numbers and forms 

music in my ears, I sit cross legged and unsure.

Not unsure-anxious.

Since I boarded the plane in Edinburgh I couldn’t sit still. As soon as I put down my most recent distract, tears lining my face, nothing could hold my mind. Why? I race through security, through the cafe, through security, through custom. I scarfed my food. I pulled liquid into my body with a fever I don’t have, shouldn’t have. I can’t sit still.

I thought it was all the people around me, the normally increased emotions from what comes with traveling but then it hit me.

This and the headaches returning? Right on each temple as if they belong there.

I don’t want to go back.

So why am I writing this? As if putting these words onto this page erases what I’ve created. That’s the point-it doesn’t. But I often come back to these pages and seek comfort in what I have felt and I want to say to the me who comes back: remember what it feels like when the world you’ve formed isn’t right, and don’t do that again.

 Be brave enough to be scared for a moment before you settle. 

Don’t settle. 

Be sure. 

Take risks, and let yourself make a mistake but don’t stay in that mistake. 

Not again. 

You are only obligated to us and those you love. No one else.

So jump. 


A letter to the highlands of Scotland

hello dear friend,

What should I say? For a moment I thought you’d lost the ability to awe me, to pull me in. I thought perhaps it was because I’d lost my innocence and with it my ability to believe the tales of your hills.

I was wrong. 

Who made you like this, I foolishly ask; foolishly only because I know the answer already. Does that make the question a waste of a breath? Or does asking for the sake of asking hold some value? Anyway, the answer is what matters and the answer is you. you made yourself over millions upon millions of years, rock shifting slowly, water pushing roughly. 

All I can think in response to this truth is I don’t have that much time. 

I come to you weary, tired and weak, like so many of your children before. They were often seeking refugee from the harshness of this world. I mirror that past in more ways than one. Drops of my blood come from those who you sheltered as they ran from a man who claimed he was more a king than another, both of them playing a life size game of chess with the lives of those who could not get away. The common folk–most of us, those whose names will be lost when we last close our eyes. I’ve come to accept this but, as I’m sure my ancestors wondered: what will I do until then?

How do I make a life for myself? One I feel proud of, empowered in, one I love? Who will be in it? Where will it take place? In the glens of these hills or miles and miles away? How am I supposed to know?

You laugh in reply to all my questions. 

It comes to me in the form of wind. 

I miss every word. 

If I spoke your language, what would you tell me of what’s to come? Or do you know, like me, only what you’ve seen? Perhaps we are the same in that way.

Twisted and turned. Yellows, greens, various shades of brown. This is what you can tell me, and even in the state I am, you wash away what holds me tight. How do you hold so much power? Is it the magic of the fairies that call your back home, or the simple fact that all that has happened here since humans came happened because of you?

Wherever it comes from, the power is undeniably there so I have a question, a favor truly, to ask. Harvest it, I beg, and call me home. 

A thought came to me, as my time in your arms came to an end, as the twists and turns faded to light curves and the landscape fell to a series of smooth fields-will I ever see you again? 

Maybe only you know. 

Last time I pulled away I asked the same favor and I never thought I would be here, so soon again climbing upon your banks, my boots thick in the mud, and yet here I am.

So do the same. Call me home again. I am a wandering soul, it takes me longer than it should to learn where I am meant to go. You must howl at the top of your lungs, or my heart will not bled in the way that it should. 

sunday morning

do you ever look at people and wonder how they have moved on, when what bounds you together continues to threaten to drown you?

if you go in with guns up, of course you’ll start a war.

how do i honor your experiences, when they’ve formed opinions rooted in the oppression of others?

is it a crime to want conversation to run miles deep, instead of inches?

have i started a fire, or simply thrown sticks onto one that was years long burning?

that feeling that you get, when you know your name will pass over lips even after you’re gone.

again and again and again i ask the same question: what do i owe to you?

all of this, and nothing more, belongs to sunday morning

strike

here in lie my questions. they come from where i sit, through sunrises and sunsets, amongst my own conflicting feelings of anger, pride and regret:

where did this belief that i must always have a valid explanation for my actions come from?

why do i never leave room to make a mistake? how do i think i’ll ever learn?

was i taught to believe i owe people my time, that saying no is the worst one can do, or does that belief stem from some part of me natural to these bones?

how much of who i am was socialized into place?

why do i feel i owe part of who i am to my work? why does it hurt so much to belong to a community you only give to?

where can i replicate what i had at cottey? how do i replicate that?

why do i swallow a side of guilt each morning?

who taught me that money must sit so high on the list whenever a decision is being made?

how is it possible to both love and hate the same part of yourself?

where, how, who, what, when do i find peace? peace completely with myself, with how i stand, with when and where i stand, with who i stand with? what does that even look like?

when will i realize there are few people i owe anything to, and that most of them do not even want to collect?

when will i let go?

women who speak up

i am so angry. i can feel it in my chest. in every corner of my white, white bones.

how can you ignore me, oppress me, shut me out when the life blood drips from my hands?

have you ever seen such a striking mixture of shades of red? so vibrant you can’t help but look,

and yet all you do is look away.

you tell us to cover up when our life slides down babies’ throats. to sit down, step back, calm down, go back.

so many words, so little realization.

anger. it tightens my spine.

and then i realized something. perhaps too late. perhaps i should be kicked for how long it took me to open my eyes

or at least i opened them?

it doesn’t matter. that is a question for a different day. today i question how i can not not be more mad, when you ignore them more than you could ever oppress me. and the way you oppress me steps on my toes every day.

life blood drips from my hands, flooding porcelain floors.

but life blood drips down their backs,

because we built our lives off of always taking more.

i am a beginning.

but so are they.

so how could i have ever thought this was all over, racism was over, that being color blind was okay?

when every month,

for days,

blood runs down my wrist,

so bright, i can never look away.

pounding beats

I am having a very hard time loving right now.

Loving you, loving her, loving everyone, anyone, but most of all loving me.

I am not sure why.

Perhaps I am angry. I know I feel alone. Every piece about you makes me want to yell. I am scared about the future, I am not ready to move on and yet it is also the only desire I seem to truly know.

Downtrodden, unsure, petrified, fears buried so deep from so many years kept inside they’ve become part of my bones. If I voice them, I am afraid I will snap because they’re what keeps me standing-are they not?

All of this has turned me into nothing, and a pot of anger filled words.

I do not know what else to say. 

Do not come to try and rescue me. I spent the last two years so entirely wrapped in solitude I do not think I would even recognize your knock at the door.

Or perhaps I would, and the real truth is that I would not let you in.