at the ocean

my intention,

my desire,

my secret wish

is to simplify life.

 

many men

have tried It;

we heard about it.

 

It didn’t work.

 

many women

have tried It;

we didn’t hear about it.

 

(proof enough) It didn’t work.

 

we searched for It

in churches and mosques,

temples and tall, gray shopping malls.

 

we listened for It

at TED talks, college lecture halls

and sports stadiums with 80,000 seats.

 

when fate

grants you power,

what do you do with It?

 

men decided to seek It only in themselves,

simplicity and peace and glory

owned by one hand, one heart, one tear.

 

I ask: where does the tear come from?

Where does the water come from?

I’ll start by listening there.

 

March 18, 2016.

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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

thoughts after the party

who says I have to follow him around,

chase a boy that didn’t see me in the first place?

be brave in the moment,

yes,

but no woman should have to go chasing after a man,

force the queen that she is into his face

and push “forever.”

I walk away,

stare at the blank concrete

and wonder, for the millionth time,

“When will he come?”

well, I’m tired.

it is what society has fed us from the womb

It is why boys eye me from across the street

it is how biology may have made us

but no matter–

women can think, too.

to say,

“I am enough,”

is not the same as

believing,

“I am enough.”

the 14 year old girl on Instagram posting selfies

in hopes of some hot guy’s comments:

you are enough.

the sister and the daughter and the grandmother

who have seen the message passed down from generation

to generation, “When are you marrying him?”

Well, “When will you finally realize that you’re married to yourself?”

I am enough.

it’s not that I don’t want that warmth and satisfaction

of knowing I can hold one man for the rest of time

but I don’t want to chase him into doing so.

I am light,

and if I have to wait until someone not only sees it

but looks at me, straight in the eyes

and says they want to be my sun…

that’s okay, too.

June 6, 2015

Too

“You’re independent,”

my crush told me,

my date for the evening.

“You’re a free spirit,”

my friend told me,

pushing up his glasses

with a touch of a finger.

I do not “love” either

of them, but I did love

the words they saw in me

between my collar bones

and within my eyes,

not past my shoulder

and out the door.

I would marry a man

that told me this–

tells me this four years later.

He would look at me,

straight into my soul

and say, “You can make it

on your own–

but I want to be there, too.”

 

June 6, 2014

Wo-Men

We are women-

as if from the beginning

of time we’ve depended

on “men” to fill our “wo”

because woe

could never be enough

for a pathway to existence

to withstand

 

They called me baby

as I walked

the 6th street sidewalk-

do they understand

I have more language

than that of my body

 

I am a woman,

but I do not need

a man to prove it-

he is an extra sweetness

in this time

and when the time is right

he’ll come,

I’ll come,

knowing I’d be happy

with or without him

and my Cosmopolitan,

vodka tonic, high-class magazine:

“Look sexy for your man,”

why can’t I just look

fulfilled

for myself

 

without Disney telling me

I’m a princess in need of a prince,

why am I only allowed

to feel beautiful

when I have a man on my shoulder

 

without my grandmothers’

extra glow

when it comes to marriage

 

propose to me this:

a man will love me

when the time is right,

and yet it is always time

to love the woman-

the complete woman-

in me.

 

February 27, 2015