Proceed with The Confidence of A Mediocre White Man

Do you want that raise?
Do you feel like your boss
isn’t giving you the praise you deserve?
Are you unheard and unappreciated?
Have you berated yourself for not speaking up?
Have your dreams been shut by slamming doors?
Well look no more!
All you need is a simple change in mentality,
and this surefire plan:
to proceed with the confidence
of a mediocre white man.

Not qualified for this position?
Who are you kidding,
you’re qualified for everything!
Who cares if you can’t sing
or play an instrument
you’re not meant to be in the band
but to land the role of director
so hold your head erect for
the job is as good as yours!

Roll out of bed
like the red carpet is rolled out for you
it’s your Oscars debut!
Never mind that you can’t act
that’s a minor fact,
a clerical error,
besides, no one would dare
to challenge your worth,
you’ve been destined for greatness since birth.

Don’t just tell yourself that you deserve
this raise this job this pay this office
but walk with the authority
that it’s already yours.
The world is your muthafuckin oyster after all
and it’s all a matter of choice
handed to you on a silver platter.

Pull into that parking space sideways
throw your keys in the direction of the valet
block the intersection
hold up traffic
tick off the masses
because your ass doesn’t stink.
Tell people exactly what you think,
even if you have to cut them off,
because it’s your right to talk,
you have the right of way always.
Tell women to display a smile
pile on compliments and advice
even when it’s not asked for,
especially when it’s not asked for.
Tip poorly,
surely they’ll be grateful for your loose change,
you’re such a saint!
See that line?
You don’t have time for that!
Just act as if you don’t see it
and proceed right to the front
no one will confront you anyway.
Treat every day
like it’s your birthday,
this is the day that the Lord has made
and it was made for you!
So have your cake,
and eat it too.

So you see, you don’t need
to have it all figured out,
you just need to push down your doubts,
and even when shit hits the fan,
proceed with the confidence
of a mediocre white man.

Image courtesy of Precision Recruiters

My People

Sharing another older poem this Thursday. Enjoy!
–The Vocal Poetess

My people are full of questions
never satisfied with first impressions,
or yes or no answers,
advancers of accountability
they see room for improvement,
movement, evolution, revolution
in any and every institution,
searching diligently for solutions
to life’s most complicated problems.

My people are imperfect
and a bit of a mess
sometimes letting the stress
of life get them far from their best
but never down for long.
My people are strong
even if they don’t always feel it, reveal it.
My people hurt and bleed
too full of compassion to be freed
from the pain that comes from
loving someone
or some thing so much
that just a soft touch
or word can bring on the water works.

My people feel
and they feel deeply
from the tips of their toes
deep breaths through their nose
the emotion flows
from their innermost parts
where it imparts wisdom
and direction.

My people are of the dirt.
Mud cakes their knuckles, fingernails,
trails from their boots
molds around their souls,
holds their bare toes.
My people don’t shy away
from what others may say
is too messy or raw or unrefined
they are defined by digging deep down
into the ground,
knowing that from the earth
all life is birthed.
My people put in work.

My people are ones who know the struggle,
exist in the struggle,
resist in the struggle,
whether it’s theirs to juggle
or in someone else’s bubble.
My people know that the fight
is never just ours or yours or theirs
to bear alone;
the struggle is our own.
It may look different for me
than it does for you
or those two
it doesn’t really matter who
because we’re all in this together
to weather the storms of this system
that we exist in
fully cognizant that simply having good intent
does not mean the outcome may not get bent
or cause harm,
that’s when we ring the alarm
of accountability and honesty.
And, honestly, it comes from a place of love,
knowing that the work goes above
and beyond what any one person may do.
It’s not just about me
and it’s not just about you.
It’s about coming together to form us.
So when I talk about my people
and all the things we may be capable
of doing and being
I look out among all of you
and it’s my people I’m seeing.

