Tag Archives: hope

pin holes into the sky

here there’s a certain kind of light just at dusk
blue stacked on white stacked on pink
the bare trees reach backlit black, upward

I don’t know what to say

a tattoo is made up of hundreds of single needle pricks
we’ve been going to fast
so we sit on the dirty carpet and poke intentionally
into each other
each point is an action
a map
I think of the one on my knee
jess you can
jess you are

in the black sky out the window
I watched the same star all the way back to Alaska
head full and heart heavy
knowing I’d forget the taste of Aden’s mouth
knowing I’d forget the clear color of the sky
what were you like as a kid?
did you get into trouble?
were you shy?

Alex said
that hummingbird and elephant hearts beat
the same number of times their whole lives
and that’s what relationships are like
is it true?
we all have a finite number of chances?

I told Beautiful she was the kind of girl I’d drop anything for
no matter where or who I was with
but I didn’t kiss her in the cabin in the woods underneath a stranger’s quilts
even though I wanted to
I remember vowing to become a musician just to sing a song for her

the people we leave our back doors unlocked for
planning trips and scheduling intimacy
climbing through each other’s windows
the friends we love, the friends we fuck
the love letters we’re writing behind our eyes when we talk
over coffee, over beers
great loves and perfect moments
slipping through our fingers and up into the sky
time and chance and distance
and sometimes working, sometimes not

I want your

cactus
spiral
f note
sunflowers
blue stars
four squares
puzzle pieces
crass
catfish
black spruce
anchor
cupcake
paw print
buoys
roses
airplane
black bird
heart
sinchi warmi
bambi
highbush cranberry
ship
clock
totoro
don’t worry
diamond
imaginary moon phases
stars
stars
stars

I’ve never told you that I love you
I told you too soon
I tell you all the time
I don’t tell you enough

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new years eve

Survived a turbulent (productive) therapy session.

Appreciated the hella fat glowing moon.

Met four gorgeous and amazing queer women on the dance floor.

Did not drink.

Wore really gaudy earrings. And crimped hair.

Laughed so hard I cried.

Gained a new sense of hope.

Fell asleep while masturbating, laughing exausted, exclaiming:

I found the dykes!


a version of home

What did it feel like?

It was more than physical pleasure, and different than regular penetration. I felt out of my body and I felt more in my body than I ever have before. I thought about birth, death, coming. But I didn’t even want to come, I just didn’t want it to end. The movement, the pushing, the twisting, the wetness of the lube on your hands. A version of home. I trusted you completely, but I was still a little scared. “Almost” you told me later looking at your hands.

It wasn’t our first time, but it was our first time face to face. I thought about how nice my First Time might have been if it had been with you.

Your nose ring kept falling out and you let me ride you on top. It felt amazing to hold you so close to me. Your body hard and soft at once. I was reminded of how nice it can be to fuck your friends. We kissed hard and soft. You pinned me back and pulled me back into your arms, I felt drunk. You bit my shoulder too hard, but I secretly liked the mark it left. We fucked with the lights on and I noticed scars, tattoos I hadn’t seen before. You made faces you hadn’t shown me before. Pressing up against you in the secret attic, I didn’t tell you about a forgotten crush rekindling inside me. You seemed to have enough on your plate.

In the morning you made us coffee and waffles and we talked about family and racism and cultural appropriation and cats and coming out. Outside it was dreary and drippy and dark, but I felt hopeful despite it. You made me feel sexy and respected and interesting. I walked home with music and noticed buildings and windows I hadn’t before.

On Christmas day there was bright sun above the trees outside the window of the empty bus. I watched the store fronts and people pass as I rode through parts of Portland I’d never really been through before. Hiking up my sparkly tights walking from the bus stop, I thought about holding your hand. I fantasized about you riding up on your bike as I clapped my boots down Interstate. You’d flash me that intoxicating smile and I’d think about how good you look in eyeliner. And you’d be thinking what I’m thinking: that I’m leaving today and it’s our last chance to make out. And you’d just kiss me right there and we’d laugh all the way to the party.


trans day of remembrance prayer

Trans and genderqueer folks are an irreplaceable part of our communities. Those individuals we seek to honor tonight, who have had their lives taken from them, teach us how far we are from goals of living in an environment where personal safety is not dependent on one’s gender identity. We make progress when we open our hearts and listen. Tonight we are opening our hearts. I am so thankful that we have the ability and agency to do so. In the face of these unspeakable truths, truths that must be spoken, we must do our best to understand and love one another.


friends become our chosen family

My mother had a little wooden plaque that hung in kitchen windows and hallways wherever we lived that said this: Friends Become Our Chosen Family.

Some of us don’t know what family means in that Hallmark sort of way. Some of us don’t know what it means to have fathers. Some of us are distanced from our families by religion or beliefs or space or time or death or abuse.

We want so badly to comfort each other in the face of such challenges. And we do, even though sometimes we don’t know how. Sometimes we say the really bad wrong thing at the wrong time. But we know we mean well. We forgive each other and we work on our shit. Because we know the power of communication and messy love is what saves us. We loan each other spare parts to build patch-work Macgyver kinda shit out of our hearts. We know how one another really feels about the world. And when we are apart we send each other hope in the mail.

