mmbftd

My words my photography my identity.

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  • mmbftd 10w

    Holding

    I kept your trinkets
    Your hand-me-downs
    Your warm fuzzy sweaters
    And wool socks
    The loose black sweat pants
    With the pockets
    The plastic purple spoon
    With a cute character molded into the handle. The one from that time you took me out to that frozen yogurt place and I didn't realize they charged by weight.
    I'm an expensive best friend!
    I kept all the gifts you sent after you moved away and assimilated into your brand new life. The one you painstakingly carved out for yourself, the one you curated with the help of some photos on Pinterest.
    I kept the plastic fortune cookie with the gold and purple puzzle charm, the one that opens so I can hide my secrets inside it.
    I kept the candy-pooping unicorn and I can't help but laugh each time I walk by it, it's sheeny plastic surface reflecting all the colors we loved.
    I kept your hand sewn things, cherishing all the time your beautiful, pale, delicate hands put into them. I marveled at your attention to detail, your perseverance.
    I kept all the gifts I bought you but did not send. The custom mixed holographic nail polishes with your name hand painted on the bottles, by my now shaky hand. I kept so many meaningful little markers of how I loved you. I don't know why I never mailed them. I was blocked maybe. In denial that you and I would most likely (and especially now), never see each other in person again. We'd never laugh together or cry together at things only the two of us could understand.
    Because there are times for things and people. My time was before. Before your new life. And as you had grown and blossomed, I had stayed the same. Stagnating in my self made prison. Alone and lonely and feeling the loss of our deep sisterhood like a mourning.
    Yet each time I thought of you and laughed, remembering our funny jokes, or cried knowing I needed to talk with you but didn't ever want to burden you with the same old issues...like a signal sent, you would message me. With little hearts and love.
    And it always amazes me, our connection. I know you would say I'm never a burden. I know you would say I'm no bother, that you'd always make time to listen and help and cheer me up. You'd pull me out of my own darkness and into the real world again.
    But there is a part of me that doesn't feel I'm good enough anymore. Not by your judgement, but by my own. I see what I am. What I've let myself become. A de-evolution of a once vibrant woman.
    So I stir my coffee each morning, with that plastic purple spoon from the yogurt shop, in alternating coffee mugs you sent me. One with rainbow stars and one with that yellow sun I crave. Because only you know me truly.
    And I sleep in your black sweats wearing your blue and green knit socks. And I laugh alone at our jokes. I smile when I watch other best friends on youtube, I laugh and then I cry.
    And like a clockwork of the universe your heart emojis come magically floating in, just as I needed to be reminded...that this is only done if I allow it to be.
    And like so many other things in our lives, maybe I shouldn't make this decision without consulting you first. My other half. My velcro twin.
    I'll think about it. Until I decide, I'll keep to my rituals of trinkets and hand-me-downs.
    They keep me sustained in your absence.
    Always loving you.
    Best friend.
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 10w

    Heart

    I lay in the dark
    The unsteady anti-rhythm
    Of the fishtank bubbles
    Keeping me up
    Then there it was again
    The "whoosh"
    I kept hearing.
    And I kept feeling it too
    Like a vibration through liquid.
    I held my breath again to listen
    As the world vacillated
    Between
    Despair and nostalgia
    Grief and hope
    Sadness and memory
    Loneliness and the want to commune
    We had once gathered
    But now are split apart
    Like old unkempt stitching
    We have separated
    We are hanging
    Swaying by the light of the moon
    By our own cords of experience
    Tethered to nothing-
    But a glimpse of what once was
    In a dream or fantasy.
    The world still turned
    As we all squirmed
    Under the weight of oppression
    We saw coming yet could not stop.
    "Whoosh"
    Hearing it again I sat up
    Darkness my only suitor
    I placed my weak hand on my chest
    Once vibrant and strong
    I felt the vibration inside
    An ever dimming reverberating
    Long lost companion
    Who I felt so disconnected from.
    My heart!
    Is this the breaking?!
    Is this how it feels?
    When you cannot share it?
    In order to protect it?
    "Whoosh"
    Then a light, a flicker
    Out there somewhere
    Connected me again
    To the rest of you
    And I'm holding on
    Squinting to see the spark
    Waiting for a hand
    To pull me out and into
    This fractured world again.
    Is it enough?
    Hope or despair
    What happens when they both begin to feel the same?
    Will the heart then fall silent?
    My own and yours?

