MARCH 2016 Galactic Rabbit Horoscopes

Dear March Hares,

I don’t know what it’s like where you are but here in Brooklyn I’m walking around with no coat on and tights as pants (forever and ever). It is glorious and I feel hopeful which is something I haven’t truly felt in a long time. I’ve been reading the first and earliest of Susan Sontag’s notebooks and thinking about what it might be like to feel hungry for knowledge all the time instead of hungry for money (which is just a True Fact about living without a net).

It took me a long time to write these letters for you and I’m sorry if you feel I’ve kept you waiting. In the olden days, a love letter might have simmered for weeks in the secret inner-skirt pocket of a mistress before finding its way into the hands of her desired recipient. And, perhaps we don’t live in the olden days but I will tell you that we might as well because yesterday afternoon, on Bedford Avenue, there were lots of ne’er do wells sipping absinthe and strange unnecessary inventions in the shop windows (an IPhone charging oak log?). Not one coffee shop took cards or had Wi-Fi. It was basically the France World Fair of 1889. I’m not making excuses, dear readers; I’m just taking my role in this elaborate scene, a writer en plenair.

Before you read the text ahead I just want to thank you for inspiring me, for trusting me, for all your generous loving notes and comments. One day, when I am an ancient crone, I will take out an old USB—a relic!—and plug it into some sort of magic converter that will project all your beautiful words across my ocean-floor apt. I will do this every night to remind myself that I did a little good in the world.

Clearly Feeling Silly & Free,
Galactic Rabbit

P.S. Thank you CLAIRE SKINNER for saying yes or no to everything.
P.P.S. Thank you Marina for making me get into downward dog.
P.P.P.S. Thank you to everyone who supports this writing all the time. Special thank you to my former boss Kim Menig because for some reason I get teary eyed about it.

If you want to support the writing of these horoscopes here is the PayPal. I love you!

 

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Aquarius

Dear animal, aren’t we both animals? Don’t you hunger like me? Don’t you feel trapped, don’t you spend your days imagining the many powers you were meant to cultivate if only… Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself—perhaps that’s not what animals do. Animals survive, they move by instinct and desire. Animals, it seems, are compelled by empathy—but they are not ruled by it. Animal compassion has no god.

But, you have a god, a god that holds justice in one hand and reason in the other. Dear animal, justice lowers her head in the face of love. Here is another Aquarian woman who wrote about love as a kind of freedom and freedom as a kind of drowning: Even as a child she had lived her own small life within herself. At a very early period she had apprehended instinctively the dual life – that outward existence which conforms, the inward life which questions.

                                                                                    Kate Chopin / The Awakening.

If love is an opening in the self—it is also destruction. The things we depend on obliterate us and build homes out of our ruins. When you listen to the god of reason, you move through this world, through relationships and cities, intact and unharmed. When you are an animal, the world breaks open from under you and everyday you serve your hunger. Both ways of living offer up a kind of freedom and survival, but only one of them will push you to thrive.

 

Pisces

I want to picture you walking along the Coney Island shoreline for hours, with the fog laid thick on the Parachute jump, and the ocean slapping the salt rocks. Dusk setting, the attraction lights rise up in the distance like new stars. Climbing into an empty lifeguard chair, you watch the sunset—a beautiful fluorescent gasp in the sky you suspect might be pollution. The moon is for you tonight and her abundance scares you just like the enormity of the night sky pressing up against the very breath of your body scares you.

The fear of this world swallowing you whole in its starry mouth is not dwarfed by its impossibility. All night you’ve been feeling the very real fact of your aloneness in the world, the way we are made and the way we die. It will do you no good to think of these things further.

When your lifeguards chair—your small oasis—rattles, it’s because a lone child climbs up the stripped metal rungs and finds you. She isn’t wearing a coat and she isn’t yours but, like you, she belongs to the ocean. This child is drawn to the strength in you, the very real sweetness that lives behind all your anxious gestures and moments of cruelty. She knows that it’s your turn to be the healer now. Tell her what beauty is, what living means. She is looking to you to teach her how to look fiercely back at the world and be the one who loves more.

