And I can’t find the way,
No method in my mind
To leave this behind,
The traps that I find
I want to go home
Too tired to roam
I left a feeling alone
And never touched it,
But now It’s reaching me,
It’s begging and beseeching me
To return from the far away roads
To the place that I know
To where I started the show,
My heart started to grow,
My mind started to know,
All that matters
I want a ticket on a plane
Before I can’t afford it
I want a place to remain
Where all my love won’t be hoarded
In tiny boxes and bags
In finery and rags
On a throne or in the gutter
Commanding armies or
I want a plan for escape
With minimal red tape
And a happily-ever-after at the end
I want more than I’ve earned
But look how I’ve learned
I won’t leave any stones unturned
To find my home, to not be alone, to remove from my bones this longing and aching, to seal up the cracks in my breaking, to once again start giving more than I’m taking,
I need a vacation
And I don’t want to take me along
I wouldn’t tell you that it was magical, no, the way she smiled and turned her head to the side, glancing sideways at me.
My breathing didn’t change, I was forged in fires and tempered by vigilance.
I wouldn’t say it was supernatural or otherworldly, when she asked me to light her cigarette and cupped her palms around my hand, softly brushing my knuckles with her pinky.
She took a draw and the cherry glowed and as she pulled back she winked at me.
“Thank you,” she breathed around the smoke and I couldn’t remember the response, decades of polite conversation guidelines gone in one second,
but, no, I wouldn’t try to tell you it was poetic, or momentous, it was just a normal, ordinary, every day type of life-altering instance, boy meets girl, girl smiles,
boy forgets how to do the thing, with the words and the voice, that thing.
I couldn’t ask you to believe that love can really happen in a moment, at&first&sight. You’ve read the stories and you’ve seen real life and there’s no chance that you would take my story as something real.
The light through the window fell only and directly on her mouth, and I had to kiss her, and I knew I loved her when she said “Hi” and I knew that she loved me when I smiled, I knew that I could have asked her to go with me, for coffee, for a beer, for a wedding, for a lifetime, after three seconds.
I’m not asking you to believe this and hope that you’ll find that kind of connection.
Sixteen years and ten months later she sits next to me as I write of that moment, and I’ll read this to her as soon as I am finished.
I don’t need you to accept these words.
When I started sharing the things I write, I had a lot to say. I would write four or seven or nine pieces a day, and at least three times a week I was discovering new parts of myself.
I haven’t been writing as much since my sister died.
I’ve been contemplating the balance of life. My sister was so many things to me, and so many parts of my memory are wrapped around her. In a lot of ways I worshiped her, as boys worship their mother. She was the protector, the teacher, the nurturing presence in my life.
In a lot of ways I was angry at her, I still am. She had so much that others never get and she threw it away. She was capable of so much more than she did. She killed a lot of dreams, mostly her own.
I saw her as a unicorn. Magical, impossible to capture, perfect.
I was blind to the way she saw herself.
There are lots of differing opinions about self-image. Some say that the way one perceives their self is irrelevant, some say it’s everything.
I say that self-image can be heaven or hell, and it can change at any time.
My sister was horribly abused and it twisted her life. My sister was wonderfully gifted and it was beautiful.
She was a unicorn. She also had flaws.
I married the love of my life. It was not easy, it wasn’t fated. I had to make it happen, she had to make it happen. We spent a long time apart before we were lucky enough to get it right.
We each turned down other opportunities, we each tried other paths. We had lives apart and we have histories, separately.
My wife is a unicorn. I am a unicorn.
We have flaws. We have magic. We have damage. We have healing. We are devoted to our WE. We are human and we have wandering minds… We’ve both held fantasies that bring jealousy, territorialism into play.
Balance in life doesn’t mean equality, justice, it doesn’t mean everything works out for everyone.
Balance is the eye of the storm. All of life rages, all of life has pain or healing. All of humanity has the capability to be awful or amazing.
I had some of the best parts of my sister.
I saw some of the worst parts of her.
I have most of the best parts of my wife.
She has most of the best parts of me.
What I have come to realize, about my sister, my wife, myself, all of the pieces of glorious magical humanity that live in my view, is that unicorns shit.
Magical, perfect fairytale beings, out there making miracles, shitting just like other animals.
Worship as you will, see the magic.
Understand that flaws are present in every person. Don’t just say that you accept the flaws. Understand. Know that you have magic and you have flaws.
