annapaulinasuszynski

And so it goes.

Sweet Things

I don’t want us to be a poem. I want it to be longer and jarring and hands on my spine. Fingers in my vertebrae. Have you ever felt that? The absorption plan. Until our bodies aren’t just you and me. That maybe there’s a word out there in the universe that’s more than “us”.

Wouldn’t that be sweet. We could be a short narrative. A prose poem with paragraphs of stanzas and pillow talk when your words fall short and roll into my mouth. I can taste them. I can taste you.

But I’ve only written one novel. It turned out fine. I’m still working on it. Working. If I were to start with you. It would go like I miss you. Already. And I like when you say come here when I really want to curl up into my hair and disappear. But when you say come here the feeling dissipates. You say it so softly.

It’s everything. Snow. Early mornings in your car when you laugh at my sleepy eyes. When you had to ask me on two dates because I didn’t know how to say yes the first time. Your head on my stomach. It’s knowing how to care for me. Teaching me how to care for you. Ain’t that a sweet thing.

A New Year, not in a nutshell…

I’ve been struggling with time lately. How to think about it, if it’s even worth thinking about. I’ve been struggling with what I want to do with my time too. I read a book this year and this little girl, the main character, was telling me how to be a time being. She has this grandmother Jeiko who lives on top of a mountain who tells her things about the world. Once her grandmother made her breathe in every moment of the day so she became aware of how many moments really exist, the time lost, the time spent.
The other day I was looking up through the trees at the sky and wondering why I seemed to be filling with dissonance lately and how strange that feels- as if the world were pulling me in two directions, maybe even three and I wasn’t quite ready to make the decision to go either way. So I touched the snow with my hand and let it float to the ground. And as the snow descended I realized that maybe that descent was the part of life that I was stuck in, like Alice when she falls into the rabbit hole and notices everything passing her on the way down. That awareness.
When I think about this year, I think that I’ve grown but maybe not so proportionally. That maybe I’ve learned a lot, like when I was on the Camino- I shared things with so many people and when it was time to say goodbye it was okay for them to leave because we were both leaving with parts of each other. Or when I was in Istanbul and Morocco and they showed me their cities with such openness. The hamam, getting scrubbed down by women laughing at my skinny arms. When I was dancing until six in the morning in Spain and walked home with shoes in my hand and a silly look on my face. Or when Casper told me to sit down on the sand and be quiet as he told me why I was special, that I was a weird quiet person and that was a good thing. So yes I’ve grown, Isa and I biking, man did I grow but I thought I could get rid of this restlessness. But that same struggle with time, with the dissonance pooling and spilling is still here, it’s building again. As if I am breathing in every moment and it’s filling me up.
 It could be a good thing. Sometimes I use it to write and I’m always surprised by what my thoughts look like on a page. Sometimes it makes me sad.
Oh and the people I’ve met. How I miss them. The ones I met far away because sometimes I feel as though the people I came back to aren’t the same. Or they traveled too, but in a trajectory that only moves forward in this straight bold line when I was sprinting and jumping and falling and skipping down streets that sometimes lead me in circles. So I am in between again. In the unbelonging I guess you could say.
 The unbelonging means so many things though. It means you are aware of everything and those around you can’t listen. It means you want to reach out and touch but your fingers curl as if hit by fire. The pause in a song that isn’t really a pause, the song continues, but when the song ends you want to be back in the pause even if that’s where the dissonance resides. The unbelonging is a place of utter awareness and sense of space. The space of time. The space of yourself.
So….Hi 2016. Help me to grow proportionally. I feel as though I have folded into myself again. I truly, wholeheartedly, ardently lived my life this year but tomorrow I must do it again in a different skin. I guess what I’m really saying is I’ve changed, maybe fractionally but I’m proud of that change. Tomorrow I’m going to have to change even more. The next day too. There will be days that I must do it alone and others won’t be so lonely.