 

Aries

How do I come into my own company—an ablution of the night’s stock film. The wall is a neutral board to echo off or to limit my veins and learn their urgency. I am seen when lost, void of language. When a formless whisper overtakes the airwaves. I am seen most exactly with open palms.

                                                                        Sara Renee Marshall / Multiplicity

I haven’t lived long in this room, the one I’m writing you from. Most of my walls are bare and there are only two plants—which is unlike me. When I think of beautiful rooms, I think of you: your blinking red lanterns and sky blue linen comforter. That one time you built a fairy arch around your tent, how you beckoned me to kneel down and notice the sweet little accents of collected moss. Recently I found a card you gave me and considered framing it. I am happy enough with my life for now, you wrote. The people who surround me give me love & hope. I’m just suffering a little bit with myself.

Today, I am thinking about that suffering, your bright young heart buoyed by love in the river of your uncertainty. These months have been a kind of mixed blessing—you worked so hard and then—doors opening with possibilities, but somehow just out of reach or not quite soon enough. You generated what you could, you kept the fire in the hearth and made good on most promises. And the days and your nerves and your body wore on.

What might you need to do to fill the beautiful room where you keep your bright hope? From now on, imagine yourself as deserving abundance. Who would you get to be if you let yourself have more than just enough?

 

Taurus

Towards the end of last year, I went to see a friend’s work in a group show. Despite my interest, I became overwhelmed by the overcrowded space and left within fifteen minutes of arriving. But, not before grabbing one of the show’s few offerings: a lone poem with no mention of author that sprawled generously around its small page.

Pay close attention // and   a long, slight     neck. // An elegant // refusal // may be // all you get. // I don’t think // I was a little boy // or // a little girl, // I was just terrified. // that can’t be right.*

I brought this poem to my girlfriend, whose childhood I imagined near those last lines. I took it to Pittsburgh; I carried this poem around the Cathedral of Learning. A week ago, I spent an evening with a poet who is Pittsburgh MFA bound and delighted in the easiness of his company. Tonight, re-reading the small found poem, I realized it must be his.

What I’m trying to tell you, reader, is that the world is stitching your thread across more lives than you can imagine. I know you drag the loss of friendships (and the dreams intimacies engendered) like drowned boats behind you—if bodies were oceans, if oceans were archives. But you are meant for great things, Taurus. Because of the nature of your heart, its steadfast coming, the world rushes to meet you where you stand.

                                                                                                           *Grey Vild

Gemini

Your face was an instant relief despite the fact that I was not aware of my own suffering. I wanted to keep your attention, keep you near. I jazz-handed my way through the hors d’oeuvres table, talking up the chips and goat cheese cups, and you played along. It’s as if we were right back where we started, years ago at an artists’ retreat. And this is where memory gets murky; where I can’t remember any one specific moment that felt deeply ours, where I can’t quite find the root of the affection. Yet it’s obvious, flexible, and untethered from time.

Gemini, as this world shrugs off winter’s last cold front, I can feel you aching to do the same. If you think the weight of these last few years—the missteps and setbacks have squandered your radiance, you’re wrong.

There is no one who is near to you who does not love your light—even if you keep most of it to yourself these days, even if you are afraid to be seen lest you are seen the wrong way. It’s getting warm and so sweet outside, I open my windows and my block is loud with neighbors chatting and sunning on their stoops. My record spins and the music mixes with the street sounds. This afternoon, I am one of them and I’m thinking of you. Open yourself to the affections of others by asking them in, making concrete plans and do your best not to break them. You don’t have to wait until you’re “at your best” to receive the support you need. Your heart is at its best all of the time.

 

Cancer

Dear sweet friend, I try my best to make sure that the artists I reference in each love letter I write are matched to the sign I write them for but, this month, I am compelled to move away from tradition. Today, I am remembering the many different ways we have tried to be strong for one another and how, when it came to heartache, you were the one tending to mine. I’m not sure how to tend to your heart, which is obvious and guarded all at once (crab life), so instead I’ve put on a song that reminds me of you.

