I Love Him
when I am not with you I revise in my mind how I will tell you I am leaving:
- when I see you with your friends and when I am there with you and your friends I know I am in the wrong place; I do not fit; I can never fit without squashing who I am and I could not do that if I tried; believe me believe me because I have lived my life trying and I only now know that I can’t and I don’t have to
- this was not about self-fulfillment. this is about capability.
- I am tired of failing to prove myself to your people.
- you are white and they are white and I am ready to retreat into my colorful bubble
- you said that we would go until the end of college like that was the longest time ever, longer than I could possibly be thinking, so long that it was a vulnerability for you to say it: I know you matter far more to me than I to you and to continue this would be masochism masochism and so I hold you a distance away I am sure that is confusing
- you make me happy now. maybe you are being realistic.
- would leaving be masochism?
- when will I escape masochism?
- I am holding you back from exploration and self-discovery and I don’t want to I so strongly believe that I should not and yet you will not let me leave and you will not let me bend; things that don’t bend snap: you don’t see the snap but I do, I do, it will be me and it will be for you
- do you notice that I disappear when he comes?
- and yet:
- two truths and a lie:
- “interested in women”
The first time, we were coming
down. Surreal, soft: I am yellow
and she is brown and you
are gleaming, you are all gleaming.
I am a pendulum: disbelief/wonder/disbelief.
Who could you possibly think I am?
Fairy lights and jaunty conversation
about your day your day your day and this
is how I find out your parents
dogs / apple muffin mix / hospitality with a drawl
were in town to see everyone
every one every single one: oh, you say
they just love love loved everyone: my love
love love who am I if not at least
a part of the definition
of your everyone — it passes,
flashes, and I wonder wonder if
the knife was yours
or just another on the path
I walk to be by your concrete.
I know we know maybe you know you you all
don’t know don’t know what it’s like to be un
unworthy by unknown rules
uninteresting by assumption
unwelcome unwelcome unwelcome
by default I know I know I know
but how could you not
Frank Ocean fucks me up consistently:
sure, sometimes I look you up
peruse the life you run, the one
I hear about when it’s paused, the people
you see who are like you
gleaming, always gleaming. Love, you
love: why are you single on Facebook?
When did you/we/you/you decide you
you/you/you were single on Facebook?
Nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong, nothing’s
wrong wrong wrong
I know I know sometimes I throw knives
at you but does it matter if you don’t
notice? I am small and you are big
and maybe this is the only
why why why for which we fit. I I I am
not so blameless but a knife from you
is a knife for us
and I I I am sorry that I
that I require a saint from you
of you I am sorry
sorry, sorry no, sorry no
even when I yell you think I don’t try / help me
convince me that these are more than singular
We shes watch the room unfold
smooth with our backs against the dry
wall; invisible women, sore thumbs, melanined
bruises among paper cuts. You smile
so we smile but mostly we are quiet, struck
sponges on land foreign holding in our water:
daughters, we float enough still to drift
… I found the second story that I’d ever written, 20 years ago in Wellington. It was written in the third person, the person most girls use when they want to talk about themselves but don’t think anyone will listen.
- Chris Kraus, I Love Dick
I find that dialogue around the racialized experience in the US is odd in that it completely excludes the relationship with the home country. While I am not Chinese, my parents are. My extended family is. They all exerted pressures and mapped influences onto me during my most impressionable periods of development, and the exclusion of that guiding hand from my self-narrative — due in part to a universal (or so as it has been presented to me, which would still say something in its own right) exclusion of that perceived influence from the general narrative of the Non-White Person In The USA — only now has been recognized by me, and in that recognition explains so fucking much.
Ex. 1: Contextualizing my perception of my mother’s (and father’s) flaws with respect to history and origin
We need to be encouraged to learn about our own histories.
I want to see him, I think, but for some possibly self-destructive reason I refuse to.
Am I looking for something wrong?
It’s not that we are too good. It’s that we are simply
good, with a healthy tinge of non-heaven that
I, because I am me, use to slit paper cuts
into the back of my neck, at just the right spot where
your torso is too long to spot it when you cradle
my healthy, my limber, my happy. It exists
quotidian, flaring as thorn ends prick at
the open, sizzle hiss snap as my smile grows
frozen and sad and worried
— excuse me, is my neurosis showing? How embarrassing
— and frozen, and frozen, and still, and
— Is it truly possible that you never feel this way?
What would it have been like to blossom
a yellow among yellows? Does it matter
that it’s the system and not you
not me if what we have in the end
is still you still me? Here’s my
Burt’s Bees: noticing makes for pain
but not fault: you can believe that I say
there’s quicksand below me but because
you don’t see it you forget. Sometimes a bucket
of gold is just shitty milk chocolate in foil.
Sometimes the foil makes for a cutesy crane.
But when will I tire of folding? Sometimes
I want nothing more than for you
to suffer. That’s an urge I’ll squash
until I break, because what love do I know
more deeply than self-sacrifice via self-
destruction. For me myself and I, a pit.
For you, an apple muffin, an afternoon
with dissolved edges. Lilacs and chamomile.