Posts Tagged ‘prose’

all the lost things


all i wanted was for you to mark me. i wanted you to bare your teeth at me and bite me, bruise my skin in black and blue from my neck to my thighs, and my spine. i wanted you to have me whole, to claim me as some ancient thing from immemorial times. i wanted you to grab me, put your arms around me, encase me.
(i always liked your weight on me.)

i wanted you to write on me so i could tattoo over the words and keep you on me at all times, so i could always touch with my fingertips what i meant to you, all those sweet things – i wouldn’t even regret it after everything was over between us.
(it would inevitably be over.)

“would you want to look forever at it? for other people to see it? why would you want to have it? it was never meant to be!” you’d ask me [if we still spoke to one another]. you’d call me mad, for sure, and hopeless and strange.

but really, how could i mind? how worse can it be to show on the outside what i somehow still feel? how can words to the world be any worse than the thoughts i carry in my head everyday, then the memories everyone has in their souls?

(it’s not painful. here, look at all these poems i already made for you. it is a process.)

a tattoo, in the end, is just a picture: a remembrance of a thing that will always be, a past that was a promise of everything, something i want to show everyone because, wether it failed or not, wether you like it or not, talk about it or not, it is part of who i am. your past is my past.
(the threads of our lives are entwined. bygones are bygones, but it’s all a happy place now, a cozy home where we once lived in.)

i am not ashamed and neither should you be. i like who i am becoming, and you have a share in it. accept it.
(write to me. let’s talk.)




i was silent and pliant, so they ate me up and spit me out, broken and fucked up. i did not protest, so they ground me up on their sharp walls, crushed me in their relentless engines. they steamrolled my in their asphalt of lies and corruption, and never once i stood up.

i always obeyed, blind; i never fought.

i also did not say a single thing when they took my neighbor, and my daughter; not much later, they took me. i didn’t resist, i didn’t open my mouth. they isolated me, then, filled me with fears, deflated my hopes, took away my rights, my decency.

they stole my humanity by exploiting my cowardliness, my carelessness, my apathy.

so, when I was left in the cold, dark bottom, it was too late; no one could finally hear me scream.

senses #3 – touch


when I was a child, I collected the strangest things. a million objects, from the normal to the unimaginable, with a health dose of improbable. I collected fragments and trinkets, everything delightful to the touch, rugged and smooth, what I could have and hold, grab, feel the edges dig into the palms… pretty much all that could be carried all over town inside my pockets.

my selection was more physically selective than emotional. I didn’t carry a photo locket on a necklace, nor a memorabilia keychain… i’d prefer weight over sentiment, and carried things that would remind me constantly that they were solid, heavy and there. I carried with me shards and shrapnel of the world: screws, sleek river rocks, sticks. at the age of 13, a bullet i’ve found in the gutter. emotionless things, but not meaningless (nor, to me, useless). I curated a simple misfit collection of broken things nobody wanted, but that had, once in the past, had their own importance.

nowadays, i must confess I’ve emptied my pockets. adult practicality goes against carrying heavy garbage among the lint of pockets. age also seems to have killed the pleasure of touch in favor of the imagetic delight of a memory. so I carry other things, images, immemorial touches:

I collect the breath in my neck,
the coffee foam in the cup,
the salt of the sea on my hands,
laugh lines and crow’s feet,
some abandonment issues, here and there.

in a way, everything that appeases not to the skin, but to eye of the mind.

below the mouth


harsh, like being run over by a train, is the realization that i haven’t felt good in a while. that none of us have. that the world is hard, that society is mean, and that we are crumbling under the pressure of what others want and expect from us, in places and stances that are both amazing and miserable.

it’s hard to acknowledge that we are the adults we dreaded becoming, our parents, our authority figures: empty, cold and emotionally exhausted from running drastic scenarios over and over in our heads, for eating and drinking paranoia, fears and anguish, due bills and other responsibilities that stop us from sleeping. but, either way, we don’t mind insomnia, for sleeping is the cousin of death and i am not ready to die.

i am not. i cannot. i should not. or should i? maybe there is no point in existing, one may conclude – and, just as easily discard, because one must live, for one has hopes and dreams. one has roles to play, no time to rest. i should spark, i should be rich. i just cannot be. i must excel, and achieve. or so i was told by my mother, father, my church and my state. and by my self, really, in a stern convincing voice in front of the office mirror while i have cold sweats in the middle of the day.