I’m sorry that I left you with your questions all alone / But I was too happy driving and too angry to drive home / I was thinking about the easy courage of my distant friends / They said, I could let this bridge wash out and never make amends.

                                                                                    Dar Williams / Spring Street

Because it is Spring, because once we thought we could change the world with our big brains and at night, after all our thinking was done, we’d blast these songs on full volume and shake the whole house.

But I’ll push myself up through the dirt and shake my petals free / I’m resolved to being born and so resigned to bravery

Because outside of our house, there was a large still lake and a tree full of crows, because any pain we felt in those years is a small pain now. If you are hurting today, Cancer, what I want you to remember about disappointment and injury is that they are strongest in the places where they occur. Wounds are tethered to their origins but you are not. You can be strong anywhere.

 

Leo

I’m in downward dog and you’re on the speakerphone. “I should get you a Bluetooth like mine,” you complain because my head is hanging between my arms and you can’t quite hear me. “I’ll never use it,” I reply, mostly in truth and mostly because I don’t want you to spend what little money you have on me. “You’re right,” you agree, “first I’ve got to get you some new curtain rods.” You hate my curtain rods and maybe I hate my curtain rods but they’re not top priority so instead I ask, “If you had a big bowl of fruit right now, I’m talking the best of the best—perfectly ripe and good—what fruit would be in it?” We discuss the last time we had nectarines, the undervalued luxury of the perfect apricot.

This is something like that scene in Hook when Robin Williams as Peter Pan leads the Lost Boys in an imaginary feast which soon transcends their imaginations and sustains them.

If I was a rich girl… I would probably sell out just like Gwen Stefani did…and I would buy you so many things. But, since I’m not, since you’re not, our innovation and work ethic will have to do for now. In that vein, it might do to remind yourself that, contrary to some collective beliefs, money might not buy you happiness but it can grant you opportunities. For that reason, the line between pride and integrity is not well defined. It’s our job to re-draw our vision of it each time.

  

Virgo

When I first moved in with you, I had no idea how we would get along. Walking into your small nook of a bedroom, I found fuzzy green-framed corkboards, Disney posters, and curtain to rug hot pink accents. You played a lot of Dave Matthews Band, an affliction affecting 75% of the college-going residents of upstate NY, which I found ultimately confounding. Despite those factors, or precisely because of them, I fell into enduring and admiring friend love with you.

Who else would collect money to build water wells in Darfur using posters doused in glitter? Who else would wake me every morning and roll my body to the gym? Who else would teach me the true pleasure of an Eggo, PB, and Fluff sandwich?

In loving each other we pushed each other to become the biggest baddest version of ourselves. You taught me that it was OK to believe in the impossible goal of making the world a better place. And I helped you discover The Goddess, which I think is a pretty substantial contribution.

When we were young it was easy to become new, to abandon the preconceived selves that we carried. Now it seems like the harder we try to take chances, the more difficult it becomes. Perhaps what we need to remember is that evolution felt most natural to who we were when we loved something more than we ever expected and were not afraid.

 

Libra

When I was young I did not understand that I was serious. Now I understand and can only vaguely do anything with that information except point back at what I made and say, See? I’m such a libra. Libra bodies are co-dependent.

                                                            Hannah Ensor / Ms. Dryer and the Good Man

Today I’m thinking about what it means to put in the work. In the past few months I’ve constructed some kind of new career for myself in which I visit the homes of successful female artists and help them with their unwanted tasks. Sometimes these tasks are ones I’d find pleasurable without payment, organizing the quirky wardrobe of a Scorpio welder, tuning the receptivity of LED lights for an Aries painter who speaks Electricity. Sometimes they teach me a great deal, like the fact that I can send out one grant application per day for someone else but can’t manage to write one single cover letter for myself without contemplating faking my own death.

It’s easier, of course, to put in the work for someone else. Putting in the work for yourself can often feel like a last ditch effort toward survival. Clearly, this kind of relationship to self-fulfillment isn’t a very good one and it’s not easy to change. To change direction, to put in the work for one self, one might have to trust that their life and ideas matter. There are many factors in this world that can make that seem impossible but trust me when I tell you this: those factors are just evil apparitions that don’t belong in your beautiful (one, precious) life.

