Love Yourself Tenderly

“…good deeds should come from our natural instinct toward brotherhood, not from tribalism!” (or forced guilt) ~ The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

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A week or so ago, a relative messaged me to say that another relative was ill… and that the whole thing was my fault for refusing to interact with said relative.

I was quite shocked. I mean, I know I’m freaking fantastic, but I had no idea that my mere presence came with healing superpowers. Still… I felt like I should not give the message all that much importance, since it also included pronouncement of hellish suffering and smiting from a rather wrathful god if I didn’t change my wicked ways.

I do love my ways.

Anyhoo, because nonsense spreads like wildfire (or the stench of shit in a tiny room), the first message was followed by a second and third… from individuals with whom, I assume, the first relative discussed my refusal to share my secret superpowers. Those messages weren’t unkind (there was no mention of my sexy flesh and bones burning for eternity), but they did make it a point to remind me that “loving others first is the duty of every good person. And I know deep inside that you are a good person.”

No, my Wicked Luvs, I didn’t laugh madly at the poor manipulation attempt. Neither did I pretend to misunderstand what the person was saying—passive aggressiveness and I have never cared for each other. I don’t seem to have the right sort of teeth for it. So, I just told her, “Loving me first is my first duty. Everything else is a gift. I’m not in the habit of giving anything valuable—especially myself—to anyone who believes their happiness and peace of mind are more important than mine.”

There were other messages (some not nearly as kind as the blackmail). I deleted them unanswered. I took a shower, went for a walk, returned home to blackout poems, took another shower, ate some yummy ice cream… and told the brilliant woman who lives in my mirror that regardless of what the rest of the world might think and do, she will always be first on my list. She grinned at me, with exactly the right sort of teeth.

High on Spring Blues

I wrote this poem a few years ago, on the first spring after my little brother flew out of his flesh and bones. I remember thinking that loss alters the way most of us relate to everything… even the changes of the season.   

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There’s birdsong on my page…
words I planted in midnight soil
are blooming memories of you.

Louder than death and time,
your soul sings to me of life:

“Dance your sobs
into undying laughter,”

I hear you chant,

“let the joy lift your heart
(high on Spring Blues)
and stitch our eternal tale
on the ventricular walls
of my forever home.”

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Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Tuesday Platform.

I’m an Angel

Experience taught my kind to avoid public bathrooms. But since experience can’t argue with a full bladder, I took an exit that welcomed drivers to The Idle.

I parked behind some empty chairs that faced traffic. For car watching? I thought, but biology overruled curiosity, and my need for release sent me rushing into a gift shop in search of a bathroom that was, of course, all the way in the back.

A framed sign, taped between doors labeled His and Hers, read: Ask store attendant for key. I read it again, as my bladder screamed that it would not make it back to the front of the shop without exploding.

Showing my bladder that flesh was weaker than thought, I approached the cashier, and said, “May I borrow your bathroom key?”

He looked beyond my face. I wanted to think that he was admiring my glorious hair, but knew he was staring at the hint of wing tattoo escaping the top of my sweater.

“Male or female?” he said.

“What?” The question surprised me. Angels weren’t common in cold cities, but myth and reality merged decades ago. Our physiology was no secret.

“Men’s or women’s bathroom?” he said, in a louder voice.

“I’m an angel,” I said, feeling flustered. “I’m not in love right now, so… I’m neither and both. I mean… any bathroom. I just need to pee. Any key will—”

“We’ve no restrooms for people who can’t tell.”

“Who can’t tell what?” A surge of mixed emotions set my skin aglow, then the man reached under the counter, and my wings and sword burst fully out of my thoughts.

“I’m not afraid of you,” he shouted, brandishing a crucifix between us.

Wings retracted and sword returned to non-being, I walked away from the trembling fool, too furious to apologize for the puddle my bladder rained on his filthy floor.

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the wee notes…
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Mythical Prejudice (Poetry and Flash Fiction with Magaly): write a 3-stanza poem or a very short story (313 words or fewer) that explores prejudice from the point of view of a mythical creature who is part of our modern world.
– Many mythologies and theologies speak of angels as sexless and/or genderless. So, I’ve wondered how these beings might be treated if they were citizens of a world that is very much like ours, but where myth has become reality.
The Idle (still in the making) a tourist attraction in Indiana, which will involve rows of chairs “overlooking the downtown’s interstate”. The idea behind the “attraction” is that some people might enjoy watching traffic… as long as they are not stuck in it.