maybe i am not mediocre, just stupid. maybe it is the lack of sleep, it probably is. maybe it’s the drugs, i should do a cleanse. maybe it is normal and i am just tired of having no clarity, or no answers. maybe i am thinking too much and can’t rest this thick muscle inside my head, can’t shut up the tiny voice that just tells me “there is no escape, this is it”. maybe i am doomed to be weak and never have the strength to get better.

i don’t know. how one can know? who has these answers? what is the path?

mine is apparently down, for my steps are tumbling down a slope. me, that was forever strong, a staple of sanity and solidity for others – i am going down with the whole bunch of my generation, and i don’t even know if i should fight this or just be glad. if i should prepare to vanish, to be gone, forgotten… just accept the fall and, as i go, say all the things that i have always wanted to say but never did. (never had the guts, never had the need).

maybe i won’t fall, but have to try something else. 180º turn, mix and mismatch. deny destiny, never drink the fate. maybe i should fight this all with my bravest arm, for i never waited for things to fall from the sky. “it is not who you are” i can hear them saying. at the moment, i think i can’t, but maybe i do. maybe i should rely on others, i don’t know. would you be willing to listen? to talk to me? i feel that you won’t, and that i will feel bad in your presence. i feel bad in other people’s presence: i don’t know if i should offer sorries, or if i should pretend i am well.

the question is: why is no one asking, really, if i am ok? I’ve given plenty clues that we are not ok. i get angry because of that. i feel like no one ever wants to talk about those things, no one wants to dry their tears. i feel like we aren’t allowed to cry, that it’d be shameful. is it? i have no etiquette.

truth is i don’t know if i want to speak the words either, to open up. if i have the will in me. i paradoxically want both the silence and the chaos, to be alone deep down a dark whole and a party and to be surrounded, be enlightened. i want it all and i want nothing, that’s it. maybe i just want a hug that i don’t know how to ask for. will you hug me if i ever stand up to the way to your arms?

all i know is that i don’t want to die alone. i am an ok person, i don’t deserve this. aren’t i? adulting is hard. self-esteem is hard. being abandoned is hard, and leads to more abandoning. things are turbid, the future is blemished, murky: i can’t see a single feet in front of me, so maybe i should stay put. or maybe i should walk until i find someone.

so what can i do?

for now, sit down and cry.

summers in rio


this is a perfect warm, sunny day.

perfect to do nothing but sweat the stiffing heat out and enjoy it, lying in cold, clean sheets, put fresh on the bed. absolutely perfect to stretch underneath the ceiling fan, feeling the wind blow down my cheekbones while hard-napping or maybe watching the cats spread out their little furry legs, bellies-up, all over the white cold floor tiles.

it’s a perfect day to just be. to take a holiday from everything, call your job and play hooky, to not show your face outside (“have you seen the sun out in the sky? it’s like a fucking blowtorch!”), and to move as little as possible; maybe go only from the bed to the kitchen and vice-versa, feeling the clothes adhere to the skin, the hairs stick to the back of the neck. to order food in, take a long cold shower (or two), pour a stiff, cold whiskey and numb our cooked brains.

a good, vacant day.

it’s a nice day to love one another untangled, respecting each others’ breathing space, trading soft tip-of-fingers caresses that are slow and melty like ice cream only. it’s a good day to roll around the top of the comforter, kick away the sheets to the foot of the matress, and to redefine love-

to let go of the unrealistic crap about holding on another all the time, being attuned to the others’ movement all your life, and to re-signify it to something softer, more unfocused (like pupils dilated after a dreamy night, a full dinner), but just more real and likely: gentle ass groping over underwear that’s not really going anywhere, cooking pancakes late at night after a marathon of movies, peeling pajamas off when the midnight breeze kicks in (windows open!) and maybe, tomorrow, noticing that this is what love really is:

summer days in the wonderful city, lounging around and being eventually back to reality… like, come tomorrow, facing the sun on the streets, passing through throngs of people, getting body odor to go to the grocery store to buy cereal and toilet paper… my stinky cheese and your nasty soy milk… and it all being worth it.



