I live in Baltimore.


When I look up
the time of sunset
tonight, I find it is
two minutes earlier
than it was three
days ago.  Three
days ago, I broke
my fast early,
a few hours
before darkness
fell, not realizing
how darkness
would continue
to fall on Palestine.

How I would not
want to set my
own life down,
because if I did
I’d lose all point
of reference in a world
suddenly encrusting
a core of death,
orbiting a sun blazing
death, its plates
groaning like old bones
as they shift into
place with death. 

Yesterday, a plane was
shot down over Ukraine.
It was not until
a year ago that I realized
it may pain my Ukrainian
ancestors to be
remembered under
the word Russia.  How
Russian could they have
felt if, as legend
has it, my great-
came to America
after deserting
the tzar’s army.

I don’t pretend
to understand what makes
people leave one
place for another,
I don’t assert
that Israel had
no right to exist
after what its
people escaped.
I am saying
that now they leave
Gaza with no
escape, they maroon
them on a boat sinking
with bodies.  The war

in this case is
no war, the name
war massacres the
truth, the truth
is a massacre.

For the thousandth time
in my life, I regret
having no structure
to uphold, no
rigors of a ritual
to climb through
prayerfully.  My body
stretches and
ducks with prayer
that has no word
for people who have
no hope. 

I have only
the names I read,
the news washing up
of three boys killed
on a beach by
a sky that appeared
to be chasing
them, an unsteady
hand with which
to write, two hands
to beat the earth, and
a forecast that says
the sun will break
our fast again tomorrow
but nothing will restore
our sons.

It is impossible to look at Gaza right now and feel anything but total horror and devastation.  Pray for peace, and if you don’t pray, live for peace.  Hope for the comfort and relief of a suffering people.  This is not an atrocity for which we can make room in our collective conscience.  Free Palestine.

Jack and I took a photo of my hair halfway through shaving my head, and it JUST SO HAPPENED to be next to this photo he had in his phone

Shelf Life

It’s difficult to remember what meat is, I say.  Is that what we call the faces of the dead, or is it the offerings we leave for them?  It’s difficult to remember how to feed yourself.  I want to give you a present that registers emotionally like a bacon-wrapped human heart, and then you will know I’m not difficult, I’m just chewy.  In an early afternoon that felt like dawn you put one forearm on either side of my face and apologized.  If it was for yourself, you shouldn’t have bothered.  If it was for the wind that was constantly coming to stir us up, you couldn’t have helped it. 

I remember the baby from the dream.  I was alone in a room, or I was speaking to someone who I couldn’t see, and the light was pink and yellow and everything was round.  I felt something padding at me impatiently, I felt the pain less acutely than I thought I would.  When I was done, the baby was there.  The other person in the room was gone, and I thought Good, and it was sunrise all over again as I explained some things.  I explained who I was, and I was relieved that for once it came easy to me, and I explained who she was, because it was a she whose face I already had the words for.  And who we were going to have to be to survive—which is the secret that all mothers whisper to their daughters when the men have left.

Brooke and I drink identical white wine in a room boarding itself up with hardwood and stained glass.  We reduce the men to meat, but differently than they’ve so often done to us.  Weighing them, comparing their compassion per square pound, talking about the brown paper that feels like silk when we carry them with us.  She says, List all the things you still love about him, and as usual when someone is trying to help me, for a split second I feel angry.  I can explain him, but I’m back to being unable to introduce myself.  My face has been compared to Brooke’s over and over by people who have never bothered to look at us.  I look at her face and think, I could describe it, I could talk about her face without ever mentioning any obvious qualities.  I could talk about her eyes without mentioning their size.  I could talk about her eyes just by talking about the time I went swimming at dusk in a lake with a soft clay floor in Cape Cod.  That evening and her eyes were separated by fifteen years and nothing.

Read More

Open Casket for a Slaughtered Magic Trick (in 3 Parts)


for Sean

i. There are some things that are easier for me to tell about than others: I can speak of the twenty-something people I’ve had sex with just as casually as I laid down beside, under, on top of them. I can tell you of the threesomes I’ve been a third of that were more the result of a…

This is my best friend and I stand by it, she is magical. 

(via ramidus)

"Human beings don't have a right to water."


Across the globe, Nestlé is pushing to privatize and control public water resources.

Nestlé’s Chairman of the Board, Peter Brabeck, has explained his philosophy with “The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution.”

Since that quote has gotten widespread attention, Brabeck has backtracked, but his company has not. Around the world, Nestlé is bullying communities into giving up control of their water. It’s time we took a stand for public water sources.

Tell Nestlé that we have a right to water. Stop locking up our resources!

At the World Water Forum in 2000, Nestlé successfully lobbied to stop water from being declared a universal right — declaring open hunting season on our local water resources by the multinational corporations looking to control them. For Nestlé, this means billions of dollars in profits. For us, it means paying up to 2,000 percent more for drinking water because it comes from a plastic bottle.

Now, in countries around the world, Nestlé is promoting bottled water as a status symbol. As it pumps out fresh water at high volume, water tables lower and local wells become degraded. Safe water becomes a privilege only affordable for the wealthy.

In our story, clean water is a resource that should be available to all. It should be something we look after for the public good, to keep safe for generations, not something we pump out by billions of gallons to fuel short-term private profits. Nestlé thinks our opinion is “extreme”, but we have to make a stand for public resources. Please join us today in telling Nestlé that it’s not “extreme” to treat water like a public right.

Tell Nestlé to start treating water like a public right, not a source for private profits!


Sources and further reading:
Nestlé: The Global Search for Liquid Gold, Urban Times, June 11th, 2013
Bottled Water Costs 2000 Times As Much As Tap Water, Business Insider, July 12th, 2013
Peter Brabeck discussion his philosophy about water rights

(via christel-thoughts)

someone square dance me

in the Indian ocean at the end of her journey

in the Indian ocean at the end of her journey