• Life: Far-Sighted

    When I look at my life from up close, everything seems very important. The most important. Getting projects done and having set time-lines and appointments. Sometimes it feels like my life is this really big thing, like a 30 story tower of Jenga pieces that I have to keep from falling on my face.
    Sometimes life feels like a hamster wheel. Just keep running. I’m not getting anywhere but when I got off I’ll feel accomplished… maybe?
    More often than not, life feels like an ocean and I’m a krill. As a krill, a small organism that whales eat, I may encounter a dangerous foe, like said whale, or a friend, like a clownfish*. Or maybe I’ll swim for ages and ages and see nothing and even wonder to myself why and if I wanna swim at all.
    But when I look at my life from afar, I see that it’s much smaller. It’s not a tower of Jenga pieces or a hamster wheel or an ocean. It’s just a life. A life full of heartbreak and love. Running and sitting. Talking and sleeping. Reading and Listening. Crying and laughing. That is what a life is. Just a life.
    And sometimes my soul is passing by another soul and we are both living and breathing the same air and that is all. We are literal. We are living our lives. There are no guide books or rules. All we have to do is be in the moment. We have to feel.
    I think in metaphors and similes because sometimes it’s hard for me to process reality simply as it is. And it is. Simple, in fact.

    *let it be known that I have no knowledge of the friendliness of clownfish towards krill. All my clownfish knowledge comes from the 2003 Disney film, Finding Nemo, and I can only make the assumption, based off of that movie, that clownfish would be lovely friends to have.

  • Shooting star

    If we were shooting stars we would be airplanes. We would look like we were almost about to touch each other in the sky, but in reality, we’d be thousands of miles away, not even knowing the other exists. And if we were shooting stars we wouldn’t be stars at all. We’d be clouds. Drifting slowly past one another and gazing back to wistfully watch each other fade into rain. If we were shooting stars we would be marbles. Tumbling and rolling past each other over concrete. We would bump and slide and escape the hands of all who attempted to reach us.  And if we were shooting stars we would be infinite. We would burn and fall and we would stay imprinted on the brains of all who watched us. We would never meet. We would know of the other but never of our destiny. Our fates. We would watch each other rip a seam in the sky, disrupt time and vision, and alter outer space and it would be perfect. And if we were shooting stars, you would be my wish.

  • Before there was Love there was…

    I don’t remember who I was before I fell in love with a man. 

    That isn’t to say that there had never been a me who hadn’t loved a man, because surely I had felt things towards men that I simply confused for love. And I was certainly a 3 year old and a 4 year old and a 5 year old who cared more about ice cream sandwiches and watching figure skating than anything else in the world, but that is to say that I don’t remember those moments fully.

    When I look back at my younger self in elementary school, the one who wore braids and barrettes and pink layered skorts with Skechers, I remember the first boy that I was in love with. We’ll call him B. I had a crush on B from the moment I first saw him at recess in 2007 and I loved him until the fall of 2012.

    In 2012 I fell in love with V. He changed my life. He showed me what it meant to love someone with my entire underdeveloped soul. He was my first true love and heartbreak. And he was a complete bag of garbage. This time of my life was when I learned the word “unrequited”. It’s when I first realized that men could want your body, your company, and even the words straight from your throat but never actually want you. I stopped loving him in 2018.

    And in 2018 there was J. And nothing has been the same since.

    Here we ignore all the little men, the ones who I only half loved in between phases of my life. All this love, each one more beautiful and glamorous than the next, it takes its toll. Maybe you would think that after loving so hard once, you love a little easier the next time. But that’s not true. It’s like your heart takes the first beating and it only gets stronger after that.

    I used to think the problem was falling in love in the first place. But it was never the falling. It was always the losing. Losing parts of myself within someone else. Losing in love. Trusting strangers to carry the heavy parts of me that even I found too weighty to lift most days. 

    I’m hoping to find those pieces of myself again and put them back. I want to feel all of that love in my soul again. Every stomach swoop and stolen glance and nail biting, cheek numbing smile on my face, it was an expression of my joy. This time I want to feel that for myself.

