Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category

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Doe-eyed daughter

April 28, 2017

Doe-eyed daughter, you speak of women and children, of things they need to be secure. You sparkle in your ballgown. You share photos of your artfully arranged body on a carpet behind your son, hands folded next to a true world leader, your saddest face cheated out ever so slightly as you put your hand on the most solemn of memorials.

Do you think we don’t see your father’s ear bend toward your mouth? Do you think we miss what he says next? You may be beautiful, but you are still as transparent as your crystalline life.

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Consequences

April 26, 2017

We stood around the kitchen table listening to stories from that day’s march. Those of us who had not been there shared, guiltily, our reasons why—obligations and specific applications and children who might struggle in the crush of signs and long legs.

Assuming there’s a country left in which to march, we’ll be able to do it another year, one of us said.

That assumes there’s a world left in which to march, another replied.

There will always be a country left in which to march, said another. It’s just a question of what the consequences become.

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Mothers without relief

April 25, 2017

I come to work as many things, the panelist said. As a black woman, as a lesbian. But my son just turned 18, and so, I come to work every day wondering if he will come home safely that night.

I think about my son teetering at the edge of a concrete platform, his terror-filled eyes locked on mine until he reset his balance. I can still summon the rising bile as I waited, out of reach, to see whether he’d plunge backward. I am grateful my fear was momentary; I am devastated for mothers who never get relief.

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Marching for science

April 22, 2017

In the bathroom, my toddler son has sunk a piece of paper under water in a plastic tub. He peers at it, and declares the single letter and two scribbles on it to be his name, writ large.

What do you think will happen? I ask.

I think it will fly all the way up to the sky, he says. His arms lift with the emphasized all, his whole body certain. He pronounces sky like chai, like life.

Is that your hypothesis? I ask.

Yeah, he says, and he marches out of the bathroom and back, awaiting results.

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Signs

April 20, 2017

The progressives line the intersection with signs, a moving, living billboard that shouts slogans at the cars. Black Lives Matter, they say, or I Love A Lesbian. They shimmy and shout, determined to make each driver think, if only for a moment, about the bigger picture.

It would be so easy to drive along, listening to a song that has nothing to do with this time, and stop considering how to resist, on each dark day. But I am grateful for each sign, each reminder there is more fighting to do, no matter how tired we each may be.

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Absolution

April 19, 2017

Can we be saved? How easy would it be to walk up the steps and lower ourselves into the pool? How easy would it be to sink our heads below the surface of an ever-flowing river of sanity?

But if we do not accept absolution soon, if we do not wash away the sins of our choices, it will be too late. Our nation is a piece of paper that starts on top of the water, slowly taking on volume, the words blurring, then dissolving to nothingness.

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Losses

April 15, 2017

From the BART windows, passing through West Oakland, I spotted a man sitting outside an RV in a trash-filled yard, a set of empty deck chairs around a glass table, forty retired dusty mailboxes lined up in the corner of the post office’s back lot.

If everything goes wrong, most people might not miss these things. But I will ache for the liquor store at the intersection of 7th and Center, for the rumbling line of trucks awaiting containers of cargo at the port, for the multi-colored loops of tags on the wood siding of houses glimpsed from above.