I guess the struggle with time is, I’m never sure how to move within its boundary. By calling time, time I am already prescribing to walls, to boundaries, to borders. The struggle is time moves infinitely backward and forward from the very place my feet touch the ground. So maybe 2015 is also moving infinitely backward as I move infinitely forward and I can stretch my fingers infinitely to the side and upward and downward. This dissonance, the moments squandered, what old Jeiko says on top of the mountain are merely symptoms of feeling the infinity of the space we occupy, not the infinity of time because that does not exist. But the infinity of self. Of myself. Of the space I am.

 

So.

May my and your 2016 be filled with in takes of breathe.

Peaks

I sleep under a bed with wood on the bottom

Not the old bunk beds with wood slats

But one big piece of extra long twin bed sized wood

Holds my dreams down as I close my eyes.

Now every night I put my hand up to the wood

I don’t have to arch my back,

And I trace the lines

As if they were a topography I couldn’t figure out.

There are swirls and pools, stagnant waters

Long listless days and stops and turns.

Sometimes thick lines just stop abruptly

With no indication that they were ever growing thicker

And stronger,

But they don’t pick up again.

These darker holes have rings that flow around them

As if everybody else knew not to fall in-

I always loved the darkness.

But I also love the shore and tracing my finger

On the bed above my head until my hand falls by

My side,

Until the wood grain seems to be the same as

My very fingerprint.

Peaks in my hand.

You Ask Me Where I’m From because I Don’t Have A Normal Face and I Have A Long Answer Asshole

  1. My mom grew up on the Jersey shore. All five sisters slept in the same bed until the ones on the end got kicked off by Donna.
  2. My mom said she used to get along with the squatters in her basement because they liked Motown like she did. Then mom’s mom would throw them out.
  3. My dad grew up in Maryland after his parents made it America after being exiled from their country.
  4. His house was two rooms. My grandfather built the rest and even put in a treehouse and a garden.
  5. My parents met in college. They both paid for it by themselves. When dad met mom’s sisters he told them that he was taking mom to see a horror show. Donna, Debbie, Doreen, and Lisa laugh in dad’s face because they think he said whore show. He had a Spanish mother.
  6. I work at a taco/tequila bar. Men tell me I’m Brazilian. Men tell me I’m Mexican. Men tell me I’m Jewish. Men tell me I’m Asian. They think they can tell me a lot of things.
  7. I go home after work to a big stucco yellow house where I have my own bed, my brothers do too. I lay my Spanish and Polish bones down to rest.

On a Bird Dying in My Hand

There is a heart,

A heart of feathers and softness,

Of beating gentleness and wings and suffering bones.

There is a small mouth opening and closing

As if to say something

Two eyes, eyes like points of black paint

Eyes like mine,

Its chest heaves up and down.

There is heart,

Of fuzz and little veins like thread in a needle

Of little lungs daring to take one more breathe

In my hand.

There are two little feet

With two little legs, curling closer to the body

Eyelids close and open, close and open

Eyes turning to me

Wings turning in.

There is a heart,

Of feathers and life close to the moon

Of life letting go

Resting in the palm of my hand.

It heaves in

and out,

Until it can’t anymore.

While I Was Brushing My Teeth

I want to brush my teeth

With you.

I want to see your face in the mirror

And I want to laugh

Spitting toothpaste into the sink.

Wipe it on my face and

I wipe it on yours.

I want to brush my teeth

With you.

Because I am in my pajamas

And so are you

We were both eating chocolate before

You smell like dark chocolate and mint.

I want to brush my teeth

With you,

So I leave a new toothbrush

By my bathroom sink

And hope that you’ll pick it up.

So I make my bed

And put my cleanest t shirt on

In hope that you touch it,

Clean my glasses so I can see

Your eyes,

And smile my squinty eye smile

So you’ll know I was waiting.

My Ocean

I swim out to touch your smooth

Skin like sheets beneath my fingertips

As you wake and eyes flutter open.

Cold to the touch like silken glass

I float over waves of it

My mouth above the water

My ears are below so I stop listening to

The thrum of it all.

