He wrote me a letter in a bottle
Promising everything would get better
But now I see
Maybe better’s not meant for me
He wrote me a song with just 3 chords
And I sang along and memorized all the words,
But now I know
Right now the clouds won’t let him show.
The west has won.
It found a way to steal the sun.
And it’s just begun.
Heart feels like an atomic bomb in my chest
Hands shaking, blood racing, not feeling my best
But when he looks at me
I think I see
How much better I could be.
But not right now-
The light’s gone away with him somehow.
I know I’m not perfect; it’s easy to see
But he always says he loves me for me
The west has won.
It found a way to steal the sun.
And I’m all out of places to run.
I’ve lost to time
This time and my heart can’t stop
This time this love of mine
Is stronger than the long drop
Before I lose again;
Before the west chooses him.
Before the west can win.
I found you sitting by the sea
The water drew you close to me,
And I the current favorable found,
Taking your hand, I left the ground
And floated on our raft of fish
Leaving the port of love, our wish
To settle on some forgotten shore
Where we can love and live forevermore
Untroubled by past specters which might
Frighten us and tug us apart at night
When on dark waters we hazardous tread
Our hands slipping, pulled by riptides dread.
No gods will set our course smooth.
Only trust, honesty, like honey sooth;
The deepest fears will never we head
For words, wisdom, and love are all we need.
Held as though by a magnetic field
Our two hearts oft are want to yield
Like iron pooled at the farthest poles
A constant force to bridge our souls.
Moonbeams could have
burned my transparent skin.
I feel naked in this ecstasy
that you have now let in.
Caresses like sirens scream
and I shrink back in the dark.
Have I gone too far?
Have we lit the spark?
Can you know my heart?
The darkest parts are glowing
yet their forms are undefined.
Just like a leaf that’s left in the dark
becomes a bug crawling in my mind.
I hope this doesn’t scare you.
Is it just a possibility that it’s
not hurting you, only fooling me?
Could it be
That my perceptions are askew,
All my thoughts of you
are narrow, warped, and unclear?
Can it be
That my mind’s become a warped
looking glass and you alone seem
to look past and see
all of me?
When so many
forlorned and separated
as though by islands of
poor communication and
mistrust feel so alone—
Could our islands meet
in the middle of this lonely abyss?
Could our empty,
cave-like hearts join and become
It’s funny to me the ways
different parts can meet
and hold together—
day and night/water and sky,
West and South,
and everything in between.
Everything he says,
and all the ways he sees
all of me lets me know that whether—
and which way and however,
we will be together,
no matter, against all odds
Sometimes you meet your match
under the same sign,
in the same site,
along the same line,
but rather intersecting,
congruent and reflecting,
the same message
the same letter,
the same verses
yet something all new, too.
And this, I have found,
is the meaning of completion
in another, and
you, my twin fish,
my guardian, my battle brother,
my friend, my true lover:
Complete me as none other
Lying softly side by side
Like leaves having fallen by the wayside
And I, carried by the breeze,
From you to me
Am lying next to you -
And all I need to do is turn to see.
And all the ways my hands could touch yours
And all the ways we laugh behind closed doors
And all the lights we turn out at night
And all the ways our hands and feet entwine
And the texture of your skin, your hands, your lips
And the way you graze your fingertips
All along the walls of my heart
As we lay still in the dark
Almost and always and away
We sleep embraced ‘til sunrise and a new day
Only to lose each other again at night -
To join our lips again; to let in the light.
Passing through the gate at the end of my journey, I pass through the last ring of fire and into a new stage of life, tense with desire. Once I grab my things, I look for your face in the crowd. Breathe. Breathe, damn you. I see a figure, the outline of his frame. Broad shoulders, lithe torso, big hands I imagine calloused yet tender from long hours of playing guitar… I could see it all already, all of you, just like I saw you before actually seeing you. When I read your letter four moons ago, when I first thought and spoke your name… You were there waiting just as you had from the first day our hearts touched. You touched me deep within my chest with your words alone and traced lines that ran deep into my heart; you drew a map that I could sense the moment I read your letter; the same I feel as I move toward you with a swift, bouncing stride. You stand out to me, your features drawing my eyes, becoming more immediate by the second, more distinct, no longer a compilation of pixels seen through a screen, and I can already feel your breath on my neck as you hold me close to you, the warmth of your body radiating towards mine and filling me to the brim. Your scent, your essence fills my nostrils as well, and I take it all in with deep, slow breaths. I can hear your voice, but we aren’t saying anything, just in shock, in awe of the beauty in front of us both. Looking up, I can’t peel my eyes off of your green ones, so bright, compassionate and hypnotic and immediate, just as they always have been to me. I feel myself slipping into them. Our lips part, heads tilt towards each other, pulled as though by some magnetic force, and we kiss for the first time. The kiss is tender but not entirely tentative; I can feel all of the passion we both have been storing up welling and reaching the surface and meeting and growing with each moment. My arms wrap around your neck, and I’m so thankful, so thankful to be right where I am at that exact moment, to have waited and trusted my own intuition and made our premonitions a reality. You pick me up in the airport and wrap me in your love, and I wonder how I ever felt right before that moment.
