Lines

I stare at myself in the mirror
Expression lines
Creases
Crinkles
A story etched into my forehead
When did I get wrinkles?

I want them to leave
Exit immediately
I rub creams, oils, masks
Apply sunscreen desperately
I wonder if you see what I see
Instead of looking into my eyes
You are looking at my lines
Folds that tell you I’m getting old

Markers of my experience
My time
A life of stress and excitement
Hard decisions I’ve had to make
All the paths I’ve chosen to take
Repentance, glory, and sin
Worn on my skin
A face full of life
Seeking
A bottle of collagen
My youth has disappeared overnight

I stare back at them hard
I see every faint crease
Every mark
I run my hands over their indentation
Setting an intention
To love myself
I’m learning so slowly

I try hard not to move
My eyebrows, my eyes
Trying to improve
The situation
As if I keep still
They will reside
My forehead will smooth
Milky white

My perfection, my youth
Faintly slips away
I suppose these lines are here to stay
I find myself further inside
Tempted to hide
My flaws, my face
I think about Botox
Trying to erase the evidence

I embrace my age
I embrace my lines
Knowing my wrinkles
Don’t define my character
I want you to see my life
My old soul
And know that’s it’s full
My happiness shows through my crinkles
I smile deeply
Crows feet
Even though it creates
What I hate

I want to be this person
I want these lines
I want all of my experiences
My expressions, appearances
But I fear growing old
We’ve all been sold
An illusion of perpetual youth
Unflawed, non-reality
Smooth skin
And told it’s our duty
To look this way
I accept who I am in the mirror
I refuse to pay
These wrinkles are here to stay

And then with a start
I turn the off the lights
I can no longer see, only feel
My innermost self, beautiful
My lines disappear in the dark
My skin recedes
Blackness envelops me
And I become energy

Snow

I walk at night
With no place to go
Illuminated by the iridescent light
The soft snow falling around me
I’m alone
The streets are empty
The sky reflects off the dull white
Glowing brightly
A hazy melancholy

I bundle up tightly
Can’t feel my toes
But I want to walk
I wore all my clothes
Prepared
To get lost
To be in the snow

Soft flakes kiss my face
In the vacant night
I have so much space
So much room
A faint outline of the full moon
Subtly shines through

I move through the snow gently
With no place to be
Called forth by the storm
My desire to think
Stronger than my want to be warm

It’s like seeing the streets
With no makeup on
Unwinding
Just before they go to sleep

An intimate moment
A special time
Walking in the snow at night
Is my secret
My peace of mind

Freedom

What is it to be free
Is it to think independently
To have lots of money
Buy anything you want
Own property
Be on the right side of the red line
To have status and credibility

Do we get it when we are wealthy
Or when we learn to set boundaries
Maybe it’s not blaming others
Taking personal responsibility
Over our lives
Or does it have to do with being happy
Certainly it’s not being right
It seems quiet hard to define

Is it the ability to leave the country
To sit quietly
And turn off the mind
Freedom of press
Openness to express
Our true selves
Not being confined

Is freedom movement
To exercise your ability
Move about the world freely
To seek whatever you want to find

Is it to make your own decisions
Perhaps it’s concerned with our rights
To speak and act
Think and move forward
Without looking back

Perhaps it means something different for everyone
A fluid state
A dance, an escape
From the system
That tells us what to do and think
Absence of foriegn control
The corrupt government
Pushing us to the brink
Of our humanity

Perhaps there’s levels of freedom
To be free mentally
Overcome your childhood
Trauma of your family
To be free physically
And have a healthy body
Participate in society

Free your mind
But how will we know when we find
We can have it and lose it a thousand times
To have freedom is to have power,
But what kind?

Freedom
Maybe it’s an instant feeling
Like flying
Or perhaps it’s gradual
Like a deep sigh after a long day
Simply just breathing
Allowing things to unfold
Knowing what to do or say
Without being told

We all seem to want freedom
But we don’t know how to find it
We can try to detach and let go
Yet we are still alive
We have wants and needs
To thrive and survive

We are so influenced by our society
This culture, this state
This idea of being free
Perhaps to talk about freedom is hypocrisy

Who made this word
This elusive idea
And what did they want it to be
How will we know
When we are free?