A House Divided

It’s Monday which means I’m sharing some of my older poetry with you. In response to the fear, pain, surprise, and divisiveness of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I and some other activists in Brattleboro, VT created a post-election action to generate conversation across the lines that divide us. Featuring the spoken word poems “Masquerade” (by Prosperous) and “A House Divided” (by me), this action incorporated masks and movement as we reflected on where we’ve been, where we are, how we got here, and where we are going. We performed the action in December 2016 at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT and in downtown Brattleboro. Watch the performance at SIT here and in downtown Brattleboro here.
–In solidarity, The Vocal Poetess

A House Divided

Division existed from the beginning,
with people whose lives were deemed less than worth living.
There’s always been an upper caste
and a lower class
and hordes of people in between.
And what remained unseen
were the ways in which we
were pitted against each other,
outfitted with weapons to wage war against each other,
taught to mistrust, fear, and hate each other.
Deceived until we believed
both consciously and unconsciously
that for you to be free
meant that I would not be.
That for you to have
meant that I would have not.
That for you to be able to rise
meant that I would be denied.
That you were taking from me,
that you were making me less free,
that you were the problem
because you were here, in my sights.
You were the easiest barrier to fight
because you were in my face
trying to take my place
at the table of freedom and opportunity.
But it didn’t occur to me
that the table was big enough for all of us,
that there was room for all to eat.
I only saw what I wanted to see.
You were the representation
of all my anger and frustration.

And at first it was your group of people
and then you were deemed acceptable
so some other segment of society
had to justifiably take your place
to be the face
of the other
to be “those people”
to be less than people
to be the epitome of evil
to be broken until they were spent
and so on and so forth we went
years upon years
tears upon tears
backs upon backs
until someone said, “Stand up, fight back!”
And we began to rise,
slowly at first, one at a time,
reaching to the person behind us
saying, “Who can break the ties that bind us?”
Praying, “Let love be the tie that binds us.”
We started to see through the haze
began to recognize the ways
we were hurting each other
smothering each other’s souls
with the soles of our feet
as we scrambled up the ladder to be free.

But we didn’t know what to do about it
how do get around it
so the masks came out.
Sometimes they were about protection
sometimes deflection,
a way to face rejection
without having to reveal our brokenness.
Sometimes we didn’t know we were wearing them
they felt like our own skin,
the way they molded to our faces,
fitting in all the right places.
Sometimes we were told to wear them
and then they didn’t fit so well
but we obeyed because they would yell,
“No one would love you
if they knew you.”
Or more calmly they’d say,
“It’s better this way.”
So we masked up and added on the layers
sometimes finding another player
in this game of life
who we felt was just right,
was worth the risk,
worth the immense task
of taking off that first mask.

It was slow progress we made
and with each new wave
another group found themselves welcomed
and loved and affirmed and held.
Yet with each new mask unveiled
those old fears started to resurface
the old voices whispered,
“They don’t deserve this.”
We looked around and didn’t recognize each other
so we put on more masks which made us bolder
to say things we didn’t think we’d say
to change in ways we didn’t think we’d change
to hate people we didn’t think we’d hate.
What some saw as progress
others so as regress.
What some saw as freedom
others saw as a prison.
And so we hid behind our politics and positions,
our old habits and new superstitions
and we went back to people who were like us
who lived in places we lived
who had the same faces we did
who believed what we believed
who felt the same kinds of fears
who cried the same kinds of tears
who prayed like us
who ate like us
who felt rage like us.
And we forgot about everyone else.
It became us and them once again.
Division existed from the beginning,
it’s always been a part of our story
but it doesn’t have to continue to be,
we have another choice.
What’s done is done but we still have our voice.

Find one person who hasn’t felt pain,
who hasn’t felt fear, anger, or shame
who hasn’t hated or been hated
who hasn’t cried or known someone who died.
Find me someone who hasn’t felt hunger
who hasn’t felt alone, misunderstood
Stood upon, stepped on.
Honestly, find me someone who doesn’t bleed
like you do
who doesn’t need to breathe
like you do
who doesn’t need to eat
like you do
who doesn’t want to be freed
like you do.
Find me someone who isn’t perfectly imperfect
who isn’t flesh and blood and bones and tissue
who isn’t at the molecular level the same as you.
Find me someone who doesn’t have needs
they would do almost anything to meet.
Find me someone right here in this street
that when you look into their eyes
you can deny their humanity,
their dignity, their right to be.

Seek the hand of someone beside you.
Welcome the hand of someone behind you.
This is the start of something new,
a safe place in the midst of the chaos,
a proclamation that it begins with us.
Do we move forward in fear?
We decide.
Do we move forward in love?
We decide
Do we move forward alone?
We decide.
Do we move forward together?
We decide.
These are your neighbors,
these are your people.
These are your neighbors,
these are your people.
Say it, “You are my neighbors,
you are my people.”
All we have is each other.
All we have is moving forward.
There is no going back.
Let’s get off the attack.
Chins up, shoulders back.
It’s time to take off
these masks.