    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 16w

    Window

    It was Christmas
    As I saw my parents
    Through their front porch window
    Waving and blowing kisses
    Through my mask
    I had rarely missed a Christmas
    With them in all my 51 years
    I saw my father begin to cry
    As this pain of being so close
    Yet unable to hug each other
    Set into us both.
    My mother, always the strength
    Bore a smile of resilience
    As we spoke through our cell phones so we could hear each other.
    We left humble gifts to be saturated by lysol and washed and rewashed
    So no particle of sickness
    Could get to them.
    We all lived in fear. They are both in their late 70's.
    I hadn't hugged my parents in a year. A whole year.
    And last Christmas we all took togetherness for granted.
    We had laughed and hugged and held hands and kissed and sat close on the warm couch in front of a red hot fire. We had made plans and spoke of dreams and goals and life...
    But that was the last normal interaction we had.
    Now Covid-19 ravaged our country and the world.
    I had only left my home about 7times in this year of Covid-19.
    I was agoraphobic before all this!
    And I thought of my best friend, who's dear father had died a few months ago. How his Christmas is so different from any of his others. How the hole in his and his mom's heart would never be filled again.
    And I looked at my dad through this window and wept because I was so grateful for having him still.
    I'm so much more fortunate than most this year.
    And I got to see my little brother too, as he was able to be with them. I hadn't seen him since last Christmas on that couch in there. They showed yummy food behind them on the table, homemade Cuban food from my mom's loving hands.
    And I realized how important all these traditions are. How recipes handed down can never be learned too soon. How jokes made by siblings heal hearts. How singing with my father in a harmony only genetics can grant, is so valuable. To watch him play that ancient acoustic guitar and be happy singing all the songs he wrote in his Du-Wop days.
    And mom giving the tour of the house and projects or improvements she had made recently. Or getting the gallery show of her watercolor paintings in all their detailed beauty.
    These are memories now. I won't forget. I won't let them fade and I won't make the mistake of taking these moments through this window for granted. Not when I know how our world's can change so swiftly.
    I live safely. I live in fear. It's not political. It's not because I'm a sheep. It's because I'm not sure enough of anything to bet their precious lives on a careless decision I make.
    I can't be that selfish, when a hug I crave more than anything just might become the last one.
    It was Christmas and I saw my parents through their front porch window...and I'm so damn grateful I could burst.
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 18w

    Love (notes on my experience)

    Some reasons why I love you and will always love you ❤️

    The way you caught the snake in our backyard, bravely, with no hesitation to protect our little dogs and me. And most importantly, the kind way you drove to a vacant field to release it unharmed. Similarly, the way you trapped the mommy, daddy, and baby rat and drove into the wilderness and released them unharmed, and with some food to start their new lives together.
    The way you look at our first born doggy as if she owns you (which she does). The way you spend money we don't have on a tiny tiny parrot so she will have all the toys, houses and foods and vitamins and vet care she needs. How you lay there patient ly letting her pull and tug your beard hairs as she preens you with adoration.
    The way you help me when my body fails. Bring me ice packs or rub my head, back and neck in absolutely all the right places without me saying where.
    How you let me stay home while you work to support us. This is huge and so selfless of you. The way you stayed with my Abuelita, in her kitchen that year the family was screaming and scaring her. How you held her hand and comforted her and then on top of that, you stood up for me and got me out of harm's way. No one had ever stood up for me before. I will never forget those loving gestures.
    The way you drove me to all my doctor's appointments after I could no longer do it myself.
    How you told me everything was going to be ok, and it was.
    How you used to hold me through the night until your arm fell asleep and still you kept on holding me. How you hugged me and let me cry into your chest after my night terrors took my mind and wouldn't let go of it.
    How you accepted my brokenness, even though you had no understanding of the how's or why's.
    How you called me a rockstar each time I clumsily plunked out a 3 chord song on an out of tune guitar. How you then would faithfully tune my guitar because I refused, stubbornly, to learn. Maybe because I wanted that connection with you.
    How you dance with my son, the rescue pigeon, to the radio and coo at him so he has joy in his day. Or how you tenderly, and carefully trim his beak when it overgrows. Talking to him so he isn't scared. Or how you worked so hard to build him his two giant houses so he could still fly without the hawk taking him.
    How you used to run your warm fingers up and down my back to comfort and love me.
    How you never ever leave without saying you love me. How I never need to worry that you might abandon me. How you tell my insecure mind that you aren't going anywhere, you are here to stay.
    How you used to throw the ball for the puppy in the yard and watch her race to me and then back and forth. How you cared and loved my soulmate dog when we first started dating. How you still love him even though he is long passed. I never thought anyone else could love him as much as I did, but you did. How you lifted him up when he couldn't jump, snuggled him inside your sweatshirt when it was too cold in our rented room with no heat. How you woke early to lift him out the window so he could have his morning pee.
    The way you love the animals I love has made me love you more and more each day.
    The way you forgive me for getting angry sometimes. You forgive so easily. The way you have never screamed at me. You've never raised a hand to me, never once called me a cruel name or even cussed at me.
    You take care of me when I can't care for myself and encourage my creative ideas.
    You keep me surrounded with my animals because you know that is my happiness in this world.
    You listen to me ramble about the jumping spiders I love and look at photos I take and compliment me. Even though I'm aware they all must look the same to you.
    You are kind, gentle and loving.
    You are so strong, smart and handsome. You are a puzzle solver, thinking outside the parameters set by others.
    You are a creator.
    You are a lovely person. I wish we had more time to have adventures in nature. A hike a sunset or stars.
    You bought me a motorhome, my absolute dream. You worked so hard trying to fix it up. It's my bucket list. Without you I never would have been able to get it.
    Thank you, for being yourself. Thank you for sharing parts of you with me.
    I love and appreciate you sharing this life with me for these past 11 years. I could not have survived without your tender care. Thank you, with all the gratitude I have. I love you.
    For M.K.C.
    My partner in this world.
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 20w

