I was born in the great state of New Mexico. I lived there until I couldn’t, or someone told me I shouldn’t. I thought I could fill the void I felt so deeply in my heart with new houses, new people, with the sun farther away from any location than that desert. I get asked why I left, and I never say “because I wanted to run away.” But I took all the dirt with me, in my pockets and hair and the back of my throat. I ran with Albuquerque on the soles of my feet until I found nothing but calloused heels. I burned piñon and juniper in those nights of insomnia and I prayed in secret to our lady of Guadeloupe, not The Mother, but any mother. I carried turquoise on my fingers and Santa Fe on my skirts. I sat in a swamp, as happy as any cactus lucky enough to escape the droughted dirt could be. And as happy as that cactus was, a dry beating sun that smelled of sage and lavender still beamed out my eyes.
I want to watch the moon rise over a mountaintop while I watch the glow of a fire grow dim. Listening to crickets will be music and pressing my toes into the dirt, a massage.
I want to feel steady breaths on my back while my eyelids surrender to rest. I’ll move in subconsciousness and feel a leg or a foot. I’ll press the sole of my foot against it and slow my heartbeat.
I’ll never see police lights again, or hear the wail of an ambulance.
I’ll let my hair grow long into braids that rest atop my head like a crown. I’ll forget the days my lips feigned red. Forget that I cared my feet were calloused or my bones grew crooked. I’ll forget the smell of cologne, gladly.
I’ll sit on a porch and watch the sky with a smile so genuine I won’t realize it adorns my lips.
Music will play to an empty room, and fill it with tales of woe, rising and everything that falls in between.
I’ll think of the story of the axe, cutting through a tree, one made from the other.
growing where they shouldn’t.
Rising up patiently
with exemplary will and dignity.
wild, unclassifiable by botanists.
A strange, rampant,
They adorn the greyest of corners,
don’t own anything
and nothing can stop them.
A metaphor for uncontrollable life
that paradoxically forces me
to face my weakness."
It wasn’t ever very natural. Over the time spent apart they always had to relearn how to act. Relearn how to kiss each other. They didn’t mind. She waited for him, to hear the thick truck engine shut off and the boots on the porch. The door would open and she would immediately engulf him. He smelled like tilled dirt and salt. His Carhart pants would be stiff from weeks of walking. They had there, overwhelmed with how much they’d missed each other and how long ago that feeling seemed, though only moments had passed. He would give her the letters he wrote her that he cut from the blank pages of his books and she read and re-read them while he washed the salty smell away. Then they would roll about for hours, overjoyed to no longer be alone, and sleep. Above all, and even in the end and after the end all they cared to do was sleep.
I felt used to the shouting. I have grown accustomed to drowning it out and experiencing silence inside. The vibrations of the music, the talking, the dancing in the street reminded me of something simple and sweet, but it reminded him of something sinister and convoluted.
We talked about it. We laughed.
I listen to frogs “gruuuup” all night long. They lull me and I tip my whiskey in appreciation.
Some afternoons the sky turns black. A wind picks my hair up and threatens to destroy us. Trudging the rain has become an everyday activity. Something I no longer think about. It comes with a shrug and a wave. It brings a coolness to my skin I only dreamt I couldn’t remember. It exists. It breaths life into me and my neighbor watches me from across the street, through the rain, through clouds of both our cigarette smoke.
"I’m not sure what else you need.."
Other than the hug I had just received, I wasn’t sure myself.
“I just want you to blow my mind.”
I wanted a drill bit in my temple to relieve the pressure. I looked to the sky, hoping to find a crack in the universe. Instead I didn’t find a single star and I sat down on a strangers doorstep in complete defeat.
“I just want you to blow my mind.”
Everything she felt, I felt. Everything she knew, I knew. It was my heart speaking to itself. But everything I said she doubted, I doubted. We doubted ourselves and got no where in the process. We were talking to brick walls. Being similar can be a burden, indeed.