off the coast of friendship

we could tell the future

by the birds gone quiet

a change in the winds

our energy jumped

full of dread we shouted out!

like we gonna perish


then the storm subsided

left our faces wet and salty

lush and flush 4 the sunshine

#katyamills

they was kind

they was quiet when i
expected noise and heat 
my vertebrae rolled in with laundry
screwed down by the
street spine up like train tracks 
over the sierras. i thanked god
they was kind. only heat the machine 
my life dry spun the rain 
came down in sheets

#katyamills

con.cert.ed

the world looks different when

your standing beside a friend

central american eyes. back from nicaragua because one

in her family passed on

 

breakfast at dennys photographs stories emotions

forefront:  i have trouble trusting, do you, too?  you

gotta let someone in

 

i went to seven eleven

thought about it

turned in my winning poker card for two

 

one for me and one

for you

 

thanks for the flowers

teas cut with

black and green teas cut with banana and chocolate and herbs. opened into the air from large glass jars. i called their name over the busy morning store. someone i had not seen in a year.

the class would start soon, exercises and sun salutations. i brought my friend. she’s early on, expecting her first child.

i will run the river until i strike gold.

after tea, we said goodbye. i pulled out on broadway. i was in such a state of calm i didn’t get rattled when a car heading east drove up on the median. a palm tree lost some skin today.

it’s easy to lose your balance in the world if you let off the pulse.

sock.eye

wild sockeye salmon

broiled with sprouts potatoes and stuffing and

she liked it. we talked about our lives. i got caught up

in the story of my past and overshared. i could

not retreat

 

you got a real friend when you

decide to stick around despite the urge to run

shake the salt and pepper and

it only brings you

closer

loss one

another loss -i

You let me stay one night in your room, many years ago,  i was in between places and spaces and a kick in the gut had landed me in Oakland with nowhere to go. Brown-outs were my life back then, and nobody can tell you what your psychosis is gonna look like or how it will feel, because they aren’t buried behind your eyes. Electronic Dance Music was one thing we had in common that night, and we had what was left of my battered laptop to trade tracks that touched us…

Jennifer Mendiola

in memoriam – Jennifer M.

You were my friend. You had reached out to me in January of this year, randomly, and I was so glad to hear from you, I don’t know why I did not follow the way to see if we could hook up for a moment in this life, one last time? Life gets chaotic and there’s nothing much you can do. Suddenly starts, suddenly ends, and gradually you realize you never know when. We can try, though, and that’s exactly what I forgot to do, about you. Jennifer Mendiola aka Alana Kane. I will miss your enduring smile. I cried very hard tonight when I discovered you sailed out on a Ghost Ship and never to return. The clock struck midnight and you and your lover, you were dancing, you were gone. I remember back in 2009 when I met you South of Market, San Francisco. We were counselors at a painful place. Sixteen beds for sixteen lost and homeless souls. I brought my desire to help. You brought your presence and your smile. We got along easily, though the work we had to do was hard and brutal. Just outside those double locked doors in this sanctuary city, people were driven to desperate intoxication and suicidal panic, and all the time. I could not believe you at first, I wondered how could you smile all day long like that? From dawn to 3pm when we got out. There were times I thought you must be faking it, I confess. All the methadone nods of sixteen souls all around us? The cutting scars and track marks? The lonely vacant stares, up and down the carpet stairs. But we knew we could make a small difference in a semi-safe space. Listen to them tell us their stories. Hold them if they cried. Teach them simple skills if they wanted to learn. Laugh like we were family, and for a time we were. Everything about it could be cold, day by day. Yet you smiled. I guess you had just recently been married around then, I didn’t really know or maybe I forgot. All I know is we worked well together and kept the place running, which was the best we could do with phones ringing, doors buzzing, and sixteen souls in need of something all the time. I really admired you. I knew I could trust you, you worked real hard and really cared. If I walked in the door and saw you, those early foggy San Francisco mornings, some of that tension, that burden a social worker experiences inside, fell off of me immediately. I could take my earbuds out, warm my hands with breath, take a deep breath and look to you. Talk to you. Get willing with you toward the day ahead of us. I will miss you my friend. I will think upon you when the work gets brutal, and try and smile through.