Bunker

Harsh light on sore eyes cannot hide the grime of this place;

Food-splattered walls, crumbs on the floor,

Finger-smudged windows and matted carpets,

I will call it home for now.

 

My home lies beneath the earth’s surface,

Void of sunlight and the passage of time,

But no hand of the clock will grant me slumber;

Down here I am always awake.

 

This home is not mine alone, for there are others

But they do not disturb me, nor I them.

It is only the antics of mice which concerns me;

We are all mice down here anyway.

 

No comfort do I find in my comrades through,

So I work and I work,

Waiting for the day that I leave this grimy place,

And find a new home for myself.

Self Knowledge

If you want a life of freedom

Where your decisions are of choice

Pay attention to your patterns

Listen carefully to your voice

The words you speak and

how you speak them

Suggest the way you perceive

Influencing every action

Shaping what you believe

it is in our self-awareness

that we will fully be

Perception is the flower

and experience is the seed

You can grow your own garden

And harvest the sweetest fruits

If you can get down to your truth of it

Go back to your roots

But if you be a mystery to others and yourself

You are like a book unopened

A book lonesome on the shelf

Open up to the world of your creation

It is there you will find

The story of your freedom

The moral of real life.

High Tide

You held me like a tidal pool and it scared me because I’ve swam in the ocean and I’ve felt the waves and the current has swept away my breath with my feet and to think that a stronger pull exists is beautiful but in a haunting way because I want to be pulled into you but I’ll swim so deep I could end up on another continent and I’ll wash up on the unfamiliar sand, one of thousands of pastel seashells and bronzed feet will walk on me like I lead to forever because they’ll be home and I’ll know the feeling and my shell will break all over again like the way I broke the first time; but I broke in a beautiful way, an opening way and I wouldn’t trade the comfort of old sands for knowing what it feels like to be a wave: to rise so high you can’t help but collapse

Embrace Your Self

While consistency is important

And commitment is too

Life certainly demands

A flexibility of you

All the versions of myself

Were never complete

different configurations

Alternative dreams

Embrace all the selves

That you used to be

So perfectly imperfect

Accepting humbly

Love the child

Who wasn’t shown love

Love the teen

Who thought she wasn’t enough

Love the emerging adult

Who was lost and confused

Love your present self

And all your future Yous

In a Few Steps

What am I going to wear tomorrow
Oh the curly headed boy with freckles from my
class last year!
Looking at his phone as he passes, eye contact
avoided
An opportunity to acknowledge each other as more
than just
Background, as living creatures that think and
pulse and desire,
Has passed
Probably that black skirt
Tomatoes on sale? But why do I need tomatoes
All my vegetables keep going bad, green lettuce
with mold,
Potatoes growing tentacles, about to walk right
out of that brown bag
Such waste it’s ridiculous I don’t need tomatoes
Oh damn all my black tights are in the wash
Then again, I could eat the tomatoes tonight
with the potatoes
Waste not want not
I wish it were true
Maybe want not waste not
But want too much, waste everything
I’ll just wear my leggings.

Some Memories

In my old house in New York, there was a painting one of my parents’ friends had made in our hallway. It was a confusion of greens and blues in thick paint that caused ridges on the canvas, and from my low height, I always thought it was a throbbing tropical jungle, menacing and shut. On the very bottom, there was a squiggly green line, and the day I discovered it, I felt simultaneously chilled and triumphant: a dragon! A small green dragon swimming through the blue at the feet of the great jungle, a guardian or precursor of the terrors within. I thought I was the only one who could see him. One day, we moved house, I began growing, and the painting was eye level. From this new vantage point, I saw that there was no dragon, but rather, a loopy signature hastily scrawled by the artist. And so the painting was hers, and not mine.

When I was in first grade or Kindergarten, I decided I wanted to be a saint. I decided this the same way an ambitious sophomore would decide to go to Harvard: I knew the journey would be tough, but with some hard work and dedication, I also knew I could make it. I had heard enough about saints at church and at my Catholic school to know the basic idea: I had to be “good” to everyone, put myself last, be obsequious. Unfortunately, I also knew the majority of saints were unmarried—priests, or, when female, nuns. But I want to have a family, I would think bitterly. I had always wanted to be a mother, but suddenly my saintly inclinations had excluded me from the role. This conundrum worried me for quite a bit before I decided I would actually rather be a soldier.

Kaleidoscope

  1. My grandmother tells me I used to be a flirt. She says I flirted with everyone: the coffee baristas, the blueberries I loved to eat, the fish at the aquarium. When I was three, my curls earned me free cinnamon buns. When I was four, my grandmother bought me a kaleidoscope and I discovered my eyes for the first time. When I was five, fire trucks came to my street and I ran after them, the bright reds in my ears. She held my hand, but I let go because I wanted to know where it was going. She says that was when she lost me–I still don’t know what she means.
  1. My grandmother tells me I flirted with everyone: coffee baristas, blueberries, fish at the aquarium.. I discovered my eyes in the kaleidoscope’s patterns. When I was five, I let go of my grandmother’s hand to chase a fire truck down the street.  She says that was when she lost me–I still don’t know what she means.
  1. My grandmother bought me a kaleidoscope and I discovered my eyes for the first time. She says that was when she lost me–I still don’t know what she means.
  1. My grandmother bought me a kaleidoscope. In its shimmering facets, I discovered my eyes.