Right now, I have a belly full of bagel and multi-flavoured doughnut pieces. It is my right, having come out of a rigorous quarter, a presentation at 8am this morning and a 50 paged curriculum report.
My group and I aimed to finish last night, starting at 7pm and working until 5am, on the brink of delirium. I had a pounding headache and I felt my anger flare whenever my group members went on tangents. Hey, I just want to finish this. Why are we (or you) talking about stupid Vines and laughing about inconsequential things? I flitted between annoyance and great admiration for their graciousness; they never once spoke with an edge in their voices. Their frustrations existed in a bubble which floated above us- something of a spectacle to poke at.
“Fuuuuck this thing, honestly I don’t even care anymore, she can dock us down for this, I’ll take it!” said the girl I’d once pinned down as an unassertive type. Sleepovers reveal the magic in everyone.
One of them lounged on his side, peering at the presentation through half-lidded eyes. “Remember when I asked whether or not you had already played the video? I literally fell asleep,” he chuckled.
They held me in their circle of play and gave me focused attention when I needed it most. My hand shot up multiple times as they joked, in a realm of my own, waiting for my turn. “I see you,” Kieran would say, smiling. It was always her. Unhurried, patient, kind.
In the wee hours of the morning, the three musketeers were the last ones standing; they stayed up to upload the document and figure out the formatting whilst I went to sleep. As we drove to school together, I found myself wishing I shared in the fullness of camaraderie borne of sleep deprivation and mutual suffering. I came away with an appreciation for the lightness with which they live, a kind of freedom and acceptance of the way things are. A sense that, though this is by no means ideal, it is by no means crushing either.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
what is the word?
hands in your hair
others – ah it’s
Speaking of poets
like old friends, I must meet your
Slate blue eyes, adorned with coral
you see beyond the mundane,
capturing light as it skims the leaves,
iridescent clouds, effervescent memories
in shadowy towers and age-old palaces.
Attentive to whispers of feeling:
Timmy is watering the flowers-
maybe something is blossoming
People like you are pockets of goodness,
strong, as nothing erodes it.
You land softly onto my shoulder
and teach me how to be lovely.
You were there with me, you were there with me, you were there with me Jesus!
I was curled up, eyes were dried up, I thought I couldn’t cry harder.
But you were there with me and you were crying with me
and you gave me my breath.
You are the one who sees me,
you are the one who defends me
– who can be against me?
You were there when I just wanted sleep,
made me feel like I could just be
in my pain and weakness.
Thank you for your peace today
You are my everlasting Father.
for days now i’ve woken up feeling like grounded glass. i cannot lift my eyes forward because i carry the residue of yesterday. peanut butter out of the jar, into my belly and into the air. i feel like i am wading in it.
frustration. what does it feel like in this body? like heat rising under a lidded pot, like thrashing through a million hangers– why do i have so many fucking clothes! that I don’t even like! All of them are roadblocks i have built and i am so angry with myself. a tower of terror, this sense of failure. it’s a stifled cry, out through the nose… i’m suffocating because i know better than to wallow.
Jesus, will your victory be mine today. Hurry, do not delay.
in the comfort of cotton too hot
in the sanctuary of these four walls
pristine like the underside of a clamshell,
the trees framed by the window are
nothing more than an artist’s rendering.
there is more to be done here:
the cracked cranium, the leaky sink
the chipped bed-frame, the dust-
oh the dust is everywhere, multiplying,
born of things decaying.
like clockwork i make the rounds
spiralling inwards indefinitely.
i live by the sliver of sun,
the flickering bulb as i chase
my shadow friends
i am the eye of a storm,
snapping branches- my arms!
je ne peux même pas m’embrasser.
Crouched, fearsome, lioness!
Stitching together your mother’s clothes,
spear-heading into the unknown
with nimble fingers and a triumphant smile.
You say: we have won, daughters,
collecting trauma like trophies,
like charms dangling round your wrist.
You beat your chest, soft as pillows,
roaring at the moon:
For your sunshine, my daughter,
I rise again.
rubber rolls –
the butcher’s best!
heaving slabs of
a collar of spit
a beggar’s garb,
mucous fingers and
pancake batter for arms
there’s room in the pit,
a boulder in my chest,
i am worried for this spirit
so thin you could not hold it.