Tough Emotions

sadness made love to me today, came up from under the sheets and wanted to spoon. i had to go…i had things to do, but he curled himself around my waist and said, “stay…just a lil while.” i gave him 3 days of me…lying in different contorted positions…twisting in elegance…alternating dominating and submission…always touching every part in every way…in and out of each other like boundaries didn’t exist. waves of water poured from everywhere, places i didn’t even think could leak spilled salty liquid onto the sheets. he gurgled in me …his version of joy…got full and filled up, he licked my fingertips and cheeks, he kissed my eyelashes, and thumbed the nook above my button…and when i began to dry, he said, “save some for later. you’ll need it.” and i did…and i do…because my circle gotta stay round and my glass always emptying and filling and doing it again like the moon.

– Asha T’nae

© All Rights Reserved 2016.

To Be Seen

My whole life has been a perpetual question. And that is, Will you see me?

– paraphrased from Amanda Palmer’s The Art of Asking

As I sit alone…

in my darkened room – two glass-encased white candles burning down their wicks – I feel a tingle in that space that lies two fingers-width down from the end of my breastbone.

Solar plexus. The seat of power. WILLpower.

How can a space so vulnerable house something so powerful?

I want to say something true to the world – I want to say something unpoetically true. I want to say…something.

I want to say something to you.

But there is only feeling.

Tears spill…

from my throat to my eyes. And when I close my eyes, my head begins to spin with emotion. Tears stay locked behind lids – tingling, then burning, then cool.

I’m here – just here, wanting you to see me:

Not pretty. Not sexy. Not profound.

Neither witty nor clever. Perhaps, no entertaining company at all. My presence may not ease your worries or make you laugh, not this time.

But I am…

a fleshy brown stalk, beating heart and throat full of seawater welling up from the space I don’t speak about much.

I want you to see me. I don’t want to talk about it.

But how can you trust me if I don’t trust me? And how can I trust me with me if I’m scared to feel – experience and acknowledge – all of me…especially all of me with you?

And if I don’t trust me, how can I trust you?

And if there’s no trust where do we connect?

No melody. No rhythm. No hook. No catch.

I just want to share something…true and raw.

No glory. No accolades. No credit.

I’m getting closer…closer still…close my eyes, and I give myself the gift of you without your permission.

In my fantasy…

you are sitting on the bed – quiet, all the way through. And I walk in with the lights on, wearing clothing that takes time to remove. But this will be no striptease; it’s a proposal.

I am offering myself – not my words – my being. Not my body, my essence. Will you see me?

Nothing has been spoken, and everything is heard. Our eyes agree, and I begin taking off the layers. Slowly, forfeiting haste, lacking finesse. Buttons are unlocked from slits. Fingers pull zippers down. Snaps are decoded. Hips shake loose the confines of denim.

You are seeing the marks left from the waistband on my belly and around my waist.

Then, a wet drop…

as you look up, you see eyes sparkling with tears, but there is no word for where they have originated.

I sniffle.

My nipples look up. My eyes look down. I do not want sex. You know this. I do not want the expectation of performance between us. I want you: your undivided attention and wholehearted presence.

Just for now. Right here.

Your index finger stops the drop from trailing any further. Quickly, you bring it to your mouth. You put it on your tongue while looking up at me. Your hand reaches, I inhale quickly, as you begin to trace the outlines of a million invisible tears running up and down my body like code.

Your fingers read my saltwater braille. And the transmission thickens with content; it flows with comprehension. More tears, more stories, more seeing, more safety,, more connection.

I am dripping, drenched…

You take me in your arms and rock me.

Without words, you answer.

Oel ngati kameie


I almost lost it all

Dear Beautiful, 

I thought I’d lost you for good – that bright smile and playful spirit shrouded by so many unhealed hurts. Even your laughter was pained at our most recent meeting. Your skin seemed to have dried with the discontent sucking in moisture faster than you could replace it. And your steps had been reduced to nervous little tentative hops, barely missing the invisible grenades of depression waiting to detonate at any moment. 

You were shell-shocked. Love starved. Unappreciated. Underloved and mishandled. 

You were bitter. Hopeless. Jaded. Scattered. Disintegrating in plain view. Everyone around you took it for maturity. 

But I know you.

And I knew that you were too close to holding your breath and never letting go, ever again. That held breath had so much life unlived – every molecule held an unshared secret, barren desire, buried truth or stifled scream. That breath had to be released into the world. And so as I saw you standing there in the rain, clothes close to transparent, I knew I had to come for you.

And yes, the world needed me. My phone was ringing with girlfriends wanting to know “What’s up?” My nearest and dearest questioned my aloofness. My job reminded me that I had not accrued enough PTO to take off, and my bank account screamed for want of more deposits than withdrawals. But all I could see was that the most important thing in the world was slipping away: you…Me.

And so I came for you knowing that my very existence depended on it – on me ACTING on behalf of you…I mean, me…I mean, us. 

I came for you. I came to you. I came through you – not knowing if I was saving you or if you were birthing me. Because suddenly all that I lived seemed but a fickle apparition, and life appeared a dream. I caught you right before your heart made the decision not to beat. And your eyes fluttered, and then I felt the moment squeeze us so tightly that I lost my breath and found it again inside of you.

I found myself inside of you – not in my relationships with others or achievements beheld. I found myself inside of you – not in my past stories or futuristic projections.

I found myself inside of you – and as I stumbled through the rain down that familiar path, I could hear you breathing…gasping…reaching for life in my lungs. And when I carried you to the mirror, there was only me looking back – soaking wet and trembling, and you were inside me reminding me of who I’ve always been.