it can destroy the ability

I spent my whole life contemplating a name for myself.

I was called all kinds of things:

Puta.

Hija.

Hermana.

Fat.

Ugly.

Whore.

Worthless.

Beautiful.

Angel.

Holy.

I answered to them all, 

mostly because 

I never wanted to get lost.

Recognition was vital, 

blood—

I’d lose pints of it monthly, 

I had to replenish

In my more generous years, 

when I needed concert tickets or a free pass to the museum—

I’d give my blood to whatever mobile clinic took it,

iron-deficient, still, not denied—

New Years of 2014—

numb & nauseous—

a half raw steak in my mouth 

I almost forgot my name

…but I heard it as I faded into the festivities,

Ingrid

Ingrid

Ingrid

please,

this year has left me so tired, 

/vacant

/bare

/devoid of

/bankrupt

please

just say goodnight 

forget my name…

/let me sleep into the new year—“

Military planes in the sky in Los Angeles on September 16th, at 12:11 p.m.

Did I ever leave home?

Yes, 

but this city is a mirror of what I left.

Except, 

I don’t speak the same language anymore/but at the same time I speak the very same language/

it’s laughter.

I don’t feel like my traumas have animated my life/ 

I don’t even like to call them traumas

I prefer calling them, ‘stolen property’

and I’m capable

of stealing it back/

—and thank goodness

How many inches have I grown since I met you?

I’ve expanded at the hips and the heart.

I’ve let go of my demons, and invited new ones.

But do you know what love is?

Can you calculate the formula without mathematics?

It is not the size of his cock or his lies.

It is not you, falling victim to yourself.

It is not me pretending that I am who I say I am.

It is me sharing the core of you and the core of me with the core of we.

But do you know what love is?

It isn’t fucking or fighting or fucking after fighting.

It ain’t you looking good,

and him telling so.

It is not the toothpaste in the sink or the broken fingers

It is everything you are willing to let go, to make room…

There will be traditions.

you’ll forget some 

and cherish others.

You will love the scent of his breath 

and the stink of his feet.

It will remind you of decay, 

and you will spiral into death anxiety and calm it with your wedding song.

No amount of deafening traffic at midnight could wake us up after we fall into each other.

Downtown from our window is a celebration,

birthday candles on the horizon.


against the silence

According to some 

I have a nice mouth, deep eyes, good legs—a nice voice—nice hair

My veins are full of shit 

and gold intermixed, 

they rot and make me rich 

on the great verge of recognition, 

one tastes the years 

on the surface of the tongue

i scrape at its antiquity

taste the many corpses

my throat/ a trunk for all the things i carry but don’t need

my wrists/ the flames that require gasoline

my eyes/ the only source of water in this wildfire

i cry you nourished/ watch ghosts evaporate 


unbelievable things

words don’t stick 

I  threaten

with forgetfulness//

a personalized

rumor///

they laugh

***

will the gate lock?

I am tired 

of being ripe

a morsel

shoulders stiff 

with the crown of all who whispered crucifixion

I am a willing participant

the sadness 

doesn’t bother me, it’s happiness 

a formless

somewhere 

between a smile and a salted rim

snarl

I am taking time, to heal.

Birds don’t bother me anymore.

A crow comes at the same time every morning, 

and it’s slowly become part of this healing. 

It caws and I yawn.

I wait for it, 

much like I wait for my stomach to begin churning and talking before I get out of bed each morning. 

I’m usually alone by the time I get up. 

My husband is working hard to keep us living in the luxury of our 450 square feet in the middle of Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, I am contemplating, at age 39, if I should go back to school or not?

It’s an interesting time, the day to day.

This time alone, hurts.

I am in the company of myself, 

and all the dialogue that had been drowned out with busy office work is on the surface and she’s a bully.

I didn’t realize how loud her hate was.

How loud she tries to convince me that my past is a petrified forest. 

That I’m bound at the feet.

That I want the easy way out because it has been such a tragic existence.

Please hear me out.

I mean, these voices, they’re just voices. 

And as pathetic as this all may sound, it is real, and it is nails to a cross, fingers in the eye-sockets. 

Sometimes I sit in my filth all day, remind myself to drink water, but usually, I let myself starve. 

I enjoy the depletion, feels Holy, romantic and tragic.

I watch the hours go by and remind myself of my age in 3-hour increments.

“You are 39, and in 100 days you will be 40.”

Much has happened, and yet, you still comb your hair as if you are trying to shake off his scent. 

You still smile and cry and eat as if the food you stuff in your mouth will somehow fill the void he left. 

You are a child always because you are trying to reclaim yourself year by year, day by day, decade by decade.

You scrape the last bit of everything on your plate as if you are scraping every last bit of yourself.

It’s all very obvious and very sad and it’s how I heal while the crow caws at my window.

It’s how I heal as I listen to my stomach begin to churn and talk before I get out of bed each morning. 

dressed

his love is open heart surgery

no permission

reacquainted, 

joined at the hip

twins with different mothers

we are wife, husband, lovers

ego glitching

distortion of proportion

fears are only inches high

but I willingly drown

his love is open heart surgery

no permission,

genuine

a surgeon, 

who is working

on watching me

stitch these wounds

shut