January 22, 2015

It's 5am. I wake with a ghastly toothache and read Muriel Rukeyser's poetry to keep from thinking about the pain.

She writes:

Writing is only another way of giving, a courtesy, if you will, and a form of love.

and

One writes in order to feel.

I've found another woman poet to cling to. Another shelter in the night, a voice that echoes inside me, a book to call home.

This is all desperately cliché and desperately true. Art as salvation, as sustenance, as some kind of second umbilical cord transferring richness and life into my blood.

Yesterday, before work, I couldn't stop crying. I brushed my teeth and my mouth gaped open like I was screaming, only no sound, just tears and the mint-green foam of the toothpaste. I didn't want to leave my mother. I cried and hugged her and she cried too and we stood in the middle of my room holding each other.