With fervent breezes
That smell of burnt marshmallows
And taste like spiced sugar and cream.
She first visits at night.
After the sun sleeps
And before it rises.
When the world is quiet and honest and clear.
You are so afraid to lose what you’ve swept into the corners
That you’re loathe to share the expanse of your yard.
We’re told to give him your coat when he takes your shirt.
Every time, not just when he can prove
He was born in the right place, or only when his papers are in order.
Only if she believes as you do, or if she lives as you think she ought.
Not only when you’ve been compensated enough.
The woman was so thin there couldn’t have been room inside for her soul. She was embedded into the stained mattress and wore a thin nightdress soaked through with sweat. I blushed for her: she might as well have been naked, all the good that garment did her.
“Mama.” Albert took off his hat and kissed her cheek. “It’s me.”
She took a deep breath, though the air seemed to grate against her tongue. “More.”
“I didn’t bring any, Mama.”
Life’s most deafening moments are the quiet ones.
Hey you, little me back in the day, stop waiting for permission. If I could go back and tell you anything, it would be this.
You already are what you dream about being. Still, you wait for somebody to tell you so or else it’s just not real.
All the times you paint something that doesn’t win a ribbon, you are an artist.
All the times you sing and don’t get picked, you are a singer.
All the times you write and hear only nos, you are a writer.
All the times you speak and nobody listens, you still have something to say.
All the times you stand transparent, you are real. You are important.
Little me, there is no one more qualified than you to decide what you are.
So, stop waiting. Claim your title.
You’re everything you dream about being.