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.


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-

Freckled Hands

Closing my eyes I held my desire
In a clenched fist
Please please kiss me
I feel my lips murmer
Too far away to hear
Yet he still moves closer

Arms intertwined dancing
My hands burn
Until his lips are on mine
Confusingly consumingly good.

Clouds of moisture float
Casting shadows on a hot room
Rippling blurs of touch
Let’s play with gravity.

Hot walls
Metal Railing
2 bodies awake,
3 asleep.
We roar in our silence.

We play until the morning rolls around.
Peircing green eyes remind me you are real.
Golden body.
Curled rough fingers

I remember your hand so well
Resting on my knee underwater
Your freckles so stark against me.
The depart is just a little bitter.

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.


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.
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.


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.