I wanted to use digital technology to bring people together around the issues they care about the most. And by this I don’t mean “all people.
I sent her a text message: DEATH IS NOTHING NEXT TO LONELINESS. My cell phone tolled in answer: YOU MADE YOUR BED, NOW LIE IN IT.
At these times I needed to touch him, to break through the plane of his isolation and mine. And so I’d perform the day’s first exercises. I called it taking him to the gym. I’d begin the part-by-part movement of his joints, each finger, the wrist and elbow, the shoulder, gently rotating, extending as far as the IV lines and equipment attached to his neck, arms, and legs would permit. Always glancing at the monitor to make sure the oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and heart rate didn’t move in the wrong directions. This was how I could tell him in a physical way that I loved him.
Helpful animal, let me borrow you
for waking into a late Tuesday morning.
The popular literature says I got
the right amount of sleep,
but does not say how to return
safely from sleep’s charcoal rot visions.
Enter the morning maladjusted
and be greeted accordingly. Seriously,
can you be hired away from your
ushering the dead to their judgment?
You are a whippoorwill to me,
because I get to choose not
how the waking world takes me in,
but what kind of animal the animal
that doesn’t appear to help me is.
When they see the police checkpoint, their spirits drop to the floor. They know the police have seen them. They know they can’t avoid the checkpoint. They know they can’t turn around, or the police will chase them. This is the border-policing apparatus advancing into the interior of the country, the “elastic border” that make places like Ridgeland, South Carolina, seem like the U.S.-Mexico divide. Criminologist Nancy A. Wonders says that in this new world, “border performances occur in locations that may be far from the actual geographic border” and the day-to-day decisions by government agents, police officers, airport workers, employers, and others “play a critical role in determining where, how, and on whose body a border” will be imposed. María has been living in South Carolina for eighteen years. But looking at the police yelling at them to stop the vehicle, she knows that she has had one too many clashes with this border police state. She has two sons, one daughter, and several grandchildren living here. While through these years there have been many ups and downs, she has never felt so relentlessly targeted by police, so immobilized. What happens next at the checkpoint is a crucial decision. María decides to return to Naco, Sonora, Mexico.
Women’s sexuality surrounds us, but right beneath that there’s this other standard for women’s desire that’s still informed by uneasiness. It’s linked, ultimately, to the comfort that we all get—men and society as a whole—from this idea that women are somehow less desiring than men. We can still lean on women a little bit to keep society stable. The dichotomy that’s set up is that men are animals and anarchic in their lust and women are civilized and civilizing in their sexuality.
She wasn’t a street fortune-teller. When I asked about the difference, Mrs. Azam patted my cheek and smiled. “Desperation, Dari-jan, is what drives a person to the streets.
10 reasons to donate to Guernica
What’s your dog’s name? I asked. Potato, she said. I thought to myself: I could love a woman with a dog called Potato. A woman with a dog called Potato is exactly what I need.
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