Watching strangers on the subway

I find a spot to stand on the train

and it feels like a paradise,

spaces between strangers sock and shoes

and sweat and stories—

let me keep my distance.

Although there is a tiredness to it.

I was taught I could do any damn thing,

and I believe it: I feel my uniqueness

lifting me up as a I walk,

swarming around in my veins

a home for the hive, bees going extinct

but I know where the honey is:

it’s right here, honey.

 

Touch the water.

Tell me about it in 10 years when your city has none

a reality not yet created yet so tangible I want to reach out

and touch it, drag it back to now so I connect my future son-

in-law to my sink, so he can grab a bucket and fill it,

empty it, fill it, empty it into Chennai, into Cape Town.

 

I know New York will follow one day

does my specialness stand a chance? Does our ability

to find our race and run it define our character,

our identity,

our existence

the years that have been dripping by,

like water from a faucet,

like honey from a hive.

I know that I cannot solve any problem alone but where do I

start? Tell me where to put this water and these bones and I’ll do it.

Just promise me someone will be here when the flowers bloom.

 

June 28, 2019

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watching the moon

 

you are on your own

with a life that belongs

to no one–

and that is more than okay.

 

what do I believe in?

I believe in truth,

the elements,

digging underneath the dirt

of lies we have been hiding

underneath our skin,

feeding one another

 

with or without realizing it

your soul

is the soul of the Gods,

the air you take in

as you step outside,

the sky shading you from the universe above

the earth underneath your feet

tell me that you can live without this;

tell me that this isn’t life itself.

 

you are made out of flesh and bone,

truth and more truth

layered one on top of the other

if you forget your way,

remember that it probably wasn’t your way

to begin with.

 

the way is empty;

the way is full of life.

 

and that life is surrounding you,

always.

 

April 9, 2017

you are a ship

these feelings

of being stuck

seem to be unbearable–

it’s all connected

cyclical

dense

not me

what is me?

well,

it’s sitting under a tree,

maybe sipping some tea,

not minding the clouds

just letting all flow naturally–

see!

that’s me.

sitting in the shade,

not letting the day fade

you are here for one hour,

one year, one day at a time

in your mind

now you, my dear,

are a ship

and this house, my dear,

is your anchor.

you can sail freely,

without ever loosing your capacity

to come home.

 

October 23, 2016

Trees

My back

is strong

like a piece of bark

it has its edges

but it is stable,

it stands tall–

it is stillness

and silence

and me.

 

These elements

of control

have never been

my friend.

 

Illusive fears

of loosing

a self

that I had forged

by lack of force

the word loss–

I could write odes

to loss

and sonnets

to loss

and haikus

to loss

and I would still

remained

lost

in the same sentiment

 

Who am I?

 

Where do these attachments

leave me?

Where did I acquire them?

 

Did death bring up something

deep inside of me

that always needed healing?

 

An unknowingness of stability,

the entrance of doubt?

 

I am here, writing,

wondering,

thinking back to trees with hearts

written in their sides.

 

October 8, 2016

An Empty Space

There’s an empty space inside you

that no one else can steal

 

There’s an empty space inside you

and, I assure you, it is real

 

Curl up with tea and blankets

open up a book or two

 

And relish the sweet nothingness

each empty page brings you

 

Nature has its pleasures;

nature has its pains

 

The one thing nature tells you:

we will never stay the same.

 

Out with soul and romance!

Rejoice in the heaven of song!

 

No one really knows you

No one can tell you you’re wrong

 

In this spacious nothingness

there’s no wanting, there’s no pride

 

Good and bad are memories

There’s no reason left to hide.

 

August 28, 2016

 

after the game

when

all

I

want

to do

is scream

about the patriarchy

but I know I’d just

perpetuate

a stereotype

what am I supposed to do

when I score a goal on you

and you act like I’m a tree

whose branch luckily swayed

in the right direction

what am I supposed to do

when I tackle you

as well as some dude

but my lack of maleness

makes you stutter

I’m not sorry

that girls can do

what you can do;

I am not sorry

that, sometimes,

we do it better, too.

 

I am 24 years old,

playing a game I love

more than men

for 20 and have been playing

with them, side by side,

for the same.

 

I’ve always loved being the underdog.

 

but why can’t you

just put your head down like you do

when your friend nails a freakin maradona

these things are not so hard to do

when we treat this sport like a drug

admit that it’s mine, too;

that just because your body

can lift 200 pounds doesn’t mean

mine can’t kick your ass

with a soccer ball

that’s all I want:

the chance to come to a game,

ponytail in tow,

and still feel like I belong

to something that was here

long before I called it my own,

long before I learned

that girls aren’t supposed to do

what boys do.

 

all the friends and teams,

games and sprains, fields

and nails to the head,

bruised knees and toes,

championships and titles later

 

and these guys still insist

I need to prove myself.

 

I am not a tree

standing in the wind.

 

I am a woman–

and a pretty damn good soccer player.

 

March 4, 2016