Mira Berkson: Two Poems

My Love for You is Like My Love for Dhall Bananas:

I could always count on you
for my trustworthy source of midday fulfillment
until last Friday.

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Boomerang Kid

The best thing my dad ever did for me was fuck off to Iceland.

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This past Saturday, April 29th, at the Titular Head film festival, 10 or so students and I participated in a performance at the end of the show I understand is being referred to as “The Loucifixion.” In it, I was hoisted on a homemade wooden cross while the Jock Jams’ hit from the Space Jam soundtrack “Are You Ready For This” played. Five students danced at the front of the stage while five more or so lifted the cross and proceeded to carry me on a lap around the Harris Center audience. Tithead was not the right avenue to offer context of the performance, so I will do so now.

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Thinking About You, Walking.

When I left my house that Monday night, my mother asked where I was going but I shut the door and the brass lock clinked into place without an answer. I didn’t know I would walk to you. I took the roundabout way, three miles of dirty Brooklyn blocks spent looking down at my scuffed leather shoes, stepping over the old gum on the sidewalks withered into black blobs. The streetlights made yellow spots on the murky Gowanus, and I crossed over to the other (your) side of the slope. Few people were outside, and I could hear the rustle of fallen tree leaves and the whirring hum of speeding cars on Third Avenue. I rounded the corner past the looming Armory and shoved my hands deeper into my pockets, feeling the dollar and twenty-seven cents sifting through my fingers in a clattering of pennies and dimes. The deli near your house had blinking neon lights, red-lined cigarettes and bitter soda and I stopped in to buy a pack of mint gum. I popped one out and started crushing it between my teeth, dropping the wrapper down a storm-drain. As I walked by Seventeenth (your) Street I imagined you eating steak and potatoes like your mom made for me when I came over for dinner for the first time a few weeks ago, because it didn’t seem right to eat greasy pizza after spending hours in the abandoned paths of Prospect Park, leaping over puddles and knocking on the doors of abandoned potting-sheds. I decided to wait for you on the bridge you call romantic, peering through the metal diamonds into the distance, fixing my eyes on the plastic bags blowing across the highway until your hair caught the streetlight and (inhale) I turned to face you and you stopped a foot short of me. Are you okay. I pushed the gum to the other side of my mouth. Yeah. Are you okay. Let’s walk. We started unraveling the route I took to get there, passing the wannabe French café we once drank burnt coffee in on a Sunday afternoon prolonging our homework, and the rolling hill of Third Street we once stumbled up after I drank too much and you took hold of my shoulder. I took you to my version of romantic and we gazed at a naked Aphrodite on the water. Your own twinkling eyes blinded mine as I tried to read your face like a map. The streetlights played games in your hair and your Roman nose was in profile and your brows furrowed a bit in the center and I could see the blond wisps of hair on your chin that escaped your morning razor. When you turned to face me I whipped my head back around at the fountain and blinked away my secret. The gum remained dormant in my mouth, sitting on my tongue, and your own head motioned for us to walk and I felt your eyes leave my face once more. My shoes, still muddy from the dirt in the park, clicked on the cobblestone and I tried to stare at them instead of you. Are you okay. Your coat was halfway buttoned, thrown quickly over your white T-shirt after you got my message. Maybe because we didn’t have school the next day anyway. Maybe because you are the you that I know. When we hugged in front of my stoop you were shivering and I felt you inhale and pull me a tiny bit closer before you unwrapped your arms from my shoulders and gave me a nod before turning to walk down my block back to your own. The mint taste had gone from my gum and I spat it out onto the pavement, leaving another black blob for me to step over the next time I walk. Maybe then I’ll reach you.

~bubble of humans~ is a series focused on individuals @ grnl riding the limits of the bubble.

episode 5 stars the brilliant Farah Omer.

Fight Like Hell for Asian and Pacific Islander Women

I ask you to today to please understand how much Asian communities, among so many others, benefit from the existence of the Office of Violence Against Women, an Office supplying invaluable grants that allow for the existence of nonprofit organizations crucial to the protection of women who face sexual and domestic violence. The funding cuts proposed by the Trump administration threaten the existence of these organizations and the lives of the women they assist and protect.

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Fear of Missing Out

How often do alcohol and substance abuse-related problems stem from a fear of missing out? I’m writing this as I’m sitting in my room playing video games instead of drinking on a Friday night. No, that’s not a boast about how innocent and sub-free I am. In fact, as I check my friends’ and acquaintances’ Snapchat stories (whose contact information I’ve mostly acquired in the Harris bathroom), I feel a deep pit form in my stomach. That sensation is fear. Fear that I’m missing out on making friends and gaining social capital just because I’ve decided to have a relaxing night, that I know my introverted and mentally ill self really needs. Everyone on Snapchat is having fun, and they’re having fun without me. Those Snapchat stories probably don’t tell the whole story of a likely average night, but they are a cruel taunt to someone with a desperate need to be liked who couldn’t find the energy to leave her room. Seeing my peers live up their college weekend nights makes me feel guilty that instead of making connections with my classmates (whom I will “forget” to talk to on Monday), I am having a restful night in. That’s pretty messed up.

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bubble of humans presents DATING.

featuring Lydia Scott, Vincent Benlloch and Ella Williams.

see last month’s episode on LOVE.

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