To be a black, non-binary, queer, immigrant is
to live many lives, as you see the world through a
multitude of lenses, encompassing a myriad of
lived experiences. The world is no longer fixed
in a box of a pair but an ever evolving
continuum of galaxies. Burning bright with
other ways of being. Burning bright with a
desire to live. Burning bright to explode as to
be seen and loved. Some days I resent
visibility, as countless of us didn’t make it, into
and out of, having to learn how to live through
this system of one or the other. But then I
won’t be there to feel their glorious splendor
as they shine so royal.
At some point you have to re-up, and tomorrow I have to go outside for groceries and I’m really afraid. I feel like I’ll die if I step outside, like I will immediately have the virus. I know a lot of this is anxiety, but how careful can you be? I wrote about it of course. Hoping everyone is safe.
Tomorrow, I’ll venture out of my home for
essentials. Normally this chore would just be a
labor of crowded spaces where you contort
your body to grab a bag of rice, cans of
beans, oil, meat, pasta sauce with spaghetti.
Now sharing any space leaves you wondering
scared how much feet did you leave between.
You feel like you would die if you step outside
greeting Spring’s air in the first place. Getting
close to another never felt more dangerous.
Social distancing is our Winter when we wish
and wonder about Summer as our time to
mingle free of layers, of separation, the time
when we shared apart.
My younger brother has been visiting me in my dreams and it is both relieving and terrifying. I find relief knowing that he is still around but the fear present is a real terror. The experience has left me wondering if the reason he’s showed up is to warn me about something. He died unexpectedly, so did my mother, and they both have a presence in the dreams. My brother’s much more so. I wish I could translate my dreams.
Every Poem is an Existential Crisis
I wish I could translate my dreams from my
dreamscape, then maybe the fear won’t be as
transfix. Where lying still, I hear myself cry out
while in dual state: in the dream and waking
up from it: the terror that leads to worry about
impending doom once you’re aroused. Dreams
are important. They are messages missed
which you reflect on in meditative states.
Dreams are an experience into the other-side
of what you were exposed to in reality. Another
language to learn, another power to discover
and possess. While I know the imminent is
true, that dying is inevitable, I wonder how
much of my dreams are a harbinger of what I
already know but not quite recognized.
This was a hard one. It took days to realize what I wanted to say, and in the form of a sonnet. I still didn’t follow the rules, but I’m slowly getting there.
As gentle as an embrace, tender as in the
tenor of a song. Delicate as the eagerness of
blooming flowers. We can reciprocate care
especially in times of extreme social isolation.
We always had it in us to express comfort in
this place where living has made you tough
and reject the gift of closeness. As so much
separates us, there are offerings of solicitude.
As mutual aid is the buoy for our times.
Leveling a compassion we seek. As wanting to
trust while staring back an abyss becomes a
meandering of the past where you can no
longer live. Tomorrow it maybe will be different,
but today I dance with songs of embrace, with all the flowers.
To survive these uncertain days
like the times when the earth reigns
and being without shelter from the starkness
of nature and you walked for hours in its cold
downpour wondering when it would stop and
you’ll see the sun again. Like the times the
quiet snow kept collecting into a mountainside
of slush you’d trudge through with cold feet
and hands tethered to a memory/thought
of when it was once warm. When it would be
warm again. I tell myself that these days are
the same as those days of trepidation. And
soon you’d laugh again, you will so loudly
that you weep new lessons on survival.
As a way of maintaining my mental health during this scary time, I wrote another reaction poem about the virus. I was attempting to write a sonnet but it ended up being free verse. Next time, as I really want to write something outside of my comfort zone.
Afraid to touch an extended hand
a reach for some sameness, while touch can
be a compassion, a sense for being in a sea of
unknowns. How to navigate through the dark?
How do you survive the sickness from touch
too close to where comfort becomes lost?
You wash your hands so much they peel
new information of an already coarse design
Like a werewolf
I cry a howl to you
and you alone.
Oh super moon
clear as day
to toil again
I thrust my head up
staring at your heat
so many miles away
My anxiety is up because of the coronavirus. I’ve been using hand sanitizers more frequently than I usually do, and I wonder about the long-run repercussions. I mean like I’m using it after touching anything. It’s based out of the fear of getting sick and being unable to work, which would mean being incapable of surviving. I’m trying my best to not fall into hysteria, so here’s a poem about it.
Feel for my wallet
pull out my metro card
slide it through
walk in the train
hold the pole
Don’t touch your face
Don’t touch your face
hand sanitizer my hands
running low on sanitizers
must ration until home
little drops on palm, rub hands together
Was that enough? Can’t risk it
more little drops, rub hands together
this is my stop
walk up stairs
don’t touch the railing
even if you need extra support
get to the exit
don’t hold the door
outside, put hands in pockets
walk for a bit
then touch the front door
home, go wash your hands
This Winter has been so mild and warm. I’m not complaining, but it’s definitely something I’ve felt a way about. On the one hand I like that it is, but then I think about the consequences on an ecosystem scale. It’s very scary that the only time it snowed in NYC it wasn’t even a thing. Anyway, last night, however brief, it was raining kind of hard and I really like the sound of rain, so I wrote this.
the sound of rain
the sound of a full and good storm
coming down like a long deep laugh
throbbing throughout the whole body
making tears brim from your eyes
like a good long cry, you weep aloud
heaving out the heart’s heaviness
many gasps and sighs like the what
the wind makes wailing through fissures
carrying precipitation – making puddles
of unfiltered wanderings. In the end
dampening these sidewalks with glints