Monday, February 23, 2009


I remember watching my grandmother's hands "sew what?" She was crafting quilts. I was designing dresses-- miniature ones for the Barbies I never played with. I loved sitting with her. I loved her wit. I loved wondering amidst the clouds of smoke, the inhaling and exhaling, the Singer sounding like chipmunks on a pogostick, the movement of her hands, the seams, what it was that held her together. I remember Southern Hospitality but I witnessed Southern hypocrisy on a daily basis... like people from church who staked out the liquor store to make sure its members weren't drinking. She was afraid to go. I would've asked her why she cared, but I knew. People talk. So, talk. I'll listen. We're all sinners. But sin isn't solely an act against God. Firstly, it's a personal injustice. I make my bed and rest my head on a woman's conscious body, and I don't feel the smallest bit of regret. You can talk. So talk, but God doesn't cry for me. He laughs with me. He smiles when I take drives and write my songs. His eyes water with mine when he sees how wildly I give into love. This is living. And what is living other than loving? Most importantly--what is sin? To sin literally means to "miss the mark". So, sinning is living life but missing the point. And what purpose is there in life other than taking advantage of every sincere chance at happiness? Sitting in Texas Roadhouse having a talk about Obama and sodomy about the anti-Christ and Armageddon Sancy shudders. Sixty plus years of living in a world of don't, of restriction, of fear, of judgment, and I want to tell her she can breathe. That all religions are based in love, that I believe in God and karma, in faith and freedom, that change doesn't mean an ending only a beginning. That you can deny science but you can't deny evolution or heaven and hell. They all exist. I know this because we lived underwater. We swam with fins and breathed with gills. Eventually a fish decided to try this thing called "land"-- to face the pain of breathing air through gills so that his children could grow lungs. So that eventually their fins would turn into feet and they would be free. So that the 7 years of biblical tribulation remain figurative and hell is judgment. So that heaven on earth is a state of mind and salvation is acceptance. I would like to think society has evolved into something better. Signs of progress dance around my dorm room and hug in hallways where race, religion, nationality, and orientation mean little, where our only differences lie in our past,our future, and our passions. So, talk. I'm a lover. Talk of me. I've been a lot of things. But know that the way you see me is only a reflection of yourself. Talk to me. And I'll make you better. Because your quilt kept me warm and because I was a fish once too.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bystander Effect

Do you remember the house on the hill in Smyrna--
your room next to dad’s office
and the view of the airport from its window--
or the time you fell and the stitches on your knee?
I remember your face
and Mrs. Applegate’s bloody shirt,
your small hands curled around mom’s fingers
while the needles danced in your legs.

They said:
“Unlock your legs when you walk, baby.”
But you never walked the same.
Thirty minutes abandoned by the woods--
Did you call for me?
Where was I?

Oh, but here I am--
sighing on a plane, thinking of  a pigeon-toed baby,
and how this is all a little late.
I remember you, sister.
Do you remember me?

The seatbelt light turns on.
There are airplanes crashing in Boston.
There are houses sitting on hills.
There are children crying in basements.
And I find it difficult to remember.

From the window,
from the house on the hill,
I watched you fall 
but I didn’t move.