breaking in half // sustaining this flame

When I think of you I break in half because you are not here to share the minutes and hours

You are not here to share the seconds between moments, where the indescribable happens

You are not here to share this bed and frame my head with yours

In your absence, I feel no touch, no kiss, no embrace to which I surrender

Nothing enchants me quite like these memories, I hold in my cerebrum like the antidote to all pain

Our passing moments, each day the ones I have forsaken to leave you crumble me into pieces

I struggle believing I could go on this way forever, in your absence

Missing your real-time emotions and laughter and energy and vibrancy

You are a light that feeds my soul, nothing compares to your hand I can hold

Nothing can replace your body, our love in a space and a time that is defined

Nothing can erase the heart palpitations the image of your presence brings

Sustaining this flame, I wait until I have my soul in full form again.

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Ode to Mary Oliver

Mary-

 I am calling out to you in the dead of night

But my voice is only a whisper compared to yours

I am breathing your truths into my bones

Until I am convinced they are my truths

How easy it is to convince myself of our lineage

When the sounds of the pines echo back at me,

Your language.

Everything around me,

Echoes back your language.

Pointing at me and hissing,

And claiming I do not belong here like you do.

These are my words,

These are the words of the achingly innocent

Convinced they are drowning.

Convinced that every strand of lyricism

Is another breath to their tired bodies

Convinced that Mary was right when she said,

“You do not have to be perfect.

You only have to be good.”

And so, I settle the four corners of my feet

Like cardinal directions in the grassy earth

Pointing me to not one way but all ways-

Pointing me to not one truth but all truths-

Pointing me to every corner with every strand of hope I will cling to

Like the human I am,

Anchoring down through my soles.

A difference in truths

Bring these stories to our feet. Trip us and bury us in the history that has made you suffer, that has brought you down, and entrenched your people with hate and violence.

I am not a war criminal, but I am a product of the times where war crimes are a point of American pride and most of us do not even realize growing up that patriotism is built on deceit- that the acres you inhabit are not yours. They are not yours. They were never yours. This land didn’t belong to you anymore than you belonged on it, any more than anyone belonged to you or owed you a damn thing just simply for existing. Any more than you deserve the ease of normalcy in a world that can see color for its own exclusion but be color blind all at the same time.

You see, our truth is for convenience. Our truth is made of darkness, fury, and violence. Nothing about me reeks of earned establishment. Nothing within me claims to belong here.

Your truth is for light, love, and liberation. You roar with the sear of pain and the might to break this curse.

I feel your longings, and I echo them. I sing with you as I let conquer. Conquer what was stolen from you. Show us what real power looks like, and how to operate as a moral authority (something we have never achieved).

I wish I could see a fruition, I wish I could see a day of a life where we all radiate. Your shine awakens me, but I will never live up (pressure creates diamonds).

But right now, it is your story to be told. It is my time to listen. So bring them at our feet. Don’t let us forget for a second.

 

for the forgotten natives of this country, and all of those who were brought here against their will.

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Going 23 mph on a bike

 

Going 23 MPH on a bike

Feels like you’re flying

Everything else in the world is false

Everything dissolves into the green

Of the trees and the blue

Of the sky

And you think your life

Will just be moving forward

From now on

Progressing, pedaling towards

Something actually attainable

It’s so much simpler

Going 23 MPH down a hill

On your bicycle

Smiling ear to ear like a child

Laughing and cheering like you’re wild

Wild for the weightless sensation

Wild for the loving embrace of nature

Frozen in time

All you can think is-

Never let me go.

6/13/16

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Alive and living

How silly it is

You once defined yourself

By numbers-

The total on your paycheck

The pounds on your scale

The years you have not yet surrendered

To the ever-present shadow of mortality.

How silly it is

You once praised yourself

For being one step closer

To retirement- to the end of a lifelong dream

To make a name for yourself

But you have sacrificed that

So you could build a savings

And die a boring, lonesome death

How silly it is

That your object of fascination is you

That you’ve spent each year

In the same house

In the same corner of the world

And left the rest unseen and untouched.

How silly it is

That you never questioned

The American Dream

That you never realized

Living paycheck to paycheck

You are bound to the bills

And there is no such word as “free.”

How silly it is

You enslaved yourself to your employer

And imprisoned yourself inside a single building

Filled with meaningless objects

That cost more than an interstate road trip.

