I used to think of Sonia Sanchez when I lay next to her body that sang differently than mine. She smelled of stones remembering past steps under the 87 degree sun. We were so young then. Her hair in a ponytail. Frizz matted down the nape of her neck.
When I say her name loud enough for myself to hear, my brain freezes her at a nine o’clock angle, dressed in jeans and a blue Paul Frank t-shirt, hair in ponytail, black rimmed glasses, beads of sweat gathering at the corner of her neck.
When we first met, she sent me a message at 2:38AM.
“—– made get a facebook, but i dont want it… lol.”
My last message to her, sent at 7:37pm two years later:
“We will meet again and we can go out for some ice cream or food.”
When she died, or the day that I accepted that she died, I stopped reciting “singing one long necklace and breaths sailing on smiling tongues.”
Eleven years ago, I learned the word dyke for the first time, as a noun to describe an event, a person, a lover. When used in a sentence, it sounds like this: Would you like to come to the Dyke March with me? Or it can sound like this: They are a bunch of dykes.
I sometimes thought if she were still here, I would be next to her, instead of where I often find myself. Maybe we would both have moved on to a different poet and I wouldn’t have searched bookstores for titles like Super Sad True Love Story or Live Through This.
Or maybe, I’d have loved her more, I’d have loved her less, and everything would’ve been the same.