Monday, February 15, 2016

Sweet Activist Love

I want you to make sweet activist love to me
I want you to hold my head in your hands; help ease the pressure from utopian visions pounding to get out.
I want to wrap my legs around you and press my face in your tears
for whales dying from navy sonar.
I feel our fellow ache for a just world making me wet 
Help me release this tension between the world I want and the world we have 
with orgasms that blow up dams--
Grasping each others hair in vain attempts to hang on to another endangered species shedding from this alopecic world;
Laying my head on your chest I hear blood gurgle like tides of spilled oil on sandy beaches.

I need to grieve with my body.
Does your body creak with rusty joints of hidden despair?
Overloaded information conveying suffering from all corners of Earth sends me into numbness.
How can I make love to you when children are losing limbs from bombs made by my neighbors' labor?
While I enact the myth I need a man to be my savior. 

Save me
Save me from the terror of globalization with your touch
Save me from the tragedy of extinction in your embrace
Save me from helplessness learned in female socialization by listening to my desires as intently as you listen to Democracy Now

When our escapism and rejuvenation 
Have culminated in a sticky pile of privileged guilt and shame
Cuddling ourselves back into this reality
Pulling each other up to go 
To the next march
The skill share workshop
the strategy meeting

Driving Home From My Doctor Talking To My Arm

I'm lying back on a raised medical bed, on those sterile white pillows and
a sheet of paper, the consistency of those protective sheets in public restrooms,
between my body and the - what is this? vinyl? - surface

heart palpitating like I've just confessed my love to some cute person
I want the nurse to slow down, talk me through my fear.
She tells me to take calming breaths
As if that ever worked

I want to hyperventilate until I can't anymore
but she won't understand, and I'm afraid to take up space
As usual

I look away, here comes the pinch, I tell myself:
It's just a mosquito bite! It's over in a few seconds and she's
smoothly applying a band aid

Later, in the car, I will talk to these dead diseases:
"Welcome to my body, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough.
We're going to work together.
And welcome too, all the strange chemical additives that I don't even know the names of.
I've been scared of you in the past, and I am still a little afraid, but I know I am strong, I am resilient.
I can handle this."

I sense my white blood cells accumulating in my right upper arm
and though some would say they are going into battle
I see a graceful dance

Tetanus runs across stage in a black tutu leaping
into the arms of a macrophage who
twirls her around
into the arms of an awaiting T-cell

Diphtheria poises in gold lamé,
surrounded by a quartet of en pointe B lymphocytes  
circling ever closer

Pertussis, easily the most 
elegant creature on stage, dripping 
in blue ribbons, nose haughtily arched 
to the high ceiling
dips and swoons
in harmony with the entire ensemble

Receiving that serum in my arm 
was one piece of a spell, 
a charm to carry me safely 
to another side of the world, and back

Every time my muscles have ached since then
I've felt happy, giddy,
picturing myself in the jungle,

I didn't know that I would be attuning to a longer spell
10 years they say, of protection from rusty metals.
I don't often invoke the unstable magic of western medicine
but this time, I can feel its Power.