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grief portal

she shaved a small rectangle in her back leg for two injections within three minutes of each other. maybe a tablespoon of fluid made the material hand to guide her consciousness from her body.

elle held the small clump of fur. i asked if she could shave off more before we closed the bag. we got her a soft, biodegrading body bag that will become a mushroom clump in the earth by wolfgang's back steps--two lavender shrubs and a camilla potted there, too. the compassionate care person wore a pink sweatsuit, and took the razor back out, a razor any of us would use to shave our heads, and pressed it to the white part of bella's neck where it met the grayed brindle. she said people often want parts to hold onto.

her bowl of goat milk with a saucer for a lid spilling onto red bell peppers
a cigarette left burning near an orange extension chord and dry tree trunk
an orange kettle left lit, the flames leaving a charred skirt
texts about grief with several women i briefly dated, their interest in a cyborg processing of the death of our dog feeling like an absurd reflection of my dating life for the last couple of years-- intimate in theory, largely disembodied, momentary material collisions.

the company that made the soft bag for bella makes "infinity suits" for human burial. they look like celestial, elfin pajama sets. if i get some extra money, i want to buy a suit for myself and wear it around my house as a meditation on transience and death. i think it would help my anxiety--maybe i would worry less about how i will manage the coming semester or if my soul's potential to build intimate love will ultimately manifest if i'm hanging out in a suit that reminds me that i will die. but i guess i could just remember that my body is that way, too.

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would you wear this on your couch? who are you?

i want this to be a space where i can write regularly and then let it go.

it won't always be about grief.

part of me thinks everything is, ultimately, about grief tho. at least in the emotional body. maybe that's because i'm one of those people who prefer emotions like anger. with anger, you can get things done. you can feel angry, and then act motivated. anger can feel empowering. sometimes it is. sometimes it's justified. last week, erin texted me to say  "justified anger is in the service of love." something like that, i loved it. but now i wonder about grief, because it feels harder for me to access. then once i find it, i worry it will swallow me. it's like this vortex.

"grief continues to work its wild ways," catie said tonight. a reminder of its wildness--the wail in it, the rhapsodic wailing stormy nature of it.

last night, elle and chilula, the only pet now, and i all lay in erin's bed. we listened to a podcast by tara brach. she was saying something about softening into vulnerability and connecting from it. she emphasized this--connecting from vulnerability. before sleep tho, i remember hearing brach's voice--sometimes feeling soothed by its breathiness, and sometimes cringing, wondering about her relationship, as a white woman, to the buddhism she references.

when i woke up today, one of my best friends had posted something about not trusting spiritual white women. last week, i was also reminded of "spiritual bypass" among white healers--of doing healing work while not also examining + undoing one's complicity in white supremacy and appropriation of another culture's healing practices. i found this article tonight, "facing my white privilege," written by brach in 2016. i like how she emphasizes advocacy and community because it's freeing for us all.

it's almost time for bed again.

"bella was a portal, grief is a portal," i said to erin tonight, as she dried a dish i washed. we both laughed, but then acknowledged that we could feel how one grief feels like a threshold to all the other griefs. maybe this is part of today's moon full in pisces, wanting to feel it all, seeing that we have that power.

Sara Sutter