Head West

Been sharing my secrets with a stranger

leaving my tears behind on a cold, metal chair

my mouth spilling truths never before accepted by my heart

her voice from the other side of the room cutting the air-conditioned silence with the expected, but always comforting that’s amazing, you’re so strong!

and I laugh.

because there’s no strength left in me.

child born in poverty but raised with love,

still feeling all the things I felt then,

except for strength.

wishing I were who I was, past tense

not who I feel like these days-

Tired. Fragile.

Afraid to dream again.

My heart fatigued.

 

The American dream, she begins, is defined by you.

But what if my American Dream has been denied to me? I ask.

Taken from me? I push.

What if it’s nothing more than a fantasy? I challenge her, asserting matter of factly:

Reality is what I have now.

Lentils for dinner cooked in my kitchen in the closet

and still, I can’t even complain because I’m blessed and fortunate to have what I got

and THAT is what the American deam is all about.

These days, anyways.

Head West, they said

Get an education, work hard, and your dreams will come true.

But what if my dreams never even belonged to me?

What if I dreamt wrong for what my heart needs?

No, I don’t need another dream, stranger lady in a suit

No, you see-

What I need is a plan.

 

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