What type of warrior are you?

Another dagger in the heart

You’d think by now that 

I’d have learned how 

to use my shield,

how to wield my sword…

Guess I’m just not

the type of warrior 

who fights off love. 

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watch me own it

I’ve started to own this grief

I’m not going to let it kick me off field any longer;

I’ll bring it up on first dates, share it like

small bites of chocolate with my roommates on the couch,

drown in it as if it were a giant glass of red wine;

I’ll scream it out of me and into pillows and

bring the subject with me to dinners and various bars

across town, neatly tucked in my clutch

like my favorite lipstick.

I’m going to own this grief publicly

and you’re going to watch me

so that the next time they ask me how I’m handling things

I can look them in the eye and say

I’m handling it just fine, thanks.

 

Mid-March

“Have a great day,” he says

As he flashes me his most earnest smile

I’m bare faced, tear stained

Crying in public transportation again

So I say “thanks” and step into the snow

Mid-March

 

Around the bend I make my way

Back to the music house

Searching for things to kick while I walk

Fantasizing about screaming so loud that I swallow the world, 

Whole

And all that’s left is a white screen

Serene

 

Hard days, somedays

Have their way with me.

 

 

 

 

HOW

Ealy life crisis.

I’m sure such a thing exists. How else can I explain what I’ve been going through this past year? Everything that I thought was important, suddenly appears not to be so. A definite and clear shift in my values and even some of my personal qualities has taken place. Yet I sit here facing the sea and have no more tears to cry, no more “whys” to demand from life.

The past few days I’ve had short encounters with locals that made me realize some things. One man, while sitting at a bar, spoke to his friends as he sprayed himself with cologne saying: “I’m already ugly and poor. I can at least smell good!”

Today, the vendor who rents beach chairs decided that he would help me get a cab from the beach by all costs. He stood attently looking at both sides of the street and calling the attention of every cab that passed by, until he finally got me one. I had already paid him for my chair and stool for the day and I never asked for his help hailing a cab. Still, once he put his mind to help me, there was no stopping him. He did it willingly, with pride even to be able to help me.

The taxi cab driver who drove me to a salon yesterday told me that he lived in a big city before moving back to Maceió, where I am currently living. When I asked him why he moved back, he said: “There was no beach there. A day at the beach, with the sun, and the cold beer, and that delicious fish one can get! It’s too good, there’s nothing better than that. How could I stay in the city?”

Simple.

Have I just been complicating my life? Pushing aside the things I love for grandiose ideas of what my life should really look like?

It’s not about what we’re doing with our lives; It’s about what we do when our life isn’t going the way we’d hope it would. All these men have taught me this lesson these past few days.

Now when I sit in front of the ocean thinking about the mess I’ve made of my life, instead of asking WHY, I’m asking HOW.

How can I begin to be happy again?

Helena

She found reasons to hold my hand during the time we spent together

And nearly saved my life by walking me over the other side of the street

To her, my feet with no calluses were feet of royalty

“Little Princess”

she called me

I held her tight when we said goodbye

And told her all about the gifts I’d bring her next time:

A stool bench that folds, a pair of sandals like mine, a new brand name polish to keep company to the one I gifted her last time…

But then she left without knowing

how much love I felt for her

This woman I’ve seen only twice in my life,

Who paints my nails while sitting on a plastic bucket

And tells me stories of family, love, and tragedy

All accompanied by a smile and good cheer.

Oh, Helena

Do you know how special you are?

If I’m princess, you are queen of this universe

And don’t you dare let them tell you otherwise

You’ve given me more warmth in a few hours than I’ve received in months in that far away land where I hail from,

Where we keep all our calluses in our soul,

not our feet.

Tie Dye & Rose Colored Glasses

They came,

colored in tie dye and rose colored glasses

to sit by creeks,

to dance under the sun and moon and stars…

Some to find themselves,

Some to lose themselves.

 

They came, in clusters of jingling bells and braided hair

To feel at home in the middle of nowhere,

to create a bond with complete strangers,

to learn to smile at all the absurdity of life.

