they told me to travel

when I’m older.

I think they didn’t know
that moving through someone else’s ordinary
creates the lens through which I see.

if aging is about growing
this is how I grow:

across difference
uprooting what was once cemented
with us and them.

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Pearls, butterflies, and uglies – we all got them, we all want them

I cried and cried to keep those uglies in my treasure chest, “They’re mine!” I’d say.

And then I’d see them in someone else’s box, and how ugly they really were, and I’d say, “Ew, get those uglies out of me!”
—–
I’d sit up in my treehouse day and night thinking up all the beautiful butterflies and pearls I’d decorate my house with.

And then I learned butterflies come from caterpillars and pearls come from oysters and my dear, they can take AGES and AGES to pop out, and you’ve got to TOIL and WAIT. And I’d say, “You mean I have to grow flowers for them to eat and survive and flourish? Oh no, oh no, those aren’t for me. Pearls and butterflies? They’re too much work! And butterflies, they’re so vulnerable and delicate!”
——
But that’s the thing, you never know when they’re going to pop out, but they do, every time, like a charm. You just wait and see, MY GEM.

fish bowl passenger

blown glass figurine, translucent, pristine

chin perched on elbow perched on knee, subway car seat

blown glass figurine, filled with waves like saltwater tears

she lets the waves crash up inside of her, jolting train threatening to shatter her

she holds her ground, however fast it moves beneath her

saltwater tears threatening their way up out of her, passing eyelid, passing eyeball, big salty gumdrops tumbling, iron-fisted

her heart the only bouey out to sea

glass like ice, heart like sun

she melts and the whole ocean breaks open like yolk that’s lost its captor, like sunlight over mountains, like grace like rain

flooding waters cleanse heart mind and soul

currents carry her to snow capped mountains and hot spring wells

she is bird, she is fish, she is free