30 September 2010

you bitch!

Dear dark side,
Why are you so dark?
Why are you so hard to see through?
Why must you be so fucking scary?

The pitch-blackness is off-putting.
Be more transparent,

Dear bright side,
You're no better.
You are just as blinding.
It hurts their eyes, your fakeness.

The glare is dreadfully intense.
Tone it down,
k, thanks.

Why not green
or perhaps purple.
Or orange;
deep and bright
and perfectly unique.

No extremes,
no black or white
Not even gray.
Bleh, who likes gray anyway?

Dear You-
Be bold and beautiful
and fearlessly vibrant.

Dear dark side,
Dear light side-
you are both
hereby dismissed.

** This poem was recently published in George Mason University's literary magazine, Volition (2010).

be loud

In that moment, the crickets moved swiftly, humming their usual summertime jingle. The royal-toned clouds sashayed along the horizon, appeasing my spellbound peepers, as my feet planted on the mismatched slats of 15 year old plywood. I felt heavy, as if pressed onto the timber deck, my toes cemented through its splinters. But I didn’t mind. I felt as if I was right where I belonged, just for that moment- alone. As the clouds danced their dance, and the crickets waltzed through the black grass, a gust, of deliciously pure breeze blew across my squinted nose. ‘My mouth is dry…’ and I quenched my thirst with a gulp of the freshly painted sky and a sip of the wholesomeness that the night’s essence offered me. Satisfied, I smiled: I had been craving freshness for months now, but it is an elusive substance- not easily found- which worries me to some extent. It does, however, always seem to drift in my direction at exactly the right moment, and find me salivating for its solace. Its unexpectedness is beautiful, making its ‘sparkle’ a novelty worth waiting for, and turning its mysteriousness into something I’ve come to rather enjoy, actually. I shuffled over to the half-rusted rod-iron railing, reaching my hand out as I approached it. Grabbing on, a flake of paint chipped off as I leaned over the edge and glanced down to salute the happiest bushes I have ever seen. I could not tell you off the top of my head what type of shrubbery these particular plants were; my thumbs are nowhere near green, (though I am hoping that will change in time). But I can most certainly aver their overall joy and attest to their contentment with life- as the welcoming committee to the building they sit in front of on Rock Ridge Lane. And the trees- dark at the moment, along the pink and purple skyline- waved at me, affectionately, from their towering stance. ‘I am so small,’ yet I felt so big, in that moment. Fortitude, I will not forsake you.

all my heart goes out to you, Bubba

My Bubba-

I find myself thinking back to where I was before you were born: 200+ pounds, swollen face, hands and legs, sore all over. I was so anxious to meet the person who took home inside my womb. I was so nervous: What if I don’t know what to do once you’re born? I was growing impatient with everyday that passed, as there was nothing on my mind except for meeting, you, my son, for the first time.

I remember the day we found out that you were a boy. I remember Daddy; the tears in his eyes, the smile on his face, the bliss in his voice. On the ride home, we couldn’t stop smiling if we tried. Dad called Grandma and Grandpa, I called Gammy and Pop-Pop, to tell them that they were going to have a grandson named Liam Michael. It goes without saying, they were overjoyed.

I remember that I stared at your ultrasound pictures for DAYS, stopping only to blink or shed a tear. I carried them around with me, so I could look you whenever I wanted.

I remember the exact spot that I felt your first kick, directly beneath my left ribcage. What a thrill it was that very first time in particular, to have you physically communicate your own existence!!!

I remember looking at my belly on a daily basis, rubbing your feet through my flesh, singing to you through my navel, whispering to you how wonderful I knew you were going to be. I was right.

I remember laughing when you would move; it tickled me inside out- both physically and emotionally.

I remember taking baths and watching you swirl around, especially when I would splash my belly with water- you must have been doing back flips.

I remember the day Daddy and I got married- you were with us. I can barely think about that day without crying, as it was so special to have you with us on such an important day. You and I looked beautiful that day, together.

I remember going for my monthly, and eventually weekly checkups, and how excited I would be: Maybe I would get to see you on the monitor!! And at the very least, I knew I’d hear your heartbeat, which was music to my ears, (and still is).

Each day, I remember recognizing that you were always with me, and that everything I did was for you. It became my “auto-pilot,” it became my way of living, and it became my future.

I remember dreaming of you; what you would look like, how your hand would fit into mine, how your laugh would sound.

I remember taking pictures every week to document our physical growth. What I could not document was the evolution of our bond and of our love for one another. That was a sacred spot for both of us, and was for our ears only.

I remember when Riley began to sleep in your room before you were even born. She knew I was pregnant. She was expecting you.

I remember how great of a support Daddy was for me, and consequently, for you. He was constantly reminding me that he was proud of me, and that he loved me. He fed us ice cream every night Liam!!

I remember your due date coming and going with you still in my belly. This was hard to swallow. I just wanted to be able to kiss you and lay my cheek to yours.

I remember calling Daddy and telling him “We’re having a baby tomorrow.” “GULP!!” he said. That night, we tucked ourselves in bed with tears in our eyes, for we knew the next day, we would meet the love of our lives- you.

I remember how sad I was to have my pregnancy come to an end because I felt so close with you, so connected. We were two people living in the same body. I knew the very core of you, and you of me.

I remember the ride to the hospital, holding Dad’s hand, calling Gammy and Grandma, smiling from ear to ear. We stopped at Starbucks before our 6:00am check-in at Fairfax Hospital. It was my last savory treat until the next day.

