no one wins domestic wars

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Oakland Jan14

His words struck softly against my skin,
This is where I took the architect.
After being dropped off at the top of the hill,
I tasted metal as his grey truck accelerated back to his real life.

When I got home, you danced for me
after presenting a 15-week plan for our future;
I noticed there was no time scheduled for compromises.

This is when I knew I had found the good side of a habit.

After reading your poem, written the moment when I asked him for his middle name,
I cried. I remembered that day the elevator stopped working and how long it was broken.

Beneath these domestic ceremonies,
minivans crush dry leaves into the dust we wipe off our TV.

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Oakland, Jan14

repudiation

It was the sound of rushing, the way the ocean pulls into itself.
Falling and rising, gravity is an indicator measuring distance.

12.30.13, San Francisco, CA
12.30.13, Ocean Beach, CA

In Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry, Louise Glück admits, “I liked scale, but I liked it invisible.”  Starting from a place of invisibility, a sense of safety, yet maintaining perspective resonates deep within me as winter slowly transitions into spring.

Water in West Virginia is deadly and smells like licorice for hundreds of thousands. In fact, over 300,000 people have been forced to drink only bottled water; the chemical spill’s impact contained within a complete and conveniently round number.  Bodies, specifically women and girls’ of color bodies in comas, are illusions for a culture that still claims to value human life. National discussions center the paradoxical, for those in power, concept of growing gaps. Shrinking safety nets catch only the most tenuous of “opportunities” for those who have learned how to survive within the thinnest of margins. Pop stars and Fox news package feminist rhetoric in digestible byte size narratives that keep gender politics profitable.

It feels endless, this parade of brazen hypocrisy. There should be no surprise that we opt out behind private screens, devise elaborate rituals of denial, and post selfies to curate what we wish to be.  It’s within this scale of manufactured hopes and inside the disposable commodities of dreams that we strive to find community, love, value, and joy.