(Brooklyn) Is Magic
Brooklyn smells like palo santo
and wet daffodils as I schlep
to the next set of stairs
that leads to someone
I’m never in the city
and when I am
is so city
I have to laugh.
The dogs dressed better
than I. Everyone clutching
like children on a rollercoaster
in need of their mother’s hand.
Even the bookstore is curated
to please the eye
and it pleases me
to see people I love stepping off the subway
and it’s pleasurable
to be one of so many
and for just a moment
the weight of breakfast
is heavier and sweeter-smelling
than the spring clouds bearing rain.
Work From Home ft. Ty Dolla $ign
Ever since I began working from home
my cleavage has gotten amazing
I learned the seductive way to wear a utility belt
and I finally have an excuse to sport
all those g-d damn sexy leotards
that have been sitting in my drawer for months
and all the other woman I know locally
who also work from home
come over in their work boots
and we grind in unison
on top of anything lying around
cuz that’s what working from home affords us
cuz we don’t gotta go to work
we let our bodies do the work
What Kind of Times Are These
There’s a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
I’ve walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don’t be fooled
this isn’t a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.
I won’t tell you where the place is, the dark mesh of the woods
meeting the unmarked strip of light—
ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise:
I know already who wants to buy it, sell it, make it disappear.
And I won’t tell you where it is, so why do I tell you
anything? Because you still listen, because in times like these
to have you listen at all, it’s necessary
to talk about trees.
— Adrienne Rich
I can live so happily
here in Vermont
all I have to do
is not think
Monday morning. Lipstick, dirty hair. Reading articles about books
I already love and want to return to disguised as another woman.
Glowy gray winter sky glinting off the car parked outside, giant
spools of electric cord hidden behind. Christmas songs on the radio,
the rape-y ones (“I really can’t stay” “But baby it’s cold outside”)
interspersed with the others. Yellow coffee cup with one cold sip
remaining and the impending refill. Holiday cards taped to the wall
in a collage of those who love us for our purchasing patterns. Ten AM
on the winter solstice and the postal service workers are hustling
to make it in time for Christmas. I’ve been wearing this blue shirtdress
for three days and it’s time for a wash. All astrological signs pointed
to career success this month but where’s the proof. Holiday treats
thrust at me from everywhere; I accept. Flip my greasy hair
to the other side of my head; I let it lie where it lands.
Wish for a Thursday
In a soulmate we find not company, but a completed solitude. -Robert Brault
What I would’ve give to be settling in to eat breakfast
at Eaton’s Sugarhouse with you. The sky would offer
no commentary as we stripped off our scarves, unlatched
our jackets. We’d slouch a little in the chairs designed
for hunters on opening day of rifle season, for families
who’ve fed their cows hay from their own fields
for generations. We’re not those people; we’d only be
ourselves on a Thursday, a little sleepy still from summer’s
hot swipe of mayhem which we survived with long porch
lunches, sweaty bandanas, tulsi-scented winds. The windows
which appear cloudy from the road would be adorned
with hand-sewn curtains as if the diner were a living room
where anyone’s languor was welcome. Plates full of food
would arrive and greet our noses with their names.
We’d eat eggs and hot sauce over toast and split an order
of buckwheat waffles. It wouldn’t be the best meal
we’d ever eaten, not even the second best, but we’d be
unhurried and together: buttering toast, passing ketchup.
1. In high school (middle school?) I was sure the chorus to this song said “Yo lie come way.” I actually have a mix where it says: Mark Morrison-Yo Lie Come Way. What would that even mean? Is it a request? No idea why I didn’t think about this absurdity a the time. Probably because I was used to not knowing what the eff r&b artists were saying. (The song is ACTUALLY called “Return of the Mack,” and he’s saying “You lied to me.”)
2. I like making words with “lady” in them. The verb “ladyweird” (to be your fucking awesome self in the presence of your ladies, which may or may not include talking in a distinctive voice/saying stuff you wouldn’t say around other people), the noun “ladyfairy” (the women in my life who drop their friendship gifts upon me & vice versa), ladyfriend, ladystuff, ladygravy (just made that one up–I’ll define it as “the delicious sauce of a lady,” interpret as you will), ladywild, ladychats, ladyscapes (a landscape populated by ladies doing sweet stuff)….etc.
3. Speaking of ladystuff: THINX. Just thinking (thinkxing?) about how these underwear would have changed my life as an early menstruater makes me tear up a little. Future girlchildren of the world: get excited. (For the uninitiated, THINX are underwear for those days of the month when you are shedding your uterine lining like the badass female you are.)
4. LadyYelp now exists and it’s called Fairy GodBoss. It’s a website where women can rate how sexist our workplaces are. This strikes me as deeply important and exciting. Because, somehow, there is still no federal law requiring paid family leave, and women are getting discrimiated against for growing humans in their bodies, and we’re also making less money overall. Sexism is technically illegal…but so is jaywalking!
5. “You will never need another lover/Cuz you a MILF and I’m a motherfucker,” -Jay-Z, to Beyonce, in the “Drunk in Love” REMIX. These are the type of lyrics that made me want to write rap lyrics in high school, I’m not kidding. But then I realized who I was (short, white, Westchester) and switched to poetry. But still. Rappers. You make me LAUGH. And that laughter is infused with a little disgust (cuz misogyny) and a little reverence (cuz wordplay).