“politics” (?) and yesterday’s events
yesterday’s events were hardly what can be labelled as politics. it was disgusting, plain and simple, and despite how infuriating it is to see people believe themselves to be above it all and assert their apolitical nature at unnecesary moments, this has been admitted by GOP and DNC alike: the Capitol being stormed by Trump supporters in an effort to overturn a legitimate democratic election should not have happened.
the Confederate flag was in the Senate chamber. the Confederate flag hadn’t even made it to our Capitol in the Civil War. house members and senators had to barricade themselves and confirm their safety. it was unlawful and it was shameful.
SC Senator Lindsey Graham, known to be one of Trump’s greatest and most fervent allies, admitted himself: “I prayed Joe Biden would lose. He won. He’s the legitimate president of the United States. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on January 20th.”
TX Senator Ted Cruz, who had previously supported the notions of election fraud, turned around today to say: “The attack at the Capitol was a despicable act of terrorism and a shocking assault on our democratic system.”
to see this dismissed as just another protest or something to say “oh, hey, well, i don’t agree with what happened” or brushed under the table and treated as just another thing that happened in politics--is quite frankly alarming. to those who hold those views, and as a commentary to the state of this country. end of story.
[tw for mentions of gore!]
and your secret is
you want to cleave the heavens in two and vanish
to the space in between life and death. your secret is that
you haven't figured either out yet. sure, it's like this:
you start and end in darkness, start and end as a concept,
and whether there's blood or not, well, that's up to the artist.
up to the painter. here's an idea: you want to step back from your
life and take a brush and color your world yellow, or pink,
or the color of his mouth, which is
blue, which was blue. you want to take a pen and turn the pages,
search for the part where you feel something, where you meet
her again, where you tell your mother you're sorry. you open
the book of yourself and the pages are stained red. nobody
is going to tell you what this means. nobody is going to explain
pain; you're going to have to feel it, kid. you're going to have to
take the knife and cut your chest clean open, if you want to know
what the hell your heart is trying to say to you. there is no sequel,
there is no prologue, there is this and here and now and that is it.
if you're going to spit blood, make it pretty; rim your eyes in black,
put on a short dress, take the knife and shine it silver.
in the temple of your body, sinners rise to greet you.
who falls at your feet to adore you, and who does it because
they are afraid of doing anything else? you can't look into your own eyes
and ask for forgiveness. you can't rewrite this story made of blood and stone
and flesh and silver. you can do this: leave the church and leave the sword
in the rock. and leave the heart in the body. the gash in the sky bleeds stars
onto your head, but you're not leaving yet, you're not
may // topiramate
when i forget god is beneath my fingernails,
when the sun sits in my ribcage & yawns,
i do not kiss Her. my room smells like dust,
curtains drawn where my eyelids once were
& the carpet turned to ash. i am bound to
this skin, worn like my mother’s scrubs, &
i am burning. there is something like faith
leaking from my mouth; later, i will regret it.
this year gifts me a bottle of
stones to swallow. if they are
soft, i sink my teeth into the
smooth grey and chew slowly.
if they are solid, i consume it
whole and press a finger to the
lump from the outside. it bulges
but it does not hurt. it sits and
it dissolves slowly. i close my
eyes and dream of painless
lessons, i run my hands up the
side of my neck and inhale fumes
of red wine to make the process
quicker. this year thrice tears the
lids off my eyes and tells me to
see until no truth remains to be
found. it slips a birthday candle
into my hands and tells me to
hold it to my chest until i feel
warm again. i drag my palms over
the stuttering flame, and it is
warm even though it peels off
the skin of my fingertips and
sends them to hermes. the wax
melts like a star falls from the
sky, holds my wishes in its tears.
the stones i have swallowed, the
birthday flames—i accept it all
on this day, this birthday. it
flickers, it weighs me down. it
scorches, it keeps me under. i
take it all today, i take it all and
i thank it for all that it's done,
all that it's done, and all that i
recipe to make a little sister (no reposts please!)
