Writing in the middle of a pandemic is hard. Everything is hard. But I assure you that I am working, or at least trying to work. This is by no means a complete piece, or even good, but it is work. And it is me.
I'm thinking about crawfish / and the way they boil brackish / in the high heat of June, seasoned / spicy in a galvanized washtub
restless road rage knots you in asphalt ribbons / tied to sunset suicides--glass shards bleed out / into the next life full of broken blue birds; / trauma begets trauma, inescapable.
my voice isn't what you need right now, but Silence is betrayal.
1. Make a list of all of the things you want to accomplish during the COVID-19 quarantine. 2. Get immediately stressed out by the list. 3. Throw the list away.
The Bond House had a baby. Well, Michael and Claudia had a baby, and the rest of us are proud aunts and uncles. Mara was born into a strange world on a Friday morning after 3 days of labor. Shortly after, she stopped breathing and turned blue. After she was stabilized, doctors informed the new family that their daughter would have to remain under observation for five days before coming home. We were relieved that there was a plan in place, to know that she was getting the care she needed; but while Mom, Dad, and Abuelita focused on their Little Love, the rest of us were coming to the realization that our lives would soon be upheaved by more than just this small new life.
Despite having had the benefit of human history to develop language, we are shockingly bad at descriptions. As one might imagine, there’s no nuance in generality; and, as a result, we as people do each other the disservice of denying complexity. When someone asks you how your day is, I imagine you lean towards “good” or “okay” as a response more often than not. While fine responses in themselves, they lack the same level of accuracy as someone telling you Phoenix is “hot” come summertime—it’s a shade of the truth. I think it’s safe to assume that we all agree that being a human is a hyper-complex experience. We know that emotions are not black or white, but instead a sweet symphony of gray. That being said, why do we insist on settling for anything less than specificity?
My littlest sister braids her Barbie’s hair / in the middle of her room, and brings up / some cogent questions: I understand / the sun will burn out, but I need to know / what’ll happen to our vampires.
I mark my life with music. If there's a song in my playlist, there's probably a strong memory associated with it. With the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, I have enough data to serve soundtrack to my years going back to 2016. There's always a theme (and that theme is usually "Power ballad me to work, Glass Animals"), but this year was different. 2019 was hard as I came to terms with parts of myself I didn't even know were there. It was hard as my family struggled to keep itself together. It was hard as I said goodbye to things that I loved. It was hard as I realized that this was a year of healing stasis, not action.
Whenever I finish a project, I feel empty. It’s not a scooped out feeling, it’s more of a “I’m not here” feeling. It’s like existing in a sensory deprivation tank. Finishing the last draft of my novel after 8 months of work was similar. When I was done, there was no fanfare or feeling of elation; instead, it was like I had been editing someone else’s pages, not my own, like the pride belonged to someone else. Why is it so difficult for me to feel proud of anything I write? Why does it feel like this draft is only tangentially attached to me instead of an actual piece of my spirit? Is this me rejecting my child? Am I a bad mother? Or have I experienced enough rejection and lackluster responses that I don’t want to run the risk of growing emotionally attached to something that is so…me?