Green Eyes

My eyes are jade daggers, light dancing

Reflections of sadness and all things felt but not said

A portal into my soul

Dimension and color that morphs with tears

My eyes say all the things words cannot

They speak every language and understand every emotion

They smile 

My beauty is not external, but internal and you can only access it through my olive eyes 

Words are finite

Don’t look at me, look into me 

My green light shines on you

Only here can I share, my power, pain, my experience, my light 

My eyes wander

I weep freely 

Dancing in emotion, healing

I close my eyes 

And in the shapes and patterns

I see myself for the first time

My House

I’ll let you in my house, 

But you must to ask to come in.

You just window shop,

A beautiful exterior,

Yet you can’t see inside.

It’s easy for me to enter your house,

It’s harder for me to let you in mine.

I can’t let you in just because you like me, 

There has to be compatibility.

I’ll guide you through my rooms,

Show you my childhood memories

Smell my blooming lilies.

Reading my poetry,

But you have to walk towards me,

Some rooms are dark,

You must open the door.

I want you to see that too.

I’ll guide you through,

And do the same for you.

Then turn the lights on,

Sunlight floods through the windows,

Erases the shadows.

My house is warm,

My lights are the sun,

The ceilings are stars,

That illuminate my scars.

Ask me questions,

Pick up my books, study the titles,

Look at my photos.

Get lost in my ethos.

Don’t sit on my couch and fall asleep,

Dance in my ballroom, sweep me off my feet.

Ask me about my walls, my art, my patterns.

I’ll bloom for you,

Unravel, layer by layer,

But only if you show interest in me.

If you ignore, I’ll retreat,

I must feel adored and safe.

My house radiates

Don’t shut the blinds,

Is my house too big for you?

Is my light too bright?

I’m an original Gaudi, a Frank Lloyd Wright,

My spires reach up into the starry night.

My stories are the decorations,

The walls are painted yellow and gold,

The floors are crunchy fall leaves.

My couch is a magic carpet,

That you must unfold.

I certainly don’t have a TV.

Roll around with me,

Through my colors.

Un-peel me, my weeping willow tree.

Swim in my salty, warm sea.

Get tangled in my hair,

My roof is curly.

I don’t own anything

Yet I have everything,

In my house.

Stay for awhile.

But the entry is not free,

You must put in effort to be here with me. 

Denver

The mountains rise up to greet me in the morning,

Mile high sun kisses my face,

Beckoning me outside. 

Magic happens everyday,

In the Alpine lakes, rivers, gulches,

In the mountains is where I play.

They change their clothes from season to season,

White snow caps, brown peaks,

Constant reminders of how small I am,

How powerful, beautiful, unpredictable nature is.

Like a bipolar lover. 

I bask in your warmth and beauty,

And run away from your wrath. 

But your warmth is so warm, so powerful.

Look west, a wall of majesty. 

The Rockies envelop me,

Denver is a city of energy. 

The best discovery. 

I’ll make my home in the Aspen trees. 

Red Rocks, music, food, creativity, 

I thought the East Coast was the only place for me,

After escaping St Louis, Missouri.

Fast paced, direct, culture, chemistry,

Diversity.

Don’t stop and relax, 

You might miss out. 

It became part of my identity.

Now I see, 

The mountains have set my soul free. 

I relax and take it easy.

Hike and ski,

Sit back and write poetry.

I know that your majesty, 

Will always be. 

When the sun rises over my city.

Denver.

Fiction

I Pick you up, caress your fragile pages, 

I get lost in you, 

I climb into your spine.

In other people’s lives, and stories,

But I make them my own. 

I absorb your expression.

Stories unfold on the page, 

But they exist in my mind.

I’m the creator of other worlds. 

But you were my first love,

Friend, companion, 

My way out of the darkness.

A tangible escape.

I’m trapped in this prison of a room,

Afraid to leave.

But I’m transported into another place,

Through you.

And for a few hours I’m free. 

I’m safe. 

I exist in a place with emotion, unafraid. 

I wanted to be somewhere else,

Somewhere happier,

And you took me there through words on your thin crisp pages. 

Stories shape the way I see the world.

I retreat into myself again,

And lose myself, my problems.

My mind entertains someone else’s life.

Real or imagined,

I have empathy, understanding,

Awareness of other existence. 

And I’m healed through your stories.  

My creativity expands, 

You stayed with me, 

Through the growing pains.

Tears falling on the page,

Your words got me through. 

Words have the power to destroy,

And to heal 

I don’t want to watch, 

I want to pick you up, hold you,

Be mesmerized and transformed by you,

You travel with me,

To a better place. 