Soul Tending

Be kind and gracious to yourself,
allow yourself the space you need
to feed your soul
to heal, to grow,
know that you are worth it,
all of it.

Be patient with your process,
don’t obsess about getting it right
or being perfect.
Forget about comparing yourself to others,
the only fair comparison
is to who you used to be.

Tending to yourself isn’t selfish
as some would lead you to believe.
Don’t be deceived,
if you cannot love yourself
cannot care for yourself
cannot be there for yourself
cannot be patient or gracious
with yourself,
how can you be all those things
fully, for someone else?


The Rush, The Whisper, The Reckoning

Good Morning lovely followers! I know Thursdays are meant for new poetry but I’m not feeling well this week and, honestly, the days got away from me. I’m trying to be gracious with myself even though I missed this goal. So here is an older poem I wrote about depression and mental health. Much love to those of you struggling as well.
–The Vocal Poetess

It never looks the same
yet it remains the same
at the same time.
At times it starts slowly
the way fog preys upon the night
creeps over the deepness,
until by daylight
it’s collected
everything into its damp, dark clasp,
grasping greedily for more.

Sometimes it sneaks up on me
the way a chill rises up the spine
one vertebrae at a time.
It arrives without warning or a heads up
and before I know it I’m down
and out, unsure of how I got here
or there or how I even got out of bed.
Instead my head is inundated,
saturated with the ever hated
echoes of worry, doubt, fear,
tears threatening to resume
the familiar trails and mazes
they’ve blazed down my face.

Sometimes it takes the form of a gentle whisper
stirring beneath the surface
of my conscious mind
finding its strength and power
with each hour that it feeds upon my own.
“You could end it all now,” it sings,
brings a calming peace with each
breath, it etches, sketches
“suicide, suicide, suicide”
into my very bones,
coincides with my own
desires to take that blade
and score my flesh, pores,
the voice implores me to consider it
like I’ve considered it so many times before.

It shows up as the distinct memory
of that time someone called me
those God-awful things
the wound still stings, aching,
the pain keeps pulsating
I feel like a small child
swirling slowly on the swings
wishing for wings
anything to take me away
to keep reality at bay.
Dazed and confused
intent on making dusty circles
with my shoes in the dirt,
the hurt rising in my throat
like a boat on the ocean
the emotions hard to control.
And the familiar refrain
replays in my brain:
“You are nothing,
you are nothing,
you are nothing.”

It comes and goes in spells,
inexplicable wells
of sorrow and grief
no remedy or relief
can begin to assuage.
Instead it pervades every inch of my being
seeing any opportunity to pounce
any ounce or thread of hope pulled
until it completely unravels.
It travels the routes of my veins
making a dark map of the pain
as it moves inward and outward,
words cannot begin to pinpoint
where it began
and when it will end.

And then just as quickly as it comes
it goes, departing like the ghost
that it was.
It’s finished its haunting,
its taunting for now.
The fog begins to lift,
drifting once again into the abyss,
making space for the light to resume its place,
dry the tears on my face,
replace the aches and groans in my bones.
I reach down into the dirt
to retrieve my weary wounded soul
hold it softly between cupped hands
that land at my heart’s center.
All the while whispering,
“You’re safe now,
you’re safe now,
you’re safe now.
Come home.”

Privilege/Where You Began

It’s Monday which means I’m sharing one of my older poems. Last week I shared a poem about why I participated in the 2017 Women’s March. This poem is in response to a viral Facebook post last year from a woman who outlined why she didn’t march or support those who did.
–The Vocal Poetess

She said,
“I don’t need to march
or take to the streets
to meet my needs.
I can do it all on my own
with my own two hands
standing on my own two feet.
Look at these women,
they know nothing of poverty.
Have they ever heard of the Middle East
or Africa?” (she speaks of it like it’s a country)
“They have food to eat,
shoes on their feet,
who are they to take to the street?”

She said,
“This woman isn’t buying it,
trying it, or supplying it.
I’m not a second-class citizen,
I’ve risen above all that nonsense
and noise.
I can make my own choice,
I can work, vote, defend my family
and myself.
And I don’t blame anyone else
for my problems,
I choose to solve them.
These American women
have no idea what they’ve been given.”

