POCKET LINT

  • how to take care of a hangnail

    There was blood pooling around the nail of my index finger where I had tugged away a reluctant bit of skin. A lingering old bad habit, evidence of a mind that won’t rest. 

    A puddle of bright red held in my hand. In wonder. I didn’t realize, in sweet summer heat trying to find you in some crowds, amongst some clouds. 

    I suck on my finger, hold the taste of iron rich thick red on my tongue.

    Wondering if I’m anemic. Wondering why I’m so hungry for flesh. Wondering how long the taste of my blood lingers in your breath. I imagine blood dripping from my mouth, digging hands into body, unabashed appetite. 

    I’m sweating.

    I then hold my finger in my other hand: pressure to remind myself to contain.

    I imagine voraciously tenderly consuming you, biting softly, holding the taste of your blood sweat spit. Still dripping. A puddle of bright red held in my hand. In wonder. I didn’t realize I would lose you in some crowds, amongst some clouds.

    I then hold my chest with my other hand: pressure to remind myself to contain.

    Will you let me spit this blood into your mouth?

  • how to grow a healthy plant...

    we:

    a sprout seeking gentle mist sweet rains, preferably at dusk, in cotton candy skies. nourishment, to grow stronger, to remain rooted through thunderstorms.

    not yet. 

    soft plant wants kisses, wants sunshine, wants song. a wind too strong, uproots. too much hot hot summer sun burns leaves, browns, withers. rain too heavy hurts.

    without care, we mourn the loss of what could be. to grow, sweet soft plant, in moonlight. 

    let it.

    weep into its soil. press finger tenderly into, feel the wetness of tears and want. cake under nail. let it dry and tighten skin. the scent of life, linger. don’t wash it away. 

    not yet.

    sweet soft plant wants us to know what it needs, so it can thrive. it is tired of fighting for space through cracks in sidewalks, patches worn out of asphalt, under weight of feet and tires and dog shit. it has spent enough time in inhospitable soils. find good fertile grounds. loosen up the dirt. break up what is hard. cultivate rich. it will be a happy home.

    become together. heal the breath in lungs that are gasping. must not drown plant, must not rot from the inside, must not give too much, must stay in the ground, must let root deep down to reach up up to the strange bright moon. 

    what do we put at risk when we overwhelm our sprout?

    a chance to bear its fruits, be strong and large and deep and healthy, to be magnificent. seasons and seasons. produce nectars to heal bodies, heal hearts, heal worlds. what to celebrate. not to mourn. great beauty, dear plant, to treasure. what could be. finally some meaning where there was once just some dirt and a possibility. 

    whisper to the plant that you love it. sing softly and rub your face in its tendrils. let it wrap around you, hugging. it wants to be right here with you, to find some kind of home in the ground down deep. it desires the chance to grow with you. 

    let it.

    what do you want to grow?

  • another map

    a new map, a wandering map, an evolving map, a map that doesn’t lead you to a place but a beginning, over and over again 

    circuitous, but necessary, every winding trail, every dead end, every roadside distraction, every near accident, every time I almost ran out of gas, because I get distracted

    on some path, to discover how to find/lose/ leave/love/be/cum/show up/just keep showing up 

    to love the variations of blue in the sky, to breathe in its expanse, to stare at hills, bringing into focus a single leaf at such distance, letting it dissolve then into the larger landscape, every moment here held, a leaf that is 

    detours: wondering, to some heart, some cloud, some chest, some home, some leaf,  some friend, some sense of belonging, some body of water, somebody

    while we continue to wake up feeling lost

    and remembering

    a map that makes sense because we stopped needing it to, a map that first taught me/is teaching me, that leads me to you, to us, to homes where we spread our maps out together on tables, and see now, how they overlap and take us somewhere altogether new

    never really lost, but, yeah, always a little, losing breath, always finding, beginning anywhere, again and:

    a journey of love, arriving, becumming

    our map, now, that eventually leads us to an ocean, I’m sure

  • HOW TO BE A RAINBOW

    a poem about rainbows

    I am finding it a difficult task to quantify the beauty of the rainbows I have experienced in order to rank them. 

