Saul Kutnicki

When I tire of
endless tab opening and
window scrolling
social media
fake news
scientific graphs and
video chats
I wonder about the people I
haven’t wondered about in a while

When I was a kid in Kentucky
I attended a summer enrichment class held at the local
elementary school because that is what homeschooled
kids in Kentucky do during the summer and there
was a boy named Saul Kutnicki who I wanted to kiss
more than I had ever wanted to kiss anyone
even Daniel McIntyre
but Saul told me he’d rather kiss my friend Diana
with blue eyes and long perfect blonde ringlets
who had never been told to quiet down and
stop being the center of attention
because she always already was unintentionally lovely

have you noticed the uptick in
personal communication
constant direct messages
twitter check ins
slide into my DMs
and ask what’s up

As a homeschooled evangelical child of the
fear-ridden end-times of the 1990s
my family friends were raised in the same culture of
modest and submission, one piece swimsuits
and gender isolation and so I am surprised when
I find the work of my friend Gwendolyn who once
thought, as I did, that women’s bodies were to be
small and modest, beautiful and kept
her art now comprised of photographs of her
big and beautiful soft rolls of sex-dripping humanity
a goddess proving
we are only shaped by the things we allow

I think more people are practicing
human contact because
we can’t really anymore
you know

When I was sixteen I graduated from highschool
because maturity was my one great goal
I set my sights on the university president of the climbing club
and the punk rock militant lesbian leader of the
self ordained “reclaim the word c*nt” club
with her wide eyes and shaved head
and I wonder if he’s running the world or
running through it — ultramarathoning as he’d planned
and I wonder if he (because she transitioned to he)
is happy in his granola yurt in his self ordained
social distancing
before the rest of us were ready to understand

I wouldn’t be good at being alone
I say now
but it may be better than being

I birthed three sons before the age of twenty three
so I have never been alone in adulthood
child bearing child bearing down in story and
art and color and awareness and so in this isolation
I am never far from the flesh of my flesh
yet interacting like they are newborns
asking questions in quarantine
cracking jokes as we crack eggs and bake bread from
our own ovens in our own home in this
sliver of time we are gifted to wonder about
the people I haven’t wondered about
in a while