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Careena 4d
I think of you
In the way I remember
Only and quite fondly
In times where I
Recollect on someone
Who has known me
In many stages and faces
Many facets in one
But if I equate you with home
It is in location alone
I wonder if I’d see
Your truck on the road
A minute away
From my parents’ house
And if I allow
Myself a minute to
Think on you
My heart yearns
To send a light to you
As a friend
Forgetting
The anger that bubbled up
Within me
It has subsided
And I’ve stopped imagining you
As someone that tried
To tear me down with time
I was simply searching
For something
In the wrong spot

And I heard the song
I walked towards you playing
I am going home soon
With fondness and knowledge
How life has shaped me
How I have shaped it
Of the magic I possess
Of what lives within you as well
And if I dwell on it too long
All I feel is softness for us two
A forgiveness that grew
Out of the cracks of our concrete
A flower I wish to give to you

I love you in the only way
I know how
Something I can do now
From afar, clean and pure
Secretly rooting and wishing for you
Washed and dried, I am sure
My oldest witness
My first of most
I wish you a life filled fully with
More highs than lows
I wish you a life of beauty
Of which you are proud
If I could extend this to you
If it is what you allow
This feeling of forgiveness
For you and for me
Redemption and healing
I wish this to you equally
Forgiveness
Careena Jun 2023
I was headed for more of the same
The same ways of relating
Providing and caretaking
As if I had a little sign
Above my eyes saying
“Pick me!
I’ll give such little trouble
I’ll do it for free!
You can reap the rewards and
Throw the crumbs towards me
I’ll eat them up hungrily!”

Never stopping
Until I found myself propping
My body up at the doctors office
Her telling me more of the same
That I have one more piece to
Break off and give
If I wanted to live
Even it felt then
That I gave up on myself
Such a small *****
With such a big task
Like my bones may as well be paper
My skin may as well be glass

But I had this overwhelming need
To make it all cease
How do I stop the drumming
How do I stop the marching
The flitting of sand from
One chamber to the next
The ways in which life seemed
To keep happening to me
Instead of being an active participant
I guess I lost myself in it
Unconsciously accepting more of the same

More of the same feels numb
More of the same is a lukewarm bath
A bland meal
Filling but unsatisfying
Predictable and plain

Doing what is expected makes people happy
No one has questions
But with the unexpected,
There are suspicions
Superstitions
What happened when I shattered my own mirror
On purpose because I couldn’t stand
Other peoples reflections staring back at me?
Seven years of bad luck and the
Undeniable deep knowing
That I needed to start again
Or really, for the first time
Walking under a ladder was waking up
Spilling salt meant tossing the rule book
I was handed, over my left shoulder
Not lifting a glass to toast to my ex husband
Before my first sip
Let me finally enjoy myself before
Anyone else was able to
Now I know the flavor I possess
And refuse to be diluted
Good on my own
But even better when shared
Not shamed

No I could never
Let life pass me by
Subsisting on
More of the same
Careena Apr 2023
I am
So proud of
Who I’ve become
Who I’ve always been
I am someone
Who is
Flexible
Not malleable
Bendable
Without breaking
Resilient
And ever changing

Reflecting on
The path I’ve
Blazed
The ground I
Lit on fire
To forge a way out
For myself
I had to
Nurse
My own wounds
At the end of the day
No one is
Really there
To fix it all
For you

It’s as if
I had to spill myself
All over the floor
In order to sort
Out what was me
And what was foreign

There was so much time
Where I only saw grey
In my eyes

But
It’s been a year
And the cherry blossoms
Are beginning to bloom
The spring sun is warming
My face
It’s as if my monochrome
Has had rainbows
Put in its place

I’m in love
With the life
I have designed
I have hope
For a future
That’s unmistakably
Mine
Careena Mar 2023
Facing you at
A table for four
Don’t talk of it
Or
It would be
Disrespectful
To the game and
Por supuesto
I wish to win

Corona with lime
In hand
And
Por supuesto
Sal en la rim

Put it in the
Corner
Cup holder
Let’s begin

It’s reading
Without speaking
It’s assuming
Without knowing
Watching you place
Your strongest tile
First
I remember
Never to block
What you’ve built

I’ve only so many
I’ve only such time
Between the table and
You watching
With shifting blue eyes

I place what
I can
But
I can
Only read so much
I can
Only get so far
On my own

As if at some point
I need to
Fall blindly and
Trust
That you have the
Missing piece
To let you lead
As if we’re
Dancing
Silently

I tap the table
One more time
As if claiming defeat
Looking down
But then up
As I see
The last tile
Fall from your hands
Right in place
Perfectly
Careena Jun 2022
I had been waiting
For you to be different
For my whole life
You were all I had wanted

What happens to you
When you find yourself
Living an answered prayer
But still missing something

I tapped my fingers on tabletops
Sang ballads in the shower
I had no idea what it was
That made us incomplete

It wasn't always just so
There were so many times
I felt so full I could burst
And love would leak from within

But when I lacked, it was dark
I felt dry, like a locked empty home
I folded in to myself, origami swan
Creased and dog eared, not the first time

I loved the idea of life you told me
We could have had together
Did everything I could to help you
Get us there eventually

But I realized that eventually
You would still drown out
My little, little voice
Among the noise of your speakers

No matter how much money
You made, it would be the same
Chasing something that would
Never be enough in the end

I was waiting for you
To love and prioritize me
To see me for exactly who I was
Instead of who you had wished I would be

Someone who always loved you
Put you first and cherished your quirks
Who would have stayed but saw
That you would never change

You find no fault
In what you have done
It is me to blame
For not accepting partial love

I found out that what was
Missing all along was you
Truly respecting and cherishing me
As freely as I did it for you

So instead of waiting
For you to change, I did
“Mom, I am a rich man”
I changed into the partner I needed

Someone who cherishes me
Someone who protects me
Someone who puts me first
Someone who isn't afraid to be close to me
Careena May 2022
My face is
Your shame
My pain is
Your reminder
My words are
A knife
Careena May 2022
In twenty years
It will matter
To