I hide to seek.

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I would like nothing more
than to hide you
in my poetry
where I keep the things
I wish to be safe.
For you to linger
at the tips of my vowels
especially the O
where all the things I left unspoken
are dangling and hanging on for dear life.

I would like to hide you in my poetry
for them to see
the things I silently marvel at,
which I never verbalize –
the soft tips of your hair,
the mild crease on your forehead,
the glimmer of excitement
in your eyes
that promises a taste of what
your childhood left behind.
I would like the world to see you
as I see you;
not nearly perfect as you make it seem
but still perfectly fine.

I would like to hide you in my poetry
so I could show you off;
show how rapidly my heart beats in anticipation
just at the sound of your name.
I would like to hide you
so I can wear you –
the poet adorned by her lovely words,
her emotions resting on her hair
as her lovely crown.

And maybe,
I would like to hide you in my poetry
so you can live forever.
Immortalized by my own hands,
a gift I know I’m the only one
who thought to bestow.

Photo by Rose Renolla

Political Correctness

 

My mother taught me that if I have nothing nice to say, I should just keep my thoughts to myself. The lesson never stuck.

I went through life with my foot permanently shoved down my throat – always grabbing the least perfect moments to say the wrong things. It got me into all sorts of trouble, which I didn’t mind, for it’s something you get used to when you can’t hold your tongue.

I couldn’t be politically correct even if I tried my hardest. Which is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that when I fell in love with you, all the things that made my brain buzz with excitement added to the mounting pressure I could feel pushing against the walls, the ridges, the fissures inside my mouth.

And I tried. I tried to hold it all in, like a dam preventing the water from flooding and drowning an open field.

But you know what they say about habit – you can only fight against it for as long as it takes for it to kick in, take you by surprise.

I said I love you – putting everything I am at stake in just three words. You looked at me like it was an assault, like you’ve been victimized, brutalized, like I grabbed my pen but instead of writing on paper, I stabbed you with my words. No one saw it coming even if it was in plain sight – not you… certainly not me.

I always thought it would take a storm to make a ship capsize, I’ve seen all the movies. I didn’t know three words were enough to make every crew jump ship, leave the wheel unattended until the ship sinks or crashes into sea boulders. But what the hell was I thinking trusting all those pirate movies when I knew that just like fairy tales they’re just products from someone’s imagination, they’re fiction. Just like this thing we have, it’s all in my head and apparently it’s a sin.

Well, I refuse to apologize. What I feel isn’t a bloody curse word I swallow inside the church and sing as a fucking hymn of praise. I refuse to be politically correct about my feelings. I refuse to treat my emotions as if they’re so disgusting and offensive. My love cannot be a crime – not when it finally feels like I’m starting to do everything right. Not when loving you feels so good.

When I was young, my mother always threatened to wash my mouth with soap if she ever heard me utter a curse word. The insides of my mouth have never felt so clean but the soap couldn’t wash away the stain the bad words left behind, I can still taste them sometimes. The memory of every bad word that passed through my lips left a tinge of unpleasantness I couldn’t wash away, even with wine.

I love you – I thought the words would taste sweet even if they were wrong.

I love you – it tastes like vomit.

I love you – it makes me want to wash you away from my insides violently with soap.

I love you – I wonder why the kiss of death had to be served in mouthfuls.

I love you. Let me savor it one last time – that fraction of a second where the words are almost sweet, that moment before the bitter takes over.

I love you.

You think I should learn to be just a tiny bit politically correct. But I will expire by spontaneous combustion if I don’t let my guts spill. My love isn’t a sin. It’s not a filthy profanity. I refuse to let you make me feel guilty.

The temple for which you should offer your prayers:

Love, you’ve been worrying again.
I see from the look in your eyes
you’re about to wage war on yourself again.

But why
do you have to be
your own
enemy?

You let the men tell you
you should be soft.
You let them mold your curves
so you can finally define yourself
a woman.

You let other women show you
that you should be hard,
choose to be predator not the prey,
lest your heart
be unguarded.

You let other people
talk you into fighting their causes
while you remain deaf to your own.

Can’t you tell
your soul is asking
to be excused
to not be accused
to be given more breathing room
to touch base with itself?