And I say, that
is the problem.
I don’t think you realize
the prize your white skin supplies you,
the rise your social status provides you,
the sky’s the limit to you
because you were born in the clouds,
never able to see the ground
below and the crowds gathered there
trying to get their share
of this unequal American pie.
You never felt second class
because your opportunity glass
has always been half full
or more
while scores of other Americans
began their journey
having to make cups out of their hands.

Have you ever had to stand
in line for food stamps
or an affordable house?
Live paycheck to paycheck,
raise kids without a spouse?
You tell people like this
to rise up and get with it
but let me be explicit:
your starting block was near the finish,
you couldn’t see behind you
where the lines grew
but you see them now.
And it makes you angry
and indignant, you can’t
believe how ungrateful
and whiny our society is
while you’re the one who lives
off society’s back.
Yet you choose to attack
the marchers who are peaceful
and compare them to people
you’ve never even met
in lands you’ve never even stepped
foot on.

Yes, the world is suffering
and there is so much injustice
but when you can sit
and look at the world out your window
without seeing your neighbors below
then you are part of the problem.
When did we begin
comparing poverty to poverty,
hunger to hunger,
violence to violence?
Suffering is suffering is suffering
whether it brings despair
to the people over there
or right here.
Let me make the picture clear:
you may not feel like you need to march
or protest
but, at best, that is your experience
and yours alone,
Not hers, or theirs,

So before you turn your personal experience
into another platform to distance
yourself from other women and Americans,
take a second,
and remember just where you began.

For You

I have never been one
to look at the glass as half full
or fool myself into asking for more
without drowning in insecurity or doubt.

For some of us,
positivity does not come easily.
Hope is a muscle that must be worked,
and some days
I don’t have what it takes
to shake off the rust
and grab the weights.

Just as the sudden brightness of light
pierces the heavy shadows of night,
flipping the switch from despair to hope
is jolting, disorienting
and it takes some time to adjust,
to trust that things will get better.

I don’t know what crazy means
or normal for that matter
but it seems that my normal just might be
a little more like crazy
my hazy thoughts keep concocting
the vision of cocking back a pistol
pushing the cold metal barrel
into my beating chest
and letting the bullet do the rest.

For all those who’ve contemplated suicide,
tried to silence the voices inside,
for those who feel voiceless
or less than
this is for you.

For those who can’t say
how they got out of bed today
or what day it even is,
for those who live
but don’t want to
this is for you.

For those who long
to belong, long
to drown in a river of their tears
who shiver in fear
at tomorrow
this is for you.

I’ve been there too
and it’s true what they say
that the only constant is change
and, believe it or not,
you won’t always feel this way.
I know it’s hard to remember
that you’ve ever felt anything else
than what you feel right now
but you did
and you will.

My dear,
I know there is so much fear
and dread and agony
and you’d rather be dead
than drag this dead weight around.
I know you feel on shaky ground,
aching abounds in your soul
and heart
and that bell jar
is suffocating you.
But my love,
there is life awaiting you,
even though you don’t want to live it.

I can’t promise you that one day
all this will go away
and everything will be perfect.
I can’t say that tomorrow
all this sorrow will end
and the sun will resurrect.
Things may not be better right away
but they will be different,
you will be different,
and you owe it to yourself
to know who you will become.

There will still be hard days,
and clouds that stay
but then, they will suddenly dissipate.
One day you’ll laugh and not know why
and when you start to cry
you’ll laugh even more.
One day you’ll open the door
to something new, something
you haven’t tried before
and you’ll discover a different side of you.

One day you’ll feel a lightness in your step
and the tightness in your breath
will blow away on the wind
and you’ll breathe easy again.
One day you will tell someone else
“I was there once too.
Don’t give up on you.”
And one day,
you’ll look back on this and say,
“Look how far I’ve come.
Look at who I was
and who I am
and who I am to become.”

And it won’t all be beautiful,
it certainly won’t be easy
but you will see
that it’s all been part of your journey
and you owe it to yourself
to see that journey through.
Don’t let those voices
get the best of you.
If for nothing else,
keep going for you.

