face, he stares at the mirror. Black circles, swollen and empty eyes stare back. The mirror breaks, shattering to a thousand piece. He washes his hands, watching as the water turns pink.

He goes down for coffee. Opening cupboards in search of the cereal box that was usually in the middle of the breakfast nook when he wakes up. The sound of cabinet doors opening and shutting, rhythmically mimicing a man’s angry heartbeat. He throws the cereal bowl on the sink. Breaking. He drinks his coffee. His hands still bleeding. He wraps a towel.

Sunlight streams through the glass doors. He hears that soft voice speaking out his name before that light giggling laughter. Stillness. He drowns himself with his coffee. Then, brings himself to the shower. Soaking himself beneath it, muffling the sound of his wailing.

A robe would do. He wraps himself in it and begins to sort. Each piece of clothing warm to his cold skin, burning him with fragments of a fast fading memory. Each piece perfectly arranged in a box marked with bold letters STORAGE at its side. The rustling sound of clothes hanging in the closet echoes the sound of a wedding train dragged across a church. He stops midway. His hands sliding down the garment he held. His knees giving in. A silent scream leaves his mouth. He curls on the floor, fetus-like. His breathing short and rapid. His eyes sore. His heart heavy.

The phone rings. The answering machine takes it.
“Hi, you’ve just reach Dave and Joan. We aren’t here right now, please leave a message.” Her voice reverberated through him. Freezing every inch of his body, then breaking it. “Hi dave, i heard the news. I’m so….”
He pulls the cord, as life had pulled his.

Holding on to a piece of white satin, he mourns.

Original written in 2008

Unboxed

 

When my mother gave birth to me

They swaddled me with a marker

That told the world my anatomy

Providing me a name that fit

With a skin they though they

Understood

 

It fit in the sterile world

Like predictable gloves

Clinging, possessing but never

Comfortable enough for everyday

Wear. I tugged sleeves and hems

And scratched my head and its

Growing hair, screaming

Discomfort everywhere

 

In an act deemed rebellious

shed this skin, superficially ingrained

To my biology–that physiological

Truth clinging between my legs

Wrapping myself with a marker

That told the world of my

ambiguity

 

 

With the undeniable heart

that wavers not in pinks or blues

But in the mixture of hues that spread

Through a million different tones—

Short hair, squared out clothes

I move back and forth, like water

Fluid in its motion.

 

Letting skin, be skin

Bones be bones

None of which shape the person

That sits within its soul

Never molding, ever moving

And claiming what is true and

Of my own.

 

Original drafted in April 2016, finalized in Sept 2016.

Exactly

She told me she falls in love easily, it could take a short glance, a brief conversation or a meal shared. She tells me this in between drags of her slim cigarette. The words ‘shared’ hang between us.

Leaning back, crossing her legs, and after two drags from her Virginia Slim, she steals a glance–catching my eyes, asking for me to look, as if there was something between us. When all there was, was smoke shrouding her.

Like a heavy sigh escaping her nicotine lips she says: “It’s the case with you.”

I look at her mouth as it forms those words only to hear them a beat after. I watch her go through her purse in search of another stick. Catching her wrist, letting my eyes focus on hers, letting my thoughts run free and words slip through my parched mouth.

“I’m a girl.”

And she lets her head fall forward, hair covering her face, exhaling softly she whispers,

“I know.”

In that moment, I leaned my head back, let go of her wrist and stared into the starless sky.

“Amazing.” I said.

She found her cigarette it seemed, as I witness a cloud of smoke hovering above my face. I reach out with my hand touching it. I hear her say, “It really is.”

Cutting through the silent cold air, I let my words fill the space, “I am not like you. I don’t fall easy.”

“I know.”

I let the words guide me back to her face. Searching her beneath the evening sky, I catch the moonlight’s reflection on her wet cheeks.I make no move to comfort her. I stare at her tear-stained face, her trembling fingers wrapped in smoke, and continued speaking.

“It takes me at least a year and two months to fall in love, and we’ve known each other for only, what?”

I let the words float into the evening sky, leaving her to complete the statement, “…one year and two months.”

Stillness.

I draw close, entering her cloud of smoke, held her gaze with mine and smiled.

“Exactly”

“But, I’m a girl?” She says.

“I know.”

original written on 13 Sept 2016