Tag Archives: love

A Small Meditation on Love and Hate

in light of Bell Hooks’ novel All About Love

Love feels so easy when you have it, yet this same virtue can feel like a writer’s block freestyle, a spotlight on your stuttering vacuity when you don’t. That frustration sweating your brows as you try to press happiness into your forehead. There is no one out there to love you, not as you deserve. 

We always tie contentment, fullness, to the presence of romantic love, don’t we? But in doing this, what we miss is the abundance of platonic love that swells around us, even when we can only see a vacant place where we feel romantic fulfillment should be. 

Whether we like it or not, contentment, in many ways, is tied to love. But love is so much more than the urge between two people to kiss, and we are remiss to reduce the culture of love to a single relationship. Love exists without limits if you untether it and has the power to spread happiness when we shatter the idea of possession. Friendly and familial love is not nothing, though we tend to treat it as such. 

As a child, I believed that you could hold love for anyone if you spent enough time with them, and to a certain extent, that belief remains. If you spend enough time with anyone, parts of yourself will grow attached to parts of them. It’s human nature, this desire to connect with something, anything, in the people around us. To see ourselves in their faces.

I’ve always thought of myself as a loving person, capable of seeing humanity in anyone, but as I reached the years of my later adolescence, I found a fierce hatred inside me. A burning contempt for anyone who can not find love, or at least respect for the innate being of anyone else. Coinciding with the 2016 election in the United States, America’s red brand of hatred sparked a twin flame of hatred in me. I could not wrap my childhood brain around their blatant hate for everyone deemed “other” and the grotesque way they wielded this loathing with bible verses and the insistence on the superiority of their white picket fence traditional values. Ignoring the bodies who had bled out for centuries over these sharp pillars. How could they take something meant to preach love and kindness and pervert it into hate speech?

2016 was a year of disenchantment. For the first time, I saw the political spaces I had previously diminished as outdated stories of the past become concrete in front of me. They seemed to come out of hibernation, salivating and darting their forked tongue at all the progress in universal love we had begun to settle into. 

As the years continued, my snide comment-sparked rants and pink-haired protest could be slated as a classic case of young woman’s anger and patriarchal society-hating foolery, bound to come back around as I experienced more of the world. Adults told me I would settle down once I accepted the way the world was and would always be; everyone was a liberal when they were young, and young is synonymous with silly and idealistic. You could look at my liberal anger in that light, but it really was, and is, an impassioned reaction to the clash of what I thought of human nature and its reality. 

I thought the later half of the 1900s’ protests and calls for equality and an eradication of hatred had worked. From my place of childhood bubble wrap and social privilege, I thought we made it. We had gotten through the drudge and sickly sweet molasses of “tradition” and arrived at a time when these values no longer informed how we treated each other. I remember feeling lucky on the playground because I was a girl and free to trade skirts for pants as I pleased. If only I knew how shallowly this perceived “freedom” extended. 

Southern California is only one place, and even in my neighborhood, the claws of conservatism were sharper than I could have imagined.

Conservative, the word sickens me, but what sickened me more was how I felt a similar judgment enrage me against them, how they showed me my own capacity to hate.

I believe so fiercely in free speech, in our freedom of expression, and in accepting and loving the humanity in everyone. Yet there I was, hating based off of a label.

It is hard to grapple with the hypocrisy of harboring hatred for people based on their hatred for others; both hatreds stem from perceived differences incomprehensible to each other. But at the heart of this, I discovered the distinction between their hatred and mine. 

Theirs is seeded by fear of difference, of a disruption of the status quo, a willful ignorance they water with self-affirming rhetoric and religious justifications. While mine grew out of my love of humanity and the desire to defend and preserve just equality. It was their treatment of people who don’t fit into their small box of conservative comfort that prompted me to hate their actions with the same intensity they bestowed on others for their existence. 

Hatred is only more than prejudice if its cause is delivered from an individual’s free actions and choices within their circumstance. The same can be said for love. 

We must become disillusioned from the understanding that indifference to the lives of others equals compassion. If you are unwilling to get angry over injustice and rather evict yourself from either end of the conversation, you are not practicing love. You are not promoting happiness.

Love is not indifference.

One Year.

After nearly a year of forgoing caution and letting baggage float away in soft waves, dropping the heaviest from BA passenger planes over the Atlantic, my whirlwind love has been severed. In the following collection, my heart beats in erratic morose code and bleeds fresh and fragrant with the unbridled flood that flows from first real love. Some written at the precipice, the peak, the fall, and all riddled with the fire I felt burning and tied myself to until all that was left was smoke and bone. Here lay the pieces, and I hope you enjoy picking them up.

Fall

Waking up without you is like chewing gum instead of brushing your teeth.

boy&santorini

it was nothing at first

sat across from me on the patio

nursing a cigarette and

it makes my head spin now but then 

I didn’t even notice how much I was paying attention

how much I liked the way his lips tugged and his eyes softened

as he took each drag from his cigarette 

Grecian Aubade.

5 am, I wake to a rustling.

Hasty hands scrambling in the bunks below.

