Bodies

You told me that this house is too small for us to live in. So I built us

a mansion: this funhouse of mirrors.

Now we live on opposite ends of this vast space, comfortable at the edges of our own loneliness,

merely acknowledging the presence of the other

as a next door neighbour

when there are thousands of uninhabited rooms between us,

waiting to be opened,

broken down and passed through.
 
 

I long to breach the distance that traps us in an endless hallway of what-ifs–

possibilities that could have materialised

should one of us break this truce

and step on the shards of existences we have shed behind.
 

I have left a number of broken beer bottles

at my passing. They carelessly scar on

the thin carpet of my skin, warning you

of every landmine I have set up at my defense.

I don’t know how to undo them

so I just pretend they never happened
 

but from here, I can still hear the sound of the ocean in your room,

the rattle of prayer beads that barbed your front door–

your lifesaver

from the continuous cry of the phone receiver

you left hanging in god knows where.

I know you are still there- breathing

sometimes floating, sometimes drowning

like I do here at the other side-
 

Oh how we have baptized ourselves over and under

in salt or in liquor

waiting for the sweetness to come

maybe in some guise of an intruder

who’s insane enough to ignore

all the caution tape we have weaved on our fences.
 

-I guess we are both insane to still believe onto each other

so we wait for one of us to come willing

to lose her place in the process of finding.

It has become quite a game

we are both patient enough to play.
 

Maybe on particularly good days

when we are almost sober to feel

the dust on our fingertips, we would be able

to grasp the door handles and turn open

each other’s knobs.

Discovering that we are just in adjacent rooms

with a secret door in between.
 

When that time comes, I will greet you

with a kiss of thousand words unsaid.

Years of longing and loneliness

cleansed away by this very second.

Tears on our cheeks,

hands in your hair, lips on my ear,

flesh pressing on flesh,

nails scraping skin,

mouth drinking from the wells of another–

We will make mad love to each other

tearing these rooms, screaming

through these swelling walls that made us apart.
 
 

Until then, this house becomes intact.

A shell for the winter that brews from within.

A body of fragmented personas

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Graces

To exist.

To safely arrive from one point to another,

To enjoy the momentary stillness amidst the honking of horns,

To radiate the warmth of sunlight into another person’s hand,

To take advantage of being cold as an invitation to intimacy,

To write without fear, to create without warning,

To look into the eyes of a child, defying demarcations of time,

To impregnate yourself with joy, to be expectant of it,

To partake in the labor of the universe,

To surrender a bit in the grand order of things,

    floating on an endless ocean, finding your breath underwater,

    leaving your children in their sleep, trusting their innate gift,

To live, to swim, to grow their own gills,

To find water wherever there is,

     becoming more aware that the going and returning are just halves,

     of a person I long knew, and will know,

These are graces I continually thank for

Kiss Mark

Goody two shoes, you still cannot
dispel the magic that protects you from being
touched by a lightning bolt.
You are oil slipping through a sea god’s hands. A bitten fruit
whose seeds are untouched.
Do not forget
how you once wove a garment with your prayers
as you stripped before the eyes of the wild,
letting course hands run through
your breasts, your thighs–
pulling them into depths of consciousness
as you were being plunged into oblivion.

 
Now that your task is complete, your offerings have reached the deity you serve
and you retreat safe into your space
intact, unaffected.
Sleeping
as rain pour in heavy torrents
burying the land that sacrificed you into a deluge.

 

Let the storm rage, as your own seep out of your pores
break into the cracks of your character-
a mask of timid smiles and coerced amens.
One day these bite marks will heal
and the kiss that sealed you from being touched
will fade as the mist clears away.
Yes, the land will be fertile again
and you will rise like any other women
to plough
to sow