A family’s function is to promote survival. Together we are surviving. And even though we don’t always feel it all the time, we are thriving.


we have to believe

Sometimes my heart aches. On the highway facing the Chugachs, headed to my mother’s house. I know that just beyond that range is the road that leads South; I could keep driving. Pass the last exit at the edge of town, and when the car dies along the way I will take what I can carry. Wrap myself up, leash the dog. We’ll stow away in anything mobile and race Winter down the Alcan, all the way to Oregon. But I sit, stay. Because I know that somewhere in cyberspace there’s a ticket with my name on it. A vacation, a christmas gift to myself, to get me through ’til Spring. I know I’ll make it back there permanent some other day.

My little brother and I only see each other in passing, crossing paths doing laundry at our mother’s house. I wish we were closer. He thinks I’m a man-hater and an alcoholic. And I get it. He’s thinking of seventeen year old me: self-destructive, never home, perpetually drunk, moving out at sixteen. He felt abandoned -like he felt when our parents split up. I hate that I made him feel that way. I hope someday we can mend those lines of communication and he can forgive me for being a bad older sister and I can forgive him for writing me off.

Lastnight I was climbing the stairs of my long driveway in the dark. I heard a high-pitched squeaking from above. Looked up to see a nest in the twisted naked branches. Baby birds? My roommate says it’s impossible this time of year and told me to get a flashlight and a ladder. But I didn’t want the answer.

Today, clapping my boots on the way to the van, I spilled my coffee. Ravens were dancing on the tops of other cars, playing and laughing with their rolling, throaty calls. Those birds are so fucking big up close! I know it’s tired for girls to speak about the beauty and mysticality of birds. But I swear ravens are my spirit animal. Picking through the trash and joking and playing all day long, loud and dressed in black.

I’m just here. I’m just up here simple, boring and daydreaming all the time. And there’s nothing else to do, because we have to believe in something.


unexpected magic

Lastnight something extraordinary happened.

Two years ago my good friend was going through a painful break up. He had planned on visiting his girlfriend in Portland in the fall and a few weeks before his trip they ended things. He couldn’t return the ticket, so he went anyway and tried to make the most of it by hanging out with Alaskan friends he had there. One night his friends threw a party and I found him in the basement playing music and drinking PBR. We sang some songs, but mostly we talked about his break up. He was very sad, I consoled him. He just wanted to go to bed, but there was a party happening on the couch he had been sleeping on. I told him he could come sleep at my house. We were the affectionate type of friends. We had drunken sex once when I was sixteen, but that was five years in the past. Our friendship had always been charged with sexual electricity and mutual flattery (we’re both fierce Leos) but the boundaries of our friendship had remained platonic. 

So we climbed into bed and I was the big spoon. I felt so much love for this dear friend and was glad to be there to comfort him. I held him tight and told him I loved him. Content, my mind settled and I started to drift off. After a few minutes he took my hand and pushed it towards his crotch. Really? I thought, really? I moved my hand back to his shoulders thinking maybe I had imagined it. I dozed. It happened again. I told him I wasn’t interested. He apologized. A few minutes later he tried AGAIN. Shocked, I ripped my arm away from him and turned to face the wall. At this point I was actually pissed off. Not five minutes later I heard rustling in the bed. I opened my eyes, staring at the wall. He was masturbating in my bed. I was frozen. My mind was spinning with rage and feelings of violation. I should have kicked his ass out of my studio apartment. But I couldn’t, I was paralyzed.

In the morning we said nothing. I faked a hug goodbye and didn’t talk to him again for two years. It was easy to avoid him because we lived in different states. I just didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to make up and I didn’t think he would even know or take seriously what he had done wrong. He was self-absorbed, condescending, and slightly misogynistic and I couldn’t explain things like consent to my non-feminist friends without coming across like a Man-Hating Bitch. I knew I would never get the resolution I wanted and I didn’t want a shallow and insincere friendship with him. So we did not talk. I wrote a poem about it and it felt really good, but I don’t like it anymore.

So, when I came home to Alaska this summer I didn’t know how to act around him. I still thought what he did was wrong, but I didn’t feel like ignoring him was going to work, plus I wasn’t Super-Pissed anymore. We made small talk and I was awkward. He made subtle comments acknowledging that there hadn’t been any contact in the last two years. I pretended not to notice. This went on all summer, he said a lot of things like “You’re different. Why are you so quiet?”. I shrugged it off.

And then there was lastnight.

I went to see White Magic at a bar downtown. I was out on the patio, saw him there and felt like I should say Hi. We made small talk, and I felt uncomfortable. Then he called me out. In an unaccusatory tone he told me I had been acting weird all summer, why? I told him that I didn’t know how to explain it to him, but that I was over it, so let’s put it behind us. He plainly and uncondescendingly asked me to try to explain it. Oh, what the hell, I thought. I told him that it was about when I saw him in Portland. That I hadn’t been interested in sex and he had pushed my boundaries and I felt really shocked and violated by it.

And then he apologized.

He said that he was in a rough place and made a bad decision to try to make himself feel better, but that it didn’t excuse his behavior. He said that he was very sorry he had made me feel violated and knew that I wasn’t even interested in men at the time and even if I was, he should have backed off when I told him to. He was sincere. In his eyes I could tell he had been thinking about this for a long time. He had put himself in my shoes, thought about my feelings and felt remorse. On. His. Own. There he was, in a fucking bar, saying EXACTLY what I needed him to, without my help.

I may be wrong, but I feel like this is not a typical outcome to such a story. Magic. What unexpected magic!

I feel so good about this. And it gives me a LOT of hope.