ten years later

when you are driving
down a familiar highway
more slowly
more carefully
than you used to
and memories
rush back
with a surprising
lack of pain

the resentment
the ache
the sting
replaced
by amusement

ah, the messiness of youth
you say with ease.

how strange
and how sweet

to find
bitterness
mellowed
by time

to find
yourself
older, softer,
healed.

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after falling

standing here

the moment
of falling
long behind me

it is worth
speaking of
the way it feels
to tuck against
the familiar

the desire
to remain
in an embrace

to persist
in the face
of imperfection

to marvel
at the journey

to see what
strange bends
we’ve taken

to know that
sameness is not
oneness

to cultivate
oneness
from difference.

to believe that
in all the small
incongruences
exist beautiful
possibilities

do you still

do you still look
into those
tucked away places

small streets
and alleyways

seeking feral
cats and their
kittens

do you still seek
with hunger
the possibility
of strangers
becoming
not

are you still
open
to wonder

the way
you once
were?

if so,
please
explain
the way

tell me how
to go back
to that place

from which
they’ve said

there is
no
returning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

the first step
is recognition:

that there are those
to whom the
hostility
of this country
was never
disguised
as a welcome hand

the legacies of war
live on
in our bones
in the land

of the lies
that we’ve been told
the greatest
is that the war
on this land
ever stopped

that the invaders
still commit
quiet,
slow
massacres

and every
so often
we are pulled
to pay attention
to the noise.