The first thing I saw

that morning was the back of his golden quilted head enveloping my eyes. The floor creaked beneath my bare toes as I slipped back into that room, crossing my fingers that his roommate hadn’t seen me leave for the restroom. “I have to go for a bike ride…” he mumbled, his ocean eyes darting from the ground to the door repeatedly. …”but I’ll drop you downtown so you don’t have to Max over the river.” “Oh, thank you…” My wavering voice trailed off, throat dry, sense of worth dryer.

The moment the wheels on his 1990’s Subaru screeched around the asphault of 1st avenue, my heart sank to my toes, the lump in my throat strangling me as my cheeks flooded onto the pavement below. I’ve known him for years… I can’t believe this is happening. My converse pounded on the concrete, my legs swaying at a tempo almost as fast as my exploding heart.

Black ink streamed onto my sketchbook for hours as I held onto the last bit of calm I had with one hand, the other picking apart the tangles. As the Earth slowly slurped up the Sun and spat out dusk, I yanked at one more strand fraying from the cotton knot suffocating my entire core. My ripped floral duvet smothered my limbs as my cheeks drowned just a bit more, my subconcious beginning to wring out every last bit of trust that flowed through my veins. That was the last thing I saw.

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Amber oak

There was a time when I would seemingly skip through the open door, its ivy leaves catching on the curves of my golden ringlets.

The last time I got comfortable on the other side, he welcomed me in with open arms only to kick me out onto the pavement a day later.

Those few lively, laughter speckled weeks were some of the best I had experienced in a while.  Naturally, I hoped he had felt the same but clearly our hopes don’t always line up with what happens.

At this stage, I tremble in front of the amber wilting wood, scared that if I dare to enter, the hinges will fall off, the wood crushing each bone in my body.

So for now, I seek reprise in the other, less accepted, door. The door that’s unevenly sought after but equally attractive to me. From time to time I move my toes in and out of the original one but commitment is a word that wouldn’t dare touch my tongue.

This begs the question, will I ever surrender on solid ground again? Or will that amber oak collect dust, and eventually screech shut?

Consumption

Ruthless gators scavenging the swamp of my brain,

claw by claw,

my thoughts intended to consume me

As I thought of whether or not

I was worth being seen

seen with something so many view as

disgusting

flawed

fixable

Something that I’ve hidden for so long

tucked into pants

sucked in for pictures

squeezed and poked at maliciously by fingers

burned by too many fiery crunches

harshly spat at in the mirror

denied for the sake of “visual improvement”…

I ask myself:

Why?

why is something so simple as flesh encased by skin viewed so complicatedly?

why are our centers something that are chastised yet endlessly praised when they’re more toned and smaller in size?

should be small yet not too small for fear of looking gaunt?

that should be hidden at all costs but expected to look like they’ve been kissed by the Sun themselves?

that should only be large and round if there is another being thriving inside?

but then are expected to return to their original state once that being has been given the gift of life?

Why, I ask,

is something capable of raditating laughter

being a home to inner mechanisms essential to our prosperity

providing insulation during frigid days and nights

supporting our entire body as we work, play, rest, love, create

and providing a 9 month home,

sparking the continuation of its legacy through another,

treated like an atrocious, correctable, shrinkable,

bag of skin

simply worthy of being squeezed up

and shoved under

a mere piece of cloth?

I say we cherish those rolls, bags, curves

no matter their shape

hold them lovingly

feed them openly

re-affirm them

dance with them, not to correct, but to celebrate

laugh until we cry with them

fill them up the the nurturing embrace of our deep breaths

allow them to be seen, in all their full, fed, nurtured beauty

flaunt them

Because after all,

thoughts of being, creating, fulfilling…

Should be the type that consume us.

Stripes sharp as scissors

Here I am, Surya’s deep treatment smothered

on my fiery strands

realizing I’m

doing

a type of waiting

that feels like

racing

Realizing

we spend a majority of our lives

doing

just

this

Doing our hair

Insta posts

laundry

work

taxes

chores

Doing

Doing

Doing…

Here I am, realizing,

That all I’ve wanted

is to be

undone

Loosened

unlaced

ribbon slit in half

not at the end of the race,

but on the damn tracks

We’re running

with ego stripes sharper than scissors

we base our entire lives on a matter of

“do”

“What do you do for work?”

“What did you do for New Years?”

“I have to do this before I can do that…”

“Why am I doing this?”

