Everyone warns you about the fire – but nobody tells you about the rain. Every single stolen moment is an act of war, a meeting place where lightning challenges thunder and vice versa. We are always seeking a balance, carving out a space somewhere between safety and destruction. This is what love looks like, when you place it in the middle of a hurricane. This is what desire looks like when you let it loose. These matches are mine, darling. The catch is I’m already burning – I’ve always been burning. There’s nothing left to do but greet the rain.
Call it an opportunity. Call it release. But don’t call it anything less than miracle. I know how to revel in the quiet just as well as anybody, but I much prefer the chaos of two bodies, the way your breath catches, and the passionate vulnerability we’ve conjured.
Love is a crossroads. I’ve always been here, choosing and chosen. I’ve left offerings in all directions. I’ve tasted both salt and apples. I’ve followed the crow. I’ve been companion to the wind. I’ve gone barefoot in the grass. This is where we are now, but not where we will always be. These candles are lit, even as the rain comes. I have lit them for you.
O ushalin zhala sar o kam mangela. (The shadow moves as the sun commands.)
Nashti zhas vorta po drom o bango. (You cannot walk straight where the road is bent.)
May mishto phabol o kasht o chordano. (Stolen wood burns better for being stolen.)
Kaski san? (Whose are you?)
I have become bottomless
in the very best way, heart open
and devouring, only to replace
what it’s taken
with things of greater value –
this is the way your hands
make me feel, a strange
kind of limitless possibility
that feels like magic.
But this is not magic,
not parlor trick, not smoke
and not misdirection – no,
this is the way the wind feels
when it’s falling, this is a bird
marveling at its wing,
this is not something
I have a name for – perhaps,
perhaps some things
don’t need a name.
It is the middle of the day
and I’m wonderfully useless, thinking
only of the way your hands braid into mine,
thinking of that look on your face
(you know the one), thinking
about all the ways two bodies
close a distance, and hearts,
and lives – sometimes,
moments crack open
and then hearts are stitched up –
that is how you’ve healed me
when I didn’t even know I’d been broken.
I have no instructions for the way
that I feel, no excuses for the things
that I want, and no apologies
for anything. It’s been years,
and I’ve learned this:
there’s no roadmap
for the places you really want to go,
and there no previous experience necessary
when your heart whispers, love.
In all the poems that need
to be written, I find you,
waiting and impetuous,
your heart, like a hummingbird,
halfway glimpsed between
truth and trees –
my days are an open window,
and I invite you in, standing
This summer, I want
to count your freckles
a fate beyond a kiss; I want
to feel so alive
that all the stars break, I want
to be drunk on everything
my heart has no name for,
I want to dare
to drop everything – I want
to gather us up, feeling
much more than a quick step,
let’s go for a long run
and see where it takes us.
desire, let out like steam –
let’s see what happens now,
in this space
I have cleared for you.
I’ve been trying, for days, to write about the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby ruling. It’s difficult to remain levelheaded, because I really cannot believe that we’re still having this discussion. I cannot believe that people are still trying to legislate uteruses. I don’t understand why a corporation seems to have more rights than I do. And I cannot comprehend the rampant misunderstanding regarding IUD and Plan B. Guys, these are no magic abortive devices that oust poor innocent babies with the proverbial bathwater. These items prevent pregnancies. That is not a debatable issue. That’s a fact. Of course, Alito seems to think that if people believe something is abortive, than the government has to accept that. And in other news, the world is flat, tooth pain is caused by tiny demons in your jaw, and the best way to get rid of a headache is to bore holes into your skull to release the evil spirits. Oh, wait, right: none of that is true.
There are plenty of women who do not want to be mothers. That is a personal choice. But this ruling has made things highly problematic, because a corporation can now choose to deny women access to birth control that it deems against its religious beliefs. Yes, its – because this is a company, not a person. But that company seems to matter more, doesn’t it?
