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Here's a few selections of my writing!

-GMT

It's a summer of dripping

Sweat dripping down my newfound muscles to darken my yoga mat

Water dripping off the blade of my paddle

Time dripping like sand in a capsule, grain by grain, but with alarming intensity

I hear drips in the thud of volleyballs popping like popcorn against taut skin

Peddling

Paddling

Bikers at sea and kayakers on land

I now know what it is to be a soldier in the fabric of a company

To wear my blood and sweat every day as an extra layer of skin

To always put others first and resist mocking their stupid questions

I have to trust that when I'm beaten down, I will be built up

The water is stronger than me

It will rip me into a raw, new form

Sore and pulsing with life

We're the smallest creatures out there

At the mercy of larger machines

From above, I’m riding a hollow narrow banana while holding a twig

My guts burn with fear and anger when I see a wake

churning the unknown, innocent below and the vulnerable above

Why is there such little care given to the weak?

I see it on the streets when impatient cars zoom past my calves

I cannot rest. No one will wait.

I try to spread a dosage of care to the homeless eyes that tacitly watch me pass

But even when I open my wallet, I haven't succeeded. I wonder where that money will go & flood with guilt for the self-satisfaction that I feel.

It's just paper. I'm working for paper.

I'm working for the water that doesn't have a voice

The disgust that registers through my eyes and rings through my thoughts is for my own kind

The river didn't do this to itself

Rotting carcasses dressed in forgotten plastic

grimey fumes that make my vocal chords clench gravel

I'd rather listen, but I'm being watched

Hear, me, Chicago!

Things need to change

The water first

Then the streets

And finally, our hearts

The whole city needs to look down

At the cracked Earth in pain

At the people on an imaginary ladder with lower rungs

I've never been so hungry in my life

I need food

Not 50 calories of pretzels- hearty, calorie packed meals

People feel this way every day

I'm dripping again with silent tears, soaking wiggly trails down my dirt stained cheeks

I feel so weak in this world where men do the same labor with half the effort.

I am soft and beautiful, but that's not helpful now.

I ignore those parts until the sun sets and I strip the uniform.

There's one person who reminds me to smile and play every time I smell his sweat and hear his laugh

He is beautiful too.

I'll tell him someday.

For now, I'll let the waves crash over me. I'll let the wind push me,

and the spiders scurry over my thighs.

The whole time, I'll pull the water towards myself and know that I'm moving forward.

I refuse to live my life in fear

and yet I do

My actions speak much louder than those words

as I move to the side of the walkway and feign interest

in a rectangular shining screen to let you pass

Are you following me?

While others have found their matching magnet, I remain unrooted—

drifting from one concrete jungle to the next,

hoping that I will somehow find importance

wondering whether my independence is comfortable out of necessity

Inquiring mouths assume that I live here because I walk alone

But when a wanton man or woman approaches on the street,

My blood stays calm. Pulled towards the emptiness of their eyes,

listening to their plea. Weathered skin lining tumultuous insides.

A linguistic canon that doesn’t allow for calling time spent outdoors a “vacation.”

I don’t often supply the currency that they seek,

but I try to honor them with open ears and less judgmental eyes than the sea around them.

Perhaps I should be more afraid. Less wary of the majority, including those who find themselves in proximity at late hours, and

more cautious of the neighbors on the fringes. The spinners of stories both false and true. These are the encounters that I

remember—tinted with desperation, the potential of violence, and a lingering handshake between charcoal and snow colored

fingers. These are the scapegoats for danger.

And as I refuse to live my life in fear, they will remain my friends

To be held in the warmth of

human skin

the soft parts, the fleshy bits

the hair to run through the

pads and prints of my finger tips

I am wanted

it’s fleeting but our secret

touch me where it’s not normal

where I’ll feel you separate

from others

Leave an imprint on me

I have a dream that I will one day

have a daughter who looks back at me

with identical mud-colored eyes.

Like most other children, she will enjoy

molding the earth. Dripping sand into

elaborate kingly dwellings. Ripping

yellow weeds from their root to determine

whether surrounding friends enjoy butter.

Staining the tub with black footprints

until the water again runs clear.

One day, she will walk outside with one

solitary mission. To dig. Perhaps to China.

Or until something else becomes appealing.

She will sink the ancient tool into the land,

gaining leverage with a stomp of her foot.

But under a thin layer of dirt, she will find filth.

Disintegrating diapers wrapped in Cheetos bags.

Mountains of plastic bags pierced by syringes and a few

unrecognizable toothbrushes.

I will gasp and rush her to the park.

Again, the green grass will only be a toupee,

covering mass graves of rubbish.

No space for dreams. A planet that is

spent. Our mud eyes will drip, mourning

the day when we can no longer play.

The world doesn’t stop for my tiny day

it continues to bustle

while I’m tryna hustle

hiding inside 4 impervious walls, full of anxiety and aspirations

but never feeling whole or choosing to breathe

the lemurs still swing

and beetles still crawl

While humans run faster than the world is spinning, clawing at a sense of purpose.

Have I done it yet? Am I somebody?

You’ll never catch up…nature just goes.

Our species with collective memory loss

To join the dance, you simply must stop

hear with your skin and wiggle your toes

We’ve known this for eons, but we like to forget

So we can consume without regret and wear a veil of ignorance

Eating beef & pork, never cows & pigs

building straws to suck out every last drop of oil—draining it fast

too fast until we can’t keep up and it seeps like deadly fingers across watery flatlands

the porcupines can still float

and peacock spiders splay their butts

There’s so much we can learn from the green and blue and brown

through labors of love: keyword labor

Hack into the earth, ripping and clawing down deep

After a sprinkle of rain, it is smooth without a trace of trauma

nature heals fast. no one has told it not to.

Plants cry for attention when they need it, unashamed by their need

After a kind touch, they perk up, vivacious and springy

I never thought I’d go to cosmetology school, but now I’m giving haircuts to quamash.

kneeling tender knees in squishy soil while a few symphony notes float over the shoulder hedge

and red-winged blackbirds circle above, threatening to swoop down and tug at my hair

I think of my friends who are scattering to new places

and look at the plant I’m holding. The roots so delicate and strong.

It’s so easy to pick up and move. It may be happier in different soil and sun, so I’m letting it try.

I want it to be happy.

When I begin to weed, I’m alarmed by how quickly my brain flips a switch. “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

Why is it so easy to search and destroy? Why do I enjoy it?

And I call myself a pacifist…

“When you’re done there, you can come do my yard,” he says as he passes

proud that he’s engaged me

“No thank you,” I chirp through a tight little smile

the creek still gurgles

and the canyons erode

An avalanche doesn’t care if my heart is bruised

it will eat me anyway, rumbling and tumbling

Not trying to hurt me. Not sorry either.

I pull a solidago loose from the ground and find,

intertwined with the roots, tattered and faded with time

A Skittles wrapper

What a gift it is to live in a place where I can clearly see the accumulation of grime

Watching thousands of fingers release tidbits into the wind until mine grip a little tighter.

            Where did they think it would go?

            They don’t want to know.

the clouds condense

and the ice thins

and the breeze lightly sighs.