You are probably
the 3rd person to suggest, no-
FORCE the idea into my existence that
this is what my new life will be
a life you don’t have much to do with
except through your looking glass
the life you are not growing at all.
it’s not your body
it’s not your place to say
I would assume
you know much better than this
3 ladies
what gives you the right to
even think
you can think
about what goes inside the womb
this womb
that does not belong to you?
having dreams
solving mysteries
as if it’s all some fun, early evening
game show…?
I’d like to be left alone
the quietude of my tan blanket
and new sheets
warmth of the surrounding material
encapsulating my skinny bones
my threadbare arms
my naked feet
waiting for the gift to come
some silence
and then


past, present, future

I have complained in the past
many, many times
about how you were never there
when I needed you.
This morning I
recalled very distant memories
looking out of my own eyes
I wondered
how is it that we remember this
and not that
whatever that may be
and as I look out of those four year old eyes
parallel to the kitchen counter
raising up my two skinny arms
to reach the cup of water
it seems as though I am looking out of
the same exact ones
as if it’s happening
right now
or even yesterday.
I remember drawing on the walls
while my mother took a shower
I remember even thinking then
how bad and mean it was to do
and yet I still did it anyway
walking back and forth along the long
dark hallway
I used different colors to make dashes
like Emily Dickinson
over and over again…
and I wondered today
how could I have had those thoughts
they seemed so mature
and to say that I did not know what I was doing
is not true
and I remember my mother yelling,
“we just painted these walls!”
and did I do it for attention, I wonder?
And so, today,
as I was walking home with Victoria
I saw myself again
so many years from now
watching her tell me I was there too much
that I was around too often
and to leave her alone
making up for my mother’s absence
I pushed my own child away–
silly thoughts, I think
and brush them
all away–


thunderous breath
I can’t see out the passenger window
because my eyes are too wet
my eyes are too flooded
with the ocean of fear
of pain
of many many years
of suffering under a silent watch
no hugs
no love
quietly rioting inside.
I’ve gotten really good at pretending
that things are okay
and/or accepting that
this is the way that is has to be
as mother earth
makes way for more joy
she must destroy
her children–


this has been an off year.
something about it
always leaves a sour and/or bitter taste in my mouth.
I haven’t had a “good” feeling in a while,
and even when I am among my family
my sisters
my brothers
there is a lingering dread
the one that consumed for years
the one that told me that I’m not good enough
strong enough
to make it through anything.
They say that a woman is interrupted so many
more times than a man
and that even if a woman says something
it is the man that gets the credit for it
they say we have to love our daughters in such a way
to teach them how to love themselves
without relying on the age-old edict
that they are “pretty”
We have to re-learn how to talk to them,
essentially talking to ourselves,
and I find myself questioning my motives
my inner-voice
my intuition
what am i really teaching myself
or rather
what am I really doing?
am I avoiding the lesson I need to teach
in fear that I am repeating the same mistakes
as my mother?
or am i really breaking the cycle,
creating a new chain
starting the beginning of a new line of me?
of us

5 am Prayer

My prayer for the morning
is that I will have the strength
to pump on
to feed you
to give you what you need
to pull up the energy
from the deepest part of my core
if I have to,
to turn on the faucet
and let the hot water run
down my face
washing yesterday’s news
I need to start this new day
with enough gusto
and perseverance
and positivity
that nothing will seep
into the not so awesome cracks–
I need to be so filled with your love
my love
that even the most nasty wisecrack
will seem like a welcome dandelion
showing me how pain does bring pleasure
showing me how challenges can indeed
make anyone grow–


Weeping hurts
So much pain
in my heart
with disbelief–

What to do?

What is it about your presence
that makes me so angry
so on edge
so full of doubt and fear
gripping me to the bad parts of myself
the ones that loop obsessive thoughts
and spew negativity in my mind
throughout my body
I know that my insides mirror the universe
that I am a reflection of God
experiencing himself
and that if I just let go, I can learn to accept
but I find myself feeling helpless
Having no control–
What’s so hard about giving things up?
Letting others help?
Learning through the process?
I think it’s because my process has been
that no one has helped
I’ve been on my own,
self-reliant for some time
I never asked my parents for money
or a ride
or what they thought about my life choices–
So you, telling me what to do
When I tell you what I want to do

I actually don’t know what to do–
What do I want to do?

Tenement Windows

Dark, tenement windows
shade the inner underworld
from its already back-shuddering
soot covered, black spots
hover over the child’s head
as he attempts to reconfigure
the dusty red block
his mother calls,
screams, reverberating
against thin, cracked walls
and old, peeling paint
we’ve heard it all down
this street before
there’s nothing more
for you to take
or give
as Sunday morning rises
and no one can rest
scrapping pennies for
the day’s bread ahead
or lack thereof
wishing endlessly
elbows poised,
eyes simultaneously aghast
and convinced
looking up into the
cruel and
the only miraculous ballerina
moment on this same
tenement windowsill
as the sun already dips
before it

Comfort of My Mind

Standing on the train
Nary a seat around
Stare at my belly
Wonder if you should get up
But you don’t
Because your comfort
Is more important than mine
Even if universally your comfort
Is mine and vice versa
So I’ve decided I won’t let you
Rob me of my joy
My sweet bundle of
Delicious Joy
And I’ll figuratively sit
In the comfort of my mind–

Laughter from the Kitchen

Nose running
Laughter from the kitchen
But I’m not laughing
Sour face
You think it’s funny
But last night I suffered so much
and couldn’t sleep for hours
Your sudden joy
a desecration of my wasted time
and hot