Magic Jack

March 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

We talked about what we had for dinner.
We talked about the size of our hands.
We talked about two-headed dogs.
We talked about the current state of Philippine media.
We talked about dirty old men.
We talked about the right way to wear denim on denim.
We talked about our favorite colors.
We talked about the height of the sky.
We talked about the rising prices of public transportation.
We talked about earthquakes.
We talked about first kisses.
We talked about how we felt fat.
We talked about the hungry people in Africa.
We talked about the hungry people right outside our doors.
We talked about forgiveness, and Japanese watermelon popsicles.
We talked about World War II.
We talked about bombs.
We talked about poetry.
We talked about Megan Fox’s tattoos.
We talked about how we would all laugh at gilded butterflies.
We talked about Shakspeare.
We talked about poetry some more.
We talked about sex.
We talked about condom flavors.
We talked about Ani DiFranco.
We talked about the nineties.
We talked about the disappeared.
We talked about the time it would take to get from there to here.
We talked about time travel.
We talked about shopping malls and magazines.
We talked about courage.
We talked about high school.
We talked about the depth and girth of loneliness.
We talked about the existence of God.
We talked about things we couldn’t explain.
We talked about climbing mountains.
We talked about tying cherry stems into knots.
We talked about wisdom teeth.
We talked about the movie, Teeth.
We talked about brothels in Eastern Europe.
We talked about our mothers.
We talked about dolphins dying in Taiji.
We talked about dolphins smiling in America.
We talked about how dolphins dying in Taiji reminded us of our mothers.
We talked about how it was one of those things we couldn’t explain.
We talked about what we would name our children.
We talked about losing our virginity.
We talked about finding it again, in a poem, or a movie, or a quiet song.
We talked about telephone lines, and time.
We talked about how it had passed, but we didn’t mind.
We talked about the spinning world.
We talked about how what kept us alive kept us apart.


Names II

March 23, 2011 § 2 Comments

Would you mind if I went up to you and gave you my name? And maybe watched as you repeated it, careful not to get it wrong, your tongue rolling across your teeth, the roof of your mouth? How about the fact that I name everything I have? I hope you don’t mind that I talk so much, or that I celebrate Christmas the entire second half of the year. It’s because I like waiting– for good news, for dinner, in fancy doctor’s offices with aquariums and magazines. I hope you don’t mind that I name the things I don’t even have yet. I told you, I like to wait. The camera I’m saving up for will be named Rebecca, and I’m calling my first million Donald. I hope you don’t mind that I’m not very original. Someday, I will have a quaint little house in the middle of a forest, with vines creeping up old ivory walls, and it will be called something pretty and romantic. And there will be a lake not too far off, a living one, where we can jump off the dock and bury our toes beneath the fine round stones. And maybe you can help me name every last fish and snail and water lily, because I trust your laughter, how it sounds like warmth, and the sun. And I like how your silence is a little bit cold, not like a stare, but more like a dark blue night sky, covered in trembling stars. I will name every plane that passes overhead, one for each letter of the alphabet, until we reach Z, because you and me, we have all the time in the world. All our children will be named after songs, ballads of sighs and silent power. I can name this country, this feeling, this movement of my body, but you? You cannot be encapsulated in a name, like a wave washing through the entire world, before disappearing into the sand.


March 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

For Maita

I can say that the air is too humid,
this room is too small,
all your papers strewn out across the floor
drive me insane.

But it’s this little mouse space,
this burning white light,
all the fortresses we ever built
out of cassette tapes and toilet paper skeletons,
that tell me
I’m never going to be alone.

And so we listen together, to the world
through the cracks in the walls,
and I know: I will still want to see you

if there is an other side.

We Sink in Different Directions

March 19, 2011 § 1 Comment

All ends are loose,
like a fading, or a plane receding
on the runway,
never ceasing to exist
but beginning not to matter,
as it moves
further and further away.

Even closure is a shaky construct,
like carbon monoxide that seeps
through the cracks beneath the doors
of a kitchen,
covered in flowers in broad daylight.

This will not end
the way I want it to—
clean, quick, painless,
a blank slate in a matter of seconds,
an open heart just waiting
to be picked up again.
Slowness is in the character of everything
within the heavy turning of this world,
and what we share
is more like the gradation of night to day
than the systematic ticking
of the second hand of a clock.

Death is not always so grand,
and so all I have tonight
are the sweetest words
from a tongue I cannot trust,
and a sinking feeling
that somewhere, the world’s last polar bear
has silently taken its final breath.

The Perks of a Common Name

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Too many people are in love
with the way someone makes them feel,
with the idea of an idea
nestled in intimate curves
or the crook of a pretty girl’s arm.
Too many of the same names
are special to too many different people,
and in a sea of blindness
we would all be caught swimming
into the arms of our namesakes’ lovers.
But for now I am blessed
with my common name,
content to swim towards its hollow sound
as you say it unknowingly,
belonging as well to someone else—
an aunt, an old classmate, a receptionist
at a cold dental clinic—
and the space between us, a tunnel
soaked in an echo
that never runs out.

Where Am I?

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