Thursday, October 25, 2012

Untitled Oli nō Hōpoe (first draft)

many men have told my story
have uttered your name into speech
have carved it into stone and pepa
some part of you 
and i 
live forever in the margins between sound and solid
but no man
no woman 
or soul
no body has written or known the words we shared
no one ever attempted at their brilliance
those parts of us were only held in body
in leo
stay carved in the creases of my palms
so that every part of this earth i hold - has a moment to know your touch
because maybe our words are best kept for two
but the manner in which you glided over and danced with papa deserves to be shouted from my palms

so i will resist
as i always have
the letting go of the ocean of you that often tries to fall through me
i will hold so tight these hua
so that they may lay still in the center of my belly
when feelings swell like oceans
in memory of the site of you
evaporating into sky
a brush burning into night
after too many mournings
of my body being worthy of the name distance
those parts of you we shared in quiet
i promise, 
they will not spill open

because it is right that only this earth knows of the words we planted
only the lehua can ever claim our love
it is right
even if they too are gone now

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To Iliana on your 18th birthday

i dont remember how i spent my 18th birthday
not what i ate
or the company i kept
and i find all of this disrespectful of this day
and how much i wish you were here long enough to forget milestones like i have

i also remember very little of my high school graduation
those kinds of things seem to slip out of me
the way water fell to the ground
every moment has its own constant
mine comes in water
a forever reminder of my own infinity

but you will not forget a day that never came
and we will not forget the way that lack
strikes us in the space between ribcage and chest

you were barely 11 years old
the sunday we sent you off on the clef of a song
i was 15
and trying to stay still enough to sing
my father is good at these moments
pouring metaphor over melody in an attempt to delay the sting
but tonight i wonder
if he remembers the way your father waled the lyrics to the days of my youth
i wonder if he knew that song would forever conjure your face
and leave me silent
and wanting nothing to do with beauty

there is no new way to say goodbye
so tonight
i play songs that make me uncomfortable
that make me remember
make me see your mother and father
and mine
and a pastor
who i realize now is no longer here
because some milestones will surely slip through my mind like molten silver
but i hold you
and those voices
and those hands close and tight in the ducts of my eyes
and i slow the faucet of falling sadness to make sure i have some to keep
some of you, and the 15 year old version of myself
re-realizing morality
and injustice

i do all of this
to be sure
that you will not leave
not again
that i will not
let you go
without a piece to keep

Day 29: tonight

dad sings about times that were
and i am just listing to a song that was
on the tip of everyone tongue

someone leaves
today its me
stumbling over words
and guitar strings
trying to slip out a melody
but there is only rust and sand
and lost lives
and a girl too young to watch
so today it is me, leaving

some nights i am brooklyn bound
C train stuck
trying to build my home in the ruble of crumbling buildings
some nights i am pacific
open ocean

tonight i am a million empty miles in every direction
i am the hollow of my fathers guitar on nights it lays forgotten
and the melodies we've allowed to slip under our skin
the ones we refuse to mention again

i am slicing every inch of this distance
trying to find a metaphor
convinced there has to be something serious hidden in the nothing that surrounds me
i am wrong
and stubborn
and trying to ignore the pieces of me falling out