And that’s only the beginning.
It’s an awfully hard time going. The things I work hardest at, I fail all the more. The things I put minimal effort in (but all my heart, all my blood pouring out on the page to fill in the blank spaces between words and sentences and run ons like this one) become reasons to give me recognition and acclaim. The backwards patterns of this world make no sense to me and seem to form knots along my ribcage and spine and deteorate my mind and make me question my own resolve. What am I fighting for?
What was Che fighting for? A fierce, bearded protagonist in the revolutionary struggle, and yet he is remembered for all the wrong reasons. We remember people for what they were not, not what they were. The people closest are the only ones that hold the incorruptible knowledge of their restless, irreverent essence. His wives and lovers know he sought adventure, had wanderlust and grandiose ideas of the changes that could be brought about only by violent insurgency. He became the bane of the U.S., and he laughed in the face of imperialism. He’d have none of it. But at once, he fought another people’s war, one that he only joined because of the uselessness he found his tactics to carry in his own home, in the streets of Buenos Aires were the patron-worship of Juan Peron sang out in lust, and on the left, only the well-dressed and the borish who clung to their own intellectual superiority had room to question the demagogue. But even he is not remembered as he should be. And I cannot remember the answers to test questions with the right amount of clarity.
Thoughts and knowledge twist together like some strange ladder leading to an unknown place in my own mind, like the very spirals of DNA that make me up. I know what I’ve learned, and I think what I do based on what I see with a violent fervor that was not unlike Che’s radical belief in guerrilla rebellion. My thoughts don’t obey the fascist power put over them either: “Think this way. Write using this structure. Focus on these details”—no, it wants to address it all at once, and I know it cannot because my mind is no super computer. It’s a Compax running on a modem plugged into the wall were a whir of information enters in and leaves and sometimes loads very slowly. It can’t put together all of the pieces fast enough. It doesn’t know where to focus itself; I must be the browser, the search engine and the operator, but my skills of discrimination seem a bit limited. Slow going. But maybe one day I will learn.
Meanwhile, a tap on the shoulder brings a smile to my lips. “It’s like something from a fairy tale, or something our mom’s said would never happen. Like, who meets people like that. They said it never happened.”
My thoughts mutter the truth:Just because they didn’t happen to them doesn’t mean nobody can find happiness. Of course that is obvious, but the realist in all of us secretly is a pessimist that wants to discount every good thing as wishful thinking. But she agrees and is happy with me, the friend who sat with me and let me ramble about my problems and the stress I feel trying to sort through all my thoughts. “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” I say with a flicker of hope in my eyes as they unfocus, as though looking at a far-off mountain lining my vision, both memory and premonition. “Luckily, all stessful times come to an end.”
That they do. That they do.
and I’m all out of words to sell
and stories to tell about the debt
I’m in; the debt I’ve been in—
the way I feel like I owe something
more than I can give to a world
that’s obsessed with dollar signs
like a moth consumed
by a light bulb.
just to write and right
the wrongs I see
and pay off all my debts
to shed the burden
of duller days
to stop disappointing
the ones who care.
[there’s nothing left in me to say]
Some say names possess a power,
the mystifying quantity and capacity
of communication and qualification—
that cannot be set
in stone because its essence is fluidity
and it is changing and inconstant and—
but the name
the good name
it is in fact
etched in concrete
on birth certificates
and fee waivers and
as much as it forms
the skin and
flows through each of us
through our minds
off our tongues
into the mouths of
lovers; friends; acquaintances;
whispered in the dark; cherished as a spark; soon forgotten—
written on pieces of fine loose leaf paper
in the binders of our heart’s
scrolled in care
with dexterous precision
as we connect each line,
the letters that define
us and the love
we share, and
it is comforting
that despite the distance
we can write our names
close to/on top of each other,
if we so desire.
