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The Lime Trees

The house was falling apart. You know,
shutters dangling, closet door off its tracks, 
some wide blinking 

brown eyes through the jagged hole 
in the middle. Someone kicked it.
Chipping paint making Pangaeas

across the walls. I got lost 
peeling it like I would dead, 
sunburnt skin on my shoulders.

Leaks from where the roof was flat, 
a crack curving down the center
of the porcelain tub we used to

fill with hot water and soak 
together in overflowing bubbles
like nothing was 

wrong. Once I tried to blame
the hurricanes, but they never came,
only some heavy rain. The wind

had been calm for a long time. Some nights 
were empty, not just the
empty bottles around, beer,

some rum. Part of an old poem was taped
to the fridge. It said
the physical things come first

before you ripped it down. I learned 
about the difference between love 
and attachment from a book first

and then from you. If I could only
hate you
for kicking the closet door

that time you tried to 
kick my dog, 
for that time you kicked my dog.

Then she started hiding in the closet
every time you
raised your voice.

You even kicked 
the two baby lime trees
which I bought just before you moved in

and perched with sticks
until they were strong
enough to hold themselves up.

You never kicked me,
because as much as it might seem
like I mentioned the lime trees to serve

as a metaphor for me,
they’re not.
I left the day you threw

a glass jar of coconut oil at my face,
which was only a day after you started 
all the kicking.

I can’t say I didn’t 
cry a lot, or that it wasn’t excruciating 
to walk away and so fast. 

I did, and it was. 
But the way memory works 
is not so easy.

I still remember how you’d
hold me in your metal arms
like a magnet.

Sun, Mar 31, 2019 | Model info | Footnotes

This week's physiopoem is from the event I had last week in Mexico City for my new poetry coloring book Seasons of Yourself. I just wrote the last few lines of it on Macarena. I ended up in a pretty dangerous relationship a few years ago. I don’t even know if it qualifies as a relationship how you might be thinking, but there was a thing, and feelings, and it ended a bit violently, mainly emotional violence that was quickly escalating to physical violence, which is when I noped out of there immediately. I wrote the poem afterward, and this guy, I don’t know if it’s just me, who I am, but I never really hated him despite all the awful things he said and did. And I still have good memories of my time with him, because, as the poem says, the way memory works is not so easy. I don’t put things in boxes of all good or all bad. The situation was so complex that there is no way that I could just put a blanket of hatred over it.

And then I started getting to know Macarena.  It isn’t that her situation resembles mine exactly from this poem, but these lines made me think of what she is going through, and how memory and love and the complex situations we find ourselves in make it difficult to move on even when we know it’s the right thing to do. So I wrote these lines on her, and I felt the power of poetry— that poetry has the ability to transcend specific situations into something bigger, something that ends up applying far beyond the specific situation I was writing about personally. Poetry is the freaking best. Thank you to everyone who came to the event last week, to Arzu for the amazing shots here and to Renata for accompanying me with her beautiful physio-drawings at the event, also to everyone near and far who has bought the book and everyone who has been supporting me in many, many different ways. My gratitude for you all is infinite. 

 

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