Week Thirty-Seven

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 37: Something you created

I hold your existence
in the palm of my hand
and it drips
between my unworthy fingers to flee
the oppressive suffocation
choking the light from your words
and forcing you to be mine;

I let you go
in a halfhearted surrender
and you collapse
away from my gasping breaths
that say too much
yet never enough
in the grand scheme of loving you;

I don’t know you anymore
than I did when I only wore blue.
Before I adore
too many lies about you
and mistake them for truth
in a blasphemous attempt
to stay,

This is good-bye
to the 3D glasses under my bed:
hiding you
from my rear-view reality.
It’s time to make something
better than fences
and better than independence—

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Week Thirty-Six

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 36: Home

let’s love these old roads together

over cobblestone streets long conquered

by the wheels of caravans.

let’s run until the grass steals up

to our un-braided hair and tangles

with our outstretched fingers.

and when we’ve finished building

our house of memories, we’ll

tear it down and start again

with new ones;

Week Thirty-Five

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 35: Your neighborhood

The tiles lie side-by-side
in neat little rows reaching
only as far as the nearest corner
where the caulk comes loose
after an aggressive and therapeutic
dish-washing session.

I’m listening to your hushed
breath as the evening breeze
wafts through my open door
and soothes my premature
brow squeezed tight in honest
worry and selfish ambition.

I think I must let myself go
to find myself in your embrace,
so tight, so strong, so unexpected,
between curry and aged tea
kettles, colorful qi paos and saris,
and your many vegetable gardens.

No matter how far I wander,
I’ll never forget your reflection
of a greater kingdom yet unseen
but mentioned by mere mortals
wondering what it means
to love the neighbor as the self.

flicker

flicker

to the girl crying in the bathroom,
hunched over her muffled sobs and choking
them back to the prison that normally holds them captive;

to the girl burying her saltwater tears
in the sandy depths of a rough pillow case
at one in the morning when her roommates are sleeping;

to the girl with one fist clenched
and another palm held flat in confused surrender
to a god she fervently believes yet cannot see;

to the girl whose body longs to recall the light
as realization rolls over her quaking darkness
and turns her heart upon a torturous, fiery spit:

hello

i’m here with you

and i don’t have all the answers
but i can see the Light is still there
burning in you

you belong to the Light
the Light belongs to you

and you’ll never be alone

Week Thirty-Four

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 34: Things you like about fall

when the balmy summer nights become chill with shivers
and trembling leaves surrender to winter’s preparation,
that’s when you know fall is in the air and autumn is in the wind

when its devoted fans don sweaters in sweltering ninety-degree heat
and the mist returns to dress the trees in marital white,
that’s when you know fall has left its secrets in a basket on the porch

when there exists a prolong stillness before a steaming mug of chocolate
and mints take a moment longer to stick against their wrapper’s embrace
that’s when you know autumn’s colors have bled into the trees

Week Thirty-Three

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 33: Something you’re looking forward to

rain, in summer showers and torrential teardrops,
trickles through the leaves before my window,
filtering the sunlight that’s never been very warm
in this flatland that spends most of its time bitten by wind;

and it’s a little lonely, lazing the afternoon away
only to spend evenings alone again and wistful,
stuck in a dream from moments ago and not really knowing
how to adjust safely to reality’s stark outlines;

it’s quiet, which is nice, and it’s temporary,
another blessing that I must not take for granted
because soon the bustle and noise will begin again
and I will long for these heather grey silences;

so in each passing movement, allegro to adagio
and back again, I learn to see God’s handiwork
intricately etched into the chaos of unknowns
as He perfectly provides and fills my empty heart;

because soon, very soon, I will know the joy of reunion,
and for the in-between we will dance with the stars
in celebration of His faithfulness and constant peace
which will only become sweeter as the days pass us by…

Week Thirty-Two

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 32: A city you’ve visited

à paris

from the very first sighting of the beloved Tour d’Eiffel,
to the hair-raising taxi ride through crooked streets and cobbled roads,
and the slow, deep breaths of sleep deprived hearts,
the magic only before seen on television pattered up to the window
of their eyes and sighed with longings fulfilled

from the first glorious twenty-four hours without sleep,
to taking a nap along the River Seine in Mother’s arms,
and the arching, regal necks of the stunningly plumed swans,
the moon finally rose and said goodnight to the sun
which made its way back the way they had come

from the gasp of adrenaline upon entering the underground,
to nearly being separated from Father’s anxious hand,
and the aesthetic in partaking of delightful strawberries and croissants,
the vagabond travelers moved with little working language proficiency
yet found nonetheless a city of smoke and romance and dreams