I stare among the women in crossed-legged seated postures and wonder if I’ll ever get there. Smiles strung along their faces. They’ve made it. They have found some place to call home. They pull love and compassion from places I’ve never heard of; from some chakra of the month. I still pull my tears back. The only colorful line up are my excel spreadsheets during fundraising campaigns and no one seems to care how long I haven’t been smiling. Breathe. Count to three. Allow the inner critic to wash away. I need more inner goddess, that’s for sure. Do you get that from kombucha? Taking pictures in a yoga pose? Can you see me now? Calling for help. Breathe. Maybe I’m just jealous of all the love they seem to receive. An internal healing from tailbone to sun salutations. I wish there was a bandaid big enough to cover the wounds I have. The sands of time have only stung like salt ripe on my flesh. “Moving forward” was silly advice. I now exhale my problems onto the next person. Deep, cursed excerpts of my ode to humanity and love and family and relationships and him and… breathe. I guess maybe I am jealous of those smiles stretched across their faces. And maybe… just maybe, I’ll find my own love in my crossed-legged meditation too.
Fertilize the Feminist for the Fourth wave.
She is needed for the brigade.
Arm her with mirror
And tell her to call it Goddess.
Arm her with an audience
And tell her to call them Sisters.
Arm her with a voice
And tell her to call it Ancestor.
The Fourth Wave rises in Her name.
Arms unfolded, fists up in rage.
Steady as you watch her days.
Mother moon plays tricks on the tide,
Tempting one to hide.
She is needed for the brigade.
Unfinished feminism forms in the wake.
She drifts closer a little each time,
But you must show her the prize;
The Fifth is on the rise!
Remove your kalon crippled comatose skin
Reach inside your lungs
Repeat after me
“I am beautiful — I am beauty!”
Every morning and night for best results.
And so you tap your chisled-tipped words on chalkboard like a metronome mouth piece. I time the words of betrayal. Right on time.
Pin the warmth between the sheets
Missing him will all it’ll ever be
Daylight shadows cover me in all the forms of fleeting time
from hours I can’t leave my mind
In bed and shook and slaughting rhyme
Of what I could have done to keep him mine.
She moves for the closest cup, fill her glass and raises it to the light. Dusty clouds of alkaline. Bubbles settle like fresh snow on cement. Swirl the glass; physics follows water into whirlpools and she watches water dance in her handmade cocoon. Death be to bubbles, birth be to monoons. She controls the earth, the time, and the rules.
I left chocolate ice cream stains beneath your chin.
I wanted to indulge in your young soul for a moment more than socially appropriate.
A precious memory to be sewn into my long term and yours for the time being.
Over time you have retreated; waning your womanly characteristics into the child your mother must have known.
In a bittersweet, didactic daydream, I connect with your mother. I washed your hands and cleaned your face with the napkin.
At this moment I know I have exactly four minutes to collect.
To learn the fast facts of your history, ancestory, and memories, before the reset button functions without fail.
One moment to use the tongue your mother bestowed because you forgot the one handed to you in school. Tell me of the mallet that whipped a whisper.
Lend me one moment to tell me of the time you left your future husband on his knees for weeks, begging for your hand to please.
And let me steal a moment to remember when you found religion at the bottom of a sack of carrot seeds; hands blistered by the weeds and threw care to the breeze.
Lend me a moment more to collect these memories so that I may be a record for the family of the grandmother who lived in the moment
Because that’s all that ever existed.
We seperate with goosebumps –
Like pulling apart Velcro
Our skins cry out, alarmed to be defying
Days like these
We worship it,
Not for its perfection,
But for all the moments we wish we could have taken back.
For all the words we should have inhaled instead of spewed.
Days like these
We sit on our thrones alone
Because power comes at a mighty lonely price.
We practice our goodness but never quite get to genuine.
It’s days like these that remind us where we are.
Who has come before us
And how we will pave the way for the others.
Days that are long,
But worth every hustling minute.
We will remember the glory of these days
Not for its perfection
But for its purity.
Collect my love puddles and recycle them back to me
Puddles from the sweat behind my knees, praying you and I will be.
Clutch the emerald rosary
between our fangs.
And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Sink them deep, my crimson cabernet is yours to keep
Slackline on the silverlining to the highest star
Bring me back to my body
The keeper of my puddles, my crimson, my heart.
-Words by Jasmine Duran and Luiz Castro