respect now that’s punk rock

reminisce about a time I don’t remember
flea market vintage clothes from when i wasn’t alive
that jean jacket, twenty-five
house concert with punk rock feminist bands
everyone sways and dances, reverent
blasting guitar and drums, expectant
cheap beer
cigarrettes
slowly killing bodies
it’s a choice to hurt
lungs, liver burnt
it’s underground
hope the world will turn around
make the system go down

god was already here

god was already here before groups came from baltimore
from seattle
from chicago
god was already here before I came
i do not need to be here
i am not an integral part of the work being done
the houses that are being built
are they miracles of god?
or white savior trim on blue, green, lurid walls?

i heard a preacher ask "what is god doing through us?"
as if we were the most important part of the story

i saw a post thanking an organization
for the opportunity to recognize the humanity in the people of tijuana
as if her validation had made them human

god was already working in tijuana before tony built this orphangage
god was already here before doxa began
god was already here before gringos came down to build the first house
god was already here before the spanish came and invaded this land
god was in the americas before columbus came
before the inculturation theology westernized and destroyed

someone asked me if i was lonely
how could i be lonely?
there are so many people here
more than you can ever see
more than i will ever see or know
if i chose to be with you and the other americans
it is because i want to
not because you are the only people i know

I always believed that there was something special about the city of Tijuana, and there is, but I idealized the city because I was here with my church, I was here with friends, with a support system. I see now how small my sight was. My idea of the city was just the two blocks around the orphanage. I knew nothing except what I had done, what I was doing.

god is already expanding my vision

god has already made me in the image of the divine
jesus has already died for my sins
the holy spirit has already breathed in me life

and I shouldn't come down with the idea that I am doing something
god is already doing the work
of making heaven on earth
and I just get to see a little bit of it

the woods behind my grandmother’s house

in the lush muggy green of the woods
it is easy to forget the suburban houses
just closeby
it is easy to pretend that our family is together
just for fun

the stream ambles on
muddy waters cool and mellifluous
oak trees grow tall, morning glory climbing up trunks
mosquitos buzz
gnats and butterflies flit by
it is the black dragonflies though
who sit so peacefully unmoving for minutes
only to leave like helicopters
to rest on another green teardropped leaf
it is the dragonflies that interest me
I want to be more like a dragonfly
so medidative
so quick

but here for a time I can rest
on a fallen log
covered in emerald moss
here I can listen to birds and insects and the wind
here I can forget my reasons
it it easy to forget

parchment

there is no greater pleasure
than the smell of fresh paper
from a printer
or the crisp musty waft
of old books unopened- now free

eyes like ours
too blind are no use
the entanglement of memories and olfactory
granddad had old wrinkly parchment hands
moved them slowly
he smelled like mothballs
and hospital dressing gowns at the end
i was all sweat, unquenched by perfumes
fanciful stories he made up
about snuggles the cat
i wish i had written them down on
some clean sheet of paper

apple pie

i am worn out from arguing with my mother
so
i walk to my father’s house
it is quiet here
the only other soul a small bug
walking across the countertop
as i eat baby carrots and hummus
i can hear the hum of the refridgerator
and the swish of my saliva as i chew
carrots makes the same crunching
noise as the apples my mother and i
used to pick
from our neighbors
we don’t pick apples anymore
and my father doesn’t make the family pie
anymore

the fifth of june

her hair is fanned out like the sun
she wears my dress, my swimsuit
lays in my towel
looks so peaceful
the lake so cold
we waded up to our hips
before running out
i still peer at her lips
devout

“this song is going to make me cry when i get old”
she said
she the heroine of a 1920’s novel
i am a plot device

we eavesdrop on a boy and girl
he wears a violent shirt
she wears stripes

seat 17E

1.
humming
rush of circulating air
what i can see of the sky is a floating hazing azure
melting into cotton wisp cloads
my mouth is dry as is my skin
flying is never as bad
nor enjoyable as it seems
and when one awakes from the nap
no time has passed, like some odd dream
i cannot explain the thrill
when the ground becomes just a gap
far away and then slowly
at the end of your trip you fill
the holes, earth becomes real again

2.
i do not sit with my family
instead i am in the exit row
the only ones of us together
my father, my youngest sister
i am going off to travel soon
others still have school
i am in the exit row
between an overweight man watching a movie
and a woman in a yellow sweater reading a novel
i am in the exit row
my grandfather is in the ground
we are all going home
i am in the exit row