Well, it’s almost as if

we do this

to escape the fact

that at times it’s hard to be

and when we do

We forget the fact

that we were meant to

be

No, not in the sappy,

“everything happens for a reason”

way

In the

we were once

forest roamers

lip cooers

tree swingers

No hair dye

laundry machines

desks

congress

to do list

“likes” and “follows”

way

Now,

I’m not suggesting

We lose the jobs and homes

start beating our chests

or camouflaging ourselves

amongst amber colored grass

But,

I’m asking,

how can we embody the type of being

that feels like roaring

without racing?

Floods to gardens~ poetry collection

1)

Darling,

the tears

they may seem to drown you

but truly,

they are the rains of your past

watering the  gardens of your future

your drought is almost over

the blooming lays ahead

2)

They say the eye

is the window to the soul

but darling,

for mine,

you’ll have to reach the chimney

3)

Although you’ve been played

your preciousness hasn’t been tainted

you are valued vinyl

in a world that rejects it

4)

Darling,

it’s true,

that lighting of yours,

it frightens some away

but please,

don’t stop your striking

for all this means is

the

sky

is

yours.

5)

This thievery

is quite peculiar

in that

even though they stole

a part of you

you’re the one

who

can return it

6)

I’m so tempted to rip this bandage off

but I’m terrified of a face

that will make me scoff

still, I wonder, would it heal faster

with a touch of air?

or is this a wound that would cause me to tear?

for now I’m number

than a snow-plunging dare

I sit in class

waiting for this time to to pass

because although I hate to say it

the music of my life

has lost its bass.

7)

Like the piercing, pale eyes

on an agile

Ocean eyed cat

Stone black cat

My intuition,

It guides me

through

the darkest strokes of the clock

8)

Cells of life developing

faster than your fury,

throughout those 9 months,

I was too young

for any recollection

of how it felt

But somehow,

someway,

today

I miss it.

for only then

was my pulsing heart

closer to yours

than it was to the world

9)

Yes, it’s true,

I’ve moved mountains

but it’s day like these

where I worry about the snow

and it’s ability

to melt,

to pour,

to flood.

10)

When the petals still pulsed,

the last moment the dew didn’t drown,

I plucked myself from the soil,

and into your vase plopped my stem.

its pond hugged my crisp curves,

only for the glass to shatter,

leaving pieces I must pick up.

So now,

I wonder,

the shards,

will they stop stabbing,

blood pooling,

blank eyes peering?

11)

Through the pipeline, my intuition sang with a brightness as shyly iridescent as the moon herself. My fear hadn’t vanished, although the cries of silence were no longer heard. A quest for contentment sparked its trail through my alabaster bones as the darkness of those years turned to dust. As I gathered together my shattered shards, they no longer pricked my pure flesh, staining the angel-white linen of my life.  Although the glass still sometimes pricks, my shaking fingertips finally hold a mosaic masterpiece that glistens in the light of the fire spewing from my emerald eyes.

12)

They say not to play with fire,

unless you’d like to get burnt,

but what they don’t know

is that I dance

with that Amber goddess

my fingers are her gasoline

her sparks are my light

ember fireworks spew

each time we ignite

13)

Perfection is an illusion.

Don’t look, don’t listen.

After all,

if people told the prodigy

“use stencils or else”,

she would gawk and

paint

on.

14)

Darling, you’ve busted

those shackles,

you’ve broken

the lock,

now,

all you’re to do,

is realize

the only guards

you must run from

are those you’ve created

15)

Please, heart,

don’t fall

in the arms

of another

who gets you racing

only to announce,

3 feet beforehand,

“the ribbon at the end simply

can’t

be

attained”

16)

There’s much one can re-learn,

even if there’s roots rigged

with the opposite

in the depths of their brains soil

Self- love is included

But first,

you must teach a phlox

from the Winter

how to flourish in the Spring

Pelted petals can be revived,

daunting a task it is

First, find a new garden,

but don’t leave your vase beforehand

Second,

surround yourself with others

who know you’ve wilted

but aren’t afraid to help you bloom

Third,

recognize that there will be bugs,

but they don’t have the power

to hole punch your heart

or to sabotage your stem

Fourth,

nourish others

as you nourish yourself

although sometimes hard to reach,

the water will always run

Fifth and foremost,

recognize that even the dahlias

don’t bloom in the snow

and your golden rays are coming

so darling,

please,

let yourself sway

and let yourself glow.

17)

Home is four letters with infinite meanings.

Home is emerald green canopies,

crisp wind

A feeling that will transcend

Flowing toes,

on the moon of my mat

Chamomile currents,

condensation covered cheeks

Waves of creation,

flooding my veins

Bashful beams

and lost inhibitions

Limbs flowing loosely, no agenda

Lace-lined freeing of the mind

Laughter bubbling from breath

Home is wild, conscious, and free

Because I create this home within me.

