My Non-Verbal learning Disability Wouldn’t Let me Say No

My essay about consent, my orientation, and my Non-Verbal Learning Disability went live on The Establishment this week! It originally had a different title, so the URL still reflects that. This piece discusses the way my Selective Mutism and Non-Verbal Learning Disability intersect and there is discussion of assault.

http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/07/26/when-selective-mutism-and-sexual-assault-intersect/

 

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Lessons on Lemonade: Why Are You Afraid of Love?

My essay on inter-generational trauma, emotional labor and femininity/masculinity, and other themes that came up for me after watching BeyoncĂ©’s Lemonade, went live on The Establishment yesterday. This is my first paid piece and I’m very proud of it😉

You can read it here: http://www.theestablishment.co/2016/05/03/why-are-you-afraid-of-love/

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Clean Sheets (for Isabel)

On the birth of my inner summer
you came and woke up my clean thighs
drunk with dick and dollar signs
he was loving you so violently
I was learning you with my most solid parts

I stood in awe of your pretty pussy trepidations
your hard held complications
you were choking me out with your own eyes
orange, like that day you spit at me
or white line inhalations
your fire fell on me so loudly, like the beginning of our story

if I remember you with my mouth
then I am saying what your breath can’t know
I am throwing back what you cannot see
I am waiting around
but I am not back curtain
I cannot be your bloody knees
and if I ever miss your soft suggest
it is because your loud bled so thoroughly

I was not the measuring stick
but you are stunning overture
the longest note in my becoming
dancing on the left side of my broken neck
holding my blonde hair by the blackened weft
you pulled me out and back again
sewing my hands behind my back
one love on top of the other

and if you are sprawled out on the carpet
then I am waiting at the register
memorizing his face
and your silken hair touching itself open
at your once tiny waist

we are face to face with different colored nipples
dancing to the same song
while he is threatening your skin with salty unrepair
so you take precautions, to warn the beaded atmosphere
when they ask, you describe him as your uncle’s twin brother
(call him by another name)
like Jasleen turned into Jocelyn
they know you by your Sweet Sixteen
(they call you by your honest name)

and you have me in your sticking place
you spit at me through purple lines
and I slant you with my butter fingers
standing there with my blonde haired confusion
you light the blunt
and scream near my protection
I beg you to bite back the mirror, but there’s no real reflection

you cry like cracked flames through the length of us
till I am stuck inside your charcoal hair
and you drag me at the edges
till I am taped shut to my own mouth
I can’t find teeth or gums or your purple eyes
all I can see is our red blue memory
the wings you wore for my beginning
the way he stared at our clean faces
the way our pretty nipples up and switched places

it is two years after 1999
there is no more Carlos or the salty uncle
nobody asks about his twin brother
all we have is fake ID’s
and he wants us to trim the leaves
so he can pay for the flesh around your nipples
and I am back for one last Carousel
after Christopher and your lighted blunt

I am not the used condom in his Lexus truck
I am what happened before the thighs ever spread
I am the truest love you left for dead
I am more than that stage or the cheap blonde weave
I am walking out of the dark driveway
and heading toward the crowded highway
face in my hands, dress untouched
you said it was never about a fuck
but that was what got you away from the twin brother
he made you a liar and me a lonely other.

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Letters Home

What black lies in white with brown smudges?
what hands lie in wait for mixing colors?
I want to paint blue in front of you
hold services for your adolescence
I will spread out for you like spillage
for the love of do-overs and whole hands
I will slide through the blessed opening
bury myself in full collage for you

What black bleeds quietly over hard lines to love white too?
what brown edges eat the litany of childhood happening new?
first 3 times then 5 years old
your face was full and painted over
then you fed me forward and I fell back
afraid of your recital
now 6 years counted and I reach for solid melodies
in place of memories and effigies

We are black and white double sided irony
or late 80’s finely diced analogies
(the aftermath of carelessly carved out romantic fatalities)
starting from Cortlandt Avenue and stretching to Richbell Road
up and over several bridges
I do not want to paint the rain on Brooklyn streets
without ever knowing how it heals to be blurred lines for you

If we are both hungry and wanting to be widened
if we can color in and I am moved by the eyes on you
then will you eat all of my excess yes?
I will take back everything that ever poked the white space of you
fall back and open through holes and drippings
and blue out whatever bled your face red too
spit my colors out and fall backwards into you
eat you black and white
(digest you raw)
after I love the holes closed
fill in everything that ever hurt the space of you.

