you can’t make this stuff up
(i mean you could
with a little imagination
and if you drank just the right amount
of cheap, cold beer
before you settled in
but it wouldn’t be real then
and this is)
-as real as it gets
without shoving over to the other side
where it becomes philosophy
and then religion
and the opposite,
of anything remotely
scattered around, little heads and dark, slow breaths
half-awake, courting sleep
lazy in the knowledge
that school is out tomorrow
their stocking feet dangle
over torn arms of old sofas
a cat curled here in the nook of one elbow
a stuffed cow tossed carelessly
down near a hip
and slightly stained t-shirts
of cold air and laundry soap
one dim light burning
fights off the night
in here, the bulb burns like sunlight
too bright for me now, but i’ll live, till it’s time to shut down
-words are extraneous
past my screen, he is split apart
one blue eye
a curl of dark hair
wedding ring catching the too-bright light, holding it
his sleeve shifts and shows me a second of ink
on his arm, and i look away
memorized long ago
all of this, every blink
every shift of a tiny hand, twitching in dreams
every mumbled curse, tapping at keys in frustration
every long, tired sigh
that replaces the worn-out air in the room with
whatever it is
that we are
as we settle, perfection,
down into sleep.
I don’t know where this came from. I was making a salad, getting ready to take a sociology quiz (at the last minute, of course, thirty minutes before deadline) and this just came into my head. We had fun when we were kids, and he is one of my best friends today. I guess maybe I’m just missing him a little, and didn’t realize it.
we were small and wretched
hanging out beneath the palm trees and the power lines
the sunlight caught the curls in our hair and made us shine
we chased lizards up the sidewalk, caught them, cradled them in hands worn smooth
from sand and orange rinds
feet burned black with asphalt dust,
saggy-bottomed bathing suits
the crayons spread between us like a rainbow fallen down
the carpet was the ocean and the couch a pirate ship
we vaulted from the dresser to the bed like circus acrobats
in the early morning, christmas day
you tapped me on the nose
your arm wrapped tight around your favorite bear,
and asked, did santa come?
not yet wait here with me
and in the glow of artificial lights
coloring our world
we crept into the darkness of the day
determined to find something
we might keep.
So in the past few days, I’ve been told that I’m not competent to run a cash register because of the color of my hair, my microwave died, and the driver’s side window on my car is apparently going through a rebellious phase and refuses to go up half the time. I spent all day yesterday pounding the pavement (literally; I was pissed off and stomping up the sidewalk) looking for jobs, and I got two offers: one from an old drunk who offered me 20 bucks to go to the drum circle that had been held the night before, and one from a guy who wants to dress me up and take my picture. (That one seems legit, and I might go for it.)
Now I have “The Boxer” in my head. I don’t think there’s a Seventh Avenue here, though.
Anyway. I’m in a funk. A big, sucky, stinky, fuck-the-world-and-everything-in-it funk.
And then driving home today, I’m talking to beloved about the photo shoot thing, and he tells me he doesn’t care for the shots I did a few years ago, because I don’t look like me in them. [In my mind, that’s a good thing. I’m not the least photogenic, and the only way I like being in front of the camera is if I don’t look like myself. And these were for a zombie calendar, so it’s probably good that I don’t always look bloody and half-eaten.] And then a minute later, out of the blue, I catch him looking at me (and not the road-it’s a good thing he drives like a little old man) and he says, “You’re pretty. I like looking at you.”
And then I remembered that I was on the way home to our little house, and my babies would be home soon, and that every day I get to wake up next to the nicest man in the world, with the knowledge that I created the most amazing kids in the world, and the funk didn’t leave but I got a little of my fuck-off attitude back and I decided not to let it take away all my happiness.
So I came home and fed the dog, and looked at my little world through happier eyes, and captured a bit of it on film. I needed a bit of pretty today. Here is what I found.
To love is not a privilege or even a right, but an inherent trait, like the ability to breathe.
If you believe that god breathed his breath into your existence, then you must also believe that he loved your love into existence. To try to deny anyone the ability to love, freely and openly and in the same manner that all other adult humans are able to love, is to attempt to deny them the right to breathe; in effect, you are assuming the role of the god you claim loves all, sees all, created all-but created this love by mistake.
Do you equate your government with your god? Why then did you visit the courthouse for your marriage license and the church for the ceremony celebrating your commitment? If they are one and the same, why do you require the services of both a magistrate and a minister?
I’m aware that our government spends far more on death and violence than on food, education and healthcare. Our government rests on a foundation of greed and narcissism, power and control. None of those things have anything to do with love. On the edge of sleep, I promise the man beside me that this is forever, and he promises the same to me. There is no need to ask a corrupt government permission to make these promises. If there is a god and he sees everything, he hears our words, sees the love he created, and approves-even without the sanction of the secular government. Would your god deny a man and a woman the ability to love and to be loved by the children they’re raising, because we don’t believe in war and greed, and don’t want to associate our love with those malignant traits?
Does your god truly want people to die alone because they were unable to buy the right to partnership? Does your god truly want to watch families collapse under the weight of your prejudice? Does your god truly, in some inexplicable act of cruelty, want to hurt some of those that he created in his image, as you say, simply because they love?
I will not call the morality of the government with which you equate your god into question here-clearly there is none to consider. My question here is one I’ve asked before: how does your faith allow you to not only judge others and attempt to deny them love, but to use the government to perpetuate that prejudice? Where in your bible is the issue of state government addressed? Where in your bible does it clearly define the terms of a legal marriage license? Where in your bible does it mention your god keeping watch over the courthouse doors to see who leaves with the appropriate secular document granting permission to share the love that he created?
Where in your bible does it say that you have the right to judge anyone at all?