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.
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.
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
While consistency is important
And commitment is too
Life certainly demands
A flexibility of you
All the versions of myself
Were never complete
Embrace all the selves
That you used to be
So perfectly imperfect
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
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
An opportunity to acknowledge each other as more
Background, as living creatures that think and
pulse and desire,
Probably that black skirt
Tomatoes on sale? But why do I need tomatoes
All my vegetables keep going bad, green lettuce
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.
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.