 

Scorpio

Last night, strolling the streets on what felt like an unseasonably warm night, my lover and I were beckoned into a bar with its barn doors wide open. Inside, the young hip artists of Bushwick gazed over their IPAs at a Democratic debate on UNIVISION. The screen turned to a Guatemalan immigrant named Lucia, whose five children were seated nearby. She explained that her husband had been deported some years ago. “I have a great pain,” she told the two candidates on stage.

When Bernie (Virgo) responded, he was quick to underline his role as her most trusty champion. “I absolutely support that,” he began, “At the heart of my immigration policy…the most progressive and strongest of any candidate…” Despite this impersonal approach, Bernie was quick to guarantee results—his vision of the future as mutable as his sign.

Hillary (Scorpio), on the other hand, began by saying, “Please know how brave I think you are, coming here with your children to tell your story. This is an incredible act of courage that I’m not sure many people understand.” If the rest of that response hadn’t devolved into roundabout talking and indirect promises—she could have won Lucia’s heart and her vote. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for Hillary to make big promises she can’t keep because Scorpios hate lying and only do so when pressed. This trying not to lie and then surrendering for the sake of image is obvious in most of her responses.

In that moment, I understood something about Hillary and something about Scorpios who have always felt at the edge of being great. When we treat the world as if it is as fixed we are—when we speak of the world as if it is unchangeable, we perpetuate spiritual weakness. When we listen, when we lay aside our bitterness at not being seen and our need to prove ourselves to others—it is then that our strength and kindness is most visible. It is then that we get the love that we have been trying to prove we deserve.

 

Sagittarius 

It’s easy with us, you say as you steer your Jeep off the thruway and into the backstreets of Williamsburg. Our date was short but fabulous: female drummers stationed throughout Brooklyn Museums’ many exhibits, telling a story of solitude and collective strength with their rhythms. I agree it’s easy, the way I can slip my arm through yours or not, the way you look where I am looking and remark, “Eye-candy” without a hint of jealousy. We’re both tired already after a day toiling away at our jobs and proud that we’ve stayed out this late. We can get a drink or I can drive you home, you offer and there is no weight in either option.

This sort of erotic friendship is a treasure and we have earned it. In the car we talk about your instinct to pull back when pursued—even if you are interested, even if the other person “makes sense”—and I am not surprised. I remember when you pulled back with me, I remember the way every Sagittarian I’ve loved pulled back first so that they might glimpse at the bigger picture.

Dear Archer, there will be years when life demands you jump in headfirst, years when the bull will find you and well… the horn etc. This is not one of those years. Trust your instinct, your steady meditation between want and resistance. The journey you are on now will create a major shift in your life. Choose the path with your full heart this time, don’t let the path choose you.

 

Capricorn

Last night over what felt like (and was) an absurd amount of meat and a pitcher of Sangria, we played my favorite game, the one where old friends recount their own versions of a shared history. Who was the one ostracized? Who was left the most unscathed? “Oh that boy, he hated me because I wouldn’t fuck him,” I said. “Remember when you made him hold his sweater up as a partition on the train while the two of us made out” you interjected, “so that he’d really get the point?” Of course I didn’t remember. Of course my memory clung so tightly to my own suffering, it forgot about cruelty.

Morality informs experience, not the reverse. I am my history, yet in my moral desire to understand my past, to be fully self-conscious I become precisely what my history demonstrates that I am not—free.

                                                                        Susan Sontag in her diary, 26 years old.

I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom lately, not so much as an idea but, rather, as a practice. At a women & non-binary writers’ retreat hosted by the inimitable Rachel McKibbens (cap-witch), Airea D Matthews (Virgo/libra Empress) stood tall before a yard of human stars and commanded us to “Bitch, Get Free!” Tattoos followed and they were bitchin’ but we all know getting free is easier tattooed than done. Getting free, it seems, is a daily exercise in mindfully surrendering the stories we carry about who we are and what we deserve in favor of the unknown possibility. In order for a goat to move on from injury and into her strength, she must let go of her injured-memory.