    Migraine

    Today is a new day
    The day after
    The bombs were dropped
    Inside my head
    I felt a fissure there
    Deep in my skull
    Though no one else could see it
    And as I became twisted
    Wreckage of human
    Caught up in sweaty
    Uncomfortable blankets
    Suddenly too rough on my skin
    I begged all forces unseen
    To release me from my anguish
    Even death was a welcome
    Suitor
    The throb of my eyes
    With every weak heartbeat
    Smashed my face
    With such force
    Tears poured out of me
    But crying made it worse
    So I detached into a wiggle
    Back and forth
    As I lay on the couch
    No comfort in that either
    Only a way to mark time
    In front of me.
    Time, the only elixir for this
    Evil malady
    I tried everything over these years
    Yet nothing helped but time
    Darkness, noiseless, smell-less
    Void.
    No pills, shots, meditation, vitamin, nor amount of positive vibes could cure this.
    And so I suffer and endure
    One, two, three days on the calendar
    Two maybe three times a month
    And I lose those days
    So I am extra grateful for the ones I get, without my skull demon riding me.
    And there are so many hardships out in this world. My issue is so miniscule, and this I know.
    But in my bubble of existing, I only think of myself at those times, and simotaneously trying to survive and yet welcoming death should he appear to take me.
    And so today is the day after
    My pain is gone enough to stand
    Gone enough to sip water and see this light blaring into me.
    But my mind is not sharp, not quick. I am a dumbed down version of my normal self.
    Cognitive function very dim.
    A few more days of this now.
    I bend my knee and spout gratitude into the air around me and farther, into the universe.
    My tears now in gratitude instead of pain.
    I've survived again. As we are all trying to do.
    Now what shall I do with this new precious time?
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 20w

    ColdPaw

    There was frost on the ground
    I need not brave the elements
    To know
    For your tiny paws
    Handsome dog's
    Little black and pink toes
    Wore the temperature to tell.
    Wrapping you up close
    To me
    Bundles of fuzzy warm cloth
    Enveloping us together
    As I held your cold paws
    In my warming palms
    To take away your chill
    Winter was hard for us both
    We hated cold
    It made us lazy and pained
    Old bones growing old together
    And as our breaths became unison
    We drifted in and out of dreams
    Together and apart
    I felt your dream paws running
    After something fun to chase
    And why not let you dream
    Of springtime's squirrel chase?
    Were there tiny purple blossoms
    An explosion of new growth
    Beneath your paws?
    I nestled my nose
    In your long soft neck fur
    A mane of silky white
    With large black swaths
    Your eyes now
    Half opening
    In their new blue color
    Cataracts like ghosts
    Concealed your once dark
    Brown, round eyes
    Little black eyelashes a flutter.
    I pulled you closer
    Trying to stop time
    And appreciating all these silent moments shared.
    My companion, my confidant
    My protector so fierce.
    Your Papillon-Chihuahua smarts
    And sweet loving glances
    Comforted me and brought me outside myself, when sometimes
    I needed that.
    ColdPaw, I shall warm your paws for you until the end of our days.
    Loving you is the greatest gift.
    As you announce all seasons by walking on my lap.
    Now we are warm again, let's slumber a little longer, and let no one disturb these precious moments. Let me just love you.

