Museum of Southern History

Everything seems determined to show off the ability to spontaneously erupt and brilliantly shatter before dying into dusty darkness, finally emptying the air and leaving all (whoever is left to purvey this “de-existance”) to eventually forget that anything was ever there in the first place.

I fail to see why it is so hard to accept that eventually all of it, all of everything, surrenders to the black void of “forgotten.” ...which must be the reason I accept the invitations from dancing temptations to wallow and mourn over the death of past incarnations, different versions of me that are necessarily dead because of my existence.

In some ways I feel trapped by the many Me’s of yesterday and the future Me’s yet to be, with the strange feeling that they are judging me, that I am constantly trying to best them. Constantly evaluating how I stack up to them. Am I smarter? Prettier? Happier?

I’m catty to my own copies.

At the same time I feel the weight of their eyes, calmly pleading with me to just not fuck it up. 

Any of it, all of it.




Things on my mind:

Wandering the streets without worry in a city that actually looks alive, standing behind artists whose work I’d love to touch and make my own, connecting with the people in this city that I feel I need to know. 

Riding the skyway across the river with a sun that dims in excitement for the night, a panda bear hat and a matching guitar. Words written in a guestbook - mi amor - on a second floor I’ve never visited in a building I’ve been in over and over. Rugs on the floor and on the wall, guitars in laps and smoke in the air. 

Fast new friends with flying fingers and dreamy atmospheres, our eyes are red but our noses clean. 

The humidity and hot collective sweat of bodies locked up tight in close quarters, the pull of breath. In. Out.

Rickety stairs and painted walls, chaos, music.

Feet meeting concrete with handfuls of golden beer in plastic cups, periodically filled up, and the swaying begins. Lured in by trombone blasting brazen and bold, dark faces hooking fingers through my soul.

Spirit animals. Connected and combined.

I swear the beer turned to wine when you lifted your fingers and swung your voice into mine.


The Faces: Electric Fence

I cannot take the warm and friendly faces
That I in turn will greet with smiling glow
And calculated social paces. I will dance this dance,
For what? There is a barrier to our closeness
That we will never breach.
I cannot take this happy toddler and her sticky chubby cheeks;
She tells me she loves me with reasons plentiful in garbled child speak.

Resignation stains the conversation; jokes are forced
And met with consternation. I can’t react the way I’d like.

I focus, instead, on the untucked hair that frizzes forth from your head
With no care to decorum, modesty; the little things we do to show
We know our worth:
Shirt tails out--
Jeans and sandals--
Forgotten details on display like internet handles clad in public privacy.

I hate that time is so little and wasted when I can’t cut straight
To the meat-- to the heart skipping along with this desire
to be your child
And kiss you sloppy sweet--
To hold your hand and listen, looking both ways
Down each street. I wish that we could meet.

I cannot take the chubby cheeks of little girls--
The grins I know will dim after lifetimes of knowledge
Begin to take and hurl these barriers anew.
I will get to watch and say how “finally she grew
Some sense” and feel the withdrawal of tiny hands
Careful not to touch this electric fence of distance we dispense.


Feeling otherworldly

And for a moment my fingertips
Have lost their memories--
My own skin is a foreign entity--
A stranger to be known and hushed, the sensations of
Lightest and softest magnolia blossom of touch
Against skin-- with lights that grow and diminish together.
Hands that move, that belong to me and do what I say,
With nailpolish chipped and cracked like mine...
But these fingers are new.
They are someone else’s hands,
A woman that I don’t know.

Hands that move fluid like black ink
On paper, lifting and twirling in
Loops of words--