CCH 2013

as usual, we do not live eye-to-eye.

Everyone pulls out their technology and sits alone,

dicing, marring, rationalizing beauty into tiny pieces trying to Understand.

what you do not know: the quiet cloth is my dream

I glow with it, I grow in it, white-hot is the clarity in me.

Fear, the orangey-pink shapes that attacked me in the subway that night

were from your lips. And yet no one said anything.

Maybe that is why I have painted you all in vomit, for

we learned how to eat each other, but we could never

keep it down. All over the walls.

this time, we’re brushing to gold, raising spirit glasses

to our eyes and lips. To new beginnings.

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drowning

When I first went to India, I wrote a piece concerning drowning and being drowned in a culture that was not my own:

“Each of her parents had gone their own way. Her mother had walked out of an icy, damp land, hair blowing in the wind – Ireland, the place she mentioned with longing sighs and wistful glances out the door. Her father had stood tall on the decks of ships way out across the Caribbean, traversing the dangers of South America, a land that had chiseled him down and made him a man.

So it was only natural that, after they’d all been together on the plains of Africa, that she would dive off the deep end and drown herself in the madness of India.

The drop into India was longer than she expected. She fell silently, her eyes open and her arms outstretched, until she crashed into the water with a mighty SPLASH, where it tore at her clothes, ripping out her hair. She sank swiftly and silently, shooting down by her skeletons of dreams and tattered kelpy thoughts, sinking deeper and deeper into darker and darker waters.

She came up for air in Agra, where she found a sort of life raft named Andy which carried her along for a while so that she could wipe her hair out of her eyes and catch her breath. All the water she’d swallowed stayed down, and he told her that she should keep it there because it would keep her alive.”

(2008)

Now I am melting, falling into this wasteland that says I belong,

I am overcome with memories and confusion

this constant reminder of You Do Not Understand,

You Do Not Belong

even though I look and speak like a native

I have perfected this chameleon act, blending

speaking this language to communicate a modicum of thought.

 – And yet, it is never enough.

I am exhausted of getting everything wrong, failing

in work friendship conversation class assignment meeting

I truly just want to get back to a language I can speak fluently,

speaking the truth into every ear, bold in faith

knowing that I am wholly loved and that I love wholly.

Let me fight this current, hold down this fiery water that burns my lungs

offensive, grating, I will breathe it

and swim to summer shores

then from there learn how to breathe air again.

springing

this sun

has to be a joke, it is

so drizzly wet outside and we are dashing

from buildings, breathing deeply

but trying not to ruin our hair

(let me say that the deepest joy

is from looking down and remembering that I am rooted in

boots I’ve had since I was eleven.)

communication

I miss being the self that I understood.

Here, muted in color and thought, I am often lost

in my own words, confused. Before

here, I could say things in any language

and rarely be misunderstood

because directness is imperative

when one is only present for a moment at a time.

This frustration of tongue, that

what I mean and what I say can possibly be two different things – i

feel myself slipping,

sinking backwards behind a reality of protocol and what is cool,

swimming in masques of politeness and belonging.

starting point.

I need to start writing about depression.

That’s why I started this blog in the first place, to be an outlet for my thoughts as I went through the stress of culture shock. As time went on, however, and I kept avoiding the subject, this became something else.

All I’m saying is, if you don’t want to read about depression, stop reading this blog.

Thanks to all of my followers who have been so unbelievably encouraging over the past year. You have no idea how lovely your little comments on my posts have been.

Peace.

re-reentry.

two weeks from now, Nakor(u) will return

she will throw on old tshirts, run barefoot,

drink chai and kahawa and bottled sodas

walk for miles into the hills and villages

shoulder gunny sacks, sling toddlers up onto her hip

roll through gritty, dusty syllables of truth

spitting the sunflower seed shells from cracked dry lips

hang off of the back of open pickups and little dirtbikes

bathe splashing from basins, rubbing the rusty earth from skin

sit up late at night with only hurricane lamps and candles

sleep outside under trees and stars.

….

there is so much she’s missed

not gonna lie, there is so much that hasn’t been translated

through the tea strainer of chilly mornings

into what can be understood by real life.

why there’s always salt in my hair,

hair that’s been cut shorter and dyed,

the way my arms and legs are paler from lack of sunshine,

the layers and layers of clothing that are never enough

_

but most importantly, the 10mg of hope

the cast for my heart

the bit I toss back every day with my afternoon coffee

 – how will I explain?