Chatham Grey

your cheap, cooked pasta noodles just a week old still gathering the dew built in the generational traumas of the fridge and it’s chill,
the remnants of lauryn hill lyrics left written on the wall,      (everything is everything)
lacerations of growth we used to ignite new york city as a dream
but left after the smoke cleared at the campsite
because we couldn’t bring ourselves to wholly neither leave nor clean it up

my first home,
your arms,
the only paradigm multiplicitous enough to be squandered and lusted after at the same time,

maybe this is how we missed each other:

by thinking that because we hold similar beliefs —
that continuity always was and is the ontology of permutation —

that we did not tend in different directions —
a reverberation of that exact same truth we both espouse,

how palpability
can swallow
a meal bigger than it imagines

i made a promise to myself:
do not look at the walls etched with the absence of you

on tuesday,
beirut implodes,
portland’s whiteness exceeds itself
into a responsibility bigger than a documentary or an article;

revolution feels possible

thursday is the 75th anniversary of hiroshima,
& on that day i decide that anxiety must be the late capital, individualized curse that late capital and individualism will and have spark into radiation:
a ghost
a taste

which cannot yet be seen
but whose consequences will not be escaped

& by friday,
i think there is no greater metaphor for trauma than that which is too monstrous to have the privilege of metaphor

& so
i convince myself that all you ever wanted was to be close enough to masturbate to an image of a face like mine and what you think it represents,

that all along,
you too were just swept in up the march of a neighborhood you didn’t really live in,

one electrified daily with a begging, heavy humid


i remind myself that It is no accident that you only call me in the morning when you are horny or text me in the isolations of the night when you are drunk,

a cataclysm:

i loved you then,
and still nonetheless.

the light in late summer is a gray filtered nectarine,
a tease;
the precise color i imagine the coarse but sugared taste of our collision tatooing upon my tongue
a gift or an
aspersion or a
tragedy or
the minute thing that gives movement its leverage

we’d laugh, smoke, hyperbolize ourselves into some arbitrary but public rock facade in central park —


a fast, arrhythmic descension

that i now take a pill each morning to calm.

CHATHAM GREY is a philosophy professor, time theorizer, writer and arts organizer bouncing between the east and west coasts. Her most recent work contends with thinking through trauma.