The Drowning

Icarus (rough draft)

When I was 8 years old

I used to break into houses 

I would think “Ah!”

"So this is what a home looks like." 

Back then my father used to paint on doors

because they were cheaper than canvas

we weren’t poor 

I was assured 

we just had a white knuckle salary 

He painted greek gods 

with firey feathers

falling from the sky

I swear that it was gorgeous

I swear that I learned colors 

with the smell of fumes 
 

You wouldn’t know it though 

I never drowned cats

I never stole from the liquor store

but I used to hide behind the rose bushes 

Because “I can’t remember, can the kidnappers see you better if the lights inside are on? Or off?”

I didn’t sleep at night

I keep having that dream where children would run away from me

with cackles in their footsteps

calling me a monster

there so much yelling 

my father shaking the bunk bed until my brother fell out it 

like right out his favor

like right out of the sky

4 years later my brother will push me out of a car for a quarter

and my lip will bloom with blood on the concrete 

and no one will speak of it

and the children won’t look at me 

instead they’ll run

they’ll call me a monster

and I’ll eat the scabs off my mouth until they scar

and I will not speak of it.

Because I might be young 

but even I am not so stupid 

to think that I can curse my gods

I forgot 

That year my grandfather had gone to one of those hippie kid stores

and bought me a kit to catch butterflies

It took days

but I left one the cart in my father’s workshop 

as a trophy 

I found it 2 years later

as a skeleton

Have you ever seen a butterfly’s skeleton?

It’s so beautiful

because it’s so fragile 

I think about every year 

Maybe, I had just wanted something beautiful for myself so much

that I forgot it was alive 

Maybe, I had just wanted to be a rose so badly that I thought no one would notice the scratches on my arms

Maybe, I just wanted someone to take me away even if it was the bad guys


But I’ll never forgive myself

I left a living thing to die

in my father’s workshop, which back then, was filled with the most beautiful paintings 

of burning wings 

i once saw a scientist
on television.
and she was speaking generally
about science things
(being a scientist and knowing science things
etc.)
and, speaking generally
i am not a science
person,
and while i respect them,
i do not have much interest
in scientists
or science things.
so i went to switch the channel
at the precise moment that the presenter sitting beside the scientist asked:
what,
in your opinion,
is the most ASTOUNDING fact
about the universe
?
and this stopped me.
because it is not often that television presenters ask such interesting questions,
and the scientist was pursing her lips in a thoughtful way that made me think
i wanted to her her answer
to the interesting question.
after a pause,
she did not look directly at the
camera,
but directly at the presenter.

did you know,
she said,
that there are atoms in your body.
the presenter laughed.
of course,
he said.
what else would my body be made of?

well,
said the scientist,
and i did not need to look at the television screen to know
she was smiling.
do you know where those atoms came from?
well,
said the presenter.
and he did not say anything else.
i snickered from my place in the armchair
and the scientist smiled again.

the most ASTOUNDING fact that i have ever known,
she said,
is not a fact, specifically,
but the story of every atom on this planet.
the ones that make up the grass and the sea and the sand and the forests and the human
body.
these atoms came
from stars.

the presenter sat forward and so did i.

stars,
continued the scientist,
are mortal
like humans.
they die,
and, in their later years,
are unstable.
it pains me a little to say it, but a star’s death
is far more dramatic than a human’s.
is it? asked the presenter.
the scientist was looking at him still,
and i felt strongly as though i was listening in on a very private
conversation.

it is, the scientist nodded. the stars
i am referring to,
she said,
collapsed and exploded a very long time ago, and scattered their enriched guts across
the entire universe.
here, she paused, and her words caught in my mind in a way that made me wonder
if she was a scientist
or a poet.
their guts, she said whilst sipping from a glass of water, were splayed across every
inch
of time and space.
these guts were made of the
fundamental ingredients
of life and existence.
carbon and oxygen and nitrogen and hydrogen and all the
rest of it.
all in the bellies of these stars that flung themselves across the universe in protest when it was their time to die.

and then? asked the presenter.
the scientist’s lips quirked upwards. and then, she said.
it all became parts of gas clouds.
ones that condense and collapse and will form our next solar systems -
billions of stars with billions of planets to orbit them.
and these planets have the ingredients of life sewed into the very fabric
of their own lives.

so, she said, smile still playing on her lips -
where do your atoms come from?
from those gas clouds, said the presenter.
no, said the scientist.
from those stars.

every atom, every molecule, every inhale and exhale and beat of your heart, is traceable
to the crucibles that cooked life itself.
and you are sitting here and so am i and so are your viewers at home,
and we’re all in the universe, aren’t we?
yes, said the presenter.
but i’ll tell you what’s even better, the scientist smiled wider.
the universe is in us. your atoms and my atoms and your camera men’s atoms came from those stars. you’re connected and relevant without even having to try. you are made of stardust and the fabric of the universe.
that is the most ASTOUNDING fact
i can tell you.
the presenter smiled and the scientist smiled wider and i smiled too,

and later i switched the channel to something less scientific
and wondered if i should feel small,
tiny and insignificant in relation to the stars that collapsed and exploded and
threw themselves everywhere.
and that is how my mother found me,
sitting on the sofa.
and she asked me what was
wrong,
and i said,
nothing. i’m just a lot smaller than stars are.
my mother is very literal woman. as such, her natural response was:
of course you’re not. don’t you see how small stars are?
that’s only from a distance,
i said.
maybe you’re looking at yourself from a distance too, she said.

and she left the room and it is years later now, but i still
think about the scientist and what she said
and my mother and what she said
and i still see the presenter on television.
and i still think that the stars are very big
but now i think,
they are in me.
so i am big too.