  • Elizabeth, Colorado, USA

    Small towns are romanticized for good reason. There’s something charming about existing in such a small space. Where everyone knows your name and your true self is reserved for just a few people and some dirt roads.

    Elizabeth is a small farm town in Colorado and homes only about 1,000 people. Less than my high school graduating class.

    There are barely any streetlights, plenty of cows and pigs, and rolling green hills for miles. I visited Elizabeth for the first time last year to explore the famous “The Patch at Elizabeth” to get a pumpkin with my friends, and I swear you can tell the difference between the local Elizabethans and the rest of us. Levi jeans in small towns just aren’t the same as my Levi’s. Small town Levi’s sit different on the legs. They know more stories, they hold more truth.

    The air in Elizabeth is crisp. It doesn’t have a cold bite to it, but it does have a smooth edge. It reminds you what air is meant to taste like.

  • Dairy Allergy

    His name was Jack Johnson and he was a summer shade.

    Well,

    More like a summer breeze,

    Really,

    Cool like that.

    He was a nice cool down in the summer

    But not necessarily a nice guy.

    Not a nice guy at all. I mean,

    He wasn’t mean or angry or would punch you for looking at him twice

    Or nothing like that but he might just

    Tell you to stop laughing so loud

    Or ask why you dress the way you do.

    And I was in love with him, of course

    Because I always fall in love with shadow men

    Who keep parts of themselves hidden from me until the sun

    Hits them just right

    Because I’m really

    Dumb

    Like that. And he, Jack Johnson, was perfect for me.

    He held my hand, not because he wanted to,

    But because I wanted to

    And he bought me dessert at American restaurants and

    Always let me have the last bite.

    And when we cuddled, his body curved around mine like a question mark

    Though I was certainly no answer.

    Jack Johnson had a mustache and a beard and legs like 

    Redwoods and eyes like lychee.

    Clouded and bright and wet.

    “If you were a food you’d be some fancy French dessert that I couldn’t pronounce”

    He told me once.

    And you’d be milk, I thought.

    And how I love cream.

    When we spoke on the phone he sighed a lot.

    Breathing out everything he couldn’t say and inhaling everything I could.

    I confided in Jack Johnson

    And drank him up in any form that I could consume.

    When the barista asked for his name he’d say

    “Jake, Jack, Joe, whatever’s easiest for you to write.”

    How strange.

    I like to think it was his way of saying he was barely a man at all.

    Only half man

    And half the dark side of a concrete building.

    When we were close,

    Really close,

    He could only ever look into my eyes.

    The warmth between our bodies wasn’t a fire, it was a gas oven

    Left on long after we’d left the house.

    “Say my name,” he’d whisper.

    Tell it to me, I’d think.

    He slept without blankets, he hated movies, and he took prescription drugs.

    Jack Johnson made fun of me when I bought knick knacks.

    He would always ask me what I

    Would do with them.

    He didn’t get the point of things that weren’t useful.

    I joked that I wished he loved cute little things the way that I do and he responded

    “Well I love you.”

    And I smiled and cried

    And sipped on his half truth like hot tea with extra cream.

  • Magical Travel

    The closest we’ll ever get to pure, honest joy and raw experience is travel. The planet Earth is so big in comparison to our tiny, little insignificant bodies and once you leave home you start to realize the vast inspiration that the world can give us.

    The downside to all of this is cost, of course, but that’s why we have Nat Geo and books, and the internet, to travel to another place through our screens or our pages for a short time. Just a taste of the real world, the one outside of our hometowns, can be enough to satiate that exploration desire.

    I want to always be traveling, which isn’t to say that I want to be in a plane 24/7 or go through TSA three times a week or constantly do my laundry in a 2 star hotel in a country whose language I only know 3 words of. It is to say that I want to always be learning. Always making mistakes and correcting them. Always eating foods I can’t pronounce and petting animals I don’t know the species of.

