“if the seas of cities” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday June 16, 2020
9:21am
5 minutes
if something should happen
Lucille Clifton

If you and I are swimming around each other in a sea of whistling and wondering than how long can we circle the untrues. Maya wrote that nice people didn’t say the word “lies”. And that is what we are being, nice, if not a bit cagey.

This comes after a morning of boundaries laid out in the sun. This is where I need to rise to meet myself. Here is where you cannot cross for whatever reason. I gave the line and everyone knows it is not a “whatever” reason but one that need not be justified.

You’d think that giving up the silent struggle would mean that now I can move forward in my day, but no, this is not what happens. I say what I want/need and you accept it (after reminding me once of a fiasco we had because I attempted this at an earlier point but did not have the courage to maintain my position)and I end up doing for you what I wanted you to do for me.

“There are words like Freedom” by Julia in her bed

Friday June 12, 2020
10:59pm
5 minutes
Words Like Freedom
Langston Hughes

It’s a negotiation always willing to walk away what am I going to ask for what am I going to need what am I going to blow up at least my cool from what small act will lay me down and leave me there
where I have not hung around myself long enough to know how to help me if I am left there
I can hear the word no and not become a collapsed bridge
I can hear the word no and not become a swollen nerve
It’s a negotiation brain drain some kind shame game and what am I going to ask for and how loud and how often and how will I budge what will I sacrifice next
I make all my exceptions on Saturday

“if you are not comfortable I totally understand” by Julia in the couch

Thursday May 14, 2020
11:06am
5 minutes
from a text

If you are not comfortable asking me I totally understand
but if you are comfortable making it my problem because you’re not comfortable asking me then I will not.
I will not be a backwards bending stick.
I will not stop slamming doors.
I will not stop yelling if I think it’s funny.
I will not stop taking things too far but I will recognize that sometimes I need to flip the switch on to realize that I too preferred it off.
I want a vacation from this expectation.
One person expects me to be laughing when it’s not funny.
One person won’t understand where I am coming from even after explaining it 65 times.
One person will sigh out deeply and hope for ammends.

“After I hung up on him” by Julia on the couch

Sunday April 26, 2020
1:17pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I called him back

told him I loved him
told him I was sorry
told him I’d been thinking
told him it wasn’t me it was this
told him it wasn’t him it was me
told him I loved him
told him he was right
told him he was wrong
told him I loved him

I laid face first on the couch

I held my eyes with sticky palms cupped
I deep breathed
I beeathed all the way in
I asked myself
I asked myself what
I asked myself but what really
I removed the top layer
by diving into the pit
face first
I asked myself what
I asked myself is there something you need
I waited
I wanted him
I waited
I wanted him not me
I wanted me not this

after

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 26, 2019
12:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

You’ve been sneaking across my borders since we first
touched eyelashes tangled hair and toes
the Landsdowne bus brake staccato stop and start

I don’t know as much about yours as you do about mine
Maybe you don’t have them or if you do you treat them
differently than I do

Three lines feels enough sandwich to understand
enough space to feel safe
enough enough to be thorough but also vague

Maybe that will be my epitaph

This border crossing is a mountain range
the craggy edges catch in my throat
a sob or a laugh or a pretend

I’m taken with the smell of vulnerability
can’t stop burrowing my nose in the armpit there
tracing the dust with my tongue

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Julia on the 99

Sunday July 7, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

I can ask for what I’m worth
I can believe in what I’m worth
impact
impact
remember how I’ve changed
changed the energy in the room
changed the room
impact
after the fact
during, before
I’m doing what I came here for
connect to the guts
connect to the love
lead heart first and
fall at the feet of a
stranger saying
you are enough
you are more
and I am you too
I am the same
the might is gold
the light is green
I’m ths dreamiest motherfucker you’ve
ever seen
I’m the way things were
but not the way they used
to be
and I’ve got packets of
promise and hope for free
I can believe that I am good
I can ask for what I need
I can push boundaries I’ve set up if they’re no longer serving me
I’m the anthem I sing
I’m the naked floor dance
let them know I own
every last steady stance

“gros bisous!” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday June 25, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
​from an e-mail​

Mike makes eyes at me across the bar and my stomach drops. Am I going to shit my pants?! FUCK. I go to the bathroom. Pull down my shorts. All good. All safe.

“Why are you so weird around him?” Bec asks and I just hit her on the arm a bit harder than usual.

“Hey Alison, how’s it goin’?” Why does he come here? Why does he do this? Why is he here? Take. Me. Away. I vacate my body and I fly above us and I see how I’m sweating in every crevice and he’s salivating and we’re both remembering.

“When do you go back to London?”

“Not until August… We still got time…”

“You never had my time – “

“I beg to differ – “

“Fuck you.”

“Woah…”

Bec comes over and all she heard was the “fuck” part she didn’t hear the rest she didn’t hear the thunder.