February Lunar Love Notes!

Dear February Rabbits,

 

Because I am Russian/Ukrainian and grew up in Little Odessa By The Sea, Brighton Beach, I have looked forward to the Lunar New Year for as long as I can remember. Starting January first (inaccurate, I know), old men with furred hats would roll out their carts full of that year’s animal from the Chinese Zodiac. Aunts and in-laws would arrive at our apartment with tiny charms to dangle from our wrists or cellphones. There was magic in those small charms and a ritual power I grew up belieiving in. Some winters ago, under a full moon, my mother told me that her older sister Anya would raise her fat beaded purse to the full moon and waggle it chanting “Goddess do you hear me? Goddess give me money!” That is why this weekend I bought two gold coins molded with monkey images, one for me and one for a friend. For money. For luck. For welcoming whatever comes next with red hot energy.

Welcome the Aquarian New Moon, lovers, and the year of the Red Fire Monkey. The year when all the work we’ve done, all the drudgery and mud slapping, gives way to clarity and swift rewards. The year that each tiny revolution in our spirit will bring forth magnificent consequences.

 

All Charms Come To You,

Galactic Rabbit

 

P.S. THANKS CLAIRE SKINNER! Again always forever.

P.S. Thank you all readers for your love notes and support and yes I screenshot each one and save it and look at it when I’m sad.

P.P.S. If you’d like to contribute to the making of these horoscopes and my Red Monkey Year, here is a little link: PayPal!


 

 

 

Aquarius

In her essay “Other Balms, Other Gileads,” about being positive, and queer, and poor, and fucking run down, Bryn Kelly writes: Does the soul, which has been degraded by poverty, by neglect, by racism, by homophobia, the soul that has always been told it has nothing to live for, now, somehow, have the promise of tomorrow? Of hope and everlasting life?

Yeah, right. Gimme a break. She wasn’t born yesterday. But she has to admit; it all has a certain resonance.

This summer, in order to take regular breaks from a bad living situation, I frequently slept over at my friend’s apt. Every morning, she would leave early for work and I would descend the bunk bed (that she built herself) slowly, carefully. At ground level, I’d come face to face with a light box, an index card tucked in its corner. On the card, written in rainbow pencil, was my old mailing address and the sentence When you lift someone’s load, you don’t allow them to expand. These two notes seemed purposely paired together—where I’m coming from and where I’m going. I wondered if sleeping at her place, if finding relief instead of solving the issue—was my fear of expansion.

My avoidance, my lack of trust in my own ability to thrive, I inherited them from my mother, from poverty, from a country that never wanted girls like me to succeed. With depression, suffering is a speculative genre, wherein we all attempt to catalogue the heaviest weight so that we might shrug it off. It’s harder to chart the loss we endure from years spent under a rock, expanding. The people we forget we have every right to be. Still, I think it only fair that you try your best, Aquarius, to find out just how much this past year of endurance has taught you. Test your limit. You’ve made it this far so why not go farther?

 

Pisces

You call me and night fills up with the crackle of your laughter. Every person that has done you wrong, every bad turn, you roll them like olives on your tongue and suck the pit right out. In a story we tell ourselves when we are afraid to grow: we are always the ones hurt, we are always the ones abandoned, we are always the ones who lose. Stories, like prayers, are more powerful the more we believe in them.

When you say—I am the one love falls from—you open your hands and let go. You compromise your heart in order to protect it and then you are the one love falls from. But what if I told you that you are not that one? What if, all along, the world has been asking you to hold on a little harder?

Pretend memory is not a

hangover. Find a cure. Viola Davis my way

through a room with no wig. Call you bigot

to your face. Keep my hunger for pushing

my fingers against the wall of a lover’s writhing.

I’m feeling myself on the dance floor,

in the bedroom of my witching hour. 

What if the story of your life was not about suffering for the sake of benediction? Imagine a world wherein you have always been strong enough to forgive whatever harms you. It can be hard to finally feel strong but, Pisces, you are different then you once were—kinder at the core and luminescent. I wish you could see with clear eyes the many ways you were cared for—each of us your mother as if we knew how to be mothers.

