I took my coffee in the bath this morning, and it was glorious. After some morning, snow-day sex, I went to shower myself clean but on second thought, a bath seemed much more appealing. Much better for soaking all the nooks and crannies and warming you up from head to toe before slipping into your winter thermals. My sweet partner had already made us coffee so I decided to take my time with the cleansing and enjoy my coffee hot & steaming. I guess this is what qualifies as ‘self-care’, although cleansing ones’ body has long been a component of taking care of ones’ self, irrespective of the hype. But add a coffee, and the indulgent enjoyment of doing both simultaneously, and you’ve got a grammable situation. When outside is a sea of shiny, white chaos in a blizzard they’re calling the historic “bomb-cyclone”, I’ll take my snow-day indulgence. I came back from France two days prior just for this after all…

And indulgent it is, but an indulgence that lends itself to gratitude. Gratitude that I can wake up to a warm apartment, knowing that even if it’s way below freezing outside, my ancient radiator will still be pumping out heat; that my landlord will be outside shoveling snow so that our sidewalk doesn’t become a deathtrap tomorrow; that I get to wake up and have delicious morning sex with my favorite person, or really just to wake up together, sex or not. And, that I can then consider taking my morning coffee in the bath, as a routine. Because I had the day off anyways, and I’m grateful for that assurance when they gave warnings of the storm to come, and my industry requires me most when it’s for the leisure & revelry of others.

I find this hard at times though: to reconcile gratitude with striving for more. I find myself in a quicksand of self-loathing more often than not, but I’m ready to dig myself out.
And 2018 is the year
I figure
It’s the year I learn to make home a more productive place, or to find out if it’s simply just not, and that coffee shops & libraries are still the true cave of my heart/mind/spirits’ flourishing.
It’s the year that I miraculously change my body clock, going to bed and getting up earlier. (Holding on to this time change, jet lag magic to jump-start that process!!)
It’s the year I make the most of a day, in whatever form that ‘most’ takes, but minimizing my time spent on my small, blue-lit smart box.
It’s the year I see what this country has to offer by traveling its depth with my partner in life and love.
It’s the year I spend more time with my family.
It’s the year I talk to people- ask them questions, ask myself questions, and demand answers of myself.
It’s the year I reverse all other years of self-learning in denying expectations, by setting goals and making plans and letting myself revel in the joy and excitement of doing so.
It’s the year myself and my partner start eating like grownups, with normal meal times and healthy food and a fridge stocked with more than just condiments and eggs.
It’s the year I start baking again- for a marathon Christmas cookie session reminded me how much I enjoy it and how much it truly puts me in my body and focuses my mind unlike anything else these days.

And again for the fourth year in a row since satisfying my dream of moving to this insane city, it’s the year I write more, and say yes as often as possible.

Finally, 2018 is the year I’m not afraid to call these declarations, but resolutions.


nonsense #1

It’s Wednesday. Hump Day, as some people say, but no good humps for you today; only the metaphorical shitty ones. You cried in the shower today. You waited till you were under the water: got undressed, waited for the water to heat up, and then, you let yourself cry. And you couldn’t stop. But then you did seem to feel a bit better afterwards, having let it all out.

You couldn’t seem to leave the house today, not until the shower and the cry, after you’d been out of bed for 4 hours and done nothing but dick around, not being able to focus on anything but the endless feeds of pretty, meaningless bullshit on your phone. You had plans to get up at a “reasonable” hour, go to the gym, go to a coffee shop, make yourself write, but you and your husband got in an argument last night and you still felt pretty shitty about it. After he’d left for his kitchen training, and you’d gotten so fed up with the guilt of doing jack-shit, you convinced yourself that a hot shower would do you good, and you did go to the gym yesterday so clean and warm are preferable to dirty when the eventuality of a workout is yet to be determined.

You walk outside, heading to the laundromat, and although it’s freezing and windy as hell, the sun is shining bright and strong and you feel better just like that. And you remind yourself that you should get outside more often. It seems that, for you, home does not lend itself to productivity. But shouldn’t it? Or maybe it’s that a tiny studio-ish apartment with the only doors in the place being the ones you close to shit, and open to leave&enter. Maybe. Or maybe your powers of avoidance are enhanced in PJ’s and comfy couches with a husband who makes the coffee and brings you a cup in the morning. Although he won’t bring it to you in bed. Enticing you to get the fuck up, he leaves it on the coffee table. Himself an easy, early riser, he subtly, kindly hates your simple ongoing patterns of snoozing; not charmed by your ability to pass in and out of sleep with 5 stages of 9 minute snooze alarms. Why pretend? Why set the alarm for 9 when you know you’re not going to drag your ass out of bed before 10 at the earliest. But hey, goals.