And now I give back, 

What has been given to me.

Through writing.

Yellow

Tunnels of yellow, raining gold. Sunlight penetrates the forest, a symphony of dancing leaves, the wind is nature’s song. Pay attention.

Golden yellow leaves shimmer in the muted morning light, playfully calling me forward. I walk along an empty path. Do I always need to know where I’m going?

Thousands of warped eyes urge me on, smiling softly. Knotted eyes that are unaffected by pandemics, media, my shifting thoughts and feelings, yet are changing all the same. I’m content and alone, surrounded by life, colors, the slightest noises if I just pay attention. 

Pay attention.

Yellow fills me up and at the same time empties me. Vibrant life drastically contrasts with bareness. Stillness and movement. Empty branches. Reaching out into nothingness, beckoning the cold, the shift into winter. Darkness is coming. But not now. I rake my hand through your shimmering, delicate petals. 

Yellow. 

Orange and red, gentle wind carrying them slowly away, a crescendo that’s almost the end, for now. Delight and sadness is expressed through my eyes, feelings unidentified and unfelt. I know it’s okay to bring them here. All the silly things I’ve created with my mind become yellow, color, absorbed by the crisp fall air and sun. 

Yellow currants ripple through the trees. Making waves against the pale blue sky.

Can I allow the colors to expand in my spirit, in my body, even though I know it will soon be gone? Can I close my eyes and lay in this field of yellow, in the crunchy brown and orange silhouettes of what used to be, and know that everything is okay? Right now. 

Yellow. 

Can I be quiet enough to be present? Can I enjoy the moment even though I know it will pass?

Growth


This feedback loop always comes back to me. 


A spotlight on all I’ve done wrong. 


But I’ve shined it on myself, 


I internalize, you externalize. 


All fingers point in my direction. 


It’s obvious this doesn’t work. 


But you can’t see it, 


I absorb your criticism. 


Silently. 


I melt, shift, adjust, trying to make it work. 


I can take it. 


Do I want partnership more than peace of mind? 


The relationship with myself suffers, 


An internal battle, 


Waging war in my mind. 


It’s close, but it’s not right. 


I cannot make something right when it’s not. 


I retreat back into myself, 


Walk away. 


I learn so slowly, 


What love feels like, looks like, sounds like. 


You say I’ll know when I find it. 


First I must find it within myself. 


Practice.


You tell me the relationship with myself is most important. 


But I want something I’ve never had before. 


Change happens slowly, 


I’m impatient. 


But I wait, both happily and unhappily


At the same time. 


I transform, 


And somehow believe


I will manifest what I want. 


I doubt myself, 


I always have. 


My thoughts are my guide and my enemy at the same time. 


It’s just that I can’t fight the enemy on my own,


It’s inside me. 


So I pour my soul out to you, 


And I trust you. 


I need you, 


And I know that to get what I want


I must do something different. 


And I’m willing to be uncomfortable. 


For without growth,


My soul will die. 


Life is precious,


Cherish it. 


Even the parts that hurt. 

Cuba

I’m late, 

And I don’t know it,

The time has changed, but I have not. 

I scratch a Wi-Fi card to find reality. Cuba. Another world. 

I walk through this world unaware. Weaving in and out of the music, colors, crumbling buildings, rice and beans, ration cards, tobacco smoke wafting through streets, dancing, need, emotions, alcohol. Things I don’t understand.

You’re angry but I don’t know why. 

I’ve wasted your time. 

Anger melts away with the realization of misunderstanding. Laughter is magic that melts away the tension, understanding brings connection. Warmth.

I slowly come into your world. Youth, softness, you radiate. You invite me in.

You ask me if I’d like a ride home, but I don’t know where home is. I’ll go with you. On your bike. It’s not for me, but I’ll try.

But how? I sit on your bar, not made for an ass. My ass falls this way, that way, looking for a place to land, to hold onto. I’m afraid. I might fall and get hurt but you hold onto me. We are going so fast, too fast. I feel alive, I might die. In traffic. I shouldn’t be here.

You are too young. I ask you how old you are and you tell me. You ask how old I am and I don’t tell you.

I’m young, I dip my toe into your youth, your freedom and fearlessness in this moment. In chaos, in traffic, in Cuba.

You tell me to find you, you tell me your name. I hold on to it, savor it. But I know I will not. I know I will not find you, and I know I will never see you again.

Memories. 

But do you remember me?

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