I just need
All will be
Can you say
I need to hear?
I am Mara.
I am the bitterness you taste
In each sip of your morning
I am Rahab.
I am the lust burning in your eyes.
I am the harlot of disquieted imaginings.
I give and you take. You give
And I crawl into my dreams.
I am Sarah.
I am unbelief. I am mistrust.
I am the joy leaving your lips
In your sweet, soft laughter.
I am Mary.
I am the sainted wonder
of His fire. I am the bearer
of life and splendor.
I am Martha.
I am the dishrag hanging
From the hooks of your heart.
I clean. I scrub as you keep tracking
Mud into the waxed floors of my mind.
I am beauty —
I am hate —
I am strength —
I am frailty –
I am Redeemed.
I am more than my name.
I am more than the labels I give myself —
I am more than the stickers and gold stars
Of approval from other broken
Maras, Marys, and Sarahs.
I am who I am because He is
Who He is – the great and mighty
I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
I say this pledge every morning. In unison with my students, we stand with our hands over our hearts in respect and reverence for the things we are to remember. I wonder if they are fully aware of the profundity of this pledge of this allegiance that tethers us together as Americans — as citizens of the great United States. I think not. They are roboting their voices in unison – monotoned, droned, Novocained to the impervious nature of these paramount utterances. By saying these things, does that make you any more or less American if you actually mean it when you say it? Sometimes I try to recite it as if it were the first time or as if my voice wasn’t metallic and inky, but the struggle with that is timing – pacing – uniformity. We MUST stick together or this whole thing falls apart. Is that really true? Who am I to say in earnest or even in true honesty because I, myself, am a fluxing flowing void of psyche and obligation. One MUST say this pledge. One MUST stand with hand over heart and RECITE from memory – from five years of age until you no longer bleed blue. Well, I bleed red, white, and blue; but I don’t like saying the pledge. Does that make me a bad person? No, of course not; but I can’t help thinking that it is a slap in the face to those who have fought for my rights for my un -, sub -, or under-appreciated freedom – it’s nothing to sneeze at, but these poppies keep pollenating my sinuses. God bless you! No, let’s leave Him out of this, shall we? Can we? Is that at all possible? I think not. What if I lived like I truly believed in this pledge? What would my day look like? Would I do things, say things, appreciate things differently? Or would I continue to robot my way through the unsatisfactory endeavor to achieve what Jay Gatsby and Willy Loman couldn’t? That elusive, slippery little lie – the great American Dream of happiness and contentment…I haven’t found it from saying things, from mere recitation. Perhaps, I must put my money where my mouth is…but the casting shadow of Lady Liberty is long and wide in the sunset of my dreams. So, I will continue to perform in the most allegiant of efforts to entertain, sustain, maintain the proclivity and profundity of that Star Spangled Wonder hanging in the corner of my classroom and my heart.
Love me like a metaphor
Bathe me in your words
Intoxicate my thoughts
Enliven me in verbs.
Emanate my breathless tone
Nullify my pain;
Conjugate each falling star
Steady love’s refrain.
Speak forms of love in diction kind
Sing lilting songs of joy;
Command the syntax of our hearts
Compose my words held coy.
Conjunct in me your grace, your strength,
Inspect my passion’d curves.
Come diagram my heat undone,
Relent my sweet reserves.
Love me like a metaphor
Call forth my form’s desire
Satiate my needs aflame
Douse me with your fire.
It’s quite difficult to explain
The complexity of my heart…
But sipping your champagne’d thoughts
Mixes nicely with my berried ripeness…
It’s all so clear — the allure
Was more than just ordinary physical
Attraction; the depth of his gleaming eyes
Revealed the truth neither of us wanted
To say. His hands tell me more
Than his well-meaning words do,
Falling flatly on the floor of my heart.
It may trick you, but it will never lie.
Just give me another sip, another drop,
Another other taste, another raspberry
Tumbles into my effervescent love.
The bubbles suffuse the ache in my heart;
Your sharp love softens in my airy thirst –
Bursting vacancy and seething peace.
A smile leaves my lips as the tenuous warm breeze
Tickles my skin like hands gently brushing away
The unruly tendrils from my face –
Just one last sip of the glittering glass –
Set it aside, my heart will imbue your pain.
The sun washes over me —
Eyes clenched tightly —
His glittering rays pull at my skin –
Like tender fingertips grazing
My chin, my lips — just before
A sweet, delicate kiss.
Who is this woman I see here in the mirror?
An unrecognizable face – porcelain’d
Pristine – cracking under the pressure
Of unknown perfection – this mask
Doesn’t quite cover the flawed disquietude
Of her heart. Riven splinterings of vague
Familiarity – painted realities of expectation –
This looking-glass girl confides in me –
Doesn’t she know that these salted tears
Never salve the pain? Can’t she see the love
That is wrapped around her from beneath the
Vaneer’d prison she hides inside?
I take my weeds with me…they follow me from lawn to lawn it would seem.
When I was a little girl, I thought dandelions
were beautiful yellow flowers. I never understood
why my dad would get so angry
every time I made a wish
with those cottony clustered clouds.
Umbrella-ed seeds floating all
around spoke of all the possibilities of who I could be and
what was to come. My wishes rarely came true,
but then the parachutes didn’t
always catch the wind. Stubborn anchored sprouts refused
to move with a puff of my cheek. And I knew
that my dreams were stuck.
Now that I’m older, I know better.
Dandelions and their seedling blossoms,
the ones that line the beds of unkempt gardens,
are just weeds of wistful thinking.