I joined this 52 essay challenge created by Vanessa Martir(https://vanessamartir.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/52essays2017/)because I have been writing poetry for so many years but I am really an essayist …I used to be. I gotta get back to it. This is attempt no.1. I’m rusty –but I’ll get better. Anyways, if you are also writing weekly essays, please include me in your tags! I wanna read them. Let’s do this people! This week, I am terrified for the future and in love:
Vinny lay snoring loudly on the chair his tia abandoned when she moved to L.A. from San Antonio. His family leaves all kinds of fine things behind, as if everything in life is disposable. Our entire American culture seems disposable these days. Doesn’t anybody give a shit about stability anymore? I look at Vinny and I live and die in the hollow of his breath. When we kiss, he sucks me in and I suck him in; together we breathe deep. Nothing can shake us.
I don’t want to wake him. The kids are already in bed and we’d normally be talking about life and making plans for the next day, our house, the kids, writing. Speaking of writing, I have to jot down a few things, so I sit on the used couch I bought from my neighbor. Ten bucks well spent. It’s the kind of love seat that should be on a small patio or porch in a tropical setting. We don’t have a big fancy couch. We have this one and it’s mine. No one sits on it but me. The upholstery reflects what I feel like lately; dark brown with some cool faded paisley print that was once idealistically turquoise.
Vinny snoring louder in his maroon lazy-boy, looks beautiful as each rise and fall of his body fuels my love for him. His hands are holding tight to each other, elbows akimbo. One knee bent up the other sideways and tucked under. He was folded like a note passed in class, fallen from a pocket, left on a chair, facing up. I resist the urge to kiss him. To disturb his deepening breath -his staccato exhaling, his mouth slightly open. I think about how it is to rest my bottom lip inside that opening. It fits perfectly there when we kiss in the waking world. The mustache hardly prickles my top lip and smells like flowers or coffee, depending on the time of day. His parted mouth is my safe space. I am his.
And before he wakes, the election is called. He-that-shall-not-be-my-president is given the presidency. Later, when the electoral college voted in real time, they gave it to him again. My guts lurched then and now. My parted mouth can only groan.
I type out, “I am mourning for the peace we have at this moment, before what ever comes next disturbs us.” I don’t wake Vinny to tell him his prediction came to be… That our love is the only safe place left in America for us. Instead, I draw up my arms. Cross them over my chest, protecting my heart. In his sleep, Vinny shifts and tucks his fists into his armpits. His legs straighten. I call this his sultan pose. The pose that defies all outside forces. I admire how his body already knows just what to do. I kiss him. I rest my bottom lip in his lips.