On Monday, September 25, 2017, I wrote down some things.
I titled them “yesterday” and “today”
So on that day, my yesterday and today went something like this:
He is so intimate with me, kissing me during
The a/c in his bedroom hums
And I like when he smiles at me, during
Like we are sharing a secret
an inside joke
I wish he would stop doing that.
I hope he doesn’t quit.
It’s confusing, he’s so contrary.
My Lyft driver takes an eternity to get me
and I bite his head off.
“hey, I’m sorry — don’t be sad,” Masood says.
How did he know?
I wondered again if I’d come home from work and find Mufasa,
Maybe in the tub.
I go to the Gap outlet and try on
a red bodysuit
sexy boyfriend jeans
All 3 items make me feel
I look in the mirror and
my eyes are huge, bloodshot
Heightened by my eye bare
except for mascara making
my lashes look maniacally
My lipstick not quite right, too
not enough red.
What the fuck is a “sexy boyfriend” fit, anyway?
Why do I keep insisting on trying this style on —
They flatten my ass and make my figure …
Everything looks awful and
I look high
but I’m not.
Surely Mufasa isn’t dead in the tub.
I walk out empty handed,
feeling like a thief.
“Have a nice day!” the cashier calls.
I turn red: “You too!”
My eyes burn & so does my face.
It’s too hot for September 25th.
When I get home, Mufasa is at the door.
Now it’s 2018 and almost 2019.
Mufasa is dead,
But she didn’t die in the tub.
Instead it was on a cold table
with her head cradled in my hand
and a kind vet
taking her away
as I sobbed,
teardrops falling on my Indiana hoodie,
feeling the loneliest I had felt in
It was lonely like crossing the parking lot to the hospital where my mom was inside dying
like taking my clothes out of M’s dresser for the final time
like getting lost in Covent Garden while in London alone
like trying on a red bodysuit and unflattering jeans on a too-hot September day because I don’t want to go home and see my dying cat who was now dead
It was lonely,
I didn’t know then what I know now:
That my heart could break like that
and that Layla would soon follow
That my heart could heal like this
and that a year later
Yesterday and today
look entirely different
and the same
I’m still late for brunch on a Sunday
Parking in front of my old apartment,
almost crossing paths with my past
but missing him, because
we vibrate on entirely different
I hope for him,
Not for us, because us was a disaster.
And I’m not sad about it, anymore, really — look
Nao sings “when he released me into orbit”
and all of that pain we gave each other feels worth
Because I’m free
of all of it.
I picked up my Audre Lorde to find a poem to fit the mood,
and like usual, today,
I had forgotten the one I had bookmarked
some yesterday ago — “Movement Song”
god, she nails it here:
“Do not remember me as a bridge nor a roof
as the maker of legends
nor as a trap
door to the world
where black and white clericals
hang on the edge of beauty in five oclock elevators
twitching their shoulders to avoid other flesh
there is someone to speak for them
moving away from me into tomorrow”
— there is so much more,
but you’ll have to find it
your damn self.
These days I’m writing down PJ Harvey and Erykah
Badu lyrics in my journal
and writing a shitty poem on a Sunday that I call
THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE
because of Janet,
But that was another yesterday.