Why must you set your real self aside
for the woman they tell you
you should be?

You are soft
as you are hard,
you are gentle
as you are strong,
you can be as much rough
as you can choose to be silky smooth.

Don’t be the temple
listening to prayers
that aren’t yours to hear.
You are as much
of a woman
as you hold yourself to be.

You matter.
You matter as much
as everybody else,
never too much,
never less,
always just enough.
All you have to do
is spread your arms
and hug your real self.

You exist.

In case you ever doubt
who you are,
look at yourself
in front of the mirror
and see:
you exist.
Skin and bones,
subdued and powerful –
just how a woman should be.

The Modern Fairy Tale

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“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
who is the fairest of them all?”

Like the evil, stepmother queen,
voices teach us
we don’t need to look within.

Now Snow White, with her doe-eyes,
grace the magazines,
eyes reflecting only bright lights.

Cinderella wears only
beaded gowns
she’s always pretty
walking around town.

Ariel loves her legs
and hates her tail –
she forgot she was birthed
by the sea.
She thinks not being herself
is what will set her free.

Rapunzel still lives in the tower,
waiting for the man
who has the power.

Mulan commands an army
but to do so
she must always prove she’s hardy.

No, the fairy tales
aren’t to blame –
we fell deep into society’s game.

We tell girls
they are just little princesses
to be more would be an excess.

But princesses
can wield swords too
while wearing high-heeled shoes.

If we teach our daughters
to look within
they will value more than the color of their skin.

This is the modern fairy tale
we teach them to ride the tide
we don’t tuck them in
with drawing pins.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall,
little princess, don’t settle for fair –
when you can have it all.”

Work in Progress

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It’s Saturday in my corner of the planet. I’m about to meet my bestfriend for brunch. I’ve had coffee. The sun is shining. And there is so much inspiration to be breathed in. I haven’t had enough sleep, truth be told, but I still feel like this is going to be a good day.

Before I set out to meet up with the bff, I came up with a few lines. I watched spoken word videos while having coffee so I was triggered. I’ll continue working on this when I find some alone time again. Maybe on Monday. It’s the weekend after all. It’s the only time in the week where I get to be spontaneous and just go along with what the day offers.

I just thought I would drop by to let you know I can still write (thank God, I’m always scared I’ll wake up one day and just lose all the words.) I have written a few poems. But they all rhyme so I don’t know if I really want to post them here.

Anyway, I’m out. Have a nice weekend folks!

Fortitude in Frailty

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The world can take away,
at times,
when it should give.
People will hold you down
when they should lift.

The universe conspires
to make nothing work
though you’ve put in time
and done your homework.

You will want
to keep gnashing your teeth
and throw punches –
you’ll want to be anything,
but weak.

But my dear,
there is fortitude in frailty –
a brand of fearlessness
in accepting defeat.

Keep your head down,
once in a while,
and take the beating.
Fighting the quicksand
will lead to rapid sinking.

Let go,
for this is just another day
to live.
Take the weakness
being passed on your shoulder,
go ahead and grieve.

Know this:
today you fall away, in dismay,
but you still make headway.
This day won’t be wasted,
for there’s a new kind of strength
you just tasted.

To be weak
is to be strong, sometimes,
it’s your strength’s
carving fork.

So keep your head down
and live this day,
tomorrow,
you get a chance
to breakaway.

Good night.

Good night

Stay in bed
the night isn’t over yet.
Close your eyes –
you can still walk
in the land of your dreams.
Pay no attention
to the hushed whispers
attempting to chip away
your peace.

Drift away.
Listen to the soft music
that will lull away
your fears.
The stars are spread out,
a huge blanket
offered by the sky.
You are not alone
as the night makes it seem.

Succumb
to the helplessness.
Stop putting up a fight
against the things
that won’t fight back
or will stay in place
however you rearrange them
in your mind.
Don’t attempt to perform –
it’s been hours
since the curtain call.

Tonight,
your soul invites
a battlefield;
you can choose
not to fight.

Stay in bed.
Go to sleep.
Or at least
stay put
until the day arrives.

The battle will soon be over.
You’ll stop fearing the night.