    For Loui Pup Pup, my faithful companion in this world.
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 21w

    Winter(or notes on a Fish)

    It was winter
    When I stopped sleeping.
    A switch
    A change in my body
    Kept my mind racing
    Magnetic waves
    Strewn about from our sun
    Reached me
    Without my notice
    Without an announcement
    And so here I was
    Upright in the dark room
    Listening to the sounds of night
    Fishtank bubbles
    In their patterns
    And then none at all
    The fish himself
    Who liked to jump at night
    And splash through the surface
    With such force.
    He is a fast fish
    Bright yellow
    With faint black stripes
    Vertical on his strong body
    That darken when he gets
    Excited.
    I've had this fish; Coupe
    Since he was tiny like my thumb
    And a bright flash
    Of electric blue
    He was so beautiful and small
    But always alert
    And friendly
    To me at least.
    He ate every other fish
    He was ever housed with-
    Even his sisters.
    A brother and a Chinese Algae
    eater, a Plecostemus, an aquatic frog, assorted snails, two goldfish, and probably a few others I can no longer recall.
    Trust me when I say, this fish wants to be alone!
    He was so aggressive that once we thought we'd put him outside in our tiny pond to live free and have the chance to swim with bigger fish. Our once tiny goldfish, purchased as food for our Red-Eared Slider Turtle, had grown into 8 year old giant and beautiful want-to-be Koi.
    When I gently set Coupe down into the pond so he could get adjusted to his new freedom, he would not swim away from me. He stayed at my side, me with my hand in the water for his comfort.
    And he refused to go. In the end my heart was breaking that I had put him in the pond. I sat there petting this beautiful yellow bully of a fish and was in wonderment that he seemed to enjoy this.
    I brought him back inside and returned him to his tank. That was years ago, and I can't remember how many years we have been together now? Seems like at least 5. I talk to him every day, sing to him, kiss him through the glass, wave from across the room, and feed him. I look forward to seeing him each morning and have grown accustomed to his splashy night sounds.
    He builds elaborate nests of gravel, moving each pebble in his mouth and spitting it out with all the precision of an architect. There are vast hills and valleys in there, and ever few months he rearranges it all again. Recently he pulled part of the filter tube off ( it is about his size, 5inches) and pulled it to the bottom of the tank, into his nest, where he sleeps with it next to him. He confounds me. Is he lonely? Or not?
    Well, I am lonely, and he makes me less lonely, so there's that.
    I have such compassion for this fish. For all fish. I've always loved fish but he is the first I call my friend.
    Ah, and now here is daylight in through my window. Night has gone, and I see the yellow flash of Coupe waking up. A gleam of quick -yellow zipping and zapping about. His day begins. I wave. He looks, straight on at me, staying still but for the gently wagging of his tail to suspend him. We aknowledge one and other.
    And so it goes. An old woman and her solitary fish. A tale of two creatures co-existing. He is an African Cichlid fish, for those who got this far reading me random babblings on my precious Coupe. May you meet and befriend s fish someday. It can absolutely happen. I wish you well!
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 21w

    Enormous Wings

    Enormous Wings
    As in, a Very old Man With-
    Was a story that stuck with me over the years.
    I re-read it countless times
    To myself
    Or others
    As we lay in summer beds
    Soothing our beach skin
    And drinking tea
    With tiny chips of ice nearly
    Gone away melted.
    I empathized with that poor old man, sympathized, and wept for him.
    I understood as strangers tried to size him up
    He; dirtied and frazzled in the chicken coop.
    As the people tried to make him something he wasn't.
    Something they desperately wanted him to be.
    They tried to mold him, prod him, poke him, hurt him, bend him into what they thought they needed.
    Yet still he remained himself.
    I respected that so much.
    When I was younger, I wondered how he managed to do that?
    How could he be so resilient in his being?
    As I grew old I understood more, how it is always best to stay yourself regardless of how others try to sway or force you into being something else.
    Wether we have wings to spread or simply feet to put one in front of the other, it is best to make a quick escape from those who would see you captured up in their snares.
    It is dark morning here now, as I am up far too early, before the sun I hold so dear. And a very old man with enormous wings comes back to me from the past. He is a messenger for me, or perhaps I am making him into something he is not? Just like the rest?
    I dust off my book, creak it open, smell the age of it, the importance of it. I feel the textured pages with my fingertips. How I cherish these physical books. How permenant I once thought they were. But time changes and degrades things and people.
    The message I find in these pages changes too through my years. Different messages for different phases of my life. And though my eyes see blurry now, I read again and listen, for my message, my epiphany.
    My empathy has never wavered for the old man, although now I understand the mean-ness and cruelty of the people a little more. Life let's you experience both sides the longer you go at it.
    I sit with the story. Let it resonate like some ancient tuning fork picking up my frequency. I need adjusting. To find my way back to a more authentic me, without influence of others on my truth.
    I sip my now cold coffee. I once loved it sweet but now prefer it bitter. Time spins me into new iterations of what I once was.
    I close my cherished book. I wonder how sad it must be for someone to never have had such a tactile experience with words.
    I fold my tattered wings, curl up in my blankets and try to catch a dream again before the sunrise.
    And that old man, he smiles at me, from a past I used to know. Goodnight old man. I love you.