*I committed to writing a love-themed poem every Friday in February. This is the last one and possibly the most difficult one to approach saying in words.

 

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Longer Around

I’m rounded and warm on the table
a solid bowl for you
in the wake of your flesh leak, I think mostly of your eyes
the outline of the space between your give and my bite
or the shadow that follows the shape of you, when you’re facing me
now I am out and over, with a spoon
ready to be slapped or served to you

I traveled through all of your clothing
digging through threads and fabrics
to try to taste your wound
thirsty and wide in your pocket
I dreamt about the space between skin and eyes
or the outline of the bones of you
you were the heavy wet part on me
you were the length of time around my body
you were dripping pointy pieces
you were hard to dry

I hear you closer now, solidly
more honestly now
you were ringing in my ear
now I’ve come back down
and here you are an ocean near me
you’re full and you’re the reprise
that I missed both times before
I am fuller too
in the wake of your other face, I am honest too

I wasn’t listening at first but now I’m tied and knotted
solid around you
I’m not pained by what we both need to learn
I’m the longer version
moving in and out, with all of your fibers
ready to touch your center and wrap up in the length
then round out again for you

I’m not going to lie or make up a story
about what we both wish were different
I’ll be whatever I can be, if you are open for my give
I’ll be lined and separate
I’ll be full circle, if you want
I’ll be careful
I’ll be fluid
I’ll be chorus for you.

*I’m writing a love poem every Friday in February. This is the third one.

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Mirror Limit

Now it’s nearly Valentine’s Day
and I am painted red with your hands
and your splitting chest
soon you will be sliced open and closed back up
maybe you will not budge this time
stuck between my hair and your teeth
loaded like those words you bled
when I first ate your kiss closed

the weather was ripe for running into you this time
I dreamt you offered me a sweater
I dreamt you saw me wider than your jaws
and I fell into your ask
you would probably think my sleep senseless
you have much more to entangle between now and next streetlight
and that corner or your icicles

I wondered how much weight you could lift
or if you could lift me into the air
if your eyes would look different
if you had me up and around your waist
we were not that cold but you had your jacket
I thought about what you look like in glasses
my glass house and your melting lips
I remembered that you never asked

still, I wrote you down with my best hand
the same one that lied twice
after I realized you had dimples
after you’d stopped straightening your hair
it was then I started to see what you looked like
beige and brown colored turnover

and I’m not shy
you look like kiss full of my thighs
you look like beg and I kiss you open
you look like you could flip me over
dangle me red in your mouth
now it is a different ask on a different street
about five blocks away from your original face
this time, you bite and I taste you back open
this time, I say yes.

http://share.myflare.com/Xs8Xtt

*I’m posting a poem every Friday in February. This is the second one. Click the link to listen to it.

 

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Bubble wrap

I could not taste you close, when you first fed
you were brown and beige colored memory
then nearly four years later, we met again
between Fort Greene stares
my rolled up hair
and my fingers numb
I was cold and waiting for you

you pulled my stomach warm for you
and we spread over empty cracks in sidewalk spots
climbing near each other with bated breath
the crowd around was blanket bubble
til the one with red eyes dropped and spit obscenities

I wanted to say I knew before (I always knew)
but we were holding more than distance missed
and that bag of molten memories
you were such a lovely frozen thing
it was almost like we never fed
or you were warm and heavy sex
and I was cold and dotted kiss

I read you down and out that night
and now we’re liquid street sign things
up outside of my own permission
I knew about the transition
on the highest height
before we met

I knew you like Brooklyn before the blankets dropped
I knew I would get stuck in you
before the house was built
or the backyard knew
but you were strong in what you thought you should do
and I couldn’t say “if it’s not too late, I want you too.”
I would rather remember the shape that ice cubes make
I would rather pine for you.

****
I’ll be posting a love or love-themed poem every Friday in February. This is new/unedited.

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