“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”
You, your stormy blue eyes.
I stand in the crowd, the darkness matted to my face like a mask, trying to peer through.
You’re pain and beauty, scars and brilliance, and the coming rain.
You had such self control, poised and ready to fly away. But you fell apart for hazel eyes that shone in the light of the radio, and drinks at the table by the window.
Somewhere along the way you got lost. You drowned yourself in sunny disposition and the smell of aftershave, and eventually, you realized that after all this time, you don’t know how to swim.
Imagine that. You, with the very ocean in your veins and salt within your skin, don’t know how to stay afloat.
It makes sense why you stayed in the shallows for so many years,
But I see you now. I remember who you used to be:
A cloudy day in the key of F. Your hair piled high on top of your head like a crown, your words were few and insightful, though not always important. Your laugh is either thunder or gentle showers, your mind a haven or a personal hell, and
that is your life-raft.
“You eyes, you large and al-inquiring eyes, that look so dubiously into me, and are not satisfied with what you see, tell me the worst and let us have no lies.”
The words I’ve been chewing on are burning my mouth
and I hear you cry out
for equality, but somehow I doubt
that you realize what it really means,
because while you’re screaming for you,
I’m fearful for me.
Because, something has changed,
and slowly but surely, it’s silencing me,
but still I restrain
myself, and what I think
because for some reason now, I can’t disagree
and my opinion isn’t valid,
because my religion makes you mad, and
it’s not fair.
It’s not fair that I
have to worry about losing my rights
because a few people spoke to hurt you, and I’m
sorry that it happened,
because we are all human, and
you did nothing to deserve it.
But did I?
Do you see me for more than what I am?
Because if not,
you’re no better than them.
And hear me out for a moment:
Is it possible that the hate toward you, you’ve reciprocated
and you don’t even know it?
God knows that I’m not saying that it’s only you,
but you’re the one who has chosen
and since when did hate combat hate?
In a world in flames,
I keep hoping for water,
and that we’d stop naming names, and pointing fingers,
because for a time of progression,
we couldn’t be farther
And maybe oppression is human nature,
but we’re making this harder
than it should be.
We have forgotten
that we are supposed to love
and we are supposed to be united.
In reality, we are far from it,
when you feel judged,
and I can’t pray in public.
While you say equality, I say peace,
but society thinks they mean two different things.
know that I love you,
so let’s take a step back from the hate
before we become it.
soft and sweet,
deep and strong.
How you draw my breath to the surface!
How you drown me!
My throat resonates with your honey
and from my chest,
my heart swoons.
Is quite apparently
My most profound skill.
Many an occasion,
I have been told
that it’s a miracle
that I manage to keep anything alive.
If some thumbs are green,
then my sense of remembering must be a bright orange.
the schemes that have started strong.
But like Goliath,
This is such a scheme
that has fallen victim to my careless ways.
Starve no more,
Must you taunt me,
for my lack of wit?
For I am here;
whether or not my words are filling
is beside the point.
Beggars can’t be choosers,
though I find it uncanny how frequently
It was the kind of peace that only comes with printed words and soft pages
regardless of the insistent beeping in the background;
though what could possibly be so exciting?
This was a town where nothing happened for the majority of the time,
breaking trend only for a seemingly sporadic series of marches around town,
each one taking far too long considering there were only five streets north and east.
And oh how the banging aroused itself up and into the air
where it would hang like a cloud, for days at a time,
mixing sourly with the chirping of birds
and coming rain.
But we were in the rest of the year,
when the town sat dormant,
and the only sounds being the laughter of young children,
who for an unapparent reason,
had been unfortunate enough to escape the shackles of public education,
and the sound of an occasional overexcited tuc-tuc driver.
This was quite a while ago. My memory has faded some, and it is a shame, but what is done is done.
My grandmother, Beckie ( known to us by the name of Nana), came to visit us in Guatemala. She only stayed for a week, but it was by far one of the busiest weeks I have experienced since living here.
She arrived on February 23. We hadn’t made it half-way through the week before we all decided that we needed out of the house. We needed to explore. What a delicious word that is: explore. As it were, Nana had broken her back a few years previous, on a cruise she had taken me on (I will have to share this story at some point). Thus, not much strenuous physical activity could be done. However, all of us excluding my sister, Jaqui, who was in school, managed to go hiking, in a somewhat local lowland jungle called “Cascadas”.
Now, to add some perspective, “local” extends a lot farther than it does in the states; it has to when the nearest grocery store is forty-five minutes away. So, technically, I suppose a two hour car ride into the mountains doesn’t count as “local”. The ride, however, was complete bliss. Ever since returning from the States after Christmas break, the climate has shifted into dry season, which means that temperatures rarely fall under 90ºF. Having the ability to ride into the mountains…
Something else that needs to be stated about living in Guatemala, is that you ride with the windows down, no exceptions but rain. I, for one, am one of those people who love having the wind in their face. I grew up going to the lake every weekend, and riding in my Nana’s boat, so anything that allows a steady breeze to smack me in the face is adored.
So, a two hour car ride, into the chilly mountains. Upon arriving, everything was green and lush, which was another sharp contrast to what the dry season had done to the land where I lived. It was absolutely beautiful. And at the entrance, we were informed that there was also the option of zip-lining. Unfortunately, we didn’t act upon the offer that day, though I believe we will at some point, if not tomorrow, even. At the entrance, we were also given walking sticks. I’ll let you in on a secret here: I may be one of the biggest nerds to ever grace the planet. So upon being handed a walking stick, I automatically had to quote “The Hobbit”, earning a defeated chuckle from my dad. “I’m going on an adventure!”
As promised, the walk was not difficult in the slightest. The views, though, were incredible. We came across several small waterfalls during the hike, finally ending in the mother-fall; the stone was a smooth black, and the crests of the water shone white against it. Near the basin, there were palm trees, with leaves bigger than my body. The way back led us through pine forests, some completely dead and wilting. Still stuck in my nerd brain, all I could note was how perfect it would be for the ending battle of a story.
We finally managed to find our way out, but then came across what appeared to be swings. Unfortunately, we weren’t sure whether or not they were free of use, so we didn’t swing on them. Until we reached the beginning.
A sign stood near the entrance, with a diagram on how to properly use the swings. The free swings. Of course, we all had to try it. It reminded me a bit of the Barn Swings, from my friend’s birthday party several years ago (another story that’s too good not to share). Basically, it was a piece of wood tied firmly to a thick cord that hung from a tree. There were two holes designated for the legs, separated by a thin string that hung down the middle. All one had to do was back up as far as possible, and then lift your feet…..
Only to go flying off the edge of a cliff. I can honestly say that I wasn’t expecting it. One moment, solid ground beneath me; the next, nothing. My dad wishes he would have recorded me; he says that my surprised shriek was enough to make someone laugh until crying. I have no doubt that it was.