Thursday, April 3, 2014

Firm feet

I have a feeling we spend a fraction of our lives settling. I have a feeling that fraction is a good 7/8. I know dust often has no choice, but we are so much more than particulate in nature. I need to know you won't blow me away because I was ruining the gleam on your new shiny toy. Maybe there is a certain serenity in an unperturbed state. Like how we both lie in the same bed, aware of our silence but neither of us feels inclined to break it. But sometimes I wish I could wrench you out of your hibernation and tell you, don't take me for granted. My mother still tells me she loves me although it is her 19th year in doing so. Maybe 20 years down the road you won't even remember my name, and come 50, I won't remember my own. But until then, let's not rest on our laurels. By 80, let's wear toothless grins like badges of honor to show how our teeth eventually gave way to the words we never held back. I'll be the raw dust filtering through your pores, you'll be the sunlight that I somersault in.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


“What’s Genocide? their high school principal told me I couldn’t teach poetry with profanity so I asked my students, “Raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Holocaust.” in unison, their arms rose up like poisonous gas then straightened out like an SS infantry “Okay. Please put your hands down. Now raise your hand if you’ve heard of the Rwandan genocide.” blank stares mixed with curious ignorance a quivering hand out of the crowd half-way raised, like a lone survivor struggling to stand up in Kigali “Luz, are you sure about that?” “No.” “That’s what I thought.” “Carlos—what’s genocide?” they won’t let you hear the truth at school if that person says “fuck” can’t even talk about “fuck” even though a third of your senior class is pregnant. I can’t teach an 18-year-old girl in a public school how to use a condom that will save her life and that of the orphan she will be forced to give to the foster care system— “Carlos, how many 13-year-olds do you know that are HIV-positive?” “Honestly, none. But I do visit a shelter every Monday and talk with six 12-year-old girls with diagnosed AIDS.” while 4th graders three blocks away give little boys blowjobs during recess I met an 11-year-old gang member in the Bronx who carries a semi-automatic weapon to study hall so he can make it home and you want me to censor my language “Carlos, what’s genocide?” your books leave out Emmett Till and Medgar Evers call themselves “World History” and don’t mention King Leopold or diamond mines call themselves “Politics in the Modern World” and don’t mention Apartheid “Carlos, what’s genocide?” you wonder why children hide in adult bodies lie under light-color-eyed contact lenses learn to fetishize the size of their asses and simultaneously hate their lips my students thought Che Guevara was a rapper from East Harlem still think my Mumia t-shirt is of Bob Marley how can literacy not include Phyllis Wheatley? schools were built in the shadows of ghosts filtered through incest and grinding teeth molded under veils of extravagant ritual “Carlos, what’s genocide?” “Roselyn, how old was she? Cuántos años tuvo tu madre cuando se murió?” “My mother had 32 years when she died. Ella era bellísima.” …what’s genocide? they’ve moved from sterilizing “Boriqua” women injecting indigenous sisters with Hepatitis B, now they just kill mothers with silent poison stain their loyalty and love into veins and suffocate them …what’s genocide? Ridwan’s father hung himself in the box because he thought his son was ashamed of him …what’s genocide? Maureen’s mother gave her skin lightening cream the day before she started the 6th grade …what’s genocide? she carves straight lines into her beautiful brown thighs so she can remember what it feels like to heal …what’s genocide? …what’s genocide? “Carlos, what’s genocide?” “Luz, this… this right here… is genocide.””

“What’s Genocide?” by Carlos Andres Gomez 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I'm sorry

"// Grow // 
Emotions drive into my heart
My mind has shifted 
To a dark place
A big green eyed monster
Awaits me 
It's not easy being you
I hate things that I can't foresee
I breathe things that I can't achieve 
You don't know the things 
Inside me
They grow 
They grow
Deeper and lethal
Like a disease that infects my soul
But you don't know these thoughts 
I harbour
I don't want you to reassure me
Don't tell me you're mine forever
But acknowledge the pain you've caused
And forget about it in the morning
I know this will never stop
Because this disease grows
It grows 
It grows
As we grow older
Deeper and lethal
It infects my soul
But I'll learn to control it
For you i'll conquer these demons
Abolish them from my kingdom
Leaving only you in the wreckage
Waiting for me to grow together"

As those words unravelled it occurred to me how in your silence, I often fail to dig deeper. I don't stop to think enough, about just how careful I am to be with your heart. But, believe me when I say it is my most prized possession. I'm a fuck-up, I'll admit, I'm muddle-headed and sometimes I forget how fragile you actually are. I hate how I can't say no to people, how I may give other guys the wrong impression while I remain, completely unaware.

I'm sorry.
I would struggle to trust myself too, and maybe it's too much to ask, but, please don't doubt me. You may think I'm out there, my heart misplaced and mind in disarray letting thoughts of you float in and out while I drown myself in the company of others but you're all I think about. I don't think of being with anyone else, yet alone think of another's arms replacing yours? I wouldn't have it. Tell me you wouldn't too. I don't mind your rage just tell me it is fueled by a heinous love for me, because I never wanted to be possessed by anyone as much as I do you. I know no felony like that time you ripped my heart from its cage and it's never functioned the same again, you told me you couldn't open up to me again. It's okay if you hate me for awhile, it's what I deserve, but please, be the one to kiss me goodnight and may the knuckles that collide with the wall be the same ones that brush my cheek as you lie beneath me. Hate me for a minute and then spend an entire lifetime loving me, I wouldn't mind. I'd want that, I'd love that.
Please just listen to me when I say fuck the rest of the world, because all that has to matter is you and me. In lecture halls, holding my hand under a textbook, we couldn't give a shit about anything else, could we? It doesn't have to change, sweetheart. I loved you then and I love you now. No amount of bad faith could make me falter. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Tonight I am more in love than I have ever been
I want to say it feels more than I could ever feel
it might be a longshot but it feels too good
too good to care that idealism favours the young
i am listening to songs that seep into our pores
as we sink into each other,
that watch us as we lose ourselves
in each other's hair and i find yet another reason to stay
i want you to touch me until i have a shot at your perfection
i want you
thumbs pressing against my sides,
our hipbones brushing and
our demons kissing in the dark

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Conversations at dinner

"Why don't you write a book?"
I tell him I am no good at commiting to a character and
My attention span has a knack for waning 
I don't tell him he is the exception 

"You're really good at analogies."
He tells me and his lips part as if
To slip another compliment but he reaches for his glass 
He thinks I have a way with words
But his tongue could do so much better than mine

 I could never write a book without writing about him; how when he stretches his eyes are tight creases like crows' feet,
How he always closes his eyes for so long before and after a kiss
How do I tell him I am really only good at loving? 

Monday, March 10, 2014

in contrast

I made a deal with God the other day
My right cheek squashed against the nape of your neck
I swore I'd turn the other but I didn't want you to stir
Our bodies were touching,
thermal equilibrium
but I felt a steady heat starting from the tips of my toes to the ends of my hair
it was beyond any science
I dare say you are a work of art

you hate it when I stiffen as you start to talk about Him
and you meander on while I sit
struck with rigor mortis
is that look supposed to be love?
because I sense only judgement
your mouth a thin line
and mine a minefield
if I say the wrong thing again
will you hold us both through the wreckage?
plot twist: you left me to die, amassed with sins
while you buried your own in weed and tobacco

I smile as he softly snores and I allow
myself to drown in soliloquies
he loves me so much better 

Friday, February 28, 2014