'the most astounding fact' - j.c., inspired by neil degrass tyson’s talk of the same name (via girlonfired)

(via shutuplexi)

MAKE ME ADMIT STUFF

  • 1. How many bruises on you right now?
  • 2. You talked to an ex today, correct?
  • 3. Have you stayed in a hospital?
  • 4. Is trust a big issue for you?
  • 5. Did you hang out with the person you like recently?
  • 6. What are you excited for?
  • 7. What happened tonight?
  • 8. Do you think it’s disgusting when girls get really wasted?
  • 9. Is confidence cute?
  • 10. What is the last beverage you had?
  • 11. How many people of the opposite sex do you fully trust?
  • 12. Do you own a pair of skinny jeans?
  • 13. What are you gonna do Saturday night?
  • 14. What are you going to spend money on next?
  • 15. Are you going out with the last person you kissed?
  • 16. Do you think you’ll change in the next 3 months?
  • 17. Who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything?
  • 18. The last time you felt broken?
  • 19. Have you had a soft drink today?
  • 20. Are you starting to realize anything?
  • 21. Are you in a good mood?
  • 22. Would you ever want to swim with sharks?
  • 23. Are your eyes the same color as your dad’s?
  • 24. What do you want right this second?
  • 25. What would you say if the person you love/like kissed another girl/boy?
  • 26. Is your current hair color your natural hair color?
  • 27. Would you be able to date someone who doesn’t make you laugh?
  • 28. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
  • 29. Do you really, truly miss someone right now?
  • 30. Does everyone deserve a second chance?
  • 31. Honestly, do you hate the last boy you were talking to?
  • 32. Does the person you have feelings for right now, know you do?
  • 33. Are you one of those people who never drinks water?
  • 34. Listening to?
  • 35. Do you ever write in pencil anymore?
  • 36. Do you know where the last person you kissed is?
  • 37. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • 38. Who did you last call?
  • 39. Who was the last person you danced with?
  • 40. Why did you kiss the last person you kissed?
  • 41. When was the last time you ate a cupcake?
  • 42. Did you hug/kiss one of your parents today?
  • 43. Ever embarrass yourself in front of a crush?
  • 44. Do you tan?
  • 45. If you could, would you take back your last kiss?
  • 46. Did you talk to someone until you fell asleep last night?
  • 47. Who was the last person to call you?
  • 48. Do you sing in the shower?
  • 49. Do you dance in the car?
  • 50. Ever used a bow and arrow?
  • 51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
  • 52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
  • 53. Is Christmas stressful?
  • 54. Ever eat a pierogi?
  • 55. Favorite type of fruit pie?
  • 56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
  • 57. Do you believe in ghosts?
  • 58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?
  • 59. Take a vitamin daily?
  • 60. Wear slippers?
  • 61. Wear a bath robe?
  • 62. What do you wear to bed?
  • 63. First concert?
  • 64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?
  • 65. Nike or Adidas?
  • 66. Cheetos Or Fritos?
  • 67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?
  • 68. Favorite Taylor Swift song?
  • 69. Ever take dance lessons?
  • 70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
  • 71. Can you curl your tongue?
  • 72. Ever won a spelling bee?
  • 73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
  • 74. What is your favorite book?
  • 75. Do you study better with or without music?
  • 76. Regularly burn incense?
  • 77. Ever been in love?
  • 78. Who would you like to see in concert?
  • 79. What was the last concert you saw?
  • 80. Hot tea or cold tea?
  • 81. Tea or coffee?
  • 82. Favorite type of cookie?
  • 83. Can you swim well?
  • 84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
  • 85. Are you patient?
  • 86. DJ or band, at a wedding?
  • 87. Ever won a contest?
  • 88. Ever have plastic surgery?
  • 89. Which are better black or green olives?
  • 90. Opinions on marriage?
  • 91. Best room for a fireplace?
  • 92. Do you want to get married?
  • 93. Last Kiss?
  • 94. Favorite pizza topping?
  • 95. Ask your own...

I feel, RIDICULOUSLY cute today. hee hee.

Snowpocolypse2014

The snow came down overnight and there were no cars or buses or even pedestrians on the street with me. It felt like the best sort of apocalypse. The one where everyone had just decided to stay in bed with their new lovers.