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.

Things I Know to Be True at 22

I woke up and went to work this morning (6:30) the same as I do every morning. Once I was at work, sitting at my desk, drinking a juice, I decided to take fifteen minutes to read the New York Times and catch up on news throughout the world.


I read an article about the rapid and unstoppable force of global warming, an article about the political unrest surrounding DACA and an article about the highly under-discussed crisis of Rohingya persecution in Myanmar. Every day, I am beginning to have less and less faith in the world. It seems to me that no matter how many people there are trying to build connections, build homes, build up people, there are even more people fighting desperately to break it down.


My students are primarily Muslim. They are also exactly like all the teenagers I have had the great privilege and joy to teach in America- curious, silly, lazy, smart, talented, complicated and vastly diverse. My students wear hijabs, or they don’t. They pray five times a day, or they don’t. They believe in kindness towards others and exemplify that through their actions and their generosity, or they don’t.


My students ask me if it is safe for them to go to America.


It pains me deeply to not know what to say. I honestly don’t know what to tell them, because I don’t know the answer myself. There was a time when I could have responded “Of course!” with no hesitation, perhaps even with a dismissive chuckle.

Now I am not so sure.


I am young. But sitting here at my desk this morning, I have realized (decided?) that there are a few things that I know to be completely and irrevocably true. These are the things:


  • Children are children. No matter where you are, what they believe or what side of the world they grew up on.
  • People are people. No one desires the role of villain. No one believes that they are the ones on the wrong side of history.
  • It is far better to approach others with empathy and understanding than it is to assign blame or hatred.
  • People want to be understood. People want to be heard. People want to be appreciated for who they are. When we deny them this, we deny them everything.
  • The world is not black and white. There are not good people and bad people. There are just people who make bad choices and people who make good choices and people who are fighting between the two.
  • Everyone will lose that battle sometimes.
  • That doesn’t mean they are bad people.
  • That doesn’t mean they are good people.
  • A person is made up of many pieces.
  • To define a person by a piece of them is like writing a summary of a book after reading the first chapter. It is incomplete, it is largely biased and it is ridiculously ignorant.
  • I should not judge you by your pieces. Even the piece of you that is judging me for mine.


Most religions, philosophies and cultures that I have been exposed to teach forgiveness and love of others as a fundamental value.


Based on the current state of things, it seems to me that it has become popular to judge another based on their pieces rather than stay true to these values.

I really hope this changes one day.

He is Blue

He is blue.

There are oceans and seas and lifetimes between us and yet the thought of his cyan eyes  burn bullets into my core

the night sky is an abyss of black and sparks- too far to hold, just close enough to feel. With a single orb of light rocking me like a pendulum, rocking me like a child.

Here. Where I am.

There is red and green and purple and gold and orange and silver and all of them. Are swirled together.

But he…he is blue.

He is whispers and fresh air and dandelions and cool stone against warm flesh. He is butterfly kisses and origami paper and quiet, perfect dreaming.

And in all the seas and skies of the world, I have never once seen

such a breathtaking shade of blue.

A Thousand Times

I will love a thousand times before I am scattered to the wind like dead leaves- once beautiful, infinitely temporary.

Drifting through the wind, fragments and wisps of my heart- forever lost in translation

I loved a thousand times, before I ever laid foolish, innocent eyes on your shattered soul.

With childlike wonder, I once bestowed a kiss upon every stranger- soft wildflowers carelessly picked and dispersed into the universe

But I will never love another soul as I loved you.

As though their voice alone awoke all the angels in heaven, just to sing me to sleep

As though the shards of glass within their eyes created rainbows and prisms of light that put the stars to shame

As though their laugh could provide and place all of the joy I would ever, could ever, dream of holding in my outstretched hands

I will love a thousand times after I have stopped loving you. But I will never again love a soul with my very bones.




She is lilting words on the backs of sentences dripping with stubbornness and intellect

She is eyes made of sea glass in a kaleidoscope of refracting light

She is piercing bells of laughter in the dark between moments of sleepy silence

She is star dust manifesting as freckles on sunscreen scented skin

She is champagne in a paper cup

She is stone faced independence with a heart knit from wool

She is sticky fingers of childhood watermelon melted in the sun

she is a hand written invitation on the bark of birch trees

she is a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy day, brimming with cinnamon foam

She is the moon thousands of miles away, coaxing the ocean to bring me home