Surfing a New Tongue

My tongue is adjusting to new sounds again as I try the language of this land upon my lips. I approach a group of women in Burkas. “Assalamaleikum,” I say. How much I’ve become in these years. Hands of mine, my art is my body, my heart, my life. The opposite of creation is destruction. I remind myself to create. Demons of my heart resurface. I must look around to remember how small this self is.

Hello from Sri Lanka. I have been traveling for as long as I can remember it seems. Two years has flown by. Some how I still have a floor of cash under my feet, and somehow still have a home to return to, with a community that remembers my name. I don’t remember what it’s like not to play.

If you ask me what I love, I’d tell you language. The way people’s lips reflect their mother toungue. The bond a few words can bring. I love the bridges words can create or crush.

I’d tell you that I love the feeling of watching the Earth move under my feet. I’d describe to you the wind that crashes into your eardrums and drowns out your shouts. I’d tell you that the ground below the open door of a moving train looks too blury to make out, but as the foreground falls away, each layer of a landscape moves slower and slower. I’d describe watching the seasons stay the same, as I chase the spin of the world. I could even brag that I know how to control the weather. But it’s only through the power of these legs of mine. Yours could have that power too I suppose. Common, haven’t you ever wished for an endless summer?

A memory of sitting in the backyard of my childhood home. Summer time freedom thrilled me and taunted me the same. I spent the days with joy, yet eagerly awaited school to return. I missed being busy. I missed having something to do. I missed the friends I hadn’t seen.

Sometimes I wonder if we really ever change at all. How much of our human hearts are with us all our lives? This girl of my oldest memories is no stranger to me. My body has grown and my freedom with it, but my hopes and emotions are the same. What does this endless summer do to a mind?

If you asked me what I was afraid of, I’d tell you that I’m afraid of tomorrow. I’d describe to you the deep emptiness I avoid in myself. I’d look at the ground and maybe tell you the truth. Maybe I’d whisper the questions I’m afraid of. I’ve come so far, but the thing about circles are, there isn’t ever a stopping point.

I sit 50 meters from the beach. I’m volunteering at a hostel that feeds me, entertains me, and gives me shelter. I’ve spent the last days swirling in the crystal ocean, waves beating at my sides, in awe of it all. I’ve been alone and I wonder if I’ll always be alone.

I will apply to graduate school. I will apply to jobs. I have a resume. I am a desirable employee. I am worth something. I have value. I am alive. I will not die.

One’self

Residual anguish
Familiar blood on tongue
taste the clench and grind of teeth.

To be in a body
is to be in a cage.
Stuck behind the bars of pupils
and skin
Reeking of memory.

Deeds cannot be undone
These hands have touched poison
and I still let them touch my lips.

Who’s That?

Sweet soul bedside
beside, my side, all sides.
Fluttering eyes.
What would it be to watch you from afar?
I wouldn’t know.
When I look at you,
Our eyes always meet.
Heart strong, heart strung.
Pulping, beating, breathing.
Locked in symmetry
Yet I see every thought,
waves so suddle in your eyes.
Salt stings my tongue.
It’s hard to look at you.
How lucky am I to feel.
I will not be afraid-
to remember you-
to see you-
to know you-

Night Swim in Spain

Marriott fortress
Silence and luxury
Along the Mediterranean Sea
Did you see the child’s shoe washed ashore?
I hold heaviness for those who’ve swam.

I wade into the water
Chills and hesitation
Remind me of the desperation

Black waves
Crashes of white
To be a creature of creation
Reflections of light mimic a source

What would it be like out there
Alone in the sea
An impossible feeling to imagine
I would cope
I would fight

But where is my fight now?
Fears of the parents here are different
Than those that have swam across this sea
Sitting in a resort thumbing through a smartphone
wondering, will my son ever pull his own weight?
But just as a metaphor.
You’ll never have to carry him across the ocean.

Heart thumping
I enter the waves in a bow.
Salute to the bravery.
I carry my privilege with your honor.
I will fight for a world that is better.

Mediterranean

I always loved writing poems inspired by the ocean.
Swaying in a body of motion
Only my feet remind me how much I’m moving
Light and suspended
I am air.
Curls of white peak the roof of each wave.
Coming towards me
I close my eyes and am engulfed.
Swaying with the force of this body.
Body of water.
Body of flesh.
Body or not.

Imagine being deep in the sea,
Where nothing is touched by the stiffness of land.
Hawaii breaks massive waves
Ocean roaring with interuption
Surfers like ants
They flail.

I dive.
Breath held
Sounds amplified.
Clarity.
I allow myself to hear any messages.
Ocean, I pray to you.
Hear me speak.