-6 cups of her lovely humor: the type that you can’t quite find anywhere else. no grocery stores, no niche farmers’ markets. the type she has that makes you laugh quietly at your screen at 2:16 a.m. the wry, sardonic brand with just a touch of incredulous that never fails to make everyone smile.
-3 teaspoons of her care and support: the type in which she never fails to show such profound kindness in her support of other people. making sure they know they’re well and loved and cared for in the most polite of ways. it’s the quiet type of kindness, the gentle one that’s not quite so blaring-in-your-face, but rather, the one you take a moment to stop, observe, listen to. it’s there, true and strong, and she hopes you know it. the way she cares. she’s there to tell you how incredibly bright you are in the most genuine of voices, so honest that you can’t help but believe her, and you’ll hope she knows you find her the same way.
-2 and 1/2 pounds of charm and cuteness: the type that you hope doesn’t get to her head. she has a small, endearing face, and the most loveable of laughs, and these adorable, iconic glasses that frame her face so well. you think she has a natural type of magnetic pull, the type that makes people want to know her better beyond her calm disposition. you think she’s cute in that way, amongst so many others. but again, you don’t want to overuse too much of this ingredient to let it get to her head. (you want to throw her.)
-endless sticks of her ever-endless talent: the type that you hope she knows is hers and hers alone. and you know it’s sometimes human nature to compare, but you hope she knows her talent with the pen and the ink is ever so bright and admirable in its own way. sometimes, you look at it, and you’re in awe that anyone could ever write that way. you wonder how to show yourself like her, how to lay yourself on the page like her, how to handle the nitty-gritty like her. you’re envious of how effortlessly she spins these words and the depth she puts into your daughters. you think that, even if she’s likely shorter than you and younger, you look up to her in these aspects. there is no one in the world who wields the pen like her. she could be the face in a crowd of a million, and you would still look for her. she is brilliant in every right, but mostly, her own. you know she’ll stand besides you. she’s an icon, already.
instructions for baking:
1 ) and it starts with a “thanks for writing this. names are so significant” and you’ll go and say, like the overtalkative thing you are, “thanks so much! do you have an asian name?” and it begins sort of like that, with the exchange of some words over ink. and you think she is ever so talented, a sort of raw, heart-wrenching whisper to her style, that you think: this is the start of something. you hope it is. you think she is brilliant.
2 ) and it really begins with these five boys and talking about privilege in a certain music industry. and it evolves into comment after comment like that, getting to quickly know each other, “what’s your thoughts on this?” “oh, I totally agree!” “their comeback is soon!” and there’s this memory you think back to, and it’s: “hey, is there a name you go by on here? can i call you...Chrys?” and it sticks. and she sticks. and you are glad enough to be worthy of her attention. she’s your winged girl, after all. put the crown on your head, adornment to your horns.
3 ) and you are friends now, and you couldn’t be more glad of it. there’s a ”“oooh, Chryssie has a crush?” thrown into the mix. things change, new faces come into play, but you think: she is the constant. she is the brilliant light by my side. i hope she never leaves. you think of her stories, and you are, for lack of better, less cliche word, inspired. she inspires you in so many ways: to push yourself, to dig deep, to lay yourself bare. in the meantime, you get to know her more. she’s a little baby. probably short. dry sense of humor, probably likes being mysterious to be edgy, but it’s cute. scorpio, infp, she and her mom are from...hubei? she likes pens. she plays volleyball, and wants to get out of her school in favor of a harder one.either way, you grow even fonder of her, beyond her effortless talent, but mostly, for the image of who you think she is.
