apricot milk

. . . like apples of gold in pictures of silver — memory, etc.

brush pen

mostly, these days i’ve been making ink drawings and going to work. the cold has been bitter and awakening and painful on my skin, but it’s a little warmer now, and i’m glad we don’t have to worry about slipping, or scraping ice off the windshield.

there are too many life circumstances to write about here that would be a large essay, too many things that if said shortly would beg more explanation. mostly i am struck with a sense of unfairness, and of wondering why those things need to be written or spoken about. technically, i don’t have to do anything. i have a right to speak and not speak. it’s been worse one way, and much better (a bit better) in another way. it’s been about sorting memories and feelings and trying to ask for help but not knowing how. it’s been about looking fine, maybe (definitely) lying to my family, trying to feel safe, and letting my hands take over when i draw.

hopefully soon, or however long, i won’t have to forcibly put it behind me. or hold it in front of me, either.



i thought to myself for a long time with nothing in my hands and an engine rumbling under my legs. this morning was cold, but not so bad. although the coffee lost its heat five minutes after waiting for the bus. a thought i’ve been having is

‘what if everything i’m thinking right now is what i’m actually saying’ in a way

and everyone around me ignores it & they ignore it. is this a bad thing to think or what someone breaking up or down thinks? my therapist told me i’ve placed everything in tiny boxes. so when we go into them, when we work our arms over them, we might dream about being underground. or almost pulling on our mother’s hands.

i try to focus on things that seem constant. like the flock of geese calling this morning over the parking lot, the radio towers on the hills and their slow red blinking. makes me look forward to going somewhere. ever since i was a girl lying in the backseat, watching the powerlines move in waves against blue sky.


there’s a weight in my stomach i can’t seem to get rid of tonight; my therapist cancelled our session because she was sick and that’s not the problem, it was my simple slip up of not checking any messages. she texted, apologized twice and that was sweet but i still almost cried. it’s just hard getting there. the woman passing as i left the wall i had been leaning against looked vaguely concerned. if anything, at least i took a good photo and a walk today.

and i don’t know if i should call you, or how–you caught me off guard two weeks ago when you said “i’m definitely thinking of you” in a voicemail; i think about the smell of you i miss i can’t place anymore, and also the time when i met you for the day, you told me the night before it was with another woman. you told me the story. about how i am uncertain of the space around me, but certain i feel this pull to the way you were gentle.

i want talking to you, being with you to mean i do not have to be small. i am tired of staying internal and making the heart curl up. i want to put it outside in the rain and mud.


the word “depression” spoken on someone else’s tongue about you makes a strange feeling.

we had talked about activism, about going to discussion groups, volunteering, exploring new places. i had told her getting out of bed was the last thing i wanted to do. but i made myself do it, just for work. so i nodded to her statement. i thought all manner of thoughts when someone thinks their feelings are not justified, because i live in this world & have this good family. but i knew she was right; it wasn’t my fault.

she looked at me smiling a bit as i wiped tears. “it’s been kind of a rude awakening. … and you don’t feel well. since we establish that, we can start with the basics.”

i nodded again. “okay.”

afterward, it was all bright outside, very cold and the wind moving fast. i walked down to the station almost laughing to myself, because i never thought i could be here slowly exposing everything to someone i met only a month ago. throughout the previous week i had to think of good things about myself, but i noticed it did not make me feel better, maybe even worse. “i don’t see myself as confident,” i had said. that i’m almost afraid to try to sleep but it’s what i want more than anything.

so, i don’t know what’s going to happen or when i will start to feel completely awake again. although on the bus yesterday, i was exhausted, but as the sun came up two women talked about being doctors and coming from different countries. as long as i have a chance to sit in silence and listen, i can feel like myself again for a little while.



have you ever seen pictures of sunlit wooden floors, empty rooms, and wondered what it would be like to live there? i feel almost guilty, wanting all space to myself. just me and the light through the windows. but living alone is lonely, too. i wouldn’t come home to cinnamon and apple and pie crusts, or the tv blaring or laughter. not unless i chose to have someone come with me. and for years it’s been a friend to grow with, but for years i have wanted someone to read with. one to sit in the corner of the couch in the dark, to shove pillows aside or together. warmth, touch. and the one i loved would be at the kitchen counter spilling coffee. i thought maybe, with us, we could have.