Why I March

Good Morning friends! It’s Monday which means I’m sharing some of my older spoken word pieces. I wrote this one a year ago about why I participated in the Women’s March.
— The Vocal Poetess

* * *

Why I March

They asked me why I march,
what it meant to me,
to be a protester,
a tester of the waters,
a woman and a daughter.
And the first thing I’ll say
is that my choice to march on Saturday
was so much bigger
than my gender identity or female-ness,
than the fact that I have breasts and a clitoris,
(although this act of solidarity
should go much deeper than biology)
than the heartache
of coming so close to breaking
that last ceiling made of glass
only to have my hopes dashed
and shattered instead.

Yes those identities are important to me,
foundationally and otherwise,
and I realize my womanhood
is sacred, is holy.
It holds me
in connection with the tides and the moon,
the womb of Mother Earth
and all those who give birth to life.
Yes I am a woman, a daughter, a sister, a wife
and damn proud to be all the above and more
but those aren’t the only things I march for.

I march because white women like me
voted this man into the presidency
and I can’t let that be our legacy.
White women like me
have chosen our racial identity
over the sisterhood,
have stood on the necks and backs
of our black and brown sisters
dismissed her and them when
our privilege felt threatened.
When we felt called out or outcast,
we cast the dice in favor of the color of our flesh,
neglecting our common female-ness.
We white women claimed feminism
and took offense when women of color
pointed out another one of our blind spots:
our lack of intersectionality,
the fact that we acted as if our reality
was the same for all women,
that we spoke for all of them.
And when reminded of how skin tone
and economics, sexual identity,
and body politics came into play
we white women got up and walked away.

I march for clarity of vision
because the incision the election left
cut too deep, too close to the bone.
Because the backbone of Congress is weak
and broken and until the people have spoken-
not the electoral college,
not the white men who lack knowledge
and restraint, who paint
this nation as an island, a citadel,
in whose bowels dwell the beast
unleashed to expel all infidels
and come hell or high water,
slaughter the American dreams
of anyone who seems too dangerous,
too threatening,
be it the deafening cries of the refugee fleeing violence,
the undocumented worker forced to feast on silence
the black woman raising her fist in defiance,
the Muslim who prays five times a day that they
won’t be seen as a terrorist,
the trans person who has to continually insist
on their right to piss in their restroom
and the list
goes on.

I march for freedom and unity,
like this brave little state taught me,
because this, all of this,
is so much bigger than me.
It’s about human dignity,
you and me,
the reality that we all share the same home
and we can’t progress
when we walk alone.

I march because I refuse to believe
that the fight is over and done with,
with all due respect,
that notion is bullshit.
I know who won the presidency
and he does not represent me
or the millions in the human family
around the world
who unfurled banners and sheets
and took to the streets to march too.

We march because we believe
in the ability of one, of two,
of a thousand or just a few
to shake things up and upend the system,
turn walls into bridges and ridges into cisterns,
to reverse the world order,
reach across human-made borders
to shift the axes of power
make the powerful cower
and build the kind of movement
not even the strongest hate can devour.

I march not because it is the best I can do
but because it’s what I can do
right now
and the rest is still coming,
this is just the first test,
just you wait and see what’s next.


Race Talks with White People

A close up of eight various flesh toned crayons that say "flesh" on them

One of the first poems I ever composed
was deeply racist.
It in, I insisted that my whiteness
lacked culture and vibrancy,
portraying black and brown folk
swaying and clapping and moving
in a way my people weren’t used to.
I lamented my lack of rhythm
and a connection to my history
but what I didn’t see was how my self-pity
and exotification of other races
further exacerbated racism.

I was in middle school
in a nearly all-white community
and it never occurred to me
that I had a unique culture.
So, like a vulture, I picked apart pieces
of other people’s traditions
in what I thought was admiration and awe
but was really stinking of raw bigotry.

I grew up thinking
that my pale skin was the default,
like the salt without the food
I viewed whiteness as the absence of race,
lacking taste,
so immersed in the drippings of privilege
I lived in a bubble that I found boring
but what I saw as boring
was actually the luxury that comes
from being in the dominant category,
race becomes something “out there”
and, once aware of it,
I pretended like I didn’t see it.

“I’m color blind, I don’t see race!”
It’s something some white people
are so fond of saying
but the reality of that statement
is that it reeks of igorance
because to say you don’t see color
means you don’t suffer
from oppression based on your skin
and to not see color
means you don’t see that other
people are suffering based on their skin
and to not see color
means you see whiteness as something other than
and to not see color
means you see us all as a dull gray,
and you white wash and wash away
the pain, the history, the beauty,
the vibrancy, the richness
of color.

