1. Don’t. Avoid dealing with him at all costs because let’s be honest, you left him for some damn good reasons.
  2. Remember how he treated, and still treats, his first ex-wife and be grateful you don’t have to deal with that shit.
  3. When you hear about his parenting flaws, don’t revel in the immaturity if it all — you will want to — Send peace and serenity to the kid.
  4. Be proud to throw away the “special Moroccan oil” he brought you back from that one trip where he met one of his girlfriends. Throwing things away from him always brings…

My hair is black. I am 13. I get kicked out for wrecking my dad’s jeep. Hop on a bus to Holland Park. Eat LSD with my two first loves, Somer and Andy. Spend the day wading in the drainage ditch behind Loaf N’ Jug and dye my hair black.

Andy died when we were 25. After his funeral, I knew I wouldn’t go to another. I’m not designed for goodbyes. There have been 6 or 7 since. That I know of. One of the most recent was Joaquin. He got into a high-speed chase on the highway in Georgia…

They were shades of nude. Earth like. Blending. Beige, taupe, oatmeal. Neutral. Sand. Or browns. Yes, there were browns too. Brown nudes.

Sometimes there was pigment. It hung there. For years really. Just in case.

The vanilla. Vanilla has flavor. All these disagreements about vanilla as plain or regular. It can’t be. I have tasted the vanilla. Organic extract in the refrigerator. Added to the buckwheat pancakes. Pewter pancakes. Thick and heavy. Dense.

Or was it black licorice? I never really liked black licorice.

I can’t remember if I can tell the difference between black licorice and vanilla? Your black…

“What if we reimagine relationships? Where you don’t have to cuddle with the person you kiss. You can be held and cuddled and loved by someone else entirely. Do you need to be held today? I will hold you and I won’t fuck it up.”

Before thinking, because thinking disrupts being, I moved my body to hers. Saddled my legs on her lap. Rested my shoulders under her arm. Snuggled my head on her chest. And she held me like that. Tickling my arm recounting stories about her life. Listening to stories of mine.

I cried. A little. These things…

Me: I think something is wrong with me. I feel this obsession to connect with people. I don’t know how to be alone. I’ve never been alone. I need to do a better job at not wanting.

Therapist: Have you thought about how your heart may be desiring connection and rather than closing yourself off to that you could follow what your heart desires?

Me: No. My heart must be confused. What it should want — is to be fine by itself. Are you sure I am not crazy?

Therapist: Let me try this. …

Image: Laurie Works

Oh water, give me your ocean, collide streams over cobble and under the solar eclipse. Moon greyed sun, mixture of twilight, dawn and dusk, moss covered rocks. A candle opposed to the lunar light. Green sleeping bag and her story. A mixture of blood and bath, spirit and soul, death and life but not nearly as simple as dualities, expansive, horn signalizing the sun emerging again because, and I will promise you this, the sun emerges, opens herself wide over the valley under the Tetons the sage brush field is alive. We are alive, earth is alive breathing fire, beating breaths. Here we are. Under the mooned sun. In a mixture of greyed light, a lens we have never seen before.

I have been insatiable again. Anxious ridden. There are days where I interpret this adrenaline as excitement, other days as a warning. Today I see it as an indication of how much ground I’ve covered in so little time. How I am getting closer and closer to remembering who I am and finding out what that means.

The closer I get to meaning the further my body allows me to stay in what isn’t at the center of myself. It rebels. Throws me into the insatiable spin and I feel like I am going crazy again. …

Sometimes I worry I will never be attracted to someone who is attracted to me ever again in my whole life.

Obviously, I’m a little extreme.

I worry if I am attracted, the timing won’t line up. Like I have entered the life of cosmic crushing misfits.

Even worse — I will be attracted to someone who is in a relationship. Because that would make me like her.

Guilt is how this feels — I must be no better than her. Truth — I decided to leave and it wasn’t about her. That must mean its about me.

The power…

I met a lot of girls on Heather road. Not because I was in the business of making friends. I met girls on Heather Road because that is where, in middle school, we went to fight.

Big houses, oak trees, a cul de sac. Heather Road wasn’t a rough block. Not like some of the other places in town, like University Street. Heather was wealthy. Like a lot of my classmate.

This fight was about a boyfriend. He was hot. So hot all the girls liked him. In fact, I wasn’t even really attracted to him. I just liked him…

Jessie Po

Writer, poet, activist trying to resolve deep ancestral shame by being hella real.

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