As of this minute, a corporation can decide, “Hey, I don’t like this thing. It’s against my religious beliefs. DENIED.” This is circumventing a woman’s rights. As Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out, this ruling could hideously far-reaching. Don’t believe in vaccinations? Think epilepsy is caused by demons? Good news, then: if we continue down this path of Not Science, then you might be able to opt-out in the near future.
Guys, we are living in a world where our politicians use the phrase “legitimate rape.” Hell, we live in a world where people commonly refer to the vulva as the vagina. Because, hi, basic anatomy isn’t a thing anymore. I think that I’ll randomly start referring to a man’s testicles as the shaft, because – hey, what not? If we’re just going to ignore science altogether, it sounds around right.
But, seriously, guys – this “war on women” isn’t a myth. Consider, also, the recent court case seeking to abolish the buffer zone outside of clinics. The case, in Massachusetts, led to this as a result. Read that article. You need to. That is a dangerous thing, too – because anyone who two eyes and half a brain can see how confrontational and abusive anti-choice protestors can be. A woman should not need an escort to get a medical procedure done. A woman should not have to fear making her own choices, only to be harassed and bullied by people who don’t agree with them. Last summer, I attended a state fair in which a pro-life group set up a booth and harassed me, randomly, as a walked by. There were figures and models that I could’ve done without seeing. There was also no way to avoid this particular booth, if I wanted to get from Point A to Point B.
I’m all for freedom of religion. Believe what you want to believe. Practice the faith you want to practice. But your faith doesn’t belong on my doorstep. And it certainly doesn’t belong in my uterus. You know that Polish saying – not my circus, not my monkeys? Well, my uterus, my monkeys.
I wonder, lately, what someone like Alice Paul would’ve thought about our society, which is trying to cull women’s rights at every turn. Yes, she fought for the right to vote, but she Women still get paid a hell of lot less for our distinct lack of penises. Slut-shaming is a rampant thing. When watching tv for an hour, I see approximately 87 different commercials for drugs to treat impotence. I can’t even remember the last time I saw an ad for birth control. And until a few weeks ago, I didn’t even know that a copper IUD existed – which is non-hormonal.
Freedom of religion means that we all have the freedom to choose which religion we practice – or don’t. It doesn’t mean someone else’s religion is supposed to govern or dictate my life/choices. If that was the case, we’d have to force Quakers to dance, Muslims to eat pork, and during Lent, I suppose Catholics would be forced to eat meat on Fridays.
I honestly don’t know where we go from here. But I do know that we, as a nation, need to stop backpedalling.
There’s something so wonderfully magical about appreciating the little things in life. An unexpected whatever that fills your heart with a crazy song and unabashed joy. I am a huge fan of the small things that, like the stars, light things up. A phone call, a text message, a nickname – these things are tiny, but they’re bigger on the inside, so to speak. Unexpected little miracles.
I’m always on board with celebrating the small joys. They can make the difference between a terrible day and a brilliant one. It baffles me, sometimes, how often people forget (or, perhaps, overlook) the impact of little gestures. For instance, when my grandpa was still alive, I called him every Wednesday night at a specific time. We never really spoke that long, and our conversations weren’t very deep, but that made him happy. He used to, I was told, sit there with the phone in his hand in case he fell asleep. He was always waiting for my call. The conversation always started like this:
Me: Hey, Grandpa!
Him: Hello, Granddaughter!
The way he said it was adorable. He was always teasing me. He had the best laugh and a wicked sense of humor. I like to think he passed those things on to me. But back to the point: it didn’t take much to affect him in a good way. That’s the same reason why I like to send people letters or small presents, randomly – and occasionally without warning. There’s so much crap in the world, sometimes, that it obscures our view – like when the sky is overcast and full of clouds, and you cannot see the stars. Yes, you know that the stars are there, but you’re still without their light. It is my belief that the little joys in life chase those clouds away. It’s so important to appreciate them when they happen.
The truth is that I will always celebrate the little victories. I will celebrate the hell out of them. Today, I have so much to be grateful for. A whole list, really. And a whole heap of wonderful people. These aren’t things you can buy from a store. They don’t come wrapped or wearing bows. Some things, darlings, are far better than that.