 

They came, 

and danced, and kissed, and cried, and watched day turn into night 

and then left three moons later,

renewed and confident in nothing

except the certainty that sensitive souls aren’t alone in this world.

 

 

 

 

 

Alive

I pulled up the blinds.

I discovered that if I moved just right

at a certain time in the day,

I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face,

Even from the depths of the pit where I find myself daily.

I finally understood the man I once saw standing in front of the ocean

naked, arms spread wide open, eyes closed

As he faced the sun and embraced the time where if even for one or two seconds,

he allowed himself to truly experience the pleasures of being alive

on this planet, made of water and sand

but so many other terrible things that it becomes easy,

Automatic even,

to forget how much we need to feel the sun on our skin every now and then,

forget that we are all connected to the sun, the moon, and the stars in a way we can’t explain…

 

So I moved just far enough to the right,

closed my eyes,

and I let the sun remind me

that I’m human,

that I’m alive,

and that Earth is a beautiful place to call home.

Airplane Talk

He stared at me through the space of that empty airplane seat and spoke very softly, as if painting the portrait of a waltz with his voice:

– You will fall in love with someone. You will get married. Then you’ll both cheat on each other.

I stared back at him with wide-opened eyes and mouth, not even thinking of how young and naive I must have looked then. He gave a quick sad smile and continued, his voice now even softer, almost a rough whisper:

– No one stays the same forever. People change, so why would it be any different with love? Love changes too. You will cheat not because you lust after someone else, but rather because you have grown to love someone else. Love gone is replaced with love anew; it’s a cycle we can not and should not control. To do so is to deny ourselves the multiple soulmates we are destined to have. Think about it: just how many sides do you have? Do you think one person will ever be able to love each of them completely, or even understand them? Being loved in different ways by separate individuals is what makes one loved in the absolute.

He then paused and waited for my response. I stared at his tired eyes for what seemed like a long time and saw within them a wisdom and pain beyond my years. While I understood his statements and had a sort of awe for this man and his words, my naive youth protested inside. Yet I knew that whatever wisdom I possessed on matters of the heart, it would sound immature and idiotic next to his experiences. Quietly, I too let out a rough whisper across that empty airplane seat that reflected the only truth I knew then:

– I can only hope you are wrong and live my life accordingly.

He nodded, as if he was expecting that answer, and we went back to intervals of nodding off and smiling at the jokes from the sitcom show on the airplane’s tv. But oh, how silly love sounded after that conversation, how banal and incapable, yet also how simple! And if I could relate to you today the lesson I learned from that conversation, it is simply this: sometimes love is the one to fail us, not the people in it.

Sunset

The sun melted like hot wax over the ocean

and the beautiful peach and pink glow that blended together over the horizon

reminded me of a satisfying orgasm shared between two lovers at the end of a long night of slow and passionate sex

The birds dove for their preys

and the waves, with each break, danced like an elegant but ferocious ballerina

for no one except the three individuals sitting up at the first hill of sand in front of that hypnotizing sea,

who happened to somehow have stumbled upon a scenery reserved just for them,

The little adventurers

who traveled all the way from that first grain of sand on the steps of the beach house made of wood and magic,

now filled with laughter and love

The sun melted away the day

but the night brought with it neon rain, techno ninjas,

and a sky with so many stars I could no longer keep count.

Either way, I didn’t need to know just many many stars filled the sky

but only that they were there, cold and bright, shining down on me,

perhaps counting the humans down on Earth

If it was cold, only my little toes felt it

Inside me, there were a million fluttering butterflies

and the same blend of pink and peach blush earlier painted across the sky

now shot accross my heart like a million falling stars.

Between Sand and Sea

He stood naked between sand and sea, arms extended out in the shape of a cross while the wind threw the few hairs left on his head back and forth. I couldn’t see his face, but I imagined his eyes closed, his mouth parted and shaped in a slight smile as he exhaled all the frustrations of his life in one big breath. I let out a quick, quiet little laugh that could be mistaken for a sense of my own superiority. But down below my still ringing vocal chords was a burning desire to become that man; to wear nothing but the wind on my skin as God intended and leave all that weighed me down on that spot in the sand.