Prose, Unbound

The Itch

“No,” I said. They were out of their fucking minds if they thought I would actually agree to their request, but I was perfectly in my right mind to tell them to go to hell.

~~~

Don’t get me wrong. I acquiesce — a lot. I don’t like to cause trouble. I don’t like to rock the boat. Confrontation causes an allergic reaction and makes me itchy all over like when I rub up against poison ivy. Sometimes, I get a little fidgety, a little itchy, from chafing against conflict’s oiliness. 

Sometimes, a rash breaks out. Sometimes, I lose a little time recovering and come to with oddities. One time there was a deep scratch running along the inside of my bicep. One time there was a split upper lip. One time there was a busted knuckle on my right hand. One time there was some blood on my shirt but no obvious wound it could have come from.

~~~

“It’s simple. The answer is no,” I said, scratching at a spot just below my elbow while a blooming redness raced across the right side of my chest.

I really do try to be a decent person, but sometimes, people just don’t fucking listen.

Featured image by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Poetry, Unbound

Avocado Toast

I have these moments
where I experience the paradox of
words coming into being
at the precipice of their inception
and words dying,
supernovas of cultural extinction.

I wonder if that’s how the Aztecs felt
the moment āhuacatl lost its life —
lost its ability to testify
to the avocado’s testicular formation —
when the Spanish conquistadors
grew enough balls to sail across the seas
and dominate a people
they should’ve left well-enough alone.

Aguacate they called it
refusing viable auditory nuances
of Nahuatl testimony.

These days, we call it “avocado”
because everything sounds
(and tastes) “better” with white-bread
when you crush it against the
English tongue in this country.

Featured image by Nur Afni Setiyaningrum on Unsplash

Poetry, Unbound

Devil's Trills Sonata

I dreamt a symphony 
of sleep paralysis last night, 
and in this dream, 
Tartini came to show me
how to dance the waltz of virtuosity.

Agile fingers tripped along
the string of my being,
their allegro moderato promenade
striking carnal chords of hunger.

While I rode this cresting wave —
this swelling expectancy of ecstasy —
the devil trilled the
the bitterest pleasure
in my ear, and
I reached for you
in the liminal space
between the notes.

The reverberations of sound
held in abeyance
resonated within my diamond core
and shattered,
pulling me out of myself and
into the cosmic embrace.

Featured image Photo by Josep Molina Secall on Unsplash

Musings, Unbound

A Brave New World

I love dystopian fiction. Can’t get enough of it. I’ve been reading it since I discovered Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in high school. Admittedly, it was the only school-assigned book I read that year (sorry Mrs. Roos). What can I say? I had my priorities mixed up like most high school students, and I, oftentimes, continue to have my priorities mixed up as an adult. In my 36 years on this earth, I still have yet to really figure out what it means to be human. And now figuring out that crucial element seems to be a Herculean task.

Two weeks ago when my husband said, “Here’s the grocery list for the week. I put on extra because we have to be ready for coronavirus,” I laughed in. his. face. Like the good-natured man he is, he weathered my criticism, and I humored him as we picked up a much larger toilet paper package, extra bags of dried beans, some canned and frozen vegetables (an oddity since we always buy fresh), two extra packages of spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, and a huge bag of frozen chicken breasts. On top of our weekly essentials, it was a shopping trip that cost us upwards of our total monthly food budget. I scowled and derided his “hypochondriac over-anxious” reactions, but he calmly replied “If I turn out to be wrong, at least we won’t have to buy groceries for a while. We can’t really lose.”

One week ago, as my husband and I sat at the dining table after a late breakfast, the news alerts on our phones go off: “WHO declares COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic”. Within a few hours, the university I attend and others in the San Antonio area extended Spring Break for a week and hinted at extended closures. My social media feed blew up with posts both expressing concerns about the impending crisis and spreading the idea of a “Democratic hoax” to which “liberal snowflakes” were overreacting. The stock market started hemorrhaging which cast uncertain economic forecasts on people who were already scared that the big bad “P” word had been used. That’s when my husband looked at me, and instead of saying “Told you so” and making me eat crow (which he totally could have), he asked, “Have you heard about Italy?”

Five days ago my sister-in-law who lives with me became ill: cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and slight fever. She sought out medical advice and tested negative for strep and flu, but the doctor told her she likely just had a cold and that she should self-quarantine to be on the “safe side” because it wasn’t likely she had COVID-19 and she didn’t qualify to be tested anyways. As she sat down with me and cried out of fear (she’s asthmatic and frequently uses a nebulizer by-the-by), everything became real for me. It was a sobering moment for my ego.

Now, everything is uncertain — the state of education and whether my job will even look the same in six month’s time, the health of the economy and whether another recession will wipe out finances again, the supply chain of stores and whether I currently have enough toilet paper to last me until things stabilize. Schools are closed and stores are shuttered and restaurants, bars, and nightclubs have had their “last call” for now. Things are quiet, and I’ve had time to reflect. I have been foolish in my personal fallacy which I have waived about with mortal bravado. I have been wrong for a long time about many things — most recently that about COVID-19 and the need to take it seriously. 

Today, I’m eating the crow my husband was too kind to ask me to eat two weeks ago, and I acknowledge that we, as a human race, are truly entering a brave new world… and we are not ready.

Featured image by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

Poetry, Unbound

The Call

Amidst the tempest-tossed
shore of forgotten eons,
cosmic evil slumbers.
One eye turned to the
unfathomable depths of depravity
which masquerade as his pleasant dreams.
The other,
turned towards humanity,
awaits the coming storm
whose gales will
strip away the light and
usher forth the
Stygian darkness.

And try as I might,
that infernal part of me
harkens to the call.

Photo by Andrei Lazarev on Unsplash

Musings, Unbound

15 Things: A List in Opposition

1. I make lists of things I want to accomplish that go unchecked.

2. Thoughts about what I’ve done which I can’t seem to forgive myself for keep me up at night, and thoughts about what I should do to make myself into someone better haunt my days.

3. I track everything I put in my body and everything I sweat out of my pores, but this never equates to a body size I feel comfortable in.

4. I start “self-care” regimens, but they quickly devolve into self-loathing.

5. I want to be unique, to be special, but I find I’m not even a one-in-four kind of person.

6. I’m told that no one’s journey is the same and that my struggles are valid, but more and more it seems like people say those things as a general platitude, a way to make themselves feel better when they don’t really care to listen to the struggle of others.

7. I write poetry that exposes my optimistically raw hopefulness, but I never share it with anyone because I just can’t bear how the pessimistic views of the world will tear my optimism to shreds.

8. In regard to #7, I also can’t bear for someone to call me a hypocrite when I do share a struggle. Even though having hope and struggling emotionally and mentally are not mutually exclusive, it seems the world sees them as binary opposites.

9. I want to write, but I’m afraid of what will come out on the page.

10. When I do conquer that fear and write, I want to share it, but I can’t stop comparing myself to others and wishing I had even one ounce of others’ talents. (See #5)

11. I know I shouldn’t read the comments section, but I just can’t help myself. I always hope to find some redemption for humanity, but it seems to be slipping further and further away. And still… I hope. (See #7)

12. People tell me how smart I am, but all I feel are the inadequacies of shit decisions I’ve made in my life.

13. I want to be a part of a “sisterhood” so badly that I will give everything to the detriment of my own happiness to female friendships, and when those friendships inevitably fall apart, I always blame myself.

14. My mother was one of my only anchors to being able to feel connected to the world around me, and I’ve felt so alone these past 4 years even though I am far from lonely.

15. I don’t know who you are, but I love you anyways.

Feature Image: Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash