one-hundred-twenty-six.

logs of wood burn
in a house down the street.
the wind carries
the smell of soft smoke
from the chimney,
through the park
and it meets you at your feet.
time travel, mind travel:
to the screen door opening,
a wool plaid coat
and untied taupe work boots;
watching the flames grow,
taller, stronger,
safe amongst stone;
sliced apples without skin,
bite after bite.
you’re on a free flight,
no layovers.
a one-way ticket to
a simpler time.

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one-hundred-twenty-five.

no electricity for two, three days even.
cooking in the basement,
only in the houses with gas stoves.
eating that soup in the freezer.
finishing the ice cream,
carton, cake, on a stick.
citizen crossing guards directing.
people of all skin,
smiling through car windows.
the sky an evening pink flame.

the night the power went out.

one-hundred-twenty-two.

i am tired.
“of what? do more!”
i am tired of having to explain,
over and over again,
that feeling happy is important to me.
“you can’t always be happy,
that’s not how life works.”
i am tired of having to justify,
over and over again,
that feeling happy is important to me.
“if you can’t face pain
and deal with bad days,
how will you get anywhere in life?”
i am tired.
“of what? do more!”

one-hundred-twenty-one.

“how many hours in your day
are spent making things happen
for other people?”
this question has been echoing
in my mind, lately.
i’ve been criticizing
the number of moments
i’ve given to build
up the tallest towers,
owned by people
who are not me.
making sure they are sturdy,
with a great view.
safe, fearless structures.
while my sleep is drenched
in stress dreaming:
things i’ve failed to do.
“how many hours in your day
are spent making things happen
for you?”
i can count the answer
on one hand:
too little, too few.

one-hundred-nineteen.

how can you expect the sun to know
when to shine,
when you fill her oceans with bottles,
plastic and trash?
how can you expect the water to know
the right tide,
when you fill her skies with gas,
oils and chemicals?
how can you expect the trees to know
which colour to turn,
when the air is so sticky because
of all that you’ve done?
we expect the circle of life to carry on,
while drinking from plastic,
tossing bags on the lawn.
eventually, the grass will begin to think —
“this is my life now,”
and the circle will blink, changing
to adapt the pollution we
spew:
it will be warmer and warmer,
until all the ice cracks;
the leaves will not fall;
the sun will burn deeper;
further and further,
there’s no going back.

one-hundred-eighteen.

the dress was teal
and it had gold straps.
i felt pretty in it.
i liked the way my boobs looked,
something i had never felt before,
because i was taught to hide them
like they were sins.
like it was my fault
to have been born with them.
they were just body parts,
like my arms,
toes,
shoulders.
it was my birthday.
i couldn’t wait for one full day of happy.
you asked me why i was dressed that way,
a snarl on your face.
i never wore that dress again,
consumed by projected shame.

one-hundred-seventeen.

privilege is not having to spend time learning
about the others who share this space,
because no one will doubt that you belong
when they look at your pale face.
there is no need to question who or what,
when, why or how,
because you’re believed, as you are,
no matter if what you say is true.
your skin, your sex,
all of it is proof,
that you will still climb higher
than the harder workers around you.
when a road block comes your way,
a spectacle will be,
because hardship faced by a white, straight man
brings your kind to the tv.