4 ) and then things migrate. you migrate, too, and the world is spinning ever so fast, and you think you’re running along with it and making it speed up. you stay with her, though. and even if she may think you’d outrun her, you wouldn’t. not in a lifetime. she’s still the same as ever, but even closer now. you and her craft worlds together, and you couldn’t be more happy. you’re compatible in so many ways, it’s like the universe brought you to her and said: “this one. she is brilliant, but you may hope to shine with her.” and shine, you hope you do. your styles blend together, apparently, and you love your “children” together. she makes you happy, these late night conversations. you hope you do, too. so even if she thinks you’re running, you hope she knows that you’ll always be the one running back to her. it’s what sisters do.
5 ) and sometimes you think you’re too much: too talkative, too overbearing to the point of annoyance, so you wonder, and you grow quiet. but the world still turns, and you hope that is enough to keep you together. and you hope she knows that you’ll always be there to run with her. because against all possibilities, you found each other.
“you tell me you like my crown
i respond that we’re the only ones that might think that
and wings fanning out, chrysanthemum petals falling from the tufts, you reason: that’s what makes us destined
you found me, despite it all, and maybe
the horned girl, with the winged girl
who placed a crown on my head
have found a home already.”
“we were one, separate lives same hearts, secrets spilling like gasoline over hands
leave your fingerprints over my eyes so that i may never forget your name
‘run away with me’ ”
happy birthday, winged girl. happy birthday to a little sister.
notes on grief (tw: death)
at daybreak, a ream is brought into the cosmos
and a wolf’s nightly cries spread gauze on a saltwater
wound. a fistfight breaks out and three blind men cauterize
a comrade’s woes, slip a palette knife over trauma.
the way my mother slices tomatoes, is slick meat
on scabbed knees. when i arrive as a leaping
lilly’s cut stem- a reaper will whirl a hurricane in his nail beds,
a child underneath his squatting limbs.
once a dead man’s casket is grown into mildew by
a raging snowdrift. half-eaten, half-baked;
an apple pie- a tinge of a widow’s liver. here cacao
strains milk-sap into a babe’s tongue, laps it up like
my grandmother’s daschund. yesterday we put
him down; today his water bowl drips sonorous.
then, a drooping elm-oak fell to the ground. a little
angel-boy clipped his wings and hung them to dry.
in kindergarten, we peg crafts and arts. after naptime;
go outside and plant a sapling, suck dried succulents
into our teeth.
uproots a banyan tree and looks
towards the sky. an eagle in her clenches, grips a
hamster in cleaved feathers and lets out a wail.
alternatively, i remember to stay:
so i’m drinking with tempests in a motel room, lightning bugs on the lampshades / and the stupid tele starts ringing. ’nd says something kinda-sorta shattering like:
“& i wish i could steer you off the highway and tell you it’s okay to to take the side roads.”
& it’s like / man, do you even know what you’re wishing for? / i don’t exist, babe. i’m not real. i am a specter held to this plane by the string of this seatbelt. / i will take us both hurtling right past the speed limit and if you try to open the door i’ll laugh and laugh and / thank you for coming along with me for the ride. it’s the last thing i’ll see. / & you’ll ask me what that means.
but it still sounds like: “& i want to catch you with both arms and pluck you out of the sky & parachute you with me down to earth & tell you that we can stay here for a quiet while (we can lay on the grass and watch the sky from here)” / & now it’s starting to look like a mirage, one of those halfway to the afterlife visions you start seeing when your thread of a heartbeat starts getting pulled taut. / i want you to catch me, but i don’t ask it. / i want to stay here with you, but i think my roadmap is upside down. / & now i’m thinking that i want you to ask me how to stay still, / but you can’t teach a falling object to grow wings. / all things plummet like a birthright, in the end.
“i want to place the entire world in your glowing fingertips & tell you you deserve every damn thing in it / and i want to tell you that it’s ok to not be ok” / and i think i’m so close to letting the rain fall. my eyes sting, & it’s like / you don’t have to ask me what that means, do you?
