Skinnin' The Pachuco

I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: blues

23/30: the laundry is still not done

It is almost midnight and the laundry is still not done. After another day of law, of living, of language, I am speechless in the twilight of my room. Shuffling across the hardwood in bare feet and flat feet, I grab my phone and choose Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue to fill my room. I sit on my bed and breathe in the Jasmine on yesterday’s wind. I open up a memory like a file folder. Pick up my dirty clothes and put them in a basket. Around my room, I feel the gentle reminder of belonging. Everything has a space or place to call home. Even my dirty socks. Even my dirty thoughts. What I lose in a day is not lost. I am practicing the art of returning. Understanding is a process. Understanding myself is a process. And what is a process but the steps we take forward? The steps we take out of the dark and into the light. I want to walk out of the mirror and hold he who does not like what he sees. In the jazz-filled cathedral that is my room I surrender to you, I surrender all my remarkable pain, I surrender grudges and grief, I surrender the habits that wreak havoc to everyone I love. Self-included. I surrender the guilt that runs like silk through my veins. I surrender this spoiled spool that loves to make a fool of me. Y’all hear that? Bill Evans on the piano. Each key is a soft prayer playing over the speaker. It is almost midnight and the laundry is still not done. I run my fingers through my hair and hang my head in the half-light. I want to get this right. Separating my laundry is a task directly linked to the past, or, the passage of time, or traveling back to the time you wore something else other than skin. All around me lies the evidence of my existence, where I’ve been and what I chose to be seen in. Of course, both me and the laundry are unfinished for a reason. It is almost midnight when I begin to write this poem in my mind. I take my time. I take every line and string it up across the paper sky. I pin word after word against the sun-shined lines. I’m trying to finish what I started, even if the laundry is still not done.

10/30

I loved a woman made of white noise for so long
It wasn’t until I threw my heart into my mouth
for the last time that I realized her static song echoed
the loudest whenever I decided to leave.

When the good left, and nothing but the bye remained
I burned the last of her from me and drank hot tea in the dark
to calm the scattered static that greets me whenever I am hungry for her again.
The tea didn’t tuck the storm happening inside me asleep
so I built a ravine out of bed sheets and burned books,
caught the rain water between stories that were not afraid to melt
and thought myself sturdy like that too.
So I boiled most of my body down to brass
’cause even though she, my once darling darling,
picked me clean from her teeth like rotten meat,
I still like what happens when I cool inside another’s mouth
how melancholy breathes an impossible beat
how my tongue is tearing its skin into miles of brass in the heat
and even though I am singing the blues back to the sky
I am reminded that loving a  woman made of white noise does not make me a songbird,
it just means I love without thinking, it just means I did not need to think to love her
I just did.
And even if the static she left made me second-guess all the color in my breath
I still got the blues burning through me and
though I know it though ain’t much,
at least I can finally get some rest.