Take hold of the love you’re given 

I decided to come home for the summer and since that choice was made, I’ve been able to smell every person whose person I can’t wait to hold beside my rib cage.

Here, in Thailand, I have met a panoply of runners. Running from something. Running towards something. It all looks the same in a freeze frame.

I’ve met souls unwelcome in their homeland, souls forgotten even here in the land of use and abuse, souls who only accomplished mattering in their untimely death, and souls looking to be big fish in a third world pond.

Women who sacrifice their all to have a baby with a western atm. Men who know they’d never land a gig this profitable anywhere else but here. And the children caught in these respective crossfires.

This place is steeped in unmatched beauty and unbearable need.

I came here running from loss.

I found facing loss was much better.

I come home alone to the silence of self and surprise myself with the hope of being beside those whom I love defiantly.

I used to talk to Ikey on my balcony,  smoking cigarettes. Now, I know all the intergalactic chatter I create or imagine or experience in dreams doesn’t change the fact that I’m one person in Asia missing the very much alive people who gave me their ribs in exchange for my smile.

I no longer need to run to avoid loss. It is here, as here as my blood. It will always be everywhere, anywhere, and there will be much more of it.  Like lungs, loss and love come as a pair, and I have been away from the latter long enough.  I will come home to see the faces of the people who let me go. They are the reason I am.

Coming home to love is so much better than leaving to grieve.

517 later

in my silence, you sing

in every side drifting glance, you stand like skyline

the music in my marrow, sheets of you and I

we live together now in ways we never could

my solitude, your playpen

the 9 of our years and your incarnations storm and splash about like planets hailing in catastrophic fit

i am sewn together and rearranged by the stitches of your phantom hand

knowing i can’t look for you is as foreign as knowing i don’t need to is true

peace is the color of the permanence you wear



The best text from a best friend

That I am without the blessing of your smile, the tenderness of your gaze, the soft warmth of your skin, the rich strong scent of your hair, the life of your laughter, the pointedness of your perspectives, the depth of your hearing and knowing me, the strident way you peel away my layers and fill me fresh again each time again…only longing and admiration and fondness grow here in your absence, and gratefulness for all you left here behind for me to hold onto of you and us. I love you. 
I received this text today and was arrested mid stride.  This, written by a friend I share a profound closeness with, knocked me into a wall of wonder and left me deaf, mute, and blind.
I often think about the fact that I constantly overshare, overask, overstep, and over emote, and, whenever I do, I tell myself it’s not only ok, it’s great.  The ways in which I have been embraced in this life are never casual. They are outright assaults on conventional rubrics. The friends I call family possess a loyalty made of grit and gun.  The see*ers I undress beside keep our robes in sacred steel. 

Ever since

I decided to live each day like it is my last

Every day is like a dream I once created

Each one has come to find me, knocking at my door

Begging me to sit in its molasses

Asking me to smell its loins

Needing me to acknowledge its presence

Urging me to write it

To each fantasy, I say

“Oh, there you are”

They respond

“took you long enough”

Letter Home #1

amsterdam 4:07pm

Dearest Diana,

I miss you so very much and it’s only been a week.  I miss your face. Your face is a serene sphinx, the exact color of sand as old as sight.  In place of earthen eyes are revealed two emerald tendrils.  They coil into you and reflect your verdant truth.  Tender shoots of knowing.  Sweet sprigs of grace.  I absolutely miss looking at my friend, and being seen by you.

Amsterdam is wet, and a couple pleasant notches above cold.  I am presently at a restaurant called “Chicano’s” owned by a rude, boisterous cerdo of a man from a land nowhere near latinamerica.  He is Kurdish. Talks down to each employee I’ve seen, especially the one woman who hasn’t quit yet. He stands on this street hollering at passersby, guessing where they’re from, trying to aggressively pull them into his establishment in what he surmises to be their native tongue, assuming insight around their cultural interests and sensibilities.  “Hey! Come in! We’re gay friendly!” he squawked.  The women walking by at the time had short haircuts.  In a flash of better judgement, he’s hired a devastatingly handsome young European to do most of his tourist vetting at the precipice of business and traffic.  He is 29, with the charm of Ferris Bueller and the eyes of Jared Leto.  He lured me here within the space of the following exchange:

el: Hey! Lady from Jamaica!!

yo: (smirking) I am not. From Jamaica.

el: from the states??! Come eat here!! Woah! You gotta lotta tattoos, you in a gang or something?

yo: yes, of course. a murderer on the run from the authorities.

el: (laughs and gives a knee buckling wink paired with a lip bite)

yo: ugghh. ok. I’ll have a seat. There’s wifi yes?

el: (in a playful french accent) of course, Madame

And then began this letter to you.  A few have asked me “love letter to your guy?”  “Even better.  My best friend”.

Last night, I had a dream that I was informed I was pregnant.  It was a glowing feeling wrapped in holy terror.  In the dream, I skipped the grotesque misery of birth giving and was magically whisked past the horrifying hippopotamus days of gestation into post partum bliss.  She was in my arms, perhaps aged a week. She was obviously half white and in the dream she belonged to a man we both know with whom I could never procreate.  Nevertheless, her unimaginable reality couldn’t take away from her beauty. She was perfect.  She looked right into me.  I can see her serious face as I write this to you. I looked at her and anything awful I’d ever felt entirely dissolved and receded into a kingdom that never existed, nor was ever imagined. It was as if I were as newborn as she.

I woke up missing her with an unfamiliar breed of sadness.

I write this to you now because I know somewhere within you and this planet, you want to be a mother someday.

I believe You would be the very best mother I’d ever know.  You already are to so many.

Care taker. Friend. Daughter. Teacher. Sister. Lover. Cousin. Photographer. Singer. Connector. Peace maker. Truth seeker.  Balance provider. Traveller. Enchantress.  Life giver. Laugh maker. Light worker. I could go on and on.

For many women, poof! Mother gets added to their list.  Often accidental, and is usually paired with either fisted resentment or hollow self aggrandizement, or both. You, however, in your first amazing motherly act have chosen to wait for all the stars to align. Or at least most of them.

As I am sitting, just now, a family of five just walked in with a child of 6 or 7 years.  The eldest daughter of 16, maybe, and of dark hair and temperament sighed into her lapel saying “It’s not fair the family has to suffer because she can’t sit still”   The group gave a collective eye roll and turned toward the culprit’s general direction.  She was laughing, jumping jacks, and simultaneously shooting everyone with her index finger artillery.  “Please, not tonight, Emma”, one of the adults pleaded, in a weightless, waxy tone that suggested the speaker was defeated before the sentence found its end. The family forged ahead, apprehensive of the next hour and what shameful, unpunishable chaos the little billy goat may have cued in her hooves.

And she, dancing all the green mile, reveling in her own mischief music, like Pan himself.

My first thought was “Diana would dig this kid, and she’d know exactly how to speak her language”

Children this misunderstood need pastures as possible as you.

The last time I prayed

Was in September. We had talked for hours like we always did and after we hung up I was so overcome with gratitude that I nestled in my covers and offered a prayer of thankfulness.

I said out loud the names of persons I carry with me and vocalized my appreciation. I said I’m thankful for my mother, her wobbly strength teaches me the beauty in flawed unconditional love, I expressed gratitude for my grandmother’s constant kindness, I spoke the name of my godmother’s grace and how powerful her example remains, and I said thank you for Ikey because after all the chaos, we still choose to love each other.

That night, I gave your name the praise your sensitive soul deserved.

I never told you that I rested in the bed you’d been in a month before and verbally gave thanks for the unconditional, aggravated love you couldn’t deny me.

That was the last time I prayed and all I said was thank you for loving me. Thank you we are still in contact, thank you we still call each other, thank you we make time to connect.

I sit still on my porch and try to feel your hands and actually, I hear your words instead.

People say that the dying wait for permission.

I don’t believe you knew you were leaving, but I do know that you waited til everyone was in a good space with you

Most importantly, your mom.

I hear your soft voice, I hear your gentle hands across seas, I taste your meek mouth in the power you force upon me, I smell the silver you impress upon my tongue.

My truth will forever include your humor and conviction. My dance will always blush with your closeted sadness.

This life I live will shine ever bright with the lessons and laughs we gave each other.

My prayers will continue to be the home you inhabit.

I love you.


If only you were brother
I could build you a resting place of childhood toys, growing pains, and knowing nods

If only you were father
I could walk tall with your words, laugh full of your lessons, create with the comfort of your touch

If only you were husband
I could drown in our decades of daily togetherness, glide through our home with grace, hoard our happiness with hawk’s talon

If only you were friend
I could sigh with the ease of our understanding, cry with the consistency of our visits, release you with rational distance

If only you were ex
I could discuss you in past tense, remember us fondly without future halo, hold tender space like not much had changed

If only you were lover
I could bury our ancient communion with limited lament, sacrifice a solitary limb, and one day listen to lovesongs with another heart to hold

It is on the roads between these kingdoms where I wander with no crown

Between guilt and grief
There is a grave with my name on it