30/30: ODE TO JOY

In this episode, my mother and I
watch Lucy pretend she is someone
she is not, again.

In this episode, Lucy and Ethel
work at a chocolate factory
to prove
their worth to the men
in their hearts
and they work,
until

every bone in their body
is called defiance

the two women
braver
because
they are together

And together,
they are failing

Life
happening
faster than
the pieces of chocolate,
passing
through their hands,
one
by
one

until at once,
there is too much
for them to hold,
and

In this episode,
hope
is the only
delicacy

In this episode
my mother and I hide
behind
our laughter,
in the black and white
half-light,
me and her,
unbothered
by Lucy’s helplessness,
which, to some extent,
is our own,
me and her,
astonished
at the
the control she lost
which,
does not stop
her

it is a moment
where everything
depends
on the next moment

where
the space
she found
inside
her mouth
taught her
and me
to doubt
the chaos
neither of us
created
but in this episode
all of us
learn to escape
one way or another
and is this not
the definition
of a miracle?

the television became
our invitation
to pretend
together,
where I’d sit still
in the afterglow
of my mother’s
favorite show
and
every night
we’d chase
re-runs
until we
memorized
the sounds
in our head
line by line
the laugh track
cracked our
hearts open
just like our
lips, and
then and now

I learn,
in the low light,
the mouth
is no place for defeat

and joy is this—
realizing,
I am a mystery
even to me
that
everything I wish
to say has always
begun
in silence
before
it ever
became a script,
and again,
I refuse
to give
in.

In this season
of my life,
I would laugh
my vulnerability
into white noise
I would destroy
the darkness
just by
smiling —
& to this day,
I am
performing
for joy

The curtain call
of my body
falls
and I am a boy,
again,
and I love everyone,
again, just like
I Love Lucy,
just like I love
the love inside
my heart,
part
chocolate
part
factory, and
in this episode—
Joy is my only
choice, and everyone
I love
is watching me
disassemble
all of me,
until
nothing
is left to tremble.

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