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

Tuesday June 16, 2020
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.

“still dangerous,” by Julia at Millennium Park, Chicago

Thursday September 13, 2018
5 minutes
Sarah Pinder

He whistles his love from the bathroom with the door closed
She is supposed to whistle back to signal that she heard him
She never learned how to whistle
It hasn’t been a major set back
except when everyone else was whistling in the
first scene of the show but her
She pursed her lips together and
raised her eyebrows to fake it

When he whistles from the bathroom
She is supposed to answer him but
she doesn’t know how to fake it
Whatever song comes out, comes out
Whatever noise, faint or otherwise
He takes it as a symbol of her love for him
But she does not know how to whistle
She does not know how to fake it
She has never been good at lying
He has never been good at detecting it

They say you can teach yourself how to whistle
The placement of the tongue in your mouth is everything
The space left for air to flow through

One day she tried to teach herself how to whistle
She put her mouth the way they say to
she made sure her tongue was in the right spot
One sad little note slipped out
And she was glad that she could learn to do
the thing that everyone seems to know how to do

When he whistled his love for her behind the bathroom door
She whistled back one flat note
She never learned how to change the tone
Or make it sound more alive