Dangerous Compassions


I enjoy making a hashtag that’s new. Today I hashtagged #amaranthisforlovers on instagram, and it gave me a thrill.

I ordered yerba buena from a special plant nursery in the Bay Area, a favorite plant of mine. It arrived yesterday.

It smells amazing. The smell is perfect. I like it for tea. But the ones we had before, the leaves were thicker and tougher.

These the leaves are so tender. I feel sorry for the yerba buena, used to those foggy mornings and cool coastal temps. I want to say, “You’re desert dwellers now,” by way of gruff apology, but they know. They don’t need me to say anything.

But I relate. Can’t stop crying tonight. I need a fuckton of kindness I’m not getting. My mammaliness needs that comfort, a puppy pile of physical contact love. But–quarantine, sadness, regularness, moderation.

This morning I saw a lady I love–Ming and I rode to the Worker and set up chairs for prayer, and I hadn’t seen this lady in months. She said hi to me twice, and I was happy to say hi back, but I want to glom onto her and hug her the hundred hugs that are in my heart for her. Kiss her head, ask her how she is, look into her eyes, and emote my excitement, rather than pushing it down and acting like I don’t care.

“Oh yes, I am a regular person who feels standard amounts,” I lie instead. “My love for you is perfectly reasonable and not that important to me. You are appropriately important to me.” I don’t know how to be cool. I missed that day of James Dean kindergarten.

Ming sees me crying and is sorry for me. “I’m sorry you’re sads,” he said. I try to be there for myself. But it feels pretty impossible.

I feel like going out, but what’s there to do at night, that isn’t capitalism. My friends are with their families, busy, or sick.

My cucamelon has true leaves, and more tulsi came up.

Could I be strong like amaranth? Tall and bright, wide and blatant, filled with nourishing seeds, guardian of the pathway, kind silent vegetal brilliance?

We’ll see. For now, I’m tender like a leaf nurtured by fog, needing to learn what a desert summer is.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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