he starts his prayer
before devouring his eight plates of sushi
as i match him– with my measly four
he starts his prayer
with thanking God
for getting “to do life with” me.
& i smile
with my eyes closed
& squeeze his hand a little tighter
because that’s the prayer i say
before i fall asleep.
before the asks,
for keeping him healthy
they say God hears consistency
if that is true
then your name
must be the most prominent thing
God has heard from me
i always kind of liked being unreachable
meant i was un-tethered to the “real world”
i mean i hated that i had a radius
a short distance & practiced route
to get me to & from the hotel
so i wouldn’t get lost.
but at least i couldn’t be bothered
when i was away.
but you went & got me an international data plan
because you know i have a tendency
of getting lost
[even on practiced streets]
so i could be reachable
if i wanted to be.
& instead of feeling tied down
tethered by a leash thats been shortened with this newfound accessibility
i felt even freer.
because when i saw the snow fall in Japan
i could tell you i was thinking of you.
when i tasted the most amazing dessert in Australia
i could send you a photo of it, & tell you to come with me next time to try it for yourself.
because the difference is,
everything i wander towards
i want to share with you.
because you are my world.
ive watched the video you sent me
the tour of the house you’re helping to renovate
you carefully map out the progress of each room
i listened to you explain trimming,
& dry wall,
& i may not understand all of that stuff,
but you in your element
always makes my heart happy.
but that isnt the reason why i watched it 27 times and counting.
when you say,
“and im excited that probably sometime in the future..
we’re gonna do this for us
hopefully. i love you.”
my heart goes all a flutter.
& we both know its been fluttering,
for a very long time now
but now it feels like its fluttering to a rhythm
that we both embody.
& it feels so damn good.
I love you
like a sea otter loves it’s favorite rock.
Fact: sea otters will search high and low
for a perfect rock
Smooth and ideal in shape
to rest on their belly
& smash clams and shellfish upon
they even have a pouch of skin
Where they keep their favorite rock
are my sea otter rock.
she sat on the stoop of the building
her arms cradling his head that hung low into his chest
his eyes pressed hard into the palms of his hand
her posture spoke to me
her every cell begged to perform a transfusion
“transfer the hurt, from him, to me” her face said
as she nuzzled her forehead into the curve between his ear and shoulder
cars passed between them, & me
kicking up the odors of the street
of drunken night life
& sober regrets.
i could feel her desperation from four lanes away
i silently observed them
as my drunken companion pulled me along
but all i wanted was to pause, & watch–
to know their night’s story.
because even in an entirely different country,
hurt easily translates.
it amazes me
that in the age of the internet
where knowledge, and the ability to be informed
is at the tip of your fingers
you choose to live in a house
with the drapes of ignorance
pulled tight over the windows.
Because if you pulled back those curtains
you’d see the earth is not flat.
You choose to live in a place
circulating old air
& outdated information
to sustain you.
You rely on those walls,
to protect you from “those” people out there
but i wish for those walls,
to transform into mirrors
to reflect what devolved creatures
you’ve let yourself become
but you wouldn’t see.
you wouldn’t see, what we all see.
Because in order to see change,
to see fault,
you need a standard
something to compare yourself to.
But in your four-walled sanctuary,
there’s only the same
in a house with blacked-out windows
& severed ties to the real world
you’ve lost touch with reality.
So go on.
believe the earth is flat,
and that homosexuality is an infection,
to be transferred to your children.
for the sake of society,
remain in your house.
because we wouldn’t want your
to infect us.
He always stands in front of me on descending escalators,
& behind me on ascending ones
because he knows I have a propensity for falling.
He packs an overcoat even though he knows he’ll never use it,
because he’d rather carry the extra garment
& give me the option of having an added layer to protect me from the cold.
He sends me videos of himself,
welcoming me to whatever country,
state, city I’m flying into
so that however bad of a flight I had,
it’s always remedied with his bright smile.
He writes me notes with the sweetest sentiments
& sends them via email when he knows im still sleeping
so as not to wake me with a text notification.
These are the gestures
however small or large they appear
that lets me know
he chooses me.
each and every day.
ive never been so sad to be away from you.
but ive never been so happy,
to realize how sad i am without you.
how deeply i adore you.
my reddening eyes betrayed me
with their sloppy wet lashes
before i could articulate
not in you.
let the record state that.
“i just dont want you to get so lost in this, that if it doesn’t work out… it will destroy you.”
“how cocky” i thought
but as my body reacted
before my mind could process
i realized that at the heart of it all,
my disappointment was in myself
because you were right.
& i didnt know how to convince you
that it wouldnt be so.
i know that eskimos dont actually have
a hundred words for “snow.”
but i think that myth is the only way i know how
to articulate these moments
when i forget
that what i know to be true
the basis of my future-making decisions
& my unwavering faith
may not be the same
here i am,
assuming “snow” just means winter
& powdered white landscapes
but for you,
its based on context
& speed at which it’s falling.
that isn’t to say
we disagree on the sky being blue
or the moon meaning night
or “i love you” to be anything short of what it is.
For me, “all in” is no holds barred
regardless of what life throws at us,
im dedicating myself to this completely.
For you, “all in” translates to:
from what you know of me thus far,
from all youve grown to love
you’re in it. that much you can commit to.
but there is still life
& curved balls
that may change the concept of
“soft, delicate, beautiful” snow
into “icy, hazardous, dangerous” snow–
& that kind of shift demands reassessing of “all in.”
i wish i knew
all the variations of the word
before committing my whole heart
to the only translation ive ever known.