Month: July 2016

A set of rukus

I understand when my mother says:

“They’re all nothing but rituals,

To bend,

To bow,

To prostrate.”

As I recall her words:

“Do not cower”

I look at her brown eyes,

How much older she is now,

And wait. 

Our mothers mouths are the desert storm,

And as children, we have been allowed to burrow in the sand 

For our own protection 

Yet my mother my mother my mother my mother

My father my father my father my father my father

I must fall,

Here I will weep as a willow

Stand a young tree

Still bending at my own winds I must face

Let me bend at the waist

Go on to my knees

And search for my heart

When I find it there

Let me pour it on to the floor,

Where it runs 

Forming into a puddle,

And then an entire ocean of my worries

There are days when I don’t 

And it plagues my mind later

Let me for once

Reimagine my ribs as a washboard

Where the feeling of being okay 

Rolls down each dip


I understand worry,

But in the end we stand again 


A biography of introversion and repression

The problem with both introversion and repression begins with the reoccuring cycle of not knowing how to process. Processes include: overcoming doubt, voicing an objecting opinion and not trying to “fit.” I couldn’t tell you how it began…this internal burden of formatting oneself in public spaces. However, I can say that it becomes tiresome and if anything makes me shut down emotionally. 

I believe the expectation of living up to some moral, physical and emotional standard increases with age. On the heels of 22, I sorted through parts of myself I did like but didn’t like. 

For example, I do like being able to reach out to people and share things that make me passionate. However, I am reluctant too… for the reasons of seeking validation and acceptance. As I sat in the midst of conversation at a table, and then again looking outside a car window, I feared. I feared because I only give pieces of myself sometimes refined. It’s the feeling where perhaps no one really knows me.

Most of the time, I wish had the ability to recollect the things I said and did. It’s like physically watching yourself – separate from yourself and wishing you could stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing….


Becoming quieter

Falling away from conversation

And initiating conversations 

where you need to say you’re not okay but then stopping…

Because that’s buzzkill 

And bringing it up will kill the mood

But you’re sitting there with your chin resting in your hands 

And that’s the most you can do.

I must have been born afraid. Born with a sorry heart for believing in things that all sound so trivial.

What scares me the most…

Is finding out that what I want out of life truly is unrealistic.


Hopeless romance 

Filling up less space than required

Are my strong suits.

I ate these things with a spoon, and refilled my plate with them constantly. It’s like eating something that’s terrible, but not wanting to be that person who tells the waiter “I’d like something else, please.”

It’s wanting to apologize about how you are because it’ll make you feel better that people aren’t turned off by you.

It’s wanting to cry, but this isn’t the right time.

It’s wanting to be closer to people, but then not initiating this level of intimacy because it might be too much. 

It’s looking at people and having all of these words of how they’re comforting in a ‘sitting without talking kind of way’ but not wanting to be weird.

It’s realizing how self-doubt has gnawed at your wrists and ankles, and although none of this visible it’s still real.

It’s not wanting to say you’re “just okay” because people probably have bigger things to worry about. 

It’s realizing that your faith slips out of your hands sometimes, because your self- doubt and other people’s doubts about it…make it seem pointless.

It’s realizing there’s quiet power, but you have to be less concerned about how other people might think about it – to even master using this quiet power.

It’s feeling hopeless for a week, a couple of days, one section of one day, 

And then trying to start over again

Even if it’s just taking a shower and showing up.

A world without buffers 

The world should be vast 

When its origin is explained to children… 

By the time I had reached adulthood,

I wanted my ideas

To engage electrical shocks

Inside of others who thought different apart from me

I wanted to shout, “wake up, wake up

Can you not see my truth?”

Yet, my truth does not solidify all truths 

The world should be like an expressway

All lanes veering into roads

That guide us to some common destination

A left turn here,

Or a right merge there…

In one of my classes,

My professor who has stringy hippy hair

Said this:

We are all trying to get somewhere

The same place…

Even if we think we’re not searching  for

The things other people say are true

I like to think that my ideas are right

Yet sometime I spend time sifting through 

Salt and sugar

Without tasting it.

I’d like to believe that education curates history and shapes new mentalities…

But sometimes I sit silently

Gnawing at the inside of my cheek

With my teeth

I make negotiations whether to be closed or open.

At times,

I am only silent

Because I just want to protect myself 

Protect my memories of where home is, the language I have learned from my mother’s stripped heritage,

And my father’s colloquial throat vibrations that have never left –

Although he has left his mother country

I am silent,

Because my fears remain that:

If I tell my story,

Some cannot possibly understand what I mean because they have not lived it

Writing is both personal, intimate but exposing 

The world I have witnessed with my eyes is not the only part of the world that exists

But for me to tell my story,

I must first wrestle with accepting that I am

I am 

I am

Because we are

We became

We quarreled 

And we spoke of how much alike we are

We are

We are in our I am’s

If we don’t make it tomorrow. Here’s this 

​You could stand with both of your palms open,

And insist that you’re human –

Yet someone…

Some group…somewhere would say the lines on your hands don’t match theirs.

How sad the world has become:

Black boys and girls plan for the future –

But know it could be cut short.

People all over the world are born and then buried

– passing through this life accustomed to suffering –

News headlines flash non stop

With new names but show old burdens

 similar atrocities

And cancerous sorrows

Somewhere people can no longer live as if the sky is the limit

Somewhere people can no longer live as if their work of yesterday will carry into tomorrow. 

If they’re being shot down on the pavement,

Then plan that parks for families will no longer be necessary

The city has run out of room to resurrect cemeteries 

Insomniac’s Almanac

As the sun unravels light colored threads, 

I envision this hour for lovers. 

Hands wiping away the crusts of night 

and breeze trickling between the leaves, 

Glorious whispers leave phantom prayers in the air.

I do wonder if every living thing

Recalls the words pronounced at its birth

‘Blessed, blessed it be

The All-encompassing and free

Diety, who has many homes stretching far as the eye can see

Dawn has kissed droopy eyelids

Fluttering lens giving portals to dreams.

The heart grows fond for what it cannot own.

The skies are filled with birds

And prayers from all nationalities,

AsI wait for lovers who never sleep

So they can witness dawn

And all her beauty.