    I believe this desire comes from our most natural instincts. Humans need to see the world to be in it.

  • My Favorite Thing I’ve Ever Done

    I met you when I was just learning how to breathe again and then you took that breath into your palms, shoved it in your pocket, and waited for the perfect moment to give it back to me. I have never been a big fan of breathing on my own. I felt lucky that you’d found so much value in my breath that you’d take it like you did. Like a gentle thief. A gracious burglar. You didn’t steal it and leave me gasping, you offered me your exhale instead and I seized it. And those moments when your breath couldn’t come fast enough, when I needed an inhale and you were nowhere to be found, when you were busy breathing life into other things, I scratched at my throat and made a makeshift hole. What’s it like to feel like the sun? What’s it like to feel untouchable? What’s it like to feel brave at last? It’s like feeling superior. You made me feel superior and without air. And I’m telling you that those breathless moments, those painful aches, those times that seeing you made my stomach hop into my throat were all worth it. And loving you is my favorite thing I’ve ever done

  • Green

    A single cherry tree

    A hummingbird colored chartreuse and gold

    Flying so close to my head I think it will land on me

    Bare feet

    Bright green beneath me sprouting between my toes

    The hem of my dress swinging around my knees

    Grass stains covering the silk fabric

    I know they’ll never come out.

    Remnants of

    Honey lemon iced tea made by

    My boyfriend coat the back of my throat

    The smell of his old cologne sticking to me in places

    I cannot reach with my eyes and the ghost of his touch is present.

    I smile.

  • French Baguette Waltz on 2

    There’s no feeling like you et me

    Perhaps la douceur of me in your paume

    Twirling like a dancer, free

    A piece of your music box charm

    You spread me on your french baguette

    I’m melted and sweet and predictable

    I make you taste better; ma saveur est prête

    Together, nous sommes formidable

    Loneliness is very sour

    You and I have known it well

    Why don’t we, at the top of this hour

    Drink all our shoelaces and eggshells?

    I would like to know your soul

    Je n’aimerais pas être seul.

  • Kitty Kravings

    I landed on the door handle swiftly and I heard the weak lock detach from the frame. As I glided back down to the hardwood I pressed my nose to the small crack in the door and pushed it open, taking care not to make a sound. I could smell glory two rooms over.

    I had to sneak through the dining room, a space filled with humans that I needed to make sure wouldn’t spot me. Servant Emma would put me back in that putrid room if she found out I escaped. I crept behind a low table and glanced over at Servant Emma sitting on my couch. She was a lovely servant, bright eyes, gave perfect head scratches, and always added a spoonful of tuna to my dish on Fridays. She was chatting with Putrid Bernard. He refused to scratch under my chin no matter how often I rubbed against him, and the one time he did try to touch me, he reached for my belly! I clawed him of course, but the memory still haunts me. He would make for a terrible second servant, I thought.

    I continued my stealth mission. The smell of glory grew richer, coating my nostrils and fueling my morale. One of Servant Emma’s humans let out a putrid laugh and threw her body backwards, almost stepping on me as I neared the kitchen. I kept quiet, shrunk behind the table, and waited for her to move. Then I was home free. I made it inside and the delectable scent of glory filled me. I needed it. First I sat on the checkered tiles and exhaled, reminding myself that I was a fierce warrior and protector of apartment H37 as well as Servant Emma. I could do anything. I shifted my weight on my front paws before making a perfect leap to the countertop.

    There it was. Glory. A full plate of cooked salmon smothered in a rich, dark fish sauce, lightly peppered. Servant Emma had let me try a bite once before when she had humans over and ever since I had been craving another mouthful. I neared the steaming fish and got one lick before I heard her.

    “Wallace!” She called out to me. Servant Emma quickly stormed into the kitchen. I mewed at her to leave me to my feast, but she scooped me into her arms faster than I could dig my claws into the salmon. She brought me back to the isolation room despite my loud protests and placed my food dish of plain Kitty Kravings in front of me before leaving and locking the door. I leaned forward and sniffed the kibble. Putrid.