    ,
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 23w

    Crumbled

    And houses are made to
    Crumble
    Underneath the weight
    Of the lives lived in them
    They are not important
    These walls
    That keep us tethered
    To each other's misery
    I wake
    Dreading our
    Morning Hello's
    The disappointment
    Stretched across our faces in grimacing smiles
    And I tried to assign meaning
    To this house
    This hollow place
    The ground, dry and dead
    But I was a foolish woman
    And still I am.
    Houses were made to crumble
    Underneath the weight of
    Time
    And screaming lips
    The weight of neglect
    And volume of silence.
    Who have we become?
    Strangers? No, worse... enemies
    Who strike at each other
    Hoping it will inspire some
    Old emotion
    Anything but the apathy we've
    Sewn up in jagged stitches for each other.
    And houses are built to crumble
    Under the weight of time
    Ticking splintered clocks
    Marking meaningless journeys
    Forged together by chance
    And I was made
    To climb out of the rubble
    Dust sparkling in the air around me
    Walking away
    From old buildings
    That once trapped me and you
    Together.
    ©mmbftd

  • mmbftd 26w

    Nest

    What makes a nest?
    Is it fear?
    The need for comfort?
    A warm blanket
    Connected to thin cold skin
    In the night?
    Twigs and sticks
    Constructed by miraculous
    Birds as the frenzy to complete the task overtakes them?
    Ignoring dangers
    Hunger pangs
    One singular mission
    To complete on time
    Before the sacred eggs
    Join this world.
    Nests are needed now and then
    A step into a life often dangerous and overwhelming.
    What makes a nest?
    The care given in it's planning?
    In it's very architecture?
    The Jumping Spider creates
    In perfect timing
    Her nursery nest
    With a secondary smaller version not far from the first, a small step away from home for her brood of teeny babies.
    Her construction may look haphazard to those who've never had time to watch the process from beginning to end. But it never ends for the mother spider, she is in constant movement, modifying and improving her nest. It is pliable but steely strong. She moves her abdomen back and forth, back and forth, a dance of the universe. A movement she has known since she was born. Her white reflective lines of web deposited with the comfort of repeated motions; like the brick layer on the street, one brick on mortar and again, and so it goes.
    Her web catches and refracts the light. It makes beautiful rainbows at just the right angles. And yet this nest has no angles. No hard corners, no theory of buildings here. And yet this is a caring nest. After a few days she feels it will protect her and her future, so she lays her eggs and they are in a ball like structure of golden yellow hung just right at the top of the nest, the most North it can be.
    She will tend to hundreds of tiny spidelettes. She will care about them, guard them with her life and nurture them with foods she has spent weeks collecting and depositing around the inside and outside of the nest. Her brood will not starve. They will feel safe and know no fear for these first weeks of their lives. And mother's careful eyes will be on them at all times. As she restructures this nest to accommodate their growth. Pushing her body up and down to widen the structure for the growing brood so they have room to move around inside.
    I watch in awe, tiny black shadows inside the nest, undulating like waves of life as she sits guarding, a larger black shadow beneath them, also inside.
    She keeps the 3 doors of her nursery nest sealed up, and exits only to feed and collect food for them. She is a lovely and caring creature.
    And what makes a nest?
    Four walls and a crib?
    Two arms and full breasts?
    A womb pulsing with two heartbeats. Hot blood whooshing as a lullaby?
    Twigs and sticks, buildings and bricks, webs and slits. Feathers and fluff to cushion the bed.
    A nest is needed. It is required. For us to all become.
    And we yearn for such safety still, even as time makes us big.
    I want to build a nest. For myself but also for you. I will use my love for it's base and my careful eye for it's walls. I will use my compassion for it's size, it must be big enough to comfort everyone.
    And though I've never been a mother, I will use the templates set out by nature. Whether nurture or that. It's all around us. This primal information passed down in instinct. I hope we don't forget how to build nests for each other.
    What makes a nest?
    Love.
    Let me start with that alone.
    ©mmbftd