The Shore of Ireland

A month in Ireland and I would never feel dry, the entire time. It was the wettest summer on record and the water was coming from everywhere – the sky, the ground, the sea, my eyes, my very heart.

The second day I was there he walked me through his silent village, the river a black ribbon and us under a bell jar, walking in molasses, sticky and slow. He took me to the abandoned train station, overgrown with reeds and foxgloves and the loneliest place I’d ever been and there on the platform my face broke open and turned to water, my nose my mouth my hands, and I keened my sorrow into the green. Inside I admitted what I’d known the moment I’d put my arms around him at the Dublin airport and felt the birdlike bones in his back – he was mine no longer, I mean he was mine for the taking but I knew he wasn’t made for me or me for him; it was out of order, disordered, it didn’t fit, but I put on my weak American smile and soldiered on for a day or two until we sat on the platform and I knew it was gone.

The next night he disappeared into the smoke of the bars in town my insides scraped raw and for the next four weeks we tried, we pretended, we rode from one end of the country to the other and we kept at it. Solstice rainbow on Malin Head, as far north as you can go, the silent treatment on Clare Island, him out of his mind in the green muck of Belmullet, and all the while me letting the love die, coiling out of me and left there in the soil of his country and nearly mine, a place with her fingers so deep into me that to this day I weep like an exile. I emptied myself of the dream, the life I could have had all of it, I still can’t tell you why, my best friend says it would have been ‘too small’ for me, but I can tell you that although I answered the call of my truth and that’s the best thing you can do in many ways it broke me and I have never been the same since. I never believed after that and I am now only so many grains of salt – I know better now and I will never break on the shore of Ireland again.


The Night Is Long

‘The night is long, but our dream is longer.’ – Haitian proverb


I was just telling my best friend today that I want this tattooed on the backs of my shoulders. When people ask me why, I will say there are so many meanings.


One of which is: when I feel so low that I cannot see my way out of it, when I am lying at the bottom of the river and I contemplate never coming up, of letting myself be washed out to sea, I remember that I am needed


by my best friend

by my four dogs

by my circle of loved ones


but these are all ‘of courses’ and I also remember that I am needed


by the voiceless

by the hopeless

by the beaten down


fight the good fight

to tell those thrown out like trash (people dogs teenagers especially the gay ones) that they are beautiful

and can and will be loved

to help teach the little girls in my life how to be a woman and a decent human being

to speak, shout, scream, drop science

to be counted


to remember


to light the spark


to dream the dream that will outlast the night