Of 9 years

“Life is different when you live it and when you go back over it after.”

“Why attach ourselves to age-old stories in the belief that they are truer than the new ones?”

I write the words down in angst, convinced I will forget them before I can remember them–memorialize them. I watched you walk across the water and for the first time, the motion of your movement away from me was calming. I felt calm and safe and warm in the cold light. I felt…well I felt like, this is fine. Like I had worked out all the lumps in the dough. Like I had combed out all the tangles in my hair. Like I had watched the road level outside of Santa Teresa. Like smooth perfection when for a moment you doubted it had ever been a plane of existence in the first place.

Maybe my problem is I don’t have a brand. What is my brand? What is my image?

Effortlessly Cool

Detached like the camel who wore sunglasses on the front of the cigarettes.

I think they had to change that brand for the children.

Camels are too effortlessly cool.

I sat apart from the rest, effortlessly slobbish. Wondering why they had told us it would be special soup when it was only ham and beans with hominy. When it was not ham and beans and cornbread like from my mother’s, nor was it pozole with tortillas from my father’s. I took a break to drink the black coffee out of the styrofoam cup and I thought–What am I? What is it like not to be constantly confronted with who you are?

The woman who made the not special soup danced around some deeper ideas. “Historical trauma,” she said. And I thought, I know exactly what you mean.

I thought about how you get so frustrated, and what I don’t say to you is: Why don’t you work through your insecurities instead of lashing out at the people who make you feel insecure?

The redhead girl with loopy top eye eyeliner turned to me and said something I couldn’t understand, even though she was speaking English. I tried to follow. I nodded when her voice concluded. When the sound, the trill had finished. I wanted to ask her, what are you saying? But I knew that would not be okay. That would not be what should follow.

I know I should drop the words. I know they aren’t doing me any favors, but I don’t have anything else, do I, to work with. I don’t have anything else at my disposal.

I spent all afternoon listening to the rain and watching foreign films and wondering how many times I was going to have to watch women hurt.

You know what I want? I don’t know, but I don’t want to be stamped as me.

The other day, you tried to talk to me like you knew me, like you followed the pattern of my brain and the reason in my words, and all I did was shake my head at you. Take your words back because they do not serve you. The final score is love. I don’t know. Sometimes you say things exactly right when no one is looking but sometimes you get distracted by the idea of a spotlight and the words you let loose made more sense on the script. 

I don’t want to wake up one day and see I was only performing me this whole time. If I can play out the endings, then I’m doing it wrong. I just want the space to lay claim to my own feelings. My passion, my gut, my brain, my soul. Whatever it is that puts me to sleep at night and wakes me up in the morning after dreaming of clocks or water or palabras.
comes las palabras – On toast with jam on plates with knives on Tuesdays with coffee by myself at the table in the light on the couch without a napkin you don’t chew enough you’ll probably die young if you don’t learn to throw yourself over the back of the couch because that is super important. You’re not hungry, you’re just bored.


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