a toast

never were together
just brief glimpses of deisre fufilled
maybe this way it’s better
i can’t be hurt if we weren’t real right?

years of longing
what do i have to show?
a half bandaged heart and nothing
only those whispered kisses
and “i don’t want to hurt you”

well here i am the fool
and you the good one
here i am thinking how cruel
when i pulled the butter knife on myself

maybe i’ll make some toast
maybe i’ll make a toast
to questions unaswered
and answers unasked for
and people you just can’t get over

but the butter’s not room temperature yet
and the champagne hasn’t been poured
so i keep quiet and get old

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the first day it rained

the first day it rained i didn’t even realize
until i felt the faint mist turn into a drizzle
the weather was finally fall, and then my eyes
blinked, a droplet ran down my dusted cheek, the breeze
picked up, and i shivered. he wasn’t
lying when he said there isn’t
any transition from summer, no compromise
there is just this freeze

yesterday it was sunny and warm
and today not having an umbrella might do you harm

the first day it rained i didn’t even realize
until i felt the faint mist turn into a drizzle

the first day it rained i almost started crying
because i remembered that it had been raining at home for weeks

lovebirds / tortolitos

en el metro
the man next to me kisses his wife
he must be in his seventies
she wears pearls and a brightly colored scarf
two colorful “agapornis lilianae”

me voy a salir en chueca
hay los arcoiris en las paredes
dos chicos se besan mientras
me estoy bajando del tren

his fingers tangled in the other’s hair

–1975
generalissimo francisco
franco is still dead–

until then
public displays of affection were illegal

every kiss on the metro is democracy
cada beso es la revolución

birds in the air
libertad

hola, que tal

I’m living in Madrid now. I’ve been here for a little under two weeks, and it’s such a beautiful city. Everyday I wake up and feel as if I am living in some dream. I have met so many kind people, got lost in the metro, and even visited an Egyptian temple. I’m a little lonely and homesick even though I don’t really want to go home. Some days I have tons of adventures with all the new friends that I am meeting, and others I would give anything to be back in the Pacific Northwest rain.

One of the things that I have so appreciated in my time here so far is my host family. They welcomed me with open arms and have been so helpful in making the transition to Spain. The girls that I take care of may fight a little as all siblings do, but we have so much fun playing games and trying and failing to make food. I am grateful for everything in my life that has lead me here, and I hope to make the most of Madrid.

I want to write more about what has been going on but for now I’ll leave you with a video that I made about my first week here.

spain week 1

 

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

vignettes: july 30 – august 4

I spent a while in East Tijuana at Unidos por Siempre orphanage with María and some of the kids who live there.

One night Angelica was telling a story about how there is an evil spirit in her house. I fake pretended to be a ghost and said “espíritu” in a spooky way, only to be corrected very adamantly to not taunt the spirit and if I was going to say the word to say “espíritus” not “espíritu”, because if you say the singular form the spirit will come and haunt you. I also learned that you can tell if a spirit is malicious based on whether it moves objects and whether it will show itself at night or daytime.

I took a couple hours everyday trying to teach Fernando and Stefany the alphabet, as neither of them could read. Probably the most important texts that I have received for a long time were from my uncle (who used to be a special needs teacher) through María’s phone as I had no internet connection, giving me a few tips. After my first tries, much frustration, and feeling hopeless I cut out an extra set of letters to match with my first one. I told the Stefany and Fernando that we were going to play a matching game with a few of the letters and both immediately became more interested in the letters and by the end of my time there though Stefany could barely get through A-F, Fernando sometimes could do almost the entire alphabet. I do not know if I am cut out to be a teacher, but I certaintly learned a lot about patience from the experience. Progress was slow and uncertain and I had to stay calm even when Stefany would forget a letter a couple seconds after she had learned it, or when Fernando would run outside to see what the other kids were doing.

My spanish is good enough to understand most of what is being said and to read simple children’s books, but according to one fourteen year old boy my speech is “cuatro por diez”, or in other words I speak like an eight year old, which may or not have added to why he was so interested in my romantic life. However, language is not the only way to build friendship. Letting a little girl sleep in your bed at night because she is afraid of the dark, or the crowding around of two kids playing connect four can do as much to build relationships as long conversations about why someone’s dad only takes one sibling home for the weekend.

Most of my days were spent playing cards, helping with odd cleaning jobs, lazily reading and laughing at dumb jokes. This week was sabbath living. I was more fully a human being, and less of a human doing.

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