Telephone

When I ask if you have fallen
out of love with me and you do

not answer, I picture you
holding a tin can up to your ear.

I imagine a string tied to its middle
as if it were a leash around the belly

of a fat, silver worm. The string—
an escaped vein—runs down your arm

over your knees, along the bed, up
my chest and into my skin like a fish

hook or a feeding tube plugged
straight into my heart, threaded between

my bones like a letter slipped into
the mouth of a public mailbox.

– Sierra DeMulder

 

i won’t call the last man who said he loved me because i know he doesn’t love me anymore. it was an exhausted, weak, three month cord cut. why call to confirm? 

there are others i ask in small ways from time to time, just to check. do you love me still? do you remember? old, strong, and true loves who keep answering. i suppose i’ll stop asking when it doesn’t matter to one of us anymore.

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Our job is to love …

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.

– Thomas Merton

Amen.

from “Love Does”

I think a father’s job, when it’s done best, is to get down on both knees, lean over his children’s lives, and whisper, ‘Where do you want to go?’ Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, ‘Let’s go do THAT together.’

– Bob Goff

In the beginning, spirituality is a seeking practice

In the beginning, spirituality is a seeking practice. We seek peace, we seek joy, we seek wisdom, we seek awakening, we seek self betterment. Farther down the road, the realization comes that we already are the peace and joy and wisdom and awakening and self betterment that we seek. At that point, spirituality becomes what it is… Not a practice of seeking anything. But a practice of uncovering what was there inside you all along. You already are the light at the end of the tunnel. You already are the wisdom, you already are the peace, you already are the joy. You already are awakened, you already are perfect. All that’s left is for you to discover that you are.

– Teal Scott

from “I Want To Know You”

I want to know you. You seem like someone worth knowing. Every day I feel like I’m surrounded by people with hard edges and sour faces but I get the sense that you’re different. Too often people seem to think that they have the answers to everything. Their faces are trapped in permascowls and they can’t be bothered with anything besides their own narcissism. You aren’t like that. You still ask questions. You’re still looking for the answers.

– Ryan O’Connell

 

crucial. there is no bigger turn off than trying to talk with someone who knows everything as it appears to their narrow view. intelligence is found in curiousity, openness, questioning, vulnerability. start there and you’re already way ahead.

Histories of Bodies

I.

That’s how we can distinguish a man from a woman, or from ourselves: only in a moment
of embrace. Judgment on bodies has already passed, they say that we are like any
other, cock is a breast, balls another pair that swings like hands
of a clock. Our stories have no listener; our stories are like any other.
We misunderstand each other, our bodies the only proof of intimacy, a repetition
of bodies coming together as we move on top or under each other,
we fill each other with ourselves in the moment of embrace,
an imago stretching its wings out, two bodies connected by an embrace.

II.

“Hush,” you say, “I love your body,” “I get hard only for you,” “I am yours only.”
You say that sex is another word for how we leave the body, or how, like the Whirling
Dervishes, we seek the eternal in the embrace, in the moment of unveiling
the white so much like a butterfly, or ourselves. You hold your cock, you release
come like a magician releasing the doves. They land on my stomach, they stay there
until they dry like scabs over wound.

“Love is another way to say how unoriginal we are,” or “You and I are separated
by a word, a mere word.” Love is a division, it is a barrier that makes us who we are,
another word for how repetition becomes the way we part from each other, over
and over again, love is another way of saying, Your face in this light is how I want to remember
you, a face only a few steps away from death, this is when I like you the best.

III.

You call it Shoah, the unrepeatable. Here’s a picture: soldiers burning books,
another picture: soldiers dragging an old man who held the Torah as if it were
his child, or God. Let us move thirty years ahead: here’s a picture of students burning
books, another of students pushing an old man clutching the Classics.
The faces of these boys are so many years before any partings they can understand,
their bodies taut with how little years they have. Pictures are repeatable, so are events.
God loves innocence and children, but two are not the same.

I say that the Holocaust is an image of bodies ahead of all partings.
The souls have already forgotten the rib cages, the backbones that protrude like a broken
violin. A picture: bodies after bodies thrown into a ditch. The only thing
separating a man from a woman is by how their sacks are carelessly placed:
here is a man, his balls have shriveled down to the size of a large pea; there, a woman,
where her breasts once were, two broken pendulums that no longer tell time hang.
I want to say, the shaved heads tell all: holocaust is the debasement of bodies,
where bodies turn into grotesque universality. In this picture, a woman lies on top
of two men, their mouths open as if almost a kiss.

IV.

The proof is the body, not in words: you lie on your stomach, slowly rocking yourself
to sleep as if the bed is another body you can ease yourself into. I lie
next to you, my thighs slightly open like a window, or a door, anyone can look
in, even you. But we have stopped our movements already. In the early morning, words are bodies
heaped up high, each body imprinted with past, they are remembrance. But we have already turned
our eyes inward, we do not hear. Each come-cry hides in the cave of the mouth,
stays inside of us like doves in a magician’s pockets, waiting for the signal they’ve been
trained to recognize.

– Mariko Nagai

 

OHMYGOD

Excerpt from “Card 19: The Sun”

When you show yourself to the woman
you love, you don’t know your fear

is not fear, itself. You have never been good,
but now you are so good,

who are you? Is it the liquidity of her skin
that bathes the world for you,

or her face, captured like a she-lion
in your own flesh?

This summerbed is soft with ring upon ring
upon ring of wedding, the kind

that doesn’t clink upon contact, the kind
with no contract,

the kind in which the gold is only (only!) light.

– Brenda Shaughnessy

 

this is relevant in so many ways, it’s shocking. just lovely.