What It Is

Khánh Hmoong
Khánh Hmoong

It is a cool morning and I’m running late. I’m warm in my core but the air. The air is fresh and refreshing and it’s touching me, tenderly. It’s tickling me. Soothing me. The small of my back is starting to sweat. My body drinks the breeze.

It is my hair prancing down my back, when I take it down after a long day. Sometimes I keep in wrapped in a tight knot. I keep it, constrained and contained because it sometimes gets unruly. It likes to be free.

It is stepping into a field barefoot a few days after a spring rain. The ground is soft, but permanent. Some places I step urge the mud to gracefully form to these two feet. The grass is soft. The fur of the earth. I imagine times when everything was green.

It is dancing to loud, Latin music in a dark and dingy basement where no one can see me, and even if they could they probably wouldn’t be looking at me because they are really just caught up movement and the moment too.

It is sheets fresh from the dryer, which I’ve wrapped my naked body in, that I’ve covered my face with, that I’ve cocooned myself amidst. Emerging with new wings, light as air, free from the things that bind me.

It is his voice. His touch. His taste. It is he who I don’t know yet but that I feel, feel, feel. So deeply. He is close and I can sometimes feel him beside me, when I wake up in the morning groggy with sleep.

It is time spent in stillness. Incense burning. Window open. Sounds of the street below. Thoughts gently rolling in and out. Nothing to do, nowhere to be. Breathing. Being.

It is my favorite band playing live music. Crying and singing and remembering and forgetting. His voice and his hands. Wondering. Wandering.

It is me stepping into the shower. Steam rising. The water is so hot that it prickles my skin a little bit. I sing and the voice that I use is completely my own. It feels. I know my neighbors can hear through these skinny walls.

It is the feeling of sweating. My body is creating water. Prosperous and non-potable. My arms and legs glide around each other as if this was a choreographed design. My body speaks. I listen. I agree. I am deeply moved by the miraculous ways in which I can. Abundance.

It is reading poetry on the train. Within the chaos I am calm, and my heart beats and my gentle vibrations are buzzing. The energy I am submitting to the universe is electric. We are all wires. We are all wired.

It is time in New York City. There’s so much and never enough. It drags and it flies. It is everything at once. I try to manage it and control it and divide it. I become devoted to dissecting it. To watching it. To looking at it. To being on it. To inevitable unpunctuality.

It is the closing paragraph, that ties it all together, sums it up, finalizes it, does it all. It’s important, but not because of content. Nothing new is introduced. It is important because the ways these things close matters. People want a happily ever after. People crave knowing that it will all be okay. That the end of the day, of a book, of a love, of a five star dinner has to be followed by. A bright moon, a rational culmination of all the action, closure and a kiss on the cheek, chocolate covered cake and port wine.

It is the way things end. Abruptly or continuously. Grandiose or understated. The way you wanted or not. It’s the curtain closing over a scene you maybe loved or hated but ultimately one that hopefully made you feel. It’s the last line of a song that always reminds you. How it ends, those last few chords, the final words. You know them intimately.

It’s the way things don’t end. It’s every time you tried to end it. It’s the ellipses at the end of the final sentence. It’s goodbye and turning around to see that face one last time. It’s inexhaustible. It’s the fire that exists at the core of the earth, it will never run out, it will never cease, and that occasionally burns us all. It’s evolution, it’s practice, it is this life and all the rest. TC mark

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