i’ve given you so many pet names,
—(the city, my city)
toying with your phonemes,
—(madrizzle, the ‘driz)
wrapping tongue around the unruly curved softness of your end:
invitingly, erotically defiant
remember that series of ink-soaked maps
torn to shreds in purse zippers,
in hasty folds, in klutzy wine,
dotted with apartment Xs, restaurant Os,
walking routes, scrawled numbers,
the secret chinese,
where to buy cilantro.
and what i brought to you -
city, did you ever read the List?
visa papers (incl. Apostille of the Hague)
garnier surf hair gel
nail polish (black, purple…… glitter)
Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
chipotle peppers, canned (3)
the times i’ve danced with you, city,
drunken, exuberant, desperate,
full of joy, chemicals, light and fear and uncertainty,
the way you whisked me up and away,
let me push myself too far,
always made me decide.
our secrets. train tracks from the hidden park.
yellowed photographic nightwalks. sambal oelek.
luchana terrace cherries. rioja antaño.
how many times i’ve painted my nails.
that time i made it all the way back home just to bust my lip wide open, blood raging, cut nerves raw to the air,
twenty-something channeling inner teenage punk.
how heavy my heart hangs, city.
we’ve always been open to plurality of loves,
dynamic organic expression! hippie-dippy-dom!
but never would i have guessed it weighed so much.
cracked myself open wide, said yes to absolutely everything,
spreading it much too thick and biting in recklessly,
gulping only the very strongest flavors,
neophilia addiction and willingness to wander leading to unexpected depth of connection.
you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you -
but i’ve already told you, city.
it’s not you, it’s–
performed at the 10th Mad Open Mic in Libreria Fuentetaja, May 22, 2013.