i become earth

1. i-5 north
ultimate empathy exercise
i inhabit every body hurtling past
every body inhabiting me
i become earth
earth becomes me

2. this cardigan is a crime scene
she says
perched on one of thousands of ucsd prisoner-made
plastic molded chairs

3. they’re called conflicts now, not wars

4. i hear the phrase
blood memory/cultural memory
for the first time
(blood memory, not as in: memory of blood
memory carried in one’s blood
even if one was never there
just the same way the dirt-dust
of polish potato fields lodges itself
under my fingernails
stores itself in the creases of my clothes)

5. we watch the 23-foot-wave successions
on a flat screen
in the dark
puts his head
under water
carrying houses when it doesn’t splinter them
rushing over variegated farm fields
up against highway walls
and pooling
houses and cars like vegetable scraps in the kitchen sink draining

6. left and right
firing out naive responses
to our disposable performances
this manifesto’s got my back

7. student center
public bathroom
young woman passed out in the last stall
it is not often
we lower ourselves
so close
to cool tile
help is on the way
i walk away
sipping limeade
almost stomach sick
ultimate empathy episode #2

8. copier collates while i
fold and stack
not as satisfying as an offset
like the one in high school  graphic design class
(whose squeak hum machine noise still echoes)
but better than nothing
first zine in years

9. bearded grad student on 8pm shuttle bus
takes his seatmate on a virtual up and down the coast tour
he lists off the stops:
big sur
something like bloodmemory
only it’s more like earthmemory
(how i know how the lights shine on the very mountains he speaks of at night
how i know the hungry birds and eucalyptus groves and water meets rock and century plants blooming
of big sur
how i know where to look for the moon in portland sky
how i have planted bits of myself in these places
how even the naming of these places by another
takes me)

10. sky a blanket
stars unraveling