7 am, I feel salt under my brows,

under my eyelids, 

saltwater washes over new bodies.

You, next to me, consumed me 

like the waves that stripped us raw.

3 am last night, friends made mistakes

as we played out our own transgressions,

but I feel more than Catholic guilt this morning.

By 9 am, you wake,

we kiss because we’ve kissed before.

When you leave me in bed,

it’s to come back with bottles of water, 

the object of my throbbing head’s greatest desire. 

10 am is too long 

I tell you, I have to go.

11 am sees you cross the abyss, 

between dock and deck,

five hours late to meet your friends.

They are there, but not waiting, 

right there 

at the harbor.

The next 11 greets me above your name.

Your voice streaming tears down the screen–

you meant everything the night before. 

I cry too, I don’t know who for,

but a tear falls from my cheek,

as I whisper to you.

I love you too.

never have i been so sure.

i don’t understand how i am sitting here, 

a pillar of sparks

lit up by nothing more than the heart that beats inside a boy 

a million miles away,

and im not scared.

Not in any real way. 

I am terrified, 

of the feelings i have and the daydreams that circle my mind.

I am frightened,

By the way, my heart jumps when i see his name and pounds when i see his face.

But i am not scared. 

Not of him. Not of me. 

For some strange reason

When i close my eyes- When i think of the reality of him,

I feel safe. 

Signs. 

You are everywhere, walking in whispered visions through my mind.

Your name written in mine like we’ve been written together before.

You wear black on black every day like what I wanted all along was simply, you. 

You add Amy to the playlist you make me and I cant help the goosebumps that line my skin everywhere 

I want you to touch me and 

I want you to touch me everywhere.

& you say

I’m written in the chant of your favorite team.

My hair, falling down my shoulders the color that caught your eye.

My nose ring you notice and my lips you want to kiss. 

I make you nervous, as you mix your drinks and tell me my spiderman shirt is sexy

& i like that.

loverboy.

I fall through sheets 

Silky and soft around my figure 

When my name falls from your lips

When your voice touches my ear

With the hint of your touch

Cities of nerve endings erupt

Down my spine, faltering my breath, quivering my skin

I want your hands on my hands and

Your breath in my lungs

Your taste on my tongue, I want the

Yellow sun that lights our skin 

to immortalize you in my eyes.

declarations.

How am i supposed to tell my friends that we screamed i love you.

I love you. 

I love you to each other. 

I  love you between waves.

I love you all night.

Winter

Few and far between are the moments of absolute clarity.

Those sparks that illuminate who you have been all along. 

Fleeting knowledge- a diary burning quickly in the dark of my heart.

I Fear You Love the Romance of Me. 

With your arms, embrace

my shaking corpse and chase

your blazing yearning from my body.

I want this branding kiss on my forehead,

to feel flaming fingertips as you slip,

down my flickering wick 

until I can’t belittle the power 

of your finger.

I, the instrument you play and tune

With eyes- soft when they strike.

Fingers- careful when they pluck. 

You never burn through.

I love the way your rough hands cover me

and I fear 

I love the danger of you. 

ENG 101.

Im trying to bite my tongue 

as I sit in a class I’ve outgrown, but

Id rather it be your teeth on my flesh

pressed against my mouth to stop my voice.

Id rather it be your hand on my neck

latching onto my throat,

Than the tight grip of the clock 

as it ticks the time between us.

Victorian Love Affair.

his thumb traces my lip like a secret;

the taste sweet and sultry and sleazy.

he glares at me with eyes sharp and piquant. 

he bares his teeth to diamonds, greedy.

I am too modest to love with all he desires,

though cold and stuffy in his supposed nature. 

our tempers kiss with lips of raging fires. 

toeing the line of passionate anger. 

with corset tight- taught enough to collapse a lung;

I still see us written in the stars like a zodiac. 

rich and pompous with his reckless tongue;

swiftly speaking, the ribbons off my back

and now there is nothing left but him

as we tear each other limb from limb.

Iris.

Just like the waves rolling over our weightless bodies,

There is a soft peace reflected in your eyes

Your pupils, dilated just enough that I can see

Windows to worlds where we are infinite 

always running, but never away

you play me like an instrument

tuning me with your touch

Our footsteps pounding the pavement

A metronome

keeping tempo as I get lost in colored iris

So much depends upon my smile.

You hold yourself responsible 

for any twitch that curls my grin

and for finding peeking pearly whites 

under these lips you part as the sea.

So much depends, yet

as with anything holy, 

you hate being held responsible 

for the tremors 

that tremble these same lips apart.

So much depends, so 

through silver lens, I hide

tearful reflections 

from sparkling their presence

upon my cheek. 

So much depends, still

I am powerless to hide

the quiver-

holding taught all arrows

behind mute lips. 

So much depends for you, 

my amenable God, in

seeking my eternal providence. 

Taking my silicone path of least resistance,

with white knuckle grip on the short leash that snaps,

upon my smile.

Spring

I miss you. I think it is time. Maybe. I think it is. 

Confessions, you watch my body and imagine you know my soul.

Never doubt my fondness of your happiness, nor my devotion to my own. 