 

Aries

How strange this silent longing for death,/ as if you could make the sun not come up,/
the world’s wheeling and wheeling its seasons/ like a cruel continuation of stubborn force.

I just took a break from writing horoscopes to make my very first ever batch of Rice Krispies treats. Melting the butter slowly in the pan and cutting the big puffs into smaller puffs, I thought about time—how it slips away from us or how we try desperately to get ahead of it. It was a funny thing to do—cut marshmallows into quarters—they stuck to each other and to me. Still, I kept doing it, one after the other. Days are like this too; we cut the whole into halves and smaller, smaller, trying to make something easier, to separate the ingredients of ourselves from ourselves.

Bear with me while I make a sudden turn. The crispy mess that might be a sweet tooth’s heaven is cooling in the refrigerator and I’m trying to tell you that the time you put in doing “the work,” no matter how tedious or seemingly unnecessary, it was not for nothing. Each gesture toward self-care: the exercise regimens, the therapist appointments, that time when you chose a little sanity over a little money.

But that’s not how it happens. Instead, light / escapes from the heart’s room and for a moment / you believe the clock will stop itself. Absence. / You see: light escapes from a body at night / and in the morning, despite the oppressive vacancy / of her leaving’s shadow, light comes up / over the mountains and it is and it is and it is.

It matters, the small things we do for each other and ourselves so that life can be a little brighter—a little more bearable.

 

Taurus

“Writing is not the body. Neither is the house. The body is the body.”- Claire Skinner

I have a secret dream where you come back to me. My face is covered in mascara and you clean it off slowly with wet fingertips because this is a gesture of love we both understand. It doesn’t matter who I was crying for because you are the answer. You, and your beautiful hands I have always loved for their elegant power to tend or to quietly refuse. In the dream, we ride down big avenues on a bicycle. The basket is alive with blooming and the wind is your hair. We never go anywhere; we never grow up into women. We ride and rest, our hips spreading into the earth and over each other.

In a series of poems about altars, or bodies, or the living space made sacred, Kristen Nelson writes: Akilah, what are the limits of the body? The first time she asked me, I said: The body is limited by our own expectations. The last time she asked me, I said: the body is limited by who we allow to love us.

You have tended to your home, Taurus. You have tended to the roots—the elders and the ancestors. You have been meticulous, picking your poisons with careful intent and your body wants to love you back, wants to feel like it too is a sacred altar in which you live.

In my dreams, each gesture of love is a candle I light for your pleasure. In this world, I hope the light in you burns bright into the night and beckons. Let healers come, let lovers come.

 

Gemini

A few weeks ago I agreed to join a small coven. What I mean is: a group consisting of my lover’s wife and one of her closest friends and me. Because women in proximity are always each other’s teachers, the three of us chatted naturally on Facebook about what we might bring to the table. One asked about building psychic barriers and the other wants to practice empowering each other. These are the two skills that make friendship powerful and witchcraft even more so. I don’t yet know what I need to learn so I’ve begun reading Starhawk’s Dreaming the Dark.

“When we devote our best energies to what we most cherish, when we refuse to let our energies be diverted to further destruction or to serve other people’s end, we tap into the power that creates the everyday miracles of birth, growth, and change, touch the fires that have not cooled since the beginning of the world, shift the very plates we stand on so that new continents can form.”

Starhawk is a Gemini and I’m convinced all famous witches are Gemini (cough Stevie cough), which means I’m convinced that you, dear reader, are meant to be famous or at least very very bright in the constellation of things. So bright that when you approach the wrong girl in the wrong bar, you somehow get half a sandwich out of it. So bright that even if you are sick right now, even if you can barely leave your apartment, there is a party outside time where people are dancing beneath the image of your glowing face.

If you were to be in my coven (if you are in my coven) then everything you bring to the table, when you have the energy and even when you don’t, is something of great value.

 

Cancer

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson writes: The pleasure of abiding. The pleasure of insistence, of persistence. The pleasure of obligation, the pleasure of dependency. The pleasures of ordinary devotion.