And then comes the white guilt,
the shame of knowing the gains
your race has given you, the pains
your race has driven others to
but let me tell you what to do with that:
don’t take it to black and brown people
they already know the evils
that whiteness has created,
the atrocities whiteness has enabled.
Instead, take it to the table with other white people.

And don’t say, “How can we talk about race,
when there are only white people in this space?”
That is the perfect place to talk about race
because until you can face
the fact that you don’t need black people
to have this conversation,
until you can move from the station
of shame and guilt and apology
into vulnerability and solidarity
then this is right where you need to be.
Until you can grasp
that the task of dismantling racism
starts with you asking and tackling
the hard questions yourself
instead of putting them on someone else,
then this is right where you need to be.

And it’s hard work,
and you may never recover.
In fact, we’ll always be racists in recovery,
which means we’ll slip up sometimes
and find ourselves making mistakes
but we’ll walk in grace and humility
not worrying about saving face,
we’ll put defensiveness in its place,
and open space for other white people
to do the same.
Because once we can name
and root out racism from within,
begin to see whiteness
as part of the color wheel,
feel appreciation for other cultures
without exotification or appropriation,
have admiration for our own traditions
and realize the ways we’ve been conditioned
to think and believe and feel,
then we can finally begin
to heal.

I Am From

As I transition from my old blog, SeekThePeace, to this one, I will be posting some of my old poetry on Mondays. This is actually the first spoken word piece I wrote and it explores my view of change using the “I am from” format. I’ve included an audio file because I feel that poetry is more powerful when it’s read aloud. Please feel free to listen while you read. I also encourage you to try your hand at using this format too and share what you come up with.
Much love,
The Vocal Poetess

* * *

“I Am From”

I am from Pennsylvania farm land,
and the smell of fresh spread manure
sure to burn nostrils
on the school playground
where uniforms marked gender, age, space, time
stood still, moved slowly,
too fast and not fast enough.

I am from mountains
valleys, hills, meadows
toes digging deep into grass and dirt
earth and green spaces that called
to my heart, spirit, lungs, legs
begged me to be free
green spaces that call to me still.

I am from East Baltimore Street
the white house with the pines
behind whose blinds love resided
confided in the strong arms of family
that pulled me in
held me close
hold me still.

I am from playing in the trees, bruised knees
“It’s getting dark come inside please”
Mom says.
her voice made everything all right
despite when it could not
give an answer for why cancer
tried to rob her of her light.

I am from questions
of an eight year old’s fears
tears betraying my façade of strength
as I tried to emulate hers
“Will you die?” “Will you lose your hair?”
I could not bear
the thought of it.

I am from family
and love above all else
from grandmas’ kisses and pappys’ laughter
after family dinners around the table
unable even now to admit
that death comes too quickly
to those we love most.

I am from Mennonite land
of peace and nonresistance
insistence on four-part harmony singing
bringing casseroles and baked goods
and, my goodness, how can a denomination
with foundations of peace
leave my childhood church in shambles.

I am from community
bonded by common threads
of reds and blues and yellow hues
all the bright and dark colors
of seeking, searching, longing
finally belonging

I am from the city
the rumblings of subways and trolleys
all these familiar sounds and sight
seeing people in all their vibrancy
curiosity, diversity, rawness
all this
is life.

I am from women
whose bodies were commodities
kept hidden forbidden sin ridden
until that holiest day of days
when she trades in her purity prize
and the guise
is lifted.

I am from contradictions
women who refused to be victims
even when our sacred souls, bleeding
were greedily ripped out,
from between our very legs.

I am from dark places
hollow spaces
shoe laces dangling
over a subway platform, canyon,
bridge over a stream
dreaming of jumping
but still afraid to fall.

I am from desperation
from a handful of pills
hospital bills
cold floors, metal doors
and therapists’ offices where
questions like “Now what do you want me to do for you?”
rang hollow in my ears.

I am from acceptance
of myself
esteemed in my eyes
sure of my worth
while being grounded
astounded, unbounded
by loving me
he’s free to love me too.

I am from liminal space
somewhere between wounded and whole
wholly succumbing or coming alive
between inward loathing and outward exploding
between knowing and not
between wanderlust
and lusting for home.

I am from love
and all its questions, suggestions, reflections
of what was, what is, and what could be
and that is home
home is love
and there is no other place
I’d rather be from.