who will take care of my cat

Who will take care of my cat
When I’m gone?
When I’ve finally fled this hapless half romance
When my bitterness overcomes my tenderness
When I’ve given up on ever mattering

Beyond
A smattering of half competent confidence
And exotifying compliments
And shots to the confidence
At yet another conference
Of well meaning cis women
Consuming my labor, my sense of self
My wealth
Will they miss me when I’m gone?
Or will there be another desperate girl
Trying to make it through, with no pride
One who hasn’t yet given up on mattering
Beyond what she’s got the capacity to provide 

Dear one,
Will you take care of my cat?
Because I have to go put on
This mask, this hood on
And I might not be back
The allies are busy at a rally to tax
Products classed feminine the same as the men’s
So will you take care of my cat?

But cheers to the audacity
Of counterfeit alacrity
Smiles beget smiles they say
But forgiveness begets only trials of faith
Because I’m too tired to fight for fake freedom
Freedom to forgive fascists
To forge coalitions of
The unwilling but practical-minded heroes of compromise
Free to hold y'all up as I atrophy
Shout your names smashingly
In the paint for the apogee
Then back on the bench
Drain me of good will
And don’t forget the free refill
Free to sweat until there’s an acrid stench
Hold counter signs to nazis
Claiming the rise of the south
Love on terf babies as they open their mouths and
Regurgitate poison they had no clue about
Free to take your abuse, 
Wouldn’t it be obtuse to pout?

Here is my heart:
Meted out in chunks of
Haggard begrudging pseudo necessity
Spent, in full,
on middling ignorant advocates
Unaware of their antagonist status
But who will take care of my cat
When it’s all gone?

“The only thing required for survival
Is unconditional love”
A surprisingly limited resource
But precious and protected only
By the precocious few
who glimpsed the future: we will be gone, and soon
And there will be no one to take care of our cats 

So who will take care of my cat
When debit’s depleted, debt caught up
Too desperate and too tired to fuck
To strut enticingly toward the next fucking truck
Emotional bones deteriorated, frail
When self and community care have failed
And I’m finally, finally, finally gone
Who will take care of my cat?

(c) Abeni Jones 2017

 

i want to fall in love

with a woman
who lives in town
we'll meet at the bayou and ride bikes
around town on a saturday
end up at my place
to cuddle and watch a movie we’ve already seen
she’ll help me tend my vegetable garden
and i’ll critique her short stories
she’ll teach me yoga poses
i’ll teach her how to use egg replacer
i’ll make a vegan of her yet

i want to fall in love
with a man who hates toxic masculinity as much as i do
with dark brown skin
and bright white teeth
who’ll go with me to the nude beach
and not laugh at my white thighs
who’ll be gentle
because it’s basically my first time
he’ll teach me how to box and do push-ups
i’ll teach him how to sew a skirt
i’ll bring him home to meet my family
and he’ll be so fabulous and right for me
they won’t say shit

i want to fall in love
with a person whose very existence
helps to decolonize my mind
who teaches me that sex is a journey
and that i am incredibly ordinary
as well as so fucking unique and
it’s no wonder all these motherfuckers don’t understand me
but they will
we’ll talk about the prison industrial complex
for hours late into the night
we’ll talk about love and sex and the future and politics
disagreeing constantly
wonderfully
they’ll introduce me to new beers
i’ll introduce them to new comics
i’ll draw a new one
and they’ll be the inspiration
i want to fall in love
again

 

unconditional love

your heart’s audacity’s got boundless capacity
Isn't prone to perspicacity
And you give and you give and you give and you give

you give and give forever until you’re barely there
existence ain’t meant to be fair
your lot in life lot’s daughters and wife’s affair 

though I would never begin to criticize the gift
I don’t think that I can carry it
I want to live I want to live I want to live 

and it’s all a part of our natural womanhood
Emotional labor’s in our blood
Self-destruction is more than simply right, it’s good 

And since you learned it all from your father and mother
The “this is what love looks like” cover
Forgive and forgive and forgive and forgive and

(c) Abeni Jones 2017

 

the world isn’t made for me

the world isn’t made for me
because i’m tender and it’s not
it never was, never will be;
i surface all its taboo thoughts

a self medicated rambling mess, 
hope and fear entwined within
sipping the old refrains "I tried my best,"
and “it wasn't my intent to win.”

so I expose its delicious lies
though snake oil seeps in slowly, sot
with these long-heralded pantomimes
peel back the rind, reveal the rot

without an infinite return
we never know what we never see
my only comfort being that
“the world wasn't made for me.”

so, free and fully unbound, I float
through unnamed unknown liminal ether
but being impossible, unconstrained
has never comforted me either

life: more a partnerless widowed dance
than anything resembling faith
ballgown irreparably ripped askance
i hold myself in loving embrace

because the world isn’t made for me
i’m tender and of course it’s not
but I am made for me and see
i guess that’s all I’ve got.

(c) Abeni Jones 2017

 

this is what I looks like

if i
is built from the wreckage
at the site where
i as seen and
i as self-constructed narrative and
i the amalgam of thousands of de- and hyper-contextualized moments of awakening
collapse and explode
i is nothing and everything

when i was a child i believed
i had an eternal unchanging soul
loved by jesus and, potentially, others
i’ve had lovers
but none as passionate as
destruction 

love came and went
as the tide:
benign
all-natural/organic/cage-free-range
ever-present

& erased my sandcastles
& returned
& returned
to demolish
slowly
methodically
with soft, foamy precision
what id built

daring i to build again
on the imperceptible carcass of the old
(nothing is new)
an impossible idea is built in the mind
whether words yet exist
whether wombs are capable
of that birth

“the opposite of love isn’t hate
it’s creation” but
creation is hate
for what came before/
upon which the new is built

as i washes away
i makes space
i is lost
& founded
among the bodies of
all that i has destroyed
i is haunted by i
that was and is
and remains

(c) abeni jones 2016

translation

never forget
the stretching of ribcage
as lungs expanded
that first breath
deeper than ever imagined
skin lit aflame with
a thousand lovers’ tickling tongues
loneliness momentarily vanquished
upon discovering
“queer”

and never
the fleeting sentimentality of it all
upon discovering
boundlessness cannot be labeled

however whatever it is
makes its way
from heart(? or wherever its birthed)
to head to mouth
breath vocal chords tongue
to language
so many synapses fired
so difficult a distance
how couldn’t
everything be lost along the way?

never forget
even the attempt at translation
is a miracle
the boundary between bodies
as real
as it is illusory
that gulf impossible
as every translation is

never that
the wor(l)d can’t have and
doesn’t deserve you
between the first feeling
through to the infinite return of the second
in around together with
both and neither
you reside resplendent

(c) abeni jones 2016