{to be continued}

Facial galaxy

There’s a certain unwelcome hammocker

Who’s established his spot in the Sun

Below the hazel-entrenched foresty depths of my eyes

He doesn’t really exist

Yet somehow he’s always there

He’s not very articulate

But somehow he’s stealthy with his words

He’s lounging there when I take a picture, when I apply mascara or moisturizer, when I style my hair

He’s even managed to make himself at home

In the depths of my thoughts

Throughout days of his choice

There’s been times when he’s left to lounge elsewhere

And oh,

How I wish he would again.

I wish he would stop reminding me Of those OC companion pills I refused to take

For fear of inflammatory ingredients

Of the B vitamins I denied myself of

For fear of causing impurities

Of the pressure I put on myself

To achieve physical perfection

He always points out the dark circles under my eyes and the sporadic blemishes that speckle my face

But he fails to consider an important part of what they represent

He fails to recognize that they represent my humanity

That  I am starting to realize that just like dimples

When those hammock lines show

My eyes are smiling.

That rather than being an unfortunate skin condition

My eye moons and skin stars are a physical reaction my body has to my environment and existence

They represent that things will erupt, heal,

And sometimes stick around

But that they don’t need to define me.

He fails to recognize that

They crinkle with each releasing cry

They bounce with my laughter

They twist when I think

They flutter when I blink

I still don’t fully accept my eye moons or face stars

And although I’m far from that point

I’m starting to realize something he’s never told me

I’m starting to realize

That I shouldn’t be defined by the thinning of my skin or the clotting  of my blood

But rather by the way my blood is circulating through each alleyway of my body

By how it allows me to move and the breath

I’m starting to realize that the vibrancy that fills the canvas of my face

Can’t be lightened by a small accidental drop of paint

And that fulfillment doesn’t come from looking but rather from being and doing.

Because after all,

Do we consider the sky unworthy of protecting life

Just because we can’t always predict exactly when we’ll each star and how it’ll look?

Mind trips

*TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault/ trauma*

More often than not, trips show up

on our life’s porch

as one of the greatest gifts.

It’s true, sights and feelings are amazing parts of being when you are experiencing them at the moment they’re happening.

But for some people, sometimes,

Their minds take trips

that they’re not even aware they’re on

Until they’re already on the plane,

amongst the clouds,

feeling the turbulence

There’s no iced cranberry juice

Excuse for r and r

Fluttery, bubbly anticipation

for toes in the sand,

ski slopes,

or touristy adventures

Because these are the kind

that leave you strapped to your seat

gripping the arm reby

frightened by those sitting nearby

even if they’re a trusted friend,

sibling,

or significant other

who’s always asked for consent

These are the kind where you wonder

why people book flights in the first place

These are the kind

where instead of landing

at a peachy destination

your minds pilot decides to drop you off

in the middle of Syria

You wake up gripping your sheets

your t-shirt sweaty

Whispering those words

you wish you had screamed

while pushing him off

Sometimes,

you’re on the right flight

but you never take off

Sometimes,

you can’t even get out of the damn runway

Your seatbelt is on

your carry on is in the overhead department

But as each moment passes,

the pilot makes empty promises for departure

You look down the aisle, eyeing the exit,

quietly planning your escape route

But the air in the aisles is so congested

that you can’t even move a limb

Your friends are sitting next to you

colored expressions nestled on their cheek

and even though you’re on the same flight

their pilots are more predictable

Even though you’re within 2 inches

it feels like you’re worlds apart

Because your pilot has taken you somewhere where your body isn’t

Your pilot has taken you to a deserted island that only has one visitor

The forgiving silver lining

about being a passenger who takes mind trips

is

Once you’ve landed at a desirable destination

you’re standing on indescribable terrain

Your enjoyable trips

contrast so intensely with your non-trips

and your Syrian surprises

Your toes sink into the sand the same time as your close ones do

The foreign wind embraces your face

You notice the moments where all you notice is the moments

The forgiving truth

about being someone who takes mind trips is as time goes on

You’ll reach a point where

the mind trips become less frequent

More and more of the desirable trips fill your agenda

and eventually

one day

You’ll go back to having an agenda

that consists mainly of trips

where you land

somewhere

that allows your body to come along.

You’ll reach a point where you know

that none of your trips are going to be

a complete getaway

But that most of them will definitely be worth booking the flight.