“& sometimes i want to say this in the flesh so you know i’m real and that we both sleep under the same moon at night” / we’re real? we’re real. / we’re real, we’re real. i am here & / i want to be real. God, i don’t want to fall alone. / make me real, tell me you can feel me. / press your palms to my cheeks and keep me on this planet. / i don’t want to be a part of the choir & it’s starting to turn into: / hold my trembling hands and tether me here & i want this to turn into / we are real. we are the ones who live.
“& i love you / & i want to tell you i love you (we can go find heaven together eventually)” / & it’s starting to look like / i’ll stay. i’m staying. / we are real, you are real, and i am staying, you dummy. as if i could / forget those lilies in that pond. / Christ. you made me stay. / & it’s starting to turn into the funny little fact that i think / i’ll always be the one who stays, if you ask me to. /
suppose i meet death in the park
and she is sitting on a bench and feeding the pigeons. i chew
blue bubble gum on the bus ride home and all the people look like
abstractions. suppose when death put her warm hands on the sleeve
of my jacket and tugged she replaced me with something else. a cardboard
cutout. my parents take scissors when i arrive on the front porch and
slice me in two and i smile. suppose i take off my clothes and all the stars
pour out. i forgot that i went home with the universe last night. i forgot
whether i swallowed fire or whiskey. i go to the drugstore at three in the morning
and buy superglue so i can stick all the stars back on the sky because they've grown
sick of me. and the people still dance like puddles of drunken light, like the
rejects of the heavens. i'm afraid to look the world in the eye because i'm afraid
it might blind me. suppose i meet god in the liquor aisle and she hates me. suppose
i'm looking at my reflection in the cold glass. the voice on the loudspeaker tells me
i've been playing god my whole life. that i don't know how to be mortal. the cashier looks at the stars on my neck and smiles with bloody teeth and blonde hair.
i go home and strip myself of my skin and my body doesn't know where to go anymore.
i'll sit by my windowsill and watch the stars disappear. they remember the way home.
i traverse the maps of my body, stand at the doors to myself. nothing welcomes me back.
sometimes, i forget to:
i. And it all starts like / sometimes you forget to drink water in the morning & then it turns into / you forgot to comb your hair in the morning & then it turns into / you’re eyeing the scissors on the printer for much too long & then it turns into / wishing you never woke up / and it’s like: you don’t look like your dad, not like your mom. you look in the mirror and you are packing your bags and hiding in a motel room with no reflective surfaces & then / you are alone. / & it is not unfamiliar.
ii. and it’s starting to look like it’s ending. / you know? please don’t ask me what that means. / it looks like no, love, but really, how are you? and it’s like / i am a passenger in this body watching myself speedway off the bridge. you’re so sweet, thank you for asking. / it’s like you don’t even like anything about yourself anymore but you still crush wildflowers in your palms and scream at them to sing / i killed the choir! i killed the choir.
iii. it’s starting to look like you know i’ll always be here for you, right? / & then it turns into well, yes, but i’m starting to think the more you know about me the less you’re going to wish you did at all / and it’s like i am always here to catch you fall and i am always stretching myself like elastic in parachutes to be right there for you but i am / reaching terminal velocity, you know? / & i won’t let you ask me what that means. / & it’s not your fault, because i just / can’t cut my thoracic cavity open but oh my God i am falling / and i am falling alone. /
sometimes i forget to ask for help. / kidding. i always am. always do. / i didn’t forget, i just didn’t. / & it’s like: don’t ask me what that means.
iv. and it’s like, do you even like me anymore? was i even a warm presence in the first place? / if you’re going to cut me out in silence, then be over and done with it because holy crap i am battling far too many closet skeletons / to deal with this right now. / i am your friend or i am not. /
v. so sometimes i forget to be alive, and then i think sometimes i forget to let people notice. / not like i ever tell them, i just forget to. / & it’s like: no i don’t. sorry. / & then i’m on the highway again, and i’m looking for heaven, and polaris sends me her butterfly kisses to soothe my aching heels. / & sometimes i forget to look both ways.