Tag: grief

poem for chris

Image credits: I Can Make You Feel Good by Tyler Mitchell.

shapes of his arms

long, neck, look down, shoulder

and swagger. the sheathe of his sword


i look for you

in every long lean supple

Black man. body.

i can never see you again.

and this is a song of my longing

or the misplacement of my heartbreak onto you

(one of the two).

i remember being told of the paternal laws

imagine being trapped in Alabama

the other dude; but why, why

didn’t I say I was into you?

I was so into you. your power was LIVE

that of any God

I had never learned to worship.

I worshipped you! Your staff.

Your high proud head. Your shining shoulders.

Your defiance.

I made you proud, or tried,

feared I couldn’t make you proud enough.

(Now here is where you morph into our baby).

I ended things between us because I could,

and the possibilities: I couldn’t.


This post is a part of a series that explores relationships in the context of abuse and abortion, entitled, You Become Her.

this is a portrait.

He is tall. 6’3″ if i remember. his body is supple and muscular. his skin is soft and it has a healthy sheen. i remember when he would laugh and look beside me, so that his face seemed different, incredibly cool. and his voice was ocean bottom deep.

he took my car one night as i fell asleep. i was irritated to wake up constantly with the room dimly lit and the sound of him eating Fast Food. it was the last night i spent at his house, and i remember the irritable details of it vividly. but that cannot explain why.

He lived in his mom’s basement and when I came over she wouldn’t see me, or I wouldn’t see her. The one time he took me through the front door, I met his stepdad and felt ashamed when looked he at me with one eyebrow raised and said, “You don’t have any kids?” His stepson would be able to correct that. But the intention was actually to verify that I was indeed a ho.

this is a portrait.

He is a bundle of genes that perfectly outweigh mine. they fix everything that my makeup gets wrong. yes, mix medium brown skin and my wrinkles fall away. add long, lean limbs and my proportions lengthen and become more attractive. combine a bouncy, young athletic quality and my rigidity and propensity to age and sag vanish. blend thick, hydrated hair and big white teeth and replace what is fine and minor. as the years and months pass by, i think of him this way. like high quality DNA in a sperm bank that i desperately want to re-mix with my own and make another baby. another you.

he pulled me over when i was pulling away in my car, face shining with smooth attraction. my own hair was matted sweaty to my face but it looked casual, sexy. i wore a summer t-shirt, hoops and black leggings. i felt myself pull toward him, and then i pushed away.

After it happened, I told him that I couldn’t go back to the way things were. I couldn’t sleep with him again. There was a boundary of terror that I would not cross, but I needed his attention and approval. He told me from behind the meat counter to fix my hair and I did. He wanted to tell me one on one at a party that I was a bad girl and I stood there and listened.

this is a portrait.

Creation. Creating. Create.

Welcome to Hear Me Roar: Post-Abortion Press. Series: On the founding.

Right now, that is all that is driving me. The need to create. And it is not unrelated to my abortion experience. In fact, it was born there. It’s an unwieldy energy, that I’m unsure exactly how to direct. Known to short-out, stutter and spark if I don’t do something with it early in the day. A current that can run through my legs and out of my toes; or that can get trapped inside and create a measurable heaviness that I can’t explain. And it does all types of other things, too.

The obvious thing to explore is the idea that I am converting reproductive energy into art. But I don’t know you well enough yet to dig in there. Instead, there is something in the etymology of the word “create” that is of importance to me. Creation, the morphology of the word create, is decidedly a Christian, birth experience word. It is masculine, the action of the creator. But really, when looked at closely, intimately, and outside of our current societal context, creation is a feminine action. Creation is life and death. And it always has to be both.

Creating, as a word, is neutral. I can be creating something at any given moment and before I know what it is, it is merely a productive and perhaps well-considered word. I’m remembering where I first started developing all of my thoughts about the urge to create, and the importance of creating as an expression of something feminine (not necessarily female, but a rooted, feminine energy), and I believe it was in a blog that I was reading – maybe written by someone facing infertility. The idea also blends together with my being a yoga teacher, who substituted her nine-month teacher training classes for children she couldn’t have. My associations and memories around this word and its form are dream-like. I can’t and won’t be able to explain them, and you might as well get used to contradiction. In the world of reproduction; in the world of abortion.

I also think of an artist who I met when I lived in California, who ran Saturday classes for freedom of expression. We connected briefly about having had abortion experiences. On the one hand, we both acknowledged the idea that we need to “do” – do something – after having done that, gone through that, to make it worth it, to make it make sense. This is production oriented; it is masculinist, patriarchal and capitalist; and it is oppressive. It covers up pain in accomplishment and doesn’t allow us to be part of the web of life – women who create and who destroy. However, we also acknowledged, silently, that we were still creating. That this energy had never stopped. That in fact we had not interrupted it, but redirected it, and the current, the stream was always there for us to tap into again. That this is why we met there on a Saturday.

The universe is quite forgiving. Although we cannot go back, it allows us to re-join.