Me and Empathy

I say a silent prayer for every animal I see dead on the street.

I sporadically tell my friends they are beautiful and that I love them…just so they know. It’s horrible not to know.

Watching the news is unbearable sometimes. All the time.

Somewhere, right now, statistically, is a young woman trapped. Just like in the movie Room. That KILLS me.

Why aren’t people kinder to those with disabilities?

When my sister cries, it leaves bullet wounds in my soul. I can’t take away her pain. But God I wish I could.

How have we not done more to help the Syrian Refugees? How?

Animal abuse -especially systematic abuse for profit- keeps me up at night.

My mother looks so small when she thinks of my grandfather. I wish I could breathe wind into her. I wish I could fill her back up. Sometimes I think we just have to feel sad.

I killed a cockroach today. I don’t think that my fear of him was justification for his murder and I feel badly.

You can laugh if you want…but I truly do.







Have to / Want to

I don’t want to be a girl today.

I don’t want to have my words fall on deaf ears.

I don’t want to have my self expression tainted with the perceptions of others.

I don’t want my expectations to be “too high”.

I don’t want to be careful when I walk. When I talk. When I exist.

I don’t want to hide myself away from eyes that can’t help but to fantasize.

I don’t want to fight for control over my own choices.

I don’t want to justify my actions as reasonable, so that they are taken seriously.

I don’t want to be a girl today.

I can’t be anything else.

Paper Years

These are the paper Years

These are the origami cranes.

By the hasty, careless hands of time I am folded and creased into a shape that I pray, will have wings

These are the newspaper airplanes. When theory becomes practice, when childhood experiments become vicious reality.

These are the watercolor paintings. Brush strokes swirling and tapping and mixing paint upon my blank slate into colors I don’t yet have a name for. Is this periwinkle? Is the image turning muddy?

These are the poems. My smooth, naked surface being tainted with smudges and eraser shavings and crossed out words that were almost the right ones.

These are the paper years.

But what I desire, requires three dimensions.

To Him

I don’t know that I believe you exist.

I have often imagined what form you might take…what space you might occupy.

I have often imagined the possibility of your presence. A difficult thing to manage, painting pictures of nothingness.

I don’t know that I believe you exist.

I once thought I had met you. That I had found you. I was wrong.

And now that different girl is gone..

I hope that it will be effortless. Like gliding across glass. Like slipping into sleep.

I hope that you will understand…I hope that you will see the world through the same lens.

I want you to be there. Fully there. For every moment, from the beginning, until the end.

I want you to know that waiting for you is hard. I want you to know that I am not really waiting at all.

I need for you to know that right now, I don’t think you exist.

But I hope that I am wrong.



Baby Birds

Those that have power to hurt, and will do none…

…they do rightly inherit heaven’s graces.


When I was very little, my mother let me hold a baby bird.

The bird was small, naked, afraid, and helpless in practically every way.

I held it so gently, so carefully.

I didn’t want to hurt it.

But then, for just a moment, I thought, “I could”.

Not necessarily that I wanted to. But I could.

I had the power, the ability, to hurt this tiny bird.

I could.

And this tiny realization, led to a further inquiry, “would I?”


Would I hurt this baby bird? Just because I could?


I have hurt many people in my life just because I could.

Because I was young, stupid, naive, afraid…

I have hurt my sister.

I have hurt my friends.

I have hurt my mother.

Because I could. Because it didn’t matter. Because I didn’t think about how it would feel to be the one cradled in rough hands that wondered “would I?”


This is what I am afraid of in them.

They are good people. They are kind men. They are gentle, fair, empathetic, and unfailingly supportive friends.

But they could.

I am the baby bird in their hands. Simply through the circumstances of my birth, they have the upper hand and the lower hand, both clasped around me, cradling, rocking, suppressing, trapping.

They are good people. But when placed in a position of power…being good is not always easy.

I am not afraid of the wicked men that come from the shadows and the chance encounters and the statistical certainties.

I am afraid of the kind, benevolent and sympathetic men whom I share my life with every day. Because no one is perfect. Because humanity is flawed. Because power dynamics are something that is easy to forget when the scale has shifted towards you.

So my question is,

despite being a good person, despite knowing right from wrong, despite loving me…

Because you could,

Would you?


For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;

lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.