Milestones

“Damn the things we must survive to survive.” –Pat Parker to Audre Lorde in a letter dated January 4, 1988, from Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989 It’s mid-August, and I’m done with chemo. I feel like I have enough distance from my last cycle to look back on thatContinue reading “Milestones”

I Swear

For Hill Thinking about crown shyness in Muir Woods,just two small town aces–children of factory workers–clipped at the roots, reaching out,not desiring touch but community.Like the trees, reaching out,belonging, holding, sharingbut still autonomous.You take a picture of me peekingbetween two trunks.I take a picture of youlooking up at your crown of trees. Thinking about sharksContinue reading “I Swear”

The Big Cs

This week, my sister was asked to choose between her career and my safety. As I approach my sixth cycle of chemo, stressors like this coupled with exhaustion and bearing witness to the selfishness and ignorance of anti-maskers have made me prickly, chiseling my words into sharp edges. Right now, America, you need sharp words,Continue reading “The Big Cs”

My Cancer Playlist

The songs and music videos that help me through the worst of it: You Don’t Know by Katelyn Tarver Lost Boy by Ruth B. Golden by Ruth B. Sum of Our Parts by Mary Lambert Monochromatic by Mary Lambert Straight Outta Oz by Todrick Hall FORBIDDEN by Todrick Hall Falling by Harry Styles Oh MyContinue reading “My Cancer Playlist”

The Back and Forth

“With cancer, it is rarely a matter of either-or; there is seldom a choice between hope and despair. Patients face both simultaneously, or serially.”- Azra Raza, The First Cell How much can a heart take, figuratively but also literally? This is a question that has floated up to me through the fog over and overContinue reading “The Back and Forth”

Breaking Through

“Which part of you will you let live again?”-Mary Lambert, “Sum of Our Parts” “Let ’em laugh while they can,let ’em spin, let ’em scatter in the wind.I have been to the movies, I have seen how it ends,and the joke’s on them.”-Brandi Carlile, “The Joke” The kittens arrived in early spring. Their mother birthedContinue reading “Breaking Through”

Save Your Prayers

This is not a story about the loss of faith or its restoration (sorry, not sorry). This is the story of awakening. Of autonomy. Of going from closed to open. This is a story of reclamation. I was raised in a religious household. We called ourselves born-again Christians. My mom was a Sunday school teacher.Continue reading “Save Your Prayers”

What Cancer Takes: A Trans Perspective

“when I introduce myselfI want to write in pauses with the momentsthat people see me and they see mewholethe moments they pause with mein unison, solidarityof my true identity…” – Fabian Romero, from “My Name,” Troubling the Line “you try to remember the first time you said i’m sorrywhen you should have said fuck you.Continue reading “What Cancer Takes: A Trans Perspective”