another temp record shattered today every afternoon almost unbearable here in late summer & not just from heat the ants & spiders & blackberry canes all creeping increasingly into our sanctuary indiscriminate in their efforts to multiply exponentially & we may call them invasive so eager always to claim ourselves the caretakers of this land a land for you & me it’s said despite our complicity in its partition & destruction indeed our own inheritance is invasion & we have never settled for less & how dorothy do i convince my neighbor of this?
a new flag flies across the street. our community is full of them, each a sort of exclamation mark after the silence inflicted on us in the grocery store the clerk either stares wordlessly or scowls while they ring up our toilet paper & canned caffeinated sugar-free water & the vegetables & eggs & what offends them escapes me there is one flag which doesn’t fill my throat with dread across the street from the daycare but its solace is tempered by angry signs & slogans adorning many of the local homes & of course the pickup trucks with headlights that strip corneas bare or that sport steel testicles at the back end or pejorative decals about vegetarians & the sign nearest our home in the window of a man who flies the flag of the marine corps says make the liberals cry again & i wonder who it is they imagine crying because when my people cry it is often because one or more of us has in some fashion directly or indirectly been eliminated & what do the people praying for our blood lose in their defeat except pride & access to unfettered violence anyway we cannot fly a flag in answer or it might put our child in danger like every time we drop his other trans friend back home in her neighbor’s window the flag of the confederacy permanently displayed makes my blood rise my hand ache for a brick.
thinking about dying again feeling ridiculous you ought to see the puppy so tenaciously mischievous i can only wish i could ever be so uninhibited & yes this brings us to two dogs & three cats which brings us to two adult queers a queer child two dogs & three cats & i’m thinking about dying again i have a family & i’m thinking about dying again yesterday i felt jealous of roadkill on the way back from the ocean until upon passing i realized it was a backpack when you write will you tell me can a person who remains broken in the presence of purest love still be saved?
can’t decide if we’ll sell this house of other people’s memories the indecision reminiscent of the back and forth of this country on whether personhood should apply to everyone & we’re likely screwed we can hardly afford to rent even in this town & it seems we’re unwelcome—too many manicured lawns presiding over stately homes with darkened windows who knows what goes on behind some of those what propaganda is digested nightly full of pundits passing judgment on people who dare defend free expression or even worse advocate for its expansion—might be a while before i write again my dear friend as it is nearly time for another election.
Garnet Juniper Nelson is an androgyne birthed & corrupted in the American high desert who now writes from the Pacific Northwest. A graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Nevada, Reno, their work has appeared in publications such as Salamander, Waxwing, Poet Lore, Ninth Letter, Frontier Poetry, Salt Hill, and Pidgeonholes, and has received nominations for Best of the Net and Pushcart prizes. They currently teach writing at Centralia and Lower Columbia Colleges.