Remember when they called you head-turner
and the comment turned your head around
to hear what they were saying.
You dipped yourself in that moment, and
soaked it into your skin,
when life was a ruffled white bikini.
Now gentle brush of the cheek,
a full frontal inspection
demands a closer look
Tiny lines doing simple multiplication,
a smile making them exponential.
On the verge of condemnation
I felt something, recognized a familiar face
Suddenly and for a moment
doubt and mockery of everything self-love
I wrote what I could not say out loud:
Let all the drug dealers pushing Prozac
and cognitive-behavioral worksheets
with their calm Nurse Ratchet voices,
for once– crack open a new universe
It’s okay to prefer darkness to light.
Go ahead with disdain for the day.
Celebrate the night!
It is only in total darkness
where we see the brightness of stars.
Like Einstein’s fish,
no happy pill can make a star feel worthy
by extinguishing its flight, roaming the earth
in full daylight. Only swimming in the dark skies
of poetry, art, and philosophy can reveal the truth
worth living passionately for–
Sense the rage of injustice as it builds its mighty wall
feel the starvation for love,
in every orphaned child and
empty bottomless tearing off of limbs
for the world’s orphaned parents.
Fill every watershed and well.
Let no wetlands remain dry,
and when all pain is sufficiently spilled–
released into the earth for regrowth,
sit silently smiling on the edge of the world.
See the green and the gold of your eyes,
embraced by the life lines you’ve earned.
Sit smiling for youth gone by and love
every small joy, every breath of early morning mist
every yellow butterfly against a blue sky
Let secrets flutter to the past
Throw your words of rage into wishing wells
Feel the tightness of the urgent present melt away
until now fills the room with a calm blue.
Let gratitude drape the shoulders of the mother, daughter, and friend.
Let it live in life’s poetry–
a familiar scent like autumn apples,
a welcome home to the voice
I have always known.
Welcome, my first love.
Come into the rain.
This is where the real you grows.