Too many words crowd my tongue 

as I speak of you. 

LodontoChicagoistoofaradistanceforlovetoomuchtoofarawyandIneedyourighthererightnowbabypleasebringhometome

These syllables fall 

flat against the open pale palms 

you reach to my lips.

All these worries  

Silenced with touch & Raised with a look. 

All parting lips licked 

in perfect harmony. 

Sweet sweat drips from our temples 

drip-drip- dripping from the sun,

combining on the tongues

of bleach blonde brunettes below.

Shape me into an object of Permanence.

I am writing you out of me, but

the only one who could change a name was you.

Acceptance is self-love,

blaming bruises left of lust 

as they mark the way my eyes meet my own.

I am more beautiful in ruin,

no tension clouding my features,

no pressing or impressing anymore, just gravity inflicting it’s slack truth.

You couldn’t take too much.

It was all too much.

Still, I remain sickly grateful that once,

your lust was enough to fuel the rest. Enough

to move your hands

to make love to clay

to mold an object with permanence

Public Transportation.

With a gold band that binds stone to skin, I imagine I am tying 

you to me. 

Under any gold glow, we see the best version of the truth — 

and assume all is revealed with the sunlight, 

bouncing from edge to edge, 

crystallizing uncorrupted purple.

I can’t help thinking about you in train cars. 

You, the same way I can’t avoid the ring of blue around my heart.

The very same shade that lights 

my finger under the fluorescents of the underground.

And here it is again– this CTA blue, 

so strong the chlorine color prickles your nose 

just as your eyes meet the acrylic blue-bottomed pool.

Why is it in transit that we chose cheap blues,

sparkling away from noble purple, 

under artificial light.

Eating.

Where is your smile? 

Where are your teeth? 

Did you eat them while you were waiting?

Did they crunch different from my flesh?

Did they crumble as you did as they were broken by your lips?

Did their cigarette-flavored bleach burst on your tongue?

Did they taste as poisonous as your words?

Did they slice your gums and gnaw on raw pink?

Do you ever think about these incisions?

How they came from you and consumed you,

while I, powerless, watched.

The Knowing.

To know someone is to accept an anger born from understanding their trespasses.

No.

To know someone is to hate everything else.

Summer

Today we dared each other to say something, but it could have been all in my head.

To Date A Man. 

They come in every shape.

Tall & always falling short.

Big & suffocating with skinny arms.

Fast & Slow with Fingers & Minds.

Trading types with the twist of their tongues that

say this,

say that,

say anything

they think will unlock you. 

Like all humans, men are self-conscious,

staring daggers into your most intimate corners.

Hilt forward,

the tip breaks their skin. 

Watch how he bleeds for you. 

Watch & clean up the mess,

he shouldn’t have to ask, it’s for you. 

So many men & so many games,

how am I supposed to remember a name?

This question I ask 

until I wish I could forget. 

Men are easy 

until you find a good one. Then you

Say this & that & anything & falling over

the dull point of your own blade

to keep his eyes open. 

Cutting hair & ties just

to keep him calling your name. 

But what you forget is we are all the same. 

Distract him, 

he falls,

he is warm putty in warmer hands

until he remembers he is 

broken. 

We are all broken,

but he thought you were meant to fix him.

Writers Block. 

I have not written this version of you in lyric,

saving your absence from becoming real

from being past & not present,

this hurt

 because we no longer walk the future.

hovering

your vacancy in me must hover

must keep its pulse

beating.

away, but not a ways away,

just close enough to feel your fingerprint

even if I can’t feel your finger. 

08/22/22

Like a pen with half its ink,

I am splintering,

lost & tired & running out.

I am so many things.

A child.

A woman.

A free spirit.

I’ve been so many things to you.

For you.

A lover, a consoler, a daydream, an idea.

How can all these things mourn you?

I dream of the space you used to fill,

I can’t afford it anymore,

only you can curl my limbs in that direction.

My body has writhed and twisted and lied,

but only yearned for you.

You are too easy to replace,

too hard to replicate.

I’m not drunk enough to touch you,

though you still live just behind my eyes.

There, you ruin me.

Thank god I’m too strong to be ruined.

Toppel my tower,

and my stone will still see the sun.

Suns.

I need a new side of the sun to glaze over 

my eyelids in the morning.

I thought different lips would make me cry, 

but they are just different.

Pillowed skin powerless to change me,

only yours could do that. 

Yours showed me new parts of myself,

other sides,

other suns.

Different lips don’t make me miss you more,

you are chronic.

Different lips are just different;

different from me so I am not alone,

different from you so I am not changed.

I need a new part, a new place, a new sun.

But what if like lips,

different suns cannot change me. 

The Truth.

Static cling to the thought

of you.

Just static. 

You pull apart easy,

as I fling you into a different corner,

hoping to hide you for longer

among the dust. 

While I was honest.

you gave me half-truths,

devotion with a half-life.

I knew, even as I signed myself over to you.

I knew, so I am okay 

in the aftermath I saw coming.

I knew you couldn’t hold on forever,

but I would still choose to dream with you.

over&over.