    What instead I imagine is the light coming through her bedroom window, refracted, the spectrum falling across her face: a rainbow. How, with the Sun behind me, and rain in front, being a cloud, I collapse into her bed, breaking open white sunlight in my chest to reveal everything: broken into red, then orange, then yellow, then green, then blue, indigo, violet, spilling out, like flooding, radiant, crushing me open, rolling around with her in bed, a sprawling mess of light. The danger lingers, of getting lost entirely to become but a droplet of water or simply a mass of energy, if we forget to remember these fleshy containers, to keep that foot firmly rooted to the ground. I have tied an anchor to my ankle. It is heavier than all the world, and still I find myself drifting.

    Here, we dissolve into bands of color. I reach my hand in your direction, blinded by this energy. I feel you, but only through some psychic sense. 

    Some refraction of the spirit; some rainbow.

  • HOW TO BE A TIDE

    a poem about oceans

    The energy of the world I feel inside me radiating outward, so that I feel everything, and I am a permeable conduit for all this love. I put my hand on my chest to hold my heart in place. I fear it might fall out onto this sidewalk and collect itself with the plastic bags scurrying, who I frequently mistake for cats or raccoons (and maybe they are just as alive, just as critterly, I do dream), the weary coffee lids resting, feeling into their wounded torn edges, the orange peels disintegrating, making themselves smaller and harder each day as they dissolve into the everything, the chicken bones left as remnants of the vampire-cocks that wander the streets of Baltimore after midnight.

    I am wandering the streets of Baltimore after midnight with my friends, the vampire-cocks and my pack of plastic bags, searching and howling and feeling. Everything is quiet, except for three boys running across the street through a green light down the way, and, of course, our howling, voracious and desperate and impossible.

    This morning, in the wake of last night’s yearning, I hold onto the residue of magic in my pores. The sunlight fills me with unbearable joy that, yes, spring is coming, and, yes, I do always forget how much winter dulls my mood. There is some deep uncomfortable vibrating in between my ribs that is cavernous and infinite and wants to a terrifying extent. I need sweat and dirt and blood and sun that burns. I am the water beast ready to break, waves, ready to howl: “I am alive. I am alive, and I fucking love you.”

    This morning, I am walking on the sidewalk. Air is crisp, but the sun is bright. I hear the birds singing, and I let myself be gentle again, breathing. I put my hand to my chest: feeling into my beat along with the rhythm of everything. I, an ocean with an insatiable appetite for being/I, a being interconnected with the ocean of all things.

     

  • HOW TO BE A WATERFALL

    a poem about water falling

    Waterfall used to mean start drinking and don't stop until the person to your left stopped drinking, and I'd always hold it as long as possible, til the bottom of the cup, to the dismay of all those to my right.

    You could forget about your surroundings long enough to disappear in a breath, maybe. Hold it in long enough to drown. Make sure everyone around you is having enough fun to forget it all ever happened in the morning.

    In Athens, I met a different waterfall. It was not grand. Just a few rocks in a creek, a subtle obstacle for water to flow: around; erosion. I met it there everyday for a month. I prayed to the water. I prayed to the rocks. To find the ground underneath my feet and root. To find the flow and trust in the movement. To connect and become the water, the rock, the air, in a breath: to see the permeability of membranes, to became an agent in this greater ecosystem. Not one and one and two, but everything.

    A waterfall in upstate New York. Not really a waterfall, but a manmade obstruction, water falling. I sat with David in the water as it fell over around us, crashing. Found breath with David in the crashing water.

    Here, Round Falls. A foam creature growing, moving, becoming: a foam friend. I took You there.

