at the borders of
Living at the edge
betwixt our sidewalk & driveway.
Last month we dragged over this line with a razor blade
dug & drilled & drove it deeper
carving into our minds
where danger approaches.
Perhaps we were motioning the end
of one kingdom and the beginning of another.
Yet blades of grass squeeze through the cracks
and at dawn we all lie
drenched in the same scent
of rain-soaked shadows
and warm browns
as our neighbors.
And as life persists
we see residues of the green
wall that bills erected,
partitioning the world.
Yet the tangled curls of dandelions in a stone belly
dare to cross between worlds
In another 2020
In another 2020
a new york city spring
the sun comes out every day, gleaming off the brownstones &
bathing the concrete,
meandering through the gaps in the freshly
the park across our apartment filled to the brim
pick-up games & double-dutch competitions
its 9pm and the day is just setting
older sister on the stoops braiding
hair, gathering every stray wisp
& holding every
grandmothers gathered on the church steps
spring florals & summer yellows.
we have that central park picnic
fresh cherries and mango nectar
ordinary afternoons never
a six-mile run with my hair down
a crisp cool on the nape of my neck
the headlines read:
record high temperatures in March
women’s tennis to take the Ivy League title
new chocolate shortbread at the coffee shop on campus
maybe we would have finally made it out
to Bushwick, gone thrifting
or bought tickets to that knicks game
maybe I would’ve finally asked
out the guy reading bell hooks at the coffee shop
how many more times
would we have scarfed
down our regular falafel cart orders
or sat editing each other’s papers
under Butler’s ominous lights,
dancing around us in circles.
something about the old English architecture
and the ivy cascading across the walls
made you feel a part of something
a few final firsts and
last all-nighter &
last night out
last levain cookie &
last mel’s milkshake
last midnight dance party &
last midtown dinner
tassels would have been moved &
until we meet again.
Guneet Kaur (she/her) is a Bay Area born & raised, Punjab-rooted, and Los Angeles based medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She recently graduated with her Masters in Narrative Medicine from Columbia where she explored the liberatory powers of storytelling in healing work. Guneet has a strong background in community-grounded work, particularly mental health, chronic condition management, and reproductive healthcare in first generation, immigrant, and QTPOC+ communities. As a medical student, Guneet looks forward to exploring the roles of narrative and interdisciplinary creation in dreaming intersectional, inclusive, and justice-oriented futures invested in the health and liberation of all people. In the words of Octavia E. Butler, Guneet is “positively obsessed” with being outdoors and in the sun, running and working out, fresh mint chutney, hiking off trails, beaching, creating art in community, Jamila Woods, and plants!
#borders #pandemic #community
Courtesy of the author.