I think we were taught that love comes into our lives to hold us and I won’t tell you that’s a lie. Rather, I want to propose that learning how to love is the journey we’re after. And I mean it in the biggest way one can imagine. Learning to love our families even when they can’t love us in the ways we need, learning to love our partners without judging them for the ways they haven’t yet learned to love themselves. And, above all, learning to love ourselves enough to demand more when what surrounds us is not enough to sustain us.

The pleasure of recognizing that one may have to undergo the same realizations, write the same notes in the margin, return to the same themes in one’s work, relearn the same emotional truths, write the same book over and over again—not because one is stupid or obstinate or incapable of change, but because such revisitations constitute a life.

This is a journey that will bring you to your knees with regret—and with pleasure. We create the path we roll down and we never stop rolling so it’s important, Cancer, that you remember the part you play in our own undoing. It’s important that you say out loud what make you feel good, what harms you, and when you are sorry.

 

Leo 

Remember when you were my professor and I’d watch your dogs, DVR The L word, and read your how-to books on fisting while you were out of town. I’d walk around your apartment and think about how much care you put into each rug and note of color. Your refrigerator plastered with photographs of a young dyke and lithe gay men—Fire Island probably. I was looking for a photo of the woman who broke your heart, the one who let you get away to that sleepy college town we were both in.

I am astounded / by the various kisses we’re capable of. / Each from different heights / diminished, which is simply the  law. /And the big bruise / from the longer fall / looked perfectly white / in a few years / That astounded me most of all. *

I was thinking of that woman when I called you from San Francisco years later. The sun was pounding over my head and I cast a long shadow demanding you tell me whether or not I would be heart broken forever (what I meant was what I thought I knew about your heart). You laughed at me and told me to go dancing.

But I didn’t go dancing, I was heartbroken for months, I kept crying in all the wrong places and still, I know I carried your conviction with me. Not that time heals all wounds, as they say. Rather, that wounds are just wounds—we can cry about them or not and no one is made the more honorable for doing so.

* “Each from Different Heights” Stephen Dunn

 

Virgo

One winter, long before we ever broke each other’s hearts, we walked along a Finger Lake quietly knowing each other. I lived in a town under so many stars and you were the best one that ever came to me. The wind was wet and alive against us so we climbed into the back of your card where the seats were gone and it was like we’d kidnapped ourselves. No. Something less menacing, a glitch in location in order to pause time.

I don’t remember why you were crying—or maybe you weren’t crying—maybe I was just beginning to understand the shape of your face in a moment of anguish. You told me you wanted to write stories. I asked you why you weren’t writing stories. I don’t think I ever got an answer.

Removing the notion of forever (-f) allows, ironically, for forever to emerge: The sky is, in this sense, as deep and wide as it is deep and wide. To understand this: Imagine blood vessels, say, broken in an old lover’s eyes

I hope that wherever you are now, you are making exactly what you love. I hope you are surrounded by people who value you, people who can read the pleasure and pain in your face without a moment’s hesitation, who feed you when you are hungry. Old love, if that is not the case than let me remind you, stress is a symptom not a root. Don’t confuse anxiety and fear for personal failure and don’t define yourself based on anyone else’s dreams but your own.

 

Libra

You said that there was a time when we could have been more than friends—that winter years ago when you drove hours out from the city and towards my sleepy town cloaked in blizzard. You brought me three mix cds I couldn’t listen to; at night we curled around each other and slept. You whispered, “this is nice” and I said, “this is something we can do.” I felt relief—yours, mine. I said there was a time when we could have been more than friends—that summer years ago when we pounded Four Loko on a dark stoop and took off our shirts dancing at Outpost. Phone numbers rained from our pockets and we crawled on the dance floor toward music (each other).

I’m incredibly powerful in my ignorance. I’m incredible, like some kind of fuzzy star.
The nonsense of me is the nonsense of death, and
Oh look! Light through the trees on the lake:

the lake has the kind of calmness
my pupils’ surface believes…and this is just the thing
that the boxed land of shades at the end of the remote
doesn’t program for: the lake is so kind to me, Amy,
and I’ll be so kind to you, Amy, and so we’ll never die:

there’ll be plenty of us around to
keep casting our inquiry
against the crisp light. Light is all like,
what’s up, I’m here I’m an angel! & we’re
all: no you’re not, that doesn’t exist. We all laugh and laugh…

Or cry and cry.

