Mientes mucho

My mind often returns to August of last year, to that beach in Kamakura. I remember it was mid-afternoon. I was sitting alone on the cold sand, feeling time within me like an organ of my body, like a second heart, heated, and fast. That entire day I had been alone, on autopilot, but there, […]

The colored leaves / Have hidden the paths / On the autumn mountain. / How can I find my girl, / Wandering on ways I do not know?

The clouds rise off the mountains like smoke. Crows sit on telephone wires; they open their wings like Aphrodite scarring the foam. I walk through the neighborhood, in the yellow heat before the typhoon, in my sweaty tee, in running shoes trembling like orange blossoms. Rivers travel from canyon to ocean, belly-up and boneless, in the […]

Fine & Crude

During the ceremony of Mahākāla, Lama spreads his fingers slowly and makes a circular motion with his hands, finishing the movement by resting the pads of his thumbs against his forefingers. I’m reminded the film I watched last year, alone in my college dorm room, about Japanese funeral rituals; I remember Daigo, the young protagonist, […]

SALT DIARY

Your eyes are ink; I write in black iris. Your hands are flowers; I write on black iris. There’s a nest of swallows under the eaves (Spanish: golondrina, wings spread thin as leaves, cleaved from the woodlands and cleaned by sea air). Far-off: a cruise-liner, blurred and milky on the surface of the water. The […]

Cut your hair

I examine my body in mirrors. In a year’s time, my hair has grown longer than it’s ever been; near the ends it feels like old hay, thick and unhealthy. I run my hands through it and think: this is Medusa’s hair, when she is cleaning herself in seawater at night, running across the white […]

Where I Am Now

My favorite days are like earth after rain, rich with soft soil smell, a little warm, a little damp. I make tea but forget to drink it, and the smell of it, heavy and sweet, fills the room. I spent a Saturday sobbing, once, and the Sunday after dying of laughter. It served as a […]

Not A Good Day

A pair of young women came to calligraphy class today. They stood up to introduce themselves: slender, rounded arms, soft sweaters, pleasant voices. We practiced writing earth: pronounced chi, thick lines and threads of black, flecks like kicks, dense and hard. One of the women stops behind me, steadies herself on my shoulder, leans in […]

Some emotions, more thoughts, and many, many questions

I’m learning to read Japanese; each step across the page slides cleanly through me, sun cutting across the undergrowth. The characters fill me to the brim with the sticky reminder of their shape and meaning, stuck to the nape of my neck like the odor of spoiling summer fruit. I stand over a desk in […]

Samsara

I am home alone, adding dollops of butter to a pot of Basmati rice. Some housewife chord has been struck in me during the fits of sleep, along with a bout of sickness. (here, “sickness” is defined as a state of mind caused by one-quarter stomach upset and three-quarters loneliness.) Rice pudding calls for one […]

Fire With Fire

A strange thing has been happening with my lips lately. They are swollen and split, segmented into thin cellular clumps like slices of bruised apples. I am dedicating myself, still, to my miserable novel, as well as other elements of quotidian life. Not everything I have been doing has been going beautifully. But when I […]