Waves come and sometimes I let them

Take me all the way under so I feel the bottom

And the bottom feels me,

Tumbles me, until I lie on the sand

Breathing heavy.

But I go back out and float until

I see the next one,

Hoping it will be nice to me this time.

This time.

There is scratch on my cheek

As I lay my bones out to dry

But I know I will go back.

Salt dries on my skin like waves too

He has marked me.

Little crystal towers form on my arm

As you lick them off one by one.

As he watches me and beckons

And I know this time I will

Swim out and not return.

Elmer’s Glue

Let me tell you about time darling,

It’s not real

Momma says.

Because when you want to see somebody

Again you just have to be quiet for a while

And close your eyes.

She said that the grains of sand shouldn’t fall

Like that, in a stupid line,

No grains of sand would float

Because gravity just has to do

With our feet not time,

That’s when I look at my feet,

And notice my shoe lace is untied.

She ties it and keeps saying

So when you miss something

You ask your thoughts politely

And they’ll take you by the hand

Leading you back,

She starts pulling me away and it hurts

It hurts because I’m going to see them again

But darling you mustn’t fall in love with grains

Of sand because they are just that.

They fall into the sea eventually,

Don’t let the shadows of time lure you back

Just tuck the grains in your pocket

Shatter the looking glass

Because darling time isn’t real,

We just have to pick up the fragments,

She gives me Elmer’s glue.

 

The Moon and Back

I was outside walking home and suddenly

I missed you so much

That I wrote you in the air

“I love you to the moon and back”

I got a coffee in la taberna de besos

Up the cobbled stairway and to the right

In the courtyard with flowers y olor de canela

And I wanted to see your face across from me

“I love you to the moon and back”

I was sick of writing so I ran outside and walked

And walked and walked until I was above the city

And out in the pine trees where it smelled good

The dirt in my nails and the cactus below my

Fingers so I could touch them if I needed to

Wild flowers in my hair and lemon rind in my pocket

“I love you to the moon and back”

That’s what we say to each other–

When she’s heartbroken even though

She’s the most beautiful girl in the world, mi hermana

Como un ángel

Or when he brings me my favorite chocolate

Because he knows I’m lonely

Singing me the family lullaby

When you remember the little things

And keep the big things quiet.

It is so hot today and I need to get away

A stranger calls from his step

“ay guapa déjame darte una bebida”

He brings me fresh squeezed juice

He needs somebody to talk to,

He needs a body to love him to the moon and back.

A little boy kicks his soccer ball against the house

La señora yells from the terrace

“Stop niño! Esta mente es antigua”

I kick it to him

And he cautiously rolls it back

He wants some one to love him

To the moon and back.

And we must say it to each other

We must kiss it into our collar bones

Shove it down torn pockets

Drink bebidas con la luna

With sweat on our necks and words

In the blood,

Just tell me, please just tell me

“I love you to the moon and back”

Ceuta

I have my backpack on my shoulders

Another bag slung across.

I thought it was heavy.

I’m pealing an orange,

The skin falls to the ground like shattering glass

But there is no sound.

They give me my passport back

And tell me to walk through

I’m still eating the orange,

There is no peel now,

Just the flesh against my skin

My fingers are sticky, there is no water.

I see the fence,

Barbed wire, there are three fences

There are so many cars

It smells like exhaust and people

I see them looking at me through steel

Eyes. Steel eyes. The juice is running down my arm

I keep putting sections into my mouth

I can’t breathe

My bag is so heavy

But I see them like mules through the fence

They have so much more than me

There are orange peels everywhere

I keep eating oranges

The smell is intoxicating

The guards are looking at us

But they’re eyeing them

They’re flirting with us

But they’re telling them no.

I want to throw orange juice in their eyes.

There are lines of people

Women. So many women. With bundles the size

Of their bodies. There are men,

Lined up on the fence watching my back

I put more oranges in my mouth.

I eat so many oranges.

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