A letter with no return address

It’s the things that I remember at midnight that will kill me.

I hope I forget the curve of your under eye,

When you’ve barely slept.

I hope I don’t turn over in the night;

Dreaming, how I heard your voice

Pulling wire between my ears,

Tuning over and over.

I hope I crawl inside that cardboard box

At the back of your mind so well,

And collect the lacework of spiders,

Mixed in with the dust.

I hope I carry my heart to the grave,

And never try letting her attach herself to people like stickers which peel off-

Eventually, turning into faded stamps

Which never grace letters.

I hope I remember not to pack a part of me

In your suitcase,

Pushed under the bed,

With shiny new locks.

I hope I pick myself up like a wooden doll,

Arms held up by string,

Succumbing to God’s puppetry,

How I step step step across the floor,

With nothing but a wandering eye,

Which falls on the grass,

Where the shade never casts the silhouette of a dandelion.

I hope you forget me.





Her cupid-bow lips parted and uncurled the duvets in the ocean. Rolling her wrists, she let the silk waves ripple against the base of ships. Rudders grazing seaweed nets pushed the ship on. Sometimes I think I can see her in the expanse of the sky, where the stars glimmer onto the waves.

Someday, I wait by the docks with my right ear facing the horizon. Leaning slightly over the wooden slabs, I listen for a siren. Inflections and tones crashing on to the waves, I imagine her dark hair and full lips greeting land and sea.

You’ve come onto this island, merely looking for a way to run away, but question why I stay. I’ve guarded the whitish sands of scuttling turtles and dexterous crabs. With the shade of the tree, an old man plays his lute aware his body will wash into the waves when he is ready to die. I’ve guarded the flowers parachuting themselves onto the ocean, and the burnt pyres sailing where the sun billows out the horizon.



I am curving down the slope of a machete.

Silky brute cut – I aim for my heart.

I am tired of wanting –

holding my dreams with cold hands.

Dear creator,

I dream of death that crawls backward

on all fours – scouring –

tree, limb, tree.

Perched high, I am watching the moon

disappear behind navy waft clouds.

I want my machete blade,

Separating the world from me.


A place without a name

I’ve passed through cities

Without names in my memories

Their etched white letters

On green metal cascaded in car headlights

I pretend I am a whole person

Listening to the radio host

Brow on window

The coolness smooths my tight forehead

Crease folding in this pain

“Moving again?”, my friends ask

“Yes” I say, packing tiny lies

In my bags that we do this solely

Because we have to

Live for money

Pay our airfare to flutter away from

Feminine dreams

Of wanting to find home


Originally written in 2016. As I am closing this year out, I am tracking the patterns of myself. Almost more than a year ago, all of these thoughts still apply.

I see myself as a billion pieces all scattered around. I see myself with my slumped shoulders – afraid of my own life. A time like this I feel confused whatever life holds. I’m sure that these feel good quotes will let me get through the night. I’m sure these nostalgic, early 2000s songs will make sure I rock myself back and forth into feeling calm. Maybe that word should be numb. Maybe that word should encompass the feeling of just alright.

I see myself into shards, fragments, and strings of incomplete sentences. Some days I worry whether I have what it takes to honestly make a decision. On most days, I feel like I’m trailing behind some kind of experience I should have known already. On most days, I feel needy and clingy for some sign I can ground myself. On some days, I wish I could relieve myself the way I did as a teenager where I could cry the sadness out.

I’m not sure who I am; spiritually, personally, romantically, and any other adjectives associated with maturity. Ok, I’m not sure whether I’ll be proud when I look back at this moment when it becomes the past. I’m not sure I’m proud of how of my uncertainty. I wish I knew how to get close to people, without the fear of getting too close or being too much. My immediate response is to pull away and retract from any contact of human vulnerability. I can’t say when things hurt, I can admit how isolated I feel at times for no reason at all. I can’t say I love you without biting craters into the sides of my mouth, or saying it in the tone of endearment of (just friends). I can’t admit how scared I am in realizing I’m not sure what I’ll do with my life. I can’t admit I’m shoveling myself into financial debt for this experience. I can’t admit my shame in not accomplishing childhood things like riding a book or learning how to swim.

I’m stacking all my defects and carrying them around with me. I wear my weaknesses, as if it’s the only way to show humility. I’m whispering to God in my thoughts and dreams how I don’t know how to come back – but I’m fasting and holding onto the memorized Arabic words.

I’m forgetting how to like myself, I’m forgetting to call my family. I’m fearing whether they can accept all of me for what I have become, and have always been. I am afraid of loving the people in my life, because I’m so caught up in doing right.

Attempted romance

I wrote love letters to women who didn’t exist.

Perhaps, they are for myself.

Perhaps, my unconscious cradles them,

and takes them to bed at night.

I wonder if one day,

I’ll lace my fingers together and go on a long walk-

One where I won’t return until years later.

I wonder if I’m prone to running away from things.

Am I collapsible?

Stress is the Cheapest Contour a College Student Can Buy

I checked off the white and black grid boxes, before sliding the paper into the metal rectangular crate. Each day, I stood in the a la carte line, ordering the same thing. Weekday to weekday, the waxy grease paper stained my hands with the anxieties of college.

“That’s all you’re going to eat.”

“There’s no need to be stressed.”

“How are you?” “I’m doing fine, thank you.”

On pilot mode, I steered myself from one side of the campus with my eyes blurring past the trees and rain-slicked pavement. The metal door handle, the white staircase brick walls, the heat lamp above the pizza, the scuffed marks on my black boots, and the forced conversations. I dove headfirst into feeling like I had time for nothing at all. I swam inside the hours connecting two a.m. and seven a.m. which I calculated how much time I had left to write a paper. A paper whose words came out chalky in my mouth, and tasted like plaque build-up.

Pennsylvania’s fall felt like a heat lamp, whose ambiance left the skin lukewarm. By noon, I wore a light jacket. By three p.m., I clutched the jacket close to my abdomen and power-walked to the next building. By six p.m., my coat felt bulky against my tote bag, but at least the wind only whipped my face.

Senior year in college equals the amount of stress in an entire year crammed into a day. Perpetual tumbling, uneasy somersaulting, and haphazard sprints; I challenge myself in staying with the idea in mind I am graduating.

Yet, I feel as though someone has dropped me in the middle of the forest. They have left me with enough time to peel the blindfold away and recall faintly how the bumps in the road are familiar.

I learned, hadn’t I? My high school diploma in my back pocket, I had made it to college halfway across from where my credits began. The transcript states I started at community college and worked full-time. The transcript states that I transferred to well-to-do liberal art college. The grades fluctuated with the times. The resume changed as I navigated inside my anxieties about the future.

“What are you going to do after college?”

“I just hope you find someone nice.”

A friend, a coworker, my family, and my conscious all stood on my shoulders – as if God came down with a pen and paper wanting to know how much I wasted time.

It’s Thursday, the desk I sit in during Travel Writing has a gap between the floor under one peg. I awkwardly rock back and forth, creating offbeat counts when I press my pen to paper.

Today, I am living with myself and dismantling the fictitious dream I began at twelve.

9:12 pm. The dentist told me to stay away from sweets, and I’m sitting here chowing down on an oreo candy bar weighing my life options, in a dim lit room.


Her name in my mouth

Please remind me where I met you

copper-blushed girl.

Perforated brown leaves

coloring your eyes –

The black satin strands

falling down on your shoulders.

How do I carve your name out

of the forests, I’ve grown inside myself?

Joan of arc, sword-drawn activist

how do I cup your worth,

and show it to you?