cruising the city’s downtown during a holiday is way too close to a scene of an apocalyptic movie. all silent, gray skyscrapers, no hustle and bustle from people coming and going, no noise from buses and cars rushing down the streets, no nothing.

everything in sight is the homeless guy, strolling lazily under the gentle white sunlight, the leaves on the trees being rustled by a soft wind, the doors and windows closed on the commercial offices buildings, maybe, a lonely bird chirping on a square… at a distance…

nothing else. me, my silent eyes as I sit on a concrete bench. nothing more, no one around me. the silence and stillness are not unexpected, surprising, but in fact uttermost frightening: like time itself has been suspended and everything disappeared out of thin air.

hero 1


she thought her silence would be the best course of action.

she thought that I was a child and that I wouldn’t notice. or that maybe, if I did notice it, I’d forget with the passing of time, let it go as I grew older.

however, she forgot that, even as a baby, I was human and perceptive to the pain and grief that surrounded the little world of us three; she didn’t stop to notice that I, as a youngling, would absorb all that energy like a sponge and that this would mold me as the adult I am today. not that I blame her though: she always believed that things unspoken by the mouth could not hurt what was felt by the heart.

albeit the crippling misery, she never once yelled through that time – even if the tension was palpable and it was visible that she had unspoken screams transversely stuck in her throat. the sadness collected in the bags under her eyes, burst a vein in her forehead. still, she’d put on a straight face, stoic. (depressed really, even if she won’t admit it). she kept her tone sweet despite the ire and only mentioned the weather and other irrelevant news as she sweetened her coffee in the morning, keeping her prayers and desolation reserved for the dead of the night only.

she wrote about it all on a diary, though, that she kept on the bottom drawer under some old cloths, her wedding album, that I quickly discovered and read over and over, helplessly as a dumb child can be.

(I remember that in this notebook she did this funny thing where she would skip pages, write outside the lines, searching maybe for a freedom I think she longed for but couldn’t find. still, this was the only funny thing about the whole ordeal. I still dreaded coming home from school every day to maybe find that book open on the bathroom floor with a departing letter and she, with her wrists slit, in the bathtub.)

I recall she allowed herself to cry only once, as I played a sad song loudly on the radio early in the morning and she demanded respect for her feelings. “I’m in mourning”, she yelled, face red and tears staining the corners of her eyes and cheeks. but, as soon as the outburst was over, she erased it from her mind, like it never happened, her expression returning to a blank – that flash of anger was a flaw that had to be corrected as soon as it was over. so she did it. shut her mouth, and opened it back to ask me if I wanted butter. and I don’t know what hurt me more: seeing her cry her woes in such grievous distress, desperate, with an open mouth walling with gnashing teeth, or the wall of silence, of absence, that she built around her the minute this brief emotion was over.

for a long while, really, it was like she wasn’t even there. it is terrible to admit this but, some days, I forgot about her. I’d go out to clear my mind of her, the image of her there, unmoving like a stone: her body a mass present, mindlessly stirring a pot on the stove, but her eyes devoid of life like a paper. it was like she had no soul and it irked me, so I’d find moments to escape here and there, to suffer this, so it wouldn’t consume me (contradicting the exact results she expected for this botched plan of selflessness of her).

she changed though, after many years. something sparked inside her and she went back to living instead of purely existing as a breathing organism (even if, sometimes, morbid thoughts still cross her mind nowadays). damage was done, though, and I became who I am (or who she believes I am): a person that is good on the core, but flawed, even slightly cold (and for which she blames herself a great deal).

if I could, I’d wash away the sins from her hands, the guilt she has, but she won’t allow it. she says it isn’t possible, as I now carry, in front of her very eyes, my own silences. as I am a person she won’t recognize. so, she will whip herself on the back for a legacy she thinks I inherited from a family that didn’t talk much about feelings, that never exploded the anger, but just bottled it all up until the body could no longer physically handle it, skin erupting, marred with marks from stress.

she thinks that I became this pained, distant, silent adult because of loved ones that never talked about traumas – they just let them all fester, rot like a corpse that died long ago in a sealed apartment, alone, and that no one noticed for ages.