    These are not grand waterfalls. Just water falling. Just finding breath. Hardly spectacular, but beautiful in their softness, soft violent crashing waters. They are not the kind of falls that might destroy you immediately, but slowly, your edges wear down. Over time, water seeps into cracks that spread, and you fall open, eventually, to become something new, yet made up of the same.

     

  • how to eat 48 lbs of peaches in 10 days

    how to eat 48 lbs of peaches in 10 days

    be hungry 

    gentle with touch feel into softness

    barely graze fuzz skin against skin almost

    anticipate

    it is summer and I am sweating

    how heat in cheeks hides the blush of want

    my family comes from Georgia we know our peaches

    rinse fruit in cold water repelled

    beads like sweat hanging from fuzz on your upper lip

    flesh malleable press thumb into leave a mark

    squeeze in palm to collapse boundary between

    insides bared outside feel bodies becoming

    teeth into skin break open into dig into wet like sticky like sweet

    let the juice dribble like blood from flesh

    a mouth holding pressing on tongue

    swallow the scent and everything 

    will you consume unabashedly

    hunger without shame

    48 lbs of peaches inside you

    will you hand me the pit to make a wish

    go swimming with me and be nowhere in summer sun sweet sweat

    will you be naked with me and eat peaches in the sunshine til bellies are full

    we are laying in grass and falling in love with everything

    all over again

    do you dare

    are you hungry

  • cabin poem

    1.

    this is where I fell in love

    or started falling

    2.

    I am lying in a bed with a friend in a cabin

    with ten other people in other beds in a cabin

    3.

    you: suddenly in bed beside me

    now three in a bed in a cabin

    with nine other people in other beds in a cabin

    4.

    do you want me?

    5.

    do I want you?

    6.

    subtle

    I am closer to you now than I was

    I am terrified

    my foot accidentally closer to yours

     

    7.

    this is a moment: hovering

    before we fall

    or just a night, passing

    a risk: in my chest I have a hole

    I am terrified

    8.

    sleepless, surrounded by resting bodies, curious

    you laugh

    will I roll over

    will I roll over

    will I roll over 

    will I roll over

    will I roll over 

    will I roll over

    will I roll over

    will I roll over

    or 

    eyes clenched wide

    shut: pretend sleep

    heavy slow breath

    9.

    I roll over

    do you want to try that again

    10.

    and I lay my hand flat: palm open, upwards

    and my chest is a cavern

    and fingers intertwined, feeling:

    I am scared and soft and disarmed

    I am held

    11.

    do I want you;

    you/

    want me?

    12.

    how to be

    and be

    and be

    and be

    and be 

    and be 

    and be

    and become

    and being

    without losing yourself

    to love

    first, you

    then, life

    then, the world and others

    me

    to begin,

    anywhere, 

    always.

    13.

    a cabin, somewhere

    an ocean, here

    14.

    A statement becomes a question/was always a question: would you want to try that again? 

    To hold/to be held: each day, a choice. To wake every morning, facing the terrifying, beautiful mess of living, and pronounce, “I choose to live fully, openly, honestly today, to howl today. I choose to fall in love 10,000 times today. I choose to keep my chest open, my wounds oozing, to stay soft, tender, gooey today. I choose to look into the pink haze kissing the horizon and collapse in awe, in joy, in a mess today. I choose to ramble, to laugh, to show up today. I choose to stay present today, to feel all my feelings today, to not drown them, bury them, hide them, deny them, minimize them, resent them, starve them, stuff them, not today. I choose to hold them today, to sit with them and honor them, sorrow, pain, joy, love, fear, loneliness, excitement, happiness, happiness, happiness, all of them contained in my single small fleshy shell today. I choose to breathe in the potential of my best self, my Becoming, in the air held in my body today. I choose compassion today. I choose to love today.” Today, every day, a choice: to lay my hand flat: palm open, upwards, to the sky.

    Hold. 

    Let it go.

    15.

    you glorious humam butterfly