I remember labor being all the more intense because, darn it, I just wanted you in MY arms!! I had a c-section after 12 hours of labor. I remember feeling the doctors wiggle you out of my tummy and hold you up. I remember how fast the tears came, and how little I could do to keep myself from crying. You were crying, not surprisingly. But it was one of the most beautiful cries I have ever heard.

I remember having to say goodbye to you and Dad for 30 minutes while they cleaned me up. I woke up in a recovery area where, as soon as I opened my eyes, I saw you and Daddy staring at each other silently. I am thankful for that memory, and always will be.

I remember the next 3 days in the hospital were hard on all three of us, but at the same time, they were our first 3 days as a family, as a unit, as a whole- and we made it through together. Just as we have this past year! And what a WONDERFUL year it has been.

Our dearest Liam-

Today, you are 1 year old. Dad and I cannot put into words how much we love you- it is simply impossible. However, I can tell you that this past year has been the most profound year of our lives- watching you grow, witnessing your discoveries, encouraging your desires, and providing for your needs. While we both knew how special you would be, I don’t think either one of us could have imagined you to be as incredible as you truly are. You have helped us learn so much, as our teamwork as a couple, our abilities as parents, and our patience as humans has far surpassed what we thought ourselves capable. Thank you for your precious presence in our lives.

You, in one word, are magic, my love.
All our love, forever and ever-

Mommy and Daddy.


Today, I have had almost nothing on my mind. At least nothing that has any pull over my general mood. I've felt unusually blank, dull. This would bother me more had today not been particularly delightful: I smiled, genuinely, at everyone I passed, as I glided through the hallways of my office, humming Penny Lane aloud. And my smiles, every single one of them, were reciprocated.

At one point, I stepped outside- abandoning my workload for a short breather. There were two young Asian women outside where I sought solace. They were taking turn snapping photos of each other on the bench outside of my office. They appeared to be new students, and were definitely excited about being on campus! This, to me, was adorable. Though I was already in a smiley mood, this nudged it along. I obviously interrupted their photo shoot... but was oblivious to it at the time. I just smiled and hummed. After they got the shots they wanted, and were satisfied with the digital images that would later become their next Facebook profile pictures, they made it a point to look at me, smile back, and say cheerfully, "See you," in perfect unison. This left me feeling so noticed.

So for the rest of the day, I went about, smiling and humming. The song didn't change- Penny Lane flowed through my mind and into my vocal chords like a deliciously functioning fondue fountain onto a succulent strawberry, begging to be eaten. My hums, as drone as they may or may not be, were begging to be heard today. So I let them flow, I let them go.

I didn't fret today. I didn't worry about you. I didn't mull over us. Today was what it was, and I am thankful for that. It makes me smile.

Dear both of you

When I look at you, there is nothing that could take away the way my heart flutters. There's nothing that even comes close. I look at you and think, "Oh, Thank You!"

I will never betray you. I never want you to feel as though you aren't important to me. I want to always assure and reassure you that there is nothing that can divide the two of us; nothing that could make me even think to forsake you. I would bleed myself completely bone-dry, until I withered away trying to honor you.

I will always be here for you, regardless of your mistakes. I will always keep in mind my shortcomings, and always remember that I have a past as well. I will live by the creed that through hard times come the most profound opportunities to learn, and through the haze of failure comes a rainbow, full of teachable moments and new horizons. I will be there to support you as you endure these inevitable stages of life.

I will not lie to you: I will not invite you to lean on me, only to move when you do. I will always follow through with my promises and solemn vows, regardless of circumstance, regardless of other people. You and I will have our very own relationship, not contingent upon the other people in our separate lives. Just me and you.

I will not belittle you, but instead, I will encourage you to explore your own reasons, your own convictions, and praise you through your processes of enlightenment and discovery.

I can't even imagine the depths of my love for you- it's too far-reaching for me to even touch. My love for you is totally endless, limitless, beyond the level of comprehension.

This is my unmistakable, unshakable promise to you: I'm all yours, now and always.


If I could rest on your lap
And feel your arms wrap
Around me,
Every minute of each day...
I would know what rapture was.

Dear, if I could tie my shoe
To a lace or two
Of yours,
Those knots would be unyielding
I would never leave your side.

My love, if I could have you hold me,
Bind your limbs around me
Snug and secure,
Our bond would be cemented
I would want nothing more.

If I could hear your voice say
You love me now and always
be a broken record,
I would always be assured

That you are mine
And always,
And forever more.

you make me better

I’m taking back my rightful right
as a person on this Earth.
You cannot bind me from my choice;
you will not steal my worth.

I’m stripping down to flesh and bone,
revealing my raw self.
You cannot make me hide what is mine;
you cannot steal my Self---

Self- worth, love, expression. Self- honor;
these are mine to represent.
Self- acceptance, respect, grace. Free Will;
these are all mine to defend.

I’m standing up for what I know
to be true in my own heart.
You cannot break my spirit now;
you will not pick me apart.

Beat me, push me, knock me down; I will withstand.
Slap me, punch me, shoot me dead; I will rise again
from my heartbreak, from your wretchedness.
Freedom from the shackles
you have pinned against me,
I can break through chains.

I have found a way to free my Self;
I’m taking back control.
You may think you’ve got the best of me,
but I still have my soul.

Do you?
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