Your true color is dark gray, muddy, half devoid of substance as if it couldn’t be enough. Your halo is gray and tilted to one side and I saw cracks in your demeanor. For a while I looked at myself and saw some of you reflected as I slowly turned light gray from a pure white. Your color is dark gray, beautiful, but grimy and it brings me down and I wonder what it must feel like to carry that weight with you of pouring out uncontrollably as you hold on to fragments from when you fell to the floor and shattered. I am an act of self-love, in constant motion, and ever so willing to give the little pieces of light that I hold in my hands, but I can’t share that light if all you’ll do is obscure my path.
Barefoot amidst the movement of lapping, cold waves—a gentle soul walks onward into the ocean. Mangrove branches loop out from the water and marine alluvium soils. Tiny fish grow within the intertidal zone, protected by the plants and disrupted by her calm feet digging into the sand. Hair wild amidst the cool sun rays softly kissing each eye into a deeper caramel hue. The water against her strong ankles as low pools fill and recede into the Earth. Gusts pick up cooling a body flowing in tandem with the ocean waves as the heart connects to the soul of the ocean.
The fronds rustling in the chilled air and a wolf’s moon gently watches as I inhale and exhale smoke from within my soul and out towards the night sky. She looks down with her red face soon to be eclipsed and a secret nod occurs between us. She is a protector—moon goddess—and I am a loyal servant. In my sensuality I extol rituals in her name as invisible, glittering strings grow from within me and dissipate into energy like the smoke exiting my lungs. Each breath is an intention, each inhale is a collected pool of energy brought further in to my body. The moon wears a red veil and I am naked, barren without need for shrouds. No clouds exist between us now and soon we will become one.
From where enters your strength, your will to live? It reminded of how battered and bruised I have been. A memory of black clouds coming down onto me haunts my head and I had hoped that I had healed that trauma, but they asked me: where does that strength come from? There were no good answers to that question. Perhaps it was this ancestral DNA or my mother’s mitochondrial DNA that let me live though the struggle. How ungrateful I must seem, to have that survivor’s will and to hate the act of having to survive. She must look at me with disdain or maybe with pity at knowing that her scars are inscribed into my genetic makeup too.
Why have you stayed? I am asked this question, not in so many words. Sadly, no responses escape because I hold the gates tightly shut for fear of being seen as the fool. Who could have thought that this would be the woman striving to bear the fruits of my labor—so hindered by a simple soul?
Recalling nights when the gentlest of hands tucked loose strands of hair behind my ear. When lips softly touched porcelain skin with care to not smudge, with care to not break and I knew what it was to love.
The silk of words that ran down my spine left me reminders that I was once yours and you were once mine. We walked hand in hand to the cherry blossoms and laid one another down onto dewy grass and crisp air that woke us from the trance we had been in prior.
In unison we could breathe in filling the lungs of each other in ways that the spring breeze could not. You were my Buddhist and I your lotus flower and together we laid our souls bare with love at that hour.
She looks at those pictures Finding them empty
Like, where is your living?
Your pages yellowing and gloomy.
They say you take pictures that reflect the soul.
Mine look like they’re out of control.
But damn, I had hoped yours could feel
Like they were something real.
Your pictures, your face, your hands are only a faded fantasy.
I slightly remember the people who used to live in that house. They were an older couple and had faces as kind as could be. Very sweet. One day the government notice came: FORECLOSURE. They couldn’t pay their rent anymore. In Florida we had thousands of homes foreclose in a short span of time. They had made their lives in the one right in front of mine. We were new to the neighborhood still and had bought off our house. The worries that touched them did not touch mine. I went back to school and said goodbye to my parents and brother—my justified sacrifice. The “Florida Winter” had come and gone and I didn’t worry about a dime.
Summer came around and with it came my jolly face ready to bask in sunshine. I did not think of the elder couple that lived in the house in front of mine. When our minivan pulled in, lugging me and my things one of the first sights I had was of that one house. The windows were boarded and it looked unlived in. You’d think it had been a grow house like mine once was. The view was quite desolate and property value fell, but we didn’t really mind for this was our home. My parents told me in low voices that the people had taken the fence that bordered the house; they had shattered the windows. My stepdad lamented all the work they had done on that happy home before it was demanded to give it up.
Shattered windows reflected shattered dreams.
All of those memories were dead now.
I recently moved back in May after finishing the studies that landed me a great job as a teacher. My sacrifice was worth it, is what I would say and I know it to be true to this day. My home is joyous, I’m making new memories and for some reason today I remember the elderly couple. Since moving right back, I’ve realized something. This home once belonged to someone, was destroyed, and has been recently purchased. There hasn’t been a single day in which I haven’t seen work done on that house. A group of men work day and night, sweating, losing weight, cursing, and laughing to create a beautiful abode. For some reason it reminds me of the beach—it’s a very light pastel blue. There are new windows in place, bordered with beige concrete in such a pleasant way. It’s almost as if it is accentuating the fact that the windows were once never there. They’ve made a little gazebo towards the back of the house and I frequently see my new neighbors sitting there and having a drink. There are at least three cars there daily, ready with bodies prepared for hard work. They sweat under the sun with their long sleeved shirts. One paints the house, the other mows the grass, the other works on the hinges and stuff like that.
I don’t quite know them and I know not if they’re kind. I just hope that their home can pass the test of time.
I can see their dreams pouring from their eyes.