When I was a child I used to look down at myself like a bird in the sky looking for worms.
I first menstruated at age 12. Later, I remember misbehaving, hiding in the clothing rack of some department store. My mother snapped at me, “You’re a woman now so start acting like one.”
The trees whispered,
Remember when you were young and you used to play?
How audacious of you.
When you touched the ground, you touched the ground running. Your reckless magnetic wile and freedom.
Then there was me, all my youth hammered away by years sitting tired and crooked in an office, antidepressants, divorce, buying, selling, saving, high blood pressure… The iChing said that I was the watchtower and you were the ground.
When we took walks, you frequently picked me flowers, stealing them from peoples’ yards and wrapping them in a blade of grass. Suddenly the city turned into a garden, botanical smatterings of color everywhere I looked.
Reminding me of when I made crowns of White Dutch Clovers,
Years and years before you were born.
Reminding me of
The smell of freshly cut grass
Easter Sunday dresses
Grass stains on white stockings.
You reminded me that a plucked flower can make a home.
My home, an apartment in the Mission I rented for 3000 dollars with nothing but a few hanging plants and a 4000 dollar mattress on the floor. A mattress that I prayed would turn into a flying carpet.
While drinking orange juice on a sunny sidewalk terrace in downtown LA, you looked at me and asked, almost irritated,
“You must surely know how beautiful you are.”
I smiled coyly, feigning flattery.
Of course I do.