There’s no real barrier
for the love etched on the heart
and poured into the mouth
and the name that tastes like
honey on the tongue
and reminds of all the precious
learning it from front to back,
every syllable and nuance
and spelling or shortening
and accent and tone,
and that somehow makes up
the concept of the person
we hold inside our hearts
and write about someday
in our notebooks or
or the novels
of our lives;
that power stays with us
till the end when memory fades
but we still remember that thing
that was said that time;
we still forget the day
we did not forget
because it became so
deeply imbedded in
the bedrock that
makes up the
you and me and
everyone we love—
and hope to one day call
by its one, true, ineffable
long to be
one day called.
If I write, will the floodgates open? My fingers on the keys release this sentiment like the turning of a tap, and suddenly my soul is gone; I’m gone, shooting through it, my essence flowing out like transparent, delicate clear droplets, rain or tears—I’m not sure which would soothe me more. I sit in the corner of my mind, and I can’t look around for fear of what I’ll see. So I look off at the blank space on this page, and this page is not my heart. I swear it’s not, ‘cause my heart is full to bursting. You’re holding it, and it’s already been written up. It’s all for you; it all spills out in hopes that you’ll be my rain catcher, dream catcher, both the dam and the sluice I depend on to help me out and let it back in. If we turn back time, maybe all the water will go back in, and I’ll no longer be half empty; or was it half full? Optimism never became me, but you can’t be a pessimist all the time and still expect to be happy.
I’m happy; the truth is, I’ve never been happier. You gave me this light and I supplied the twisted lens it passes through, filters through, making it easier to see, but all I see is you and the path ahead. If my life was a movie, would you be my soundtrack? If my heart was a compass, would yours be holding it North? And if I stood in the center, would that needle go crazy? Light my path; that’s what you do, and I’m like a moth pulled to flames when I look at you, soon to be enveloped and released from my weak, decrepit body, the bones that bind me to the sorrow I’ve known, all falling away. That’s how it feels, when I look at you. For once there’s no dread in knowing that though.
I walked along the beach one day. The sea pushed my hair from my face and caused me to sway, as though it were holding me, and yet I was still so far away from the water; I could feel its pull. A release from all of the troubles I had, it promised me. I wanted to jump in though, to walk out and be engulfed by my one friend, in my true home, the place I feel that I belong. But I couldn’t go there, not yet. My index finger was bound with the brightest red ribbon, the color of scarlet, the color of life and passion and love—my life line closing tightly on me, promising everything I lacked. I had never quite been able to discover its source, always amused by the pulling it caused in my chest. All I knew was it was holding me back from wading out and not stopping till I reached the bottom of the ocean, wherever that bottom might be, wherever that path without no end would lead me.
It wasn’t until later that I found the end of that ribbon, that string, connecting South to West, and it was you who connected me and kept me on the right path even when I was doing everything, every little mistake I made as though I was looking to destroy myself because I couldn’t be joined to my first love, the sea. But a greater love waited beyond. I picked the wrong ocean, sure. It’s easy to do. There is more than one, even though all the water crosses over and wavers and rushes into different parts, filling the depths just like this creative juice filled my mind and inspired me. There’s no way to stop it once it flows; this much I know now, and sometimes the moon pulls it stronger than others; sometimes the needle can’t resist the magnetic pull, but who determines the will?
Well, I know what I will, and I’ll see you when I’m able, once the world is upright again, and East is no longer West and North South, and the birds no longer mate with the rats but find their proper places in the right nest with the right mates and discover their more predatory nature. I hope this causes you to think; I hope my consciousness is drifting into yours the way those tides covered me the day I finally was able to lay on the beach with you, drape my arms over both you and that sea. I hope you can make sense of this, of me, and even if you can’t, I hope you try, or that you can at least project yourself onto this. Anything to make a connection. Anything to make me feel normal. Even if that’s not my concern anymore, there’s always something to remind me of when it was and how wrong I felt. But as long as this ribbon stays wrapped around my finger, as long as my words still unwittingly rhyme and fill the blank pages just right, as long as that ocean still calls to me and you’re still willing to be the flame that sets me free, I know that things will be just as they should, and that normalcy, that holding back, that wasting time were never true issues to take to task at all. I know I will find you, and in doing so, I have found me, too.