I feel you underneath my skin.
The bits and pieces I knew about you
Fall out of my mouth
And I try to take them
And rebuild some semblance
Of a man I didn’t know.
It’s been 3 years since you died
Today I wondered how you and Grandma
Fell in love.
I questioned quietly to myself,
What she thought when she first saw you.
I knew your voice to be low and harsh,
But when you were young,
Was it ever gentle?
To me. Being Mexican.
Is letting you be a ghost inside me.
To me. Being Mexican
Is letting myself float through a history
I hope to one day understand.
To me. Being Mexican
Is being apart of your family at all.
I feel you underneath,
And in every inch
Of my skin.
And though I may not always see you
You are always there.
They walked onto the bus
They spread across the seats
And took up space in a way
I never knew at that age.
They were a beautiful mix
Of shades, shapes, hairstyles and hues.
The blonde called the brunette to sit beside her
And they fell into each other
She left her sandals on the floor as she pulled her feet up underneath her
I admire girls
Their existence and resilience in this cut throat world is a revolution.
I watch and miss the way
We used to drape across each other
Curl close under covers
Hug and squeeze in the daylight.
We held each other
Without ever needing to say it.
Without it ever needing to be more or less.
We just existed.
We took up space.
I never thought I would yearn for it.
Funny how you take those things for granted
I miss my women.
I’m sorry I lost you.
I repeat you over and over in my mind
You’re my favorite record
The only tape I held onto in the move.
I press play on you pulling me closer
I slow it down on the part where you
Kiss my neck, and unbutton my dress.
The only soundtrack was our breath and some scattered giggles.
I watch in time as we play back and forth
Like two young cubs
I fast forward to us in bed, simple, caressed in each other’s arms
Peaceful and innocent after making a pact
To take it slow.
But we didn’t take it anywhere
And that’s no ones fault.
So I end it there, and rewind to the very beginning
And play you over and over in my mind.
At 19 she was lost and wild with the wind. A tumbleweed falling only across herself leaving scratches and scrapes she didn’t realize would soon require band-aids. So rapidly, and perhaps too much so, she hid all the damage so only her and the perpetrators would know. Till the bleeding overflowed. And the world sank in her wounds.
At 20 she opened herself and let the air heal her skin. Let the world see her scabs. She said no more hiding. This is who I am and was, and you know, and I know, so don’t worry. She made herself a piece of art. She fained being a museum piece if it meant being seen.
At 21 she let the world see so much that she went blind, and it was as if started all over again. Unwise from the past, she let herself unravel. Never her own, always a battleground for someone else’s learning. Curious, she said, “Here, if you are to cut me open then maybe I too should try.” So we ripped and ripped and stabbed and stabbed at the body until continuing was impossible. She saw her insides, the blood and guts, for what they truly were. And let go.
21 was two parts. The end. And the beginning. After the end, the beginning is slow — it calls for Silence. Solitude. Solidarity to yourself. And then you grow. The beginning of these 20s perhaps is about planting gardens, and 21 has asked for seeds to be buried. And so I did. I pulled and pulled at all my weeds then what was left was just my own dirt. And I planted. And I watered. I am tending so much that I have forgotten what forests are like.
So maybe 22, will remind me.
“¿Como es posible que sienta nostalgia por un mundo que no conocí?”
How is it possible
For my blood to race
At the thought
Of traveling places
That feel like a homeland
I have never called home.
My tongue craves the curve
Of a language I do not speak.
I close my eyes
And burned against
The black of my eyelids…
I try hard to paint it
With the pieces of comfort
I thought to call my own.
But I am only reminded
Of my painful solitude.
I am a lonely wanderer.
I yearn to lay against the chest,
Listen to the beating heart,
Of a city that sings me to sleep.
I have loved so many places but
None of them seem to love me back.
I have no home.
Por un mundo
Que no conocí.
To the ocean,
I will always be
We swing and sway
Hip to hip
Like latin lovers.
Her eyes blue
Like glass crystals
And her touch smooth
Sharp and strong.
These waves can swallow me whole
Then still lead me back to shore.
Seaweed like limbs, extensions of self,
Just another strand of hair
Flowing down my back
And against my arms.
I will either wait for the one
Who carries all of me as
Tenderly as those waters do,
Or I will live my life
An eternal mistress
To the sea herself.
I like the way Ballard feels. Maybe because it’s cute. Because being alone here feels whimsical. Some of the streets are still paved with bricks and there are trees and flowers along the sidewalks. It’s likely the combination of bookstores, coffee bars, record shops and, boutiques that make me feel like I could easily fit in … if I pretend I could afford it without selling my soul.
Or maybe it’s also the fact that I fell a little bit in love here. Its how at the Salt & Straw just across the street from this tea bar you held me close to you and warmed me with the friction of your hands on my arms. You gave me a bite of your ice cream and I did the same. Two young adults innocently falling over shared children’s treats. The night lights flicked while we walked and I almost went the wrong way so you pulled me in and held me close like a stupid romance novel. I like Ballard because as we drove away, the air in your car was so thick with the tension to taste each other’s lips that you finally couldn’t take it and just asked. Suddenly transformed to a young and hungry teenage boy just hoping he doesn’t miss what feels like the only opportunity to feel the warmth of another — “Are we going to make out in my car?”
I like this cute little neighborhood because it gave me a muse and I come back every week hoping to find another.