I float with my belly up and my eyes submerged.
Hands outstretched
I like being weightless.
I wonder how long this might last.

Pa

A father to my mother
We carry each others traits
But it is one thing to be family,
and another to be friends.
Your wisdom carries me,
as we sing poems of thought.
Interpersonal communication, love, path, all are open for conversation.

You talk of intention for the rest of your life
I ask you what it’s been like to have a partner for 50 years
You remind me I am good enough
I tell you my purpose in a round a bout way

I have separated money from contribution, I explain.
I can do good, but I also must make money.
Maybe they will be connected,
But if not, I will still find both.

When I look back upon my life,
I want to see something I admire.
I am making those memories now.

It’s the small tangible steps, he tells me.
You must see actual actions and take them.
You will find your way.

Tears of reverence build in his eyes.
How can you look at me that way? I wonder.
When I am the one in awe of you.
Aunt Mary was loved, he explains.
In a way that you are.

I have always missed her.
I hope to speak to others as I speak to you.
He says as if it is a connection to being remembered.
I want to understand my grandchildren.
Thank you for reminding me that I can.

Will To Be Strong In Joy

I want to be around him so badly. I feel myself convulsing around thoughts of him. All the feelings of love and joy are filling my heart and mind. It’s illogical and obscure to love so blindly, yet I continue to wear a heart on my sleeve. All the moments of loneliness and solitude somehow feel like a build up for this one moment. But then I see the weakness in my knees and the missing in my heart. Why am I suddenly feeling like all I want in the world is to be with him? It’s ludicrous. I was genuinely convinced that I didn’t have it in me to feel this ridiculous sensation. Why are human beings so programmed to have these love attachments? I’m glad to know it’s in me! I just hate it too. I don’t want to go through the next couple months missing anyone. But I feel this gap where I’m missing him and I hardly understand it. But I fall asleep thinking of him and wake up thinking of him. It’s comforting and frustrating in the same breath. I wish that I understood this sensation more. I know that it’s lovely and special. But also, I know that to some degree it’s biological. I can love. I will love. But a romantic partner will be more intense and powerful than other loves because I have an innate biological desire to mate. I have to remind myself of this objective perspective when I start to get dreamy and lost. I have to stay strong and hear my own voice when I find myself whispering sweet wishes for the future. I need to know my own wants and desires, and find passion in life without it being tied to another human being. But god, I feel like I found him. I feel like he’s the exact person who I’ve been searching for. It’s not even that he’s perfect by any means. It’s more of just this deep conviction that I’ve had since we first began writing to each other. It seems like I have known him for so long, and that some how he already understands me better than most anyone, even though we hardly know each other.

My fears: In the past I’ve been too sucked into the high of love. The high of another person making you feel like you’re nearly out of your body. A dizzy spinning joy that’s not only wonderful, but consuming. It’s addicting. It’s hard to live without once you’ve experienced it. It’s pure passion and completion. I only feel the need for this once I have bonded with a person. When I am not romantically intertwined with anyone, I feel peaceful and calm. I feel passion about life, and excitement about relationships, but not the crippling bliss of love. I am worried I will be weak in the face of my attachments. I will be consumed and dependent on his presence in my life. I am worried that I will be desperate and all too willing to go to the ends of this earth for him. It’s a ludicrous feeling, but it’s also so beautiful. The most important thing for me to decide is who that person is that I will have these feelings for. Because I do not want to go through so much heart break in my life. I can only choose a handful of people, and I must bear that choice heavily. I cannot just jump into the arms of any eligible bachelor that shows potential. I must be cautious and careful. I must be logical. I must be safe, and then I can allow the floodgates to open. I can allow the bliss as long as I am full in my own way. I must not lose myself, my ambition, my heart in love. I must remember who I am always. I must be able to speak to myself with no one else listening. I must choose wisely. Someone kind, someone understanding, someone smart, and strong.

He is all of these things. Beautiful and confident. Sweet and silly. Kind and thoughtful. Hardworking and ambitious. He seems like he has found me as much as I have found him. I wonder if he is as cautious as I am. I wonder if he feels as much fear of attachment as I do. I wonder if he has been burned and lost like I have in love. I wonder if he will love me at my lows as easily as he might at my highs. I wonder if he will be able to see me for who I am.

It’s really important to me that those around me know me. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than being stuck in a situation where the people around you have totally the wrong idea of who you are. Maybe you can change it, or maybe you won’t care. But more than anything, I hope that I can discover myself around him, and that he feels free to be completely himself around me. I need to remember the joy of friendship, and cultivate true knowing of each other with him. I need to be free to talk openly and philosophically.