The Writing Thing
He said you could be a great writer
If you didn’t write about the body and sexuality,
But the thing written is a sexual thing,
Words lick and are tongues, open mouths,
they tell truths some have died to speak.
Even me walking into your store that day,
Just for eggs and a carton of almond milk
was a touch of love,
the bag leaving your hands
gifted into my hands, where love begins.
Writing is proof we need each other,
Every story linking with every other story,
An initiation as I take the reader by the eyes
and ask them to look at holy,
to look at sin.
A writer must have, must look. –
take the moss off the tree, strip the bark,
walk to the end of the road at night
and hear the birds like dinosaurs
in trees growing from the cliffs.
Writing is a dance, it may be a tango
or a twelve-year-old slow dancing
with a girl who smells like patchouli…
or it might be flamenco,
honoring the language it won’t release.
Writing may be an ache to talk
but you can’t find the words,
so it’s sexual again –
a fragment of desire finding the alphabet,
Letter by letter climbing up your thighs.
The sexual thing may be
something forbidden in your own story
that is trying to find a way in,
like the stranger at the door
or the men who climb up Rapunzel’s hair.
Writing is all about how we dress –
in black boots or our brother’s pants.
in lace or silk or bamboo –
it’s as ancient as words carved into stone.
when we write we are the queen or the king.
I once knew a man as beautiful as the letter M
Like two mountains, he grew strong but didn’t lean forward.
Writing bends – there is an optimism
to every metaphor, to every leaf falling
like a forgotten dream.
Writing is the one thing you cannot deny,
or the story will go to someone else,
like an ankle that longs for another
and finds another
we invite readers in like lovers,
unbuttoning, unzipping and unapologetic.