I wonder if she one day will feel safe again, and loved, for I myself do not blame her for my flaws. (at least, not anymore)

I am only a river after all, and I carved, with my flow, my own course. even if it is all deviant, or seemingly wrong, there is no one to blame for that, for I wouldn’t want to be anyone else in this world.



“I refuse to drown”

say all captains of all ships when the hull touches the stone, when the helm spirals out of control, and there are no lighthouses marking the way to safety, when they capsize and drown, drawn to the bottom by the sirens, meeting their ultimate fate;

“sink or swim” is no good for any sailor when they reach their final destination: the feasting place among the fish and the whales and the eels that nibble on their hands and their lifeless eyes (and pretty much all the flesh that they can reach). there is no last breath, no saving prayer, no god, no queen when their earthly treasures are spread around the ocean floor – shiny coins that reefs and algae have no use for – a floating grave on the water for sharks that will not mourn.



“now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”

this is her tale of sorrow and disappointment.
this is her story, about how she became what, today, she is. and what she wishes she could present herself to be, but cannot be.
a repeating cautionary tale of how to always be alone, to be repeated in echoes throughout infinity.

it’s short and it’s raw, but she is a five feet five short pack of raw words, resentment and chafed knuckles.

she is what she has to be. not moody, and neither ruthless. just a being.

no songs really appeal to her. apathy has become her as she has become apathy, ruler of gray thoughts, of bland & blank faces and of heads as cloudy as the dark skies above the skyscrapers. misty are the clouds that roam her spirit and something she is: not really sad, indeed, but just chronically hurt.

she is what she was taught to be. a wolf that had to become in order to survive. she is a ghost among the clear lakes and green pines, she roams and roams purposeless as she cannot seem to be able to shake off, to hide the melancholy that is rooted in her very being, threaded through the fabric of the alveoli in her drowned lungs.

she has all these feelings that have made her body their home, even though her own mind is homeless… and lately, it is worse. she seems devoid of light and life in her eyes. she has been haunted by the despair that has populated her mind ever since she had to watch him leave the room,

(watched, like a movie, as he put on his boots slowly, sat by the end of bed, passed his ragged shirt over his head, ran his fingers through the greasy messy bed-hair, pocketed his pack of cigarettes and the motel matches, tossed in slow-motion his jacket over his shoulders
[he forgot his socks by the dresser]
and left, a careless shrug and the distant sound of the car’s engine going further away, in the background, only the cloud of sand rising, rustling in the pavement… really, the soundtrack of her life)

as she pretended to sleep through half-hooded, watery eyes.



“love can be brutal if we try hard enough”

know that I’d give you anything you want or need, for money doesn’t mean a thing in the face of what I feel for you; I’d wash your hair and bathe your body, handle it with care; I’d cover it in tiny flecks of gold, making a shiny mosaic (piece by piece) on the velvet planes of your skin, if it translated my adoration for you, how I worship and cherish you (how I envy the things your hands delicately touch, wish to be that ethereal breath of air that you softly exhale).

know that, if it made you beam with fulfillment and happiness, and shine brighter than the sun (it surely would pale in comparison, believe me), I’d carry you on my shoulders up and down the aisles, left and right the islands, the alleys, the roads; I ain’t no giant, but tall I’d make you stand, and proud, for the whole of eternity that my legs can stand to carry you without giving out, so that your feet would never have to once again touch the ground, so you would not break a sweat unless you wished to do so.

know that I’d take you anywhere you wanted to go for your pleasure and delight only, no matter the time, the country, the will or the weather. it would please me to no ends to accompany anywhere you wanted to be for any reason. I wouldn’t care where, really, as long as I got to stand by your side and entwine our fingers together, lay my head on your pillow in any hotel room and steal bites from your plate here and there, in that goofy way that I know that you enjoy…

[for I no longer can see myself without you, for I no longer can have my heart beat if not by jolted to life by the thunder of the smile I like to assume was made only for me]

(20 days later)

[I just wish you wanted me as well, in any form, even as a good friend]

[but I cannot let myself be taken by your smile once again, be a prisoner of it, for it’s in its 10.000 megawatts that you fool me, that you deceive me – it’s in the sweetness of it that I get lost and confused;

and I need to learn that you do not want me. not really.
that none of this is true.]