Goodbye Notes .1

When April ends, it’s the vertical sky that brings me joy. I have been craving banana ice-cream with sprinkles atop it. After all summer’s here. Well, almost.

L takes me to Jackson Heights and it’s surreal to be in a place so Indian (but unfortunately Indian insofar as it resembles the station parts of Mumbai, the ones I didn’t miss at all, although the food is an entirely different story) in this blistering cold. I had ventured into summer and have to spend the rest of the day (and the morning after) collecting pieces of charitable clothing from my friends. A scarf, a jacket, tights. But it’s hugging L’s cats (who are soft and fat and lovely dollops of delight) that finally brings me warmth. And later, it’s the burning sage. I am trying to come up with an incantation to invoke spiritual awareness, but all my mind wishes for is True Love, capitalized, singular, and dismissed if it’s anything less. My thoughts are beginning to amuse me now. Less a person and more a Disney Princess caricature. But maybe the sage is making me wiser, for soon, I start letting go of this childish covetousness. There’s nothing to wish for beyond courage and strength. I cleanse my spirit and everything is like honey, full of golden weight.

I spend most of Sunday in the library, with traces of external existences for tea (a perfectly brewed Kyoto Cherry Rose) and coffee (an intensely cinnamon-y Cappuccino) and am especially glad of my second outing because I stumble upon Louisa May Alcott’s old abode.

I am so excited when I learn this fact, already dreaming of her looking at the space I currently inhabit from across the street, as she sits at her desk before the second story window of 130 MacDougal Street, penning the last paragraph of the loveliest book (the only book to have a dedicated post in this blog). I feel like I am having difficulty expressing to anyone just how much this means to me. I am still giddy with joy when a sweet old lady stops by my table and offers the same piece of information. Do you know who lived in that brownstone? Yes, yes! Now I do! After more than a year of walking on MacDougal Street, I am aware that the author of my favorite childhood novel, Little Women, lived in the building that houses NYU’s law school. When I recount the encounter, M laughs, old ladies.

Later, we are engaged in deep intellectual activity, playing Lego Harry Potter on PS4. He is Hagrid and I am Harry. He is strong and capable and destroying Diagon Alley with his umbrella wand. I am magic-less and clueless and following him around as galleons rain on us. Even when we progress to the next level, and I’ve moved on to being Hermione, I find myself accidentally jumping right off the castle walls, falling to swift, unexpected demise. (There’s something to be said about the similar spatial transition involved in falling and flying. In both, I am adrift, free, finally and only.) Death seems to lack any meaning in the game for there are no consequences and I am always back, unhurt and continuing right where I had left off.

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Felix Culpa

do we care? you ask, looking at the floor. we broke the jar or rather you broke the jar and i am an accomplice in determining the wickedness of this action. there’s sticky mango preserve everywhere but i guess we don’t care. i spend an entire august afternoon learning about memory (loss) after i fail to recollect a single stanza from the love song of j. alfred prufrock. there’s time for a hundred indecisions, visions and revisions, before the taking of a toast and tea. that day i do everything i am supposed to and feel quite enchanted with the human experience. this isn’t so bad, i think. i confuse emotions and objects and concepts: light, joy, frankincense, labyrinthine museums, softness that tastes like peonies, winter’s end, “save the bees by planting catmints”, clemency. my mood ring never changes color and i walk towards the rabbit hole with sweet indifference

an afterthought, a remembrance: do i dare disturb the universe

the day of endless contemplation

mid-morning in mid-march. these days i dream of the past less often. there’s something magical abound, dark and sweet, throbbing under our feet, polishing our eyes, rose-tinted. it’s enveloped me in a hazy embrace and i am insubstantial. yesterday, i stepped onto the street and was transported into a luminous citadel. today, i feel quiet, insistent desire.

i think of hades and persephone. dry lips and cold hands. i will never forgive winter. i eat this pomegranate. i wish she had eaten fewer seeds. spend 10 minutes thinking of faith, and 20 minutes failing to meditate. i eat clementines, grapefruit, i give citrus kisses.

i braid my hair and pray for spring. i think of the golden record and then i think of dandelion wine. i do absolutely nothing. everything is pale gold. i try to unlearn bad posture. desire blooms within me and i collapse. i read an essay on lost things. i read a paper on pharmacovigilance. maggie nelson said let me try to rephrase. when I was alive, i aimed to be a student not of longing but of light. i spend the next two hours thinking about this.

i look at the curve of my spine in the mirror before returning my mother’s call. she always wanted me to be gentle and delicate and brave and strong. i am gentle and delicate and brave and strong, i think as i speak to her. my father is out playing holi. i end the call after 1 minute.

i want a cat. i want 2 cats and a fawn and a tame fox and a big, booming garden and –

and the moon is aglow like radioactive milk

i drink sparkling pink lemonade and sit to study

can’t believe how strange it is to be anything at all

 

Mar c h

I read somewhere that one day the sun will die. The whole world and all of being seem so delicately violent now. All I feel is gratitude and grace for days spent under blossoming sunlight. But there are so many flowers and I don’t know their names. I dream of fireflies and slip. Please, let the birds sunbathe by the lavender river. I bruised myself on fresh paper but someone made me a cup of tea and everything is alright.

 

New Year’s Resolutions

Books to complete reading in 2017:

Middlemarch George Elliot

The Hidden Life of Trees Peter Wohlebben

The Black Swan Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space Janna Levin

Time Travel: A History James Gleick

Gravity & Grace Simone Weil

Always — Jenny Holzer: “It is in Your Self-Interest to Find a Way to Be Very Tender”

childhood

i.

it’s the witching hour, i whisper, as i turn to look at you. as we collapse, i notice this: our feet, webbed.

ii.

my best friend is the rescued dog and that’s the summer that i meet you. you know everything about astrophysics and i sometimes cry into my tea while thinking about fairies. we are sitting on the porch and you are suspended in cigarette smoke, your mouth forming words about quantum entanglements that would never reach my ears. timothy licks my hand and i look into his eyes with love. he isn’t the cat but i might actually love him more.

later: you take me in your arms and tell me that i am almost gold

later: we are on the mountain and when everything dissolves i notice that we are cloven-hoofed children.

iii.

the fireflies tremble and blur my vision

he is at his desk and i fall to my feet with veneration. a devotee, in love.

iv.

i am collecting cashew apples and i forget that summer always comes to an end. your grandmother is my favorite person and i sing her songs in my mother’s tongue.

you think i am ridiculous and you

don’t

even

know

my

secr

et

y

e

t

v.

summer ends and i

leave.