My sister is dead, my wife is a person, I am a jerk sometimes.
Balance is the eye of the storm, and remembering the wind.
There’s no cheat sheet for life. We each get our own instruction manual when we’re born, but it’s written in a language we have to learn.
I can remember a story about a boy, he grew into me. That memory is meaningless in my life, despite being the only foundation I have to define myself.
What I know of myself today is that I am capable of things I never expected. I am talented and strong. I am expressive and openly emotional.
Those few things don’t define me.
I am mid-way through a life expectancy, and I have yet to figure out how I belong in my own life, beyond a very strong attachment to my current situation.
I choose to let my emotional reactions to experiences be the prow of my ship. I cut the waters of my journey with how I feel. I direct my path by what feels right to me.
I am secure in this choice. It suits me.
I have been faced with opposition to my choice for as long as I have existed. Close or distant, family or friends, I have been told how wrong I am, over and over.
I have not, I will not allow anyone else to choose my path.
My path must be travelled by my feet. Nobody else is required to live my life.
I don’t know you, and I don’t know how you have chosen, and with all due respect,
I don’t give a damn what you choose.
Your choices may impact my life.
Mine might impact yours.
We are not solitary islands, separated by oceans. We are interactive and interdependent in this reality. We are pieces of a global machine.
My choices will be mine, and yours will be yours, and that is just fine with me.
So give me your indifference, in this difference.
We have our own lives to fuck up.
Isolated is not a good way to be.
Asking for reassurance from friends, I got some really wonderful feels.
I matter, even if I can’t see it all the time.
A poem is not just words, it’s the condensed emotions pressing into a mind through phrases that mean more than they say, it’s a slice of a soul given without a price and received without boundary.
A poet is not just someone that writes poems… It takes a deeper disturbance in the mind.
I don’t call myself a poet.
I am disturbed. I am damaged. I am paying attention to every goddamned word and feeling and eye-flutter. I am reading tea leaves and watching the wind play with flower petals.
I am trying to write a life, here.
I am trying to feel everything.
I am hurting myself on purpose, for the sake of…
I am colossally fuckered up, in here.
I appreciate how I seem to others.
I am thankful for the love that floods my life, the tide that lifts all boats.
I am also suffering greatly, for loving what has been lost. For losing what has been loved. For living a true life, and caring about the moments.
I am also suffering from too little sleep and too much stress.
I’ll be here,
Even if I say goodbye.
When I walked through the door, I saw her. I was briefly angry at my mother for having her there. I was 22 years old and I didn’t want to deal with a bullshit set-up.
When I saw her, my anger left. I became nervous, and the next three seconds stretched into forever.
Her eyes met mine. I panicked.
I looked at my sister.
My sister saw me panicking, glanced at Jennifer, then smiled at me and nodded ever so slightly.
My panic dissolved, courage flooded my mind, and I
Reached up and pulled my hair out of the ponytail I was wearing, and I could almost hear Jennifer’s thoughts as I looked back at her after shaking my hair loose
Oh damn, he’s sexy, oh shit his hair is beautiful, haha, he is trying to attract me, oh my God, he likes me, ooh I can deal with this boy
She looked back at me and licked/bit her lower lip briefly, and I knew
That she knew what I was doing
And the three seconds were over, and I knew
That I couldn’t kill myself, as I had planned.
On the second day,
We went to Denny’s and my mother fell. She was hurt so we went to Monterey Community Hospital.
My sister took my mother in, and Jennifer and I sat. We talked about things, but really,
We were sitting and staring at each other’s mouths.
We walked around the hospital grounds and she told me that it was easier to walk and talk, her therapist used to walk with her along this path while they talked.
Back at the car, we sat again and as she spoke with nervous energy, I was building courage to kiss her beautiful lips, watching her form words was mesmerising, and I was about to lean in,
When I saw my mother and sister walking to the car.
That night, January 13, 2001, after everyone had gone to sleep, I was on the floor asleep and I had a nightmare.
I woke up and saw Jennifer sleeping a few feet away.
The light was coming through the window and fell perfectly on her lips.
I stared for about 20 seconds and she looked at me
I can feel you looking at me
I felt all of the chances I had not taken, every cell in my body urging me forward, I went to her
She watched me
I leaned over her and
lips so soft met mine
her body eagerly pressed up against me
her hands grabbed the back of my neck
And I realized…
I’m already lost.