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.

 

Stillness

Rain drops distort the flickering lights outside my window to a somber blur

The stillness finds me restless

But the silence doesn’t move me to speak

and break the serenity I feel in this moment,

under the covers

Hiding from everyone but me

 

Slipping deeper into myself,

I search the corners of my heart and mind

Not for answers

Not for questions

But for a statement that will enlighten me

Where so many others have failed

 

Some days I am my own greatest companion

My body and mind know what to do to give me pleasure

And in this stillness

I cherish the thoughts I keep unshared-

Secrets are so delectable.