but passive rejection can be the worst kind of rejection. i prefer a direct answer, but it seems every could-have in my life has ended slowly, like scraping, the connection loosening on one end. which end, why can’t he tell me, why do i have to be the only honest one, the one to say i’ve missed you? my therapist (strange two words to type) says i valued our connection, even though i still felt he did not care as much. because i knew you a little before i knew you. at the beginning, it was all a burst of dim light. lights off. then that soft rain as we rested our chins on your windowsill. “what made you think he was the right first one?” she asked. i said, “i thought he would treat me right. and he seemed to like me.”

only leaves

i used to think there was an afterlife, or at least i used to look forward to one. i’ve given up on the idea of that, but i’m actually not sure which outcome makes me more afraid.

an afterlife is a great excuse to put things off, to avoid glances, and to believe you are doing good when really you are only trying to serve yourself. but thinking about the after life can also give you a kind of hope if you view it as green fields and shining young men who will make everything right just by putting their arms around you. and eternity, eternity to do the things you never put yourself up to. i used to think i had the rest of forever if i wanted to be  a painter, a poet, a dancer, a floater among stars, etc.

but then came that necessary path to critical thinking, and a loss of passion for love i could only feel was forced upon me. inside religion, my self-love could not breathe, even if i stepped toward it during prayer, but only if i was completely alone, and only if the light was particularly slanted through the window glass.

oh, and only if i insulted myself to be forgiven for any sins i had committed that day.

it’s not this way for everyone, and i understand. but i realized slowly. men had their fingerprints all over everything–thousands of years–the text: the images of a woman split into quarters and dragged across israel. the flawless skin we saw on our screens: even the arch of ariel’s back in the little mermaid and the glittered lips i admired in seventeen. i could not avoid it.

the point is, without an afterlife i still wonder who i am going to be and where i am. that hasn’t changed. my friend shared a comic someone made about plath sitting under the fig tree, watching all her options fall and wither because she could not decide. hopefully, it won’t come to that for us.

anyway, in the bible, jesus withers the fig tree himself; punishment for bearing no fruit. but it isn’t even the season for figs.

three scenes

1. i’m wandering the halls of an auditorium building. my dress is cool but the robes are hot so i don’t put them on just yet. everyone is setting up the cake. then we’re lining up in the heat and the velvet of our hoods draped over our arms. after commencement, i shake the poet’s hand.

there’s some guilt because i was a little snippy with my father earlier. he got very impatient. my grandparents are always yelling at each other. the two sides of the family that came to visit separate into little circles, not because they don’t get along, but that’s just how it works.

i wonder, if my mother were here, would i be here–at this place in time? who would i be? and why does this always have to be a question.

i can’t wait to get home before our dinner; to pack the regalia away for the rest of the future.

2. my chin is on my knees. the thing i see most clearly are little grains of sand stuck to my legs. the thing i like about not wearing glasses is my eye becomes like an out of focus camera lens. the close ups become macro shots. the distant scenes, impressionist paintings. but i’m not feeling well.

“what are you thinking about?” he says.

“just the feeling” i reply. “it feels weird.”

it feels out of control, is what i meant to say. it was fun for a while. but i hate not remembering things, apparently especially when i’m alone with a boy. it scares me, i guess because i’m a young woman and i should be scared of those things. my eyes get full and my head in my hands–i can’t stop crying.

“aw. i’m gonna throw you in the river…no one here wants to hurt you” he says. he grips my shoulder hard. “no one here wants to come bother you.” but i don’t believe him. because i’m naked on a riverbank and i can hear gross men talking. and i’m crying for all kinds of reasons other than this, maybe. there’s snot and tears everywhere and it’s probably unattractive.

“do you wanna talk about it? you can tell me anything. you can talk to me about anything.”

but i don’t wanna say how much i want him. or how much it bothers me when he talks about other girls or someone he was with literally the night before. or how much i want other girls so i’m a hypocrite, or how i still think this friend/relationship ultimately won’t work out so we should just skip to the goodbye.