I don’t know what more than friends is. I love you in that queer way of two intimate bodies hurtling in a shabby car towards nothing in particular. Two stars hanging precariously over the same ocean of lovers. All these years, tenderness without knowledge, the both of us dancing to seduce no one in particular. Old friend, I never knew you. Tonight I want to know who did. Whose hand have you let reach deeper than the first sadness and into well of you? Old friend, love pours like water around your mouth. In order to drink, you must open.

 

Scorpio

Because there is a wound in the universe, a wound appears in us. Yes, all stars in relation, all pain—a belt of pain. Scorpio, you are the one who prays to stop feeling so much so much—and it’s private, the praying. A wound is tight inside your chest; a stone that glistens when wet, appears soft. Before, when it was easy to be cruel and you were interested in the easy way, you’d ask your lovers to heal that wound in you. Now nothing is ever the easy way so you sooth yourself.

I’m awake / no one is here–no one is ever here / the affect is very no the / affect permeates me deeply. thats why Im a rock Never use the word ‘is’ / the therapys to move the rock, render the affect flexible Why bother Nothing / wrong with rock, sings a rock You are not stone not stone soul, sings another thing / Yes I am Dont cry youre not allowed to. I will cry stone / I’d rather be stone than their imbecile. *

Solitude is powerful but there are other ways to feel strong. There are nights when a body can be with another body—a beloved—and each hour will lie down upon the hour before fingertip to fingertip. Whatever joy there is left on Earth (in the wake of intimate loss, of haunting loss, of violent public spectacle) it hums between them. Keep listening for that hum, Scorpio. There will be months when music is the only thing that stays with you—so gather it up inside your bones with listening and be grateful.

                                                                                                   * “Love” from Benediction by Alice Notley.

 

Sagittarius

There are days when I live in another universe where you are very much near me. We go to that place we like and order the same big vegan salad, extra dressing, extra pico, extra big smile in the hopes that something gets tossed in for free. We order gin too but later. Or maybe you get gin and I get whiskey but the important thing is we’re going to write all evening and take up lots of counter space. We’ll swap work and praise each other’s very brave hearts.

But, in this universe, you are far from me. In an email to you, I write: Have you noticed that when you sleep, nothing makes you sad and nothing hurts? Yes, you write back. My inbox is full messages with your name and the word Yes.

Such a hurricane/ Such a hurt and pain/ Trapped in my soul and I can’t explain.

So many nights I have called you with burning anger, you are the only one I seem to trust with mine. I read you an offending correspondence and you gasp with indignation. You teach me to be gracious in response, to never give away my power. In the business of being a better friend, I kindly request you show me where you keep your anger. Let me hold the ruby jewel of it to the light and give you clarity. And, when that anger pains you, let me praise your sharp mind, perceptive graces.

 

Capricorn

A long time ago, a psychic told me that I use a lot of reserve energy. I had never heard the term before but the moment he uttered it, I understood it perfectly. I understood that, for years, I’d been running on energy I didn’t have to spare—energy that I wasn’t generating for use. Instead, I was tapping into the core resources of my spirit, shifting from depressive lows to survival mode just to catch the bus or finish a project.

A goat moves up a mountain and toward a cooler altitude, looking for water. She is a marvel of gravity, a vertical dancer, hooved acrobat. She knows in her bones when a storm is coming, when it’s safest to nestle in the crag’s natural shelters. She knows when climbing toward what she needs might cost her more than she’s got to give.

Because our bodies teach us new things every day, because we were not made to work flawlessly forever into old age, and because caring for yourself can often feel like a luxury many of us can’t afford, you are no stranger to running on reserve energy. I understand. Capricorn, this month, I want you to imagine a place inside yourself where you keep your strength—emotional—physical—spiritual. Imagine it is a beautiful box. Mind how often you must open it, how often you replenish what you take.

 


 

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