How silly it is

You starved yourself

To work

But then you realized

You can’t eat money

And when you look under a microscope

A blank void stares back at you

It’s all the same.

How silly it is

You dropped that cap of yours

On the same pillow every night

Cocooned in the same blanket

Hiding out in the same bed

In the same room of the same house

Hoping time would stand still

So you could just get enough sleep

To function

 To run yourself like a machine

Day after day

How silly it is

You never harnessed your potential

You never woke up an hour early

To live an hour more

You never read those 300 books

You kept collecting, dust

You never took that one trip

Never even got your passport

Never took a day to just explore

How silly it is

You detached living from life

You doubted every unique thought

Burst creativity like bubbles

Cleared your mind and hushed your longings

Just so you could listen to the cars drive by.

How silly

You never became an artist or a poet

You sold your passion

For enough to make this month’s rent

You dug a hole in your yard

Under the shade of a tree

You buried your coffin and left it empty

You realized each second

You were getting closer to death

And sealed your fate like a suicide bomber

You were ready to go

If it meant one less day

Working under someone else

How silly

You never worked for yourself

You never played like a child

You became an adult and instantly died

You instantly killed yourself

Told yourself you don’t need a suitcase

There’s not much out there, anyways.

Told yourself- it’s okay to just scrape by

It’s okay to never prosper

To never watch the sunrise

In anticipation of the coming day

To never bow your head

In appreciation, to kiss the earth

So everyone can share the joy

Of how happy you are to be alive

You compromised your values

To become a robot

You branded a few digits onto your skull

Hoping we would get the message

The only thing you ever looked ahead to

Were STOP signs and traffic lights

You went to bed early

And woke up late

So you didn’t have to fill the empty spaces

You convinced yourself there were none

You kept a shovel under your pillow

To remind you of your grave

You were blind to the beauty in the every day

But I refuse to live this way

What is settling down

If not putting an expiration date

On your years?

I want to cry out of happiness

I want to only stop to take it all in

I want to make this entire earth

My home

And my job- to serve everyone on it

I want to rise at dawn

And paint the sky with my toothbrush

I want to walk through the gardens

So I can see my heart in bloom

I want to use the wind as a guide

And head in whichever direction I sway

I want to honor the ones who put me here

By making the most of today.

I will not surrender my humanity

For comfort and convenience

I will not carve out my innards

Just so there is less weight to carry around

I will not step in line

With the others

And march towards the end

I will do all I can to live

And prosper

And change lives

I will use my fiery soul

To put an end to this nonsense

And the earth

Will never lose its glow again.

6/21/16

They Teach Us to Imagine

When we are little

They teach us to imagine

Clouds are animals

Blankets build forts

A round man delivers presents at our door

We chase after

Things we have

Yet to discover

Do not exist

And we yearn

For the magic

Not the truth

But what lies

Somewhere in the

Gray areas

Our intellect-just forming

Our intuition-undeveloped

And our innocence intact

We may silently observe the world around us

But we run past the facts

We proclaim all we can dream

Every day we discover

New people we can be

We are little balls of energy

Ablaze with ideas and

The crazy notion

That the earth

Is in motion

To satisfy our

Ever-aching desire

To explore

We plan to circumnavigate

We pinpoint all our future dates

We name our children

Build our houses

Arrange our travels

We are so full of life

And laughter

And energy

And light.

We are so light

And free

Worries evade us

Any calamity quickly vacates us

Necessities are few

For the ice cream truck, maybe a dollar or two

We want trees for climbing

And hills for rolling

Some company to project our

Wild tales onto

But all we need is our minds

These minds so open

So beautifully open

We have yet to be affected by

The times in which we live

We are children of the present

Our souls unaltered

Our knees dirty but our

Minds clean

Our rooms messy but our

Hearts neat

We are so effervescent and free

And after all these years

I have this fear

I have lost that glimmer

I long not for my age to reverse

But to preserve that electric splendor

For the everyday

The elements of the earth

Adults consider mundane

Regardless of my youthful soul

My optimism and drive

Towards that world I know

Somehow I’ll never truly

Gain back that glow

As the strain of true freedom takes a toll

And I realize everyday more and more

Why they taught us to imagine.

And so I allow my mind to remain open

This time without the naiveté

But maintaining that juvenile fantasy

By clinging to those dreams

Still so precious to me

As I eagerly begin

to unfold their reality.

Original Poem, written 7/8/15