“i don’t know. i’ll. just save it for the therapist.”

3. we’re driving home, the same day. in my head i picture my mother and father dancing at their wedding. she’s wearing her white horn-rimmed glasses. i’m still a little high, but not drunk anymore.

“my parents were so different” i confess. “i’ve been struggling with feeling like half of my identity, my personality, is lost.” we hold hands – he says something like

“but by just being you, you are like her. in that way you honor her.”

clean hair

i’m sitting here with coffee and bagel, feeling better than i have felt in a while.  this last week especially, my thoughts turned sour and too sad. too preoccupied with the future, with the fact that i am very monogamous and maybe falling for a poly boy (but i am hypocritical here because girls girls girls). he texted me yesterday: i’ve been thinking about you, i’m happy for you.

i laid awake last night in bed, looking at the ceiling, aching over the changes that i know i need to make but i don’t know how. but i’m trying. i have finished so much recently, learned so much about myself and my ability to push through, to be productive even when i think what i’ve made is not coming from a passionate place (not anymore).  i can hardly write anything that seems good enough, even when others tell me it’s wonderful. i want to get rid of all the clothes i don’t wear anymore, the things i don’t need, the grown out strands of hair.

but all this desire means i have been making many appointments lately. yesterday was to see if my lower body was alright (physical sexual therapy, she suggested, and we giggled), and today, the biggest thing, a free initial session with queer positive therapist for september. hopefully that sunday will be on a bright weekend. i’m sososo nervous–i’ve never spoken with her, i only like her website (colorful) and her location (downtown). but it’s worth a try.

the train is going by slowly and i’m

the train is going by slowly and i’m waiting for it to stop rattling so i can go to bed. there aren’t many new things happening right now, i’m just maintaining this steady go to sleep get work done (sort of) momentum and thus why no writing. maybe i will write again soon, for real, but there’s nothing new. no boy, although we talk on the phone about small things. and there was a date with someone else a couple of weeks ago, it just wasn’t much other than how good the peanut sauce at the restaurant was. we may have talked about destinies in astrology and the writing process, but the merely friendly connection was short-lived. i have one month to go before graduating and i’ve been truly conflicted about my plans after that point. but for now it’s just get through it and everything (like hopes and dreams of creating things) might work out. and thanks to a good essay, i’ve been thinking quite a bit about whiteness, and about culture, and about creative space and autobiography as self transforming but those thoughts are for another night; eyes are too much on the edge of sleep. see you soon.

“i am your plaything.”

the weather can’t decide what to be. i leave the ceiling fan on at night and the hum moves the still cold air around the room. then in a few hours the sun comes and touches my eyelids. i feel in a strange heavy in between place, just waiting for grad school to be over and hoping my motivation will eventually come back. it’s not sad at all (i am generally happy), but sometimes it is. i think that i should probably be meeting and talking to new people, but i just can’t stop feeling tired long enough to really care. 

i suppose that my apathetic state might have something to do with the way i feel treated by you, too. it’s easy to pull myself down to the phrase “i won’t find someone” and i’m supposed to avoid that kind of thinking but i can’t help it. our society cultivates the idea of love being the one thing a young woman should pursue and then shames her for pursuing it. and, it’s not my fault that you can’t grow up and say what you mean the first time. you’re always revising. saying things like “you’ll be seeing more of me and i want to be a part of your life” but you know, since day one your honesty had a falseness i chose to ignore. i hardly see proof of the words you string together. thesis: you only want sex. then is it my fault for not growing up and admitting it? admitting that i’d like to have one person fuck me, cook pasta with me, share a forest on the coastline with me. because i’m 25 years old and time doesn’t ever slow down. people in my family say “you have all the time in the world” but i’ve learned that’s one of the the worst things you could ever think.

what’s funny is i really like you, but not all that much because i know you’re ultimately going to be wrong for me, and leave for another country someday. because your “several girls” mean we hardly talk. you probably treat them like shit, too. so can i enjoy this while it lasts?

i just have to have the preference (not strength) for you to be my occasional plaything and nothing else, as you said when we were both fully clothed and dark on my bed, placed one on top of the other. 

you tell me you like to be used. somehow, it only makes me feel sorry for you.