disclaimer (n).

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Everyone thinks they want to
be in love with the artist in me until
they realize that I will leave
the doors unlocked so the muse can
come when they please and flood
the house with the river
that runs through me, I will leave
for the forest of my thoughts and
stay there for weeks, I will wade
into the mud on our way to the
party and show up with dirt caked
to the bottom of my shoes, I will
dig, deep into the soft place of
your being, the place you keep
your secrets and your
disappointments, I will ask you
to tell me the story of how
you came to be again and
again, I will ask you to look at
the difficult and the dire, late at night
when it is the time for sleeping and
early as we are just trying to wake
and in the car on our way to
visit your mother and I will
bring home with me strays and
scraps, I will do all this without
ceasing, I will do all this when
it is not convenient or helpful, I will
do all this when I don’t even
want to, and yes it is
exhausting, and yes I am
exhausted, but
I am here,
making, and
there is
no other way.

Posted on October 13, 2018 .

endow (v).

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It’s messy, this act of loving, this
practice of revealing and then
revealing more, we brush away
the layers in the same way you
brush my hair away from my face:
with such softness it startles me.  

You bring me down to the water
to sit at your favourite place to watch the
day end and ask me not to laugh.
 
I bring you into the heaviness that
spins around my mind and ask
you not to flinch from the weight of it. 

I laugh only at the marvel that
we are from different worlds and
have gathered, you flinch only at
the way I distract you from
the impossibilities that keep me up at night.

narrative (n).

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Why is this the way we present
the world to our daughters, that
they must be careful, that they
must watch their step and their
way of dressing, they must watch
their tone and timbre, they must
not go too far or make too much
of a scene, they must approach
with caution, that all of the bastards
trying to bring them down actually
hold any clout?

Why is this the way we present
the world to our sons, that
they need not be a part of
this conversation, as if
their sisters aren’t any of their
concern, as if they were not
born from their mothers even
though they were given
their father’s name?

Posted on October 8, 2018 .

distance (n).

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I want to be tangled in your morning
and in your everyday,
I want to be the softness
you return to in the evening,
I want to have busy
conversations about
how we’ll get it all done
this weekend and 
continue our argument
as a new day starts
about the merits
of coffee drinking.

I want you to
come over unannounced
to sit in my living room as I
hurry about, hardly aware
of the glory of our proximity.  

converge (v).

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Sometimes I awaken to the fact 
that there is an entire world 
inside of the stranger 
next to me on the bus, they are 
full of stories and preferences, 
full of ways they like to spend time and 
places in the city they would 
recommend to a tourist and 
reasons for things and 
a whole web of people 
who love them and I 
wonder what makes us 
join some people’s worlds 
but not others. 

Sometimes I want 
to reach across to 
this stranger, also commuting, and
take their hand, but I 
don’t, I keep my world to myself.

concrete (n).

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Every time you question yourself, 
“is it good?” another part of you 
turns to granite. 

 It starts with the folds of your ears 
and then moves to your knee caps, and then 
your arms will grow heavy from 
all of your doubts, hardening. 

“Is it good, this thing I’m making?  Is it, 
like I hoped, pleasing to the crowd, 
impressive to the masses?” 

My neck, my shoulders, they buckle 
from the weight, the veil of my 
eyelids cause my gaze to close 
in on itself.

enterprise (n).

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Our love is audacious after
the war you were in and after
I shattered myself into sand,
we meet while the night is sleeping
and test each other with
our disappointments and
I fear sometimes that I will
lose you to your worry and
you fear you will never
have me to begin with but
we pack the car anyway,
you pick the music and I
find the map and we call it
an adventure, even with
our tired hearts and
shaky hands.

deafening (adj).

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There are many kinds of silence:

There is the silence that comes
after the children are put to bed,
the hush that comes after explaining
the world to these tiny people all day,
and you tiptoe in your socks, praying
not to trip on any sharp toy that
has camouflaged itself into the rug.

There is the silence on the subway,
even with its screeching and whirring,
even with the chattering of strangers,
their world is not your world and
has somehow been put on mute as
you go from home to work, work
to dinner, dinner to home.

There is the kind of silence when you
look up to the sky and wonder about
its ceiling, you send a message on the
wind and wonder where it will land,
you whisper, “God” as a question and
listen for an echo.

There is the kind of silence planting
seeds, and you run your hands over
the soft soil, you look out over rows
of nothing and wonder if you’re the
only living thing in the field, you wonder
how you are made of the same things
as your garden, you wonder what
it looked like when you were
just a seed in the ground.

There is the kind of silence when
he is not your lover anymore and so
he stops calling, but there is also the
kind of silence when you were together
and you would look to him for a response
when you brought to him your secrets and
your quiet sadnesses and he didn’t
answer with anything at all.

 

slacken (v).

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Remember yourself as you were
when you were your most free,
remember a time when
 
you let the words spill from
your chest without filter and
a time you forgot to keep
your shirt tucked in and hair
in place and remember

how it felt when you
ran towards the water without
checking your pockets for
valuables and remember

when you blurted 'I love you'
too loudly and too early without
certainty of its reciprocation. 

Remember how it felt
with your feet bare and
heart racing, and remember
that you're the same now even
though it feels like you're different. 

assessment (n).

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I met you among the spruce trees, which
rustled as we tested each other by
exposing our wounds from our wars.

You took me down to the rocky riverside
and told me all the ways you came to be
and I arranged in a row all the ways
I let him down, and you brought your
hand to my hand, and I brought my eyes
to meet your eyes.

fasten (v).

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I bring you my self as I am, 
all tender and soft
just as you have brought to me
since the beginning, your
own softness. 

You have made a place
where I can bring to you
the strangeness and triumphs of my day,
my fleeting thoughts and
deepest longings and
all the things I carry on my shoulders, 
and you line them up with me, 
you hold them or nourish them
or, when appropriate, help me
lay them to rest. 

This is the love that we have built together:
that I can be softened
by your softness
and strengthened
by your strength, 
that I can gather you
in your frustrations
and you can anchor me
in my wavering.

This is the love that we have built, 
and it started right from the beginning, 
when we were just two kids
walking each other home. 

fracture (n).

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I am like the chipped glass
I keep in my cupboard;
a ragged piece is missing
off my shoulder and
a craggy trench runs
all down my centre. 

Do not bring your lips to me
do not expect me to hold
whatever you offer up. 

But do not, even in my awkward
state, give up on me - 
if we are careful, I could
maybe hold the flowers
we find on our walk home. 

phantom (adj).

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We loved each other on
the bed we made, which
was tangled with blame and
the notion that you were right
in principle but not delivery,
and I was an mess of feelings that
didn’t have names. You held
my body with familiarity and
looked at me with a gaze that
I did not recognize.

Is this the only place left
for us, where I speak to you
in questions and you paint
me like a stranger?