How-to explain that you’re a queer woman in a hetero-normative marriage

You're at your restaurant, waiting to wait,
and you make a comment to a co-worker-friend
about a customer's particularly nice ass.
This ass being worn by a woman, your manager overhears,
and seems both confused and intrigued.
He's not surprised by the appropriateness of your comment,
but rather, the content. "Wait, what?" he stutters.
Yes, I'm a bisexual woman married to a man,
but I prefer the term queer.
This is just to say, in a polite PSA:
attraction and commitment are not mutually exclusive.

Yet sometimes when talking about certain ex-loves,
 you leave out gender-pronouns
 because you don't feel like
 explaining yourself.
 Sometimes, you give them explicit intention
 Because you do want to explain

Go back to the basics, when you learn that identity
 is complex & elastic, & sexy for you
 finds shape in fluidity.
 You find women handsome and men beautiful
 and all the in-between's as equals.
 And you know that if it's love,
 the parts and pieces don't matter
 when you find the one that fits.
 And when you meet your soulmate
 on the backside of an identity crisis
 that never quite ended, know
 that this will become the climax
 of the alpha & omega of a we
 that you couldn't even imagine.

You cut your hair short for the first time
 when you fell in love with a woman, but after
 she'd broken your heart. After
 she talked of baby-dykes and life not being like a Miyazaki movie
 so why should we try. You grow it out
 but after you've found the piece that fits
 in the puzzle of your heart/mind/body/soul.
 For the after that would not have been
 without the broken heart,
 you grow it out for the wedding, letting it grow
 through all the stages of awkward, loving
 every part, from mullet to bob.
 You let it grow because you want options.

And you plan to chop it off again. Even though your mother
 wishes you wouldn't, as she confides that, "I always knew
 you'd end up with a man." You cut it
 because you want to, because you feel free and easy
 and most importantly yourself with it short.
 And when you tell your partner
 you have to make a stop in your hometown
 on the drive back to Brooklyn from North Carolina to do just that,
 he's excited for you.
 He says he fell in love with you this way.
 And the more dapper and free you feel,
 the sexier he finds you.

He & she, husband & wife,
 partners in love and equals in life,
 pay no mention to pronouns
 as poignant proxies for you
 & me, and the magic we make
 as a we.

Cuffing Season

I love the cold for the way
a cup of coffee
warms up your soul.
For the way you keep moving 
your body
because its motion is more powerful 
than that cup.

I love the cold for the way we want
other bodies, for the way skin
clinging to skin
is our favorite kind of warmth.
the way this need
for warmth is code
for that dirty word: intimacy.

For sexy, sweaty summer
and its liberating lack of layers,
can't compare
to the subtlety
of sweaters.

Spring sprung

Today isn’t quite the sunny spring Saturday that I hoped it would be, but I can’t quite call it grey. The sun hides behind the sky, turning its grey into a luminous white. I’m content today to sit at my desk with the spring floating in through my half-open window, grateful that I’m not one of those for whom the outdoors becomes a war zone of misery. The flowers that litter the ground, and the pollen that cakes every car are for me welcome signs of spring. My soul is undressed as is my body in the leaving of wintry layers and I crave adventure like my skin craves the sun.

I did it. I survived my first New York winter. And it really wasn’t all too bad. I kind of even enjoy having a real winter season, without the “snow” {freezing rain, sleet, hail} that we get down south. The magic of spring is all the more magical after the memory of its existence has been buried beneath cumbersome cold-weather layers.

Unencumbered and uncovered, I’m leaving my winter hibernation behind… along with my virtual absence these past two months. I’m saying yes to every question that grants yes as a possible answer. I’m beginning an adventurous romp through all the different playgrounds that are this city, full of gratitude that a day off here is ripe with limitless possibility.

A response to the query that every mid 20’s, semi-adult habitually avoids

He told me, if I was an artist,
you’d be my muse.
I smiled, blushed, and said thank you.
Later he asked me:
“What are you doing here?” I answered: “I like the city,
so I came.”
Then he asked, “What’s your dream? If you could do anything,
what would it be?”
And I confessed, I don’t know.

The question what do you want
still evades me. Because the answer, for me
has no concrete object.
It has lines & shapes, colors and images…
Details, but no whole.
I know
that I like words, and toying with their construction.
I like poetry
because of the way poems inhabit the space of a moment, freeing that moment
from its temporal boundaries.
But I can’t say whether I dream of publishing a novel that rocks people’s worlds,
because my mind can’t yet fathom a space that grand.

I can feel the textures of my future life,
but the thoroughfares of their manifestation elude me.
I believe in meaningful, passionate work, and direction, and I want to seize all of that
but right now
I’m finding meaning in an hourly wage, hospitality job where I know well my role and that my role is a valued, important part of a whole; a whole full of inspiring colors and characters.
I relish my detours and diversions, small moments & random joys
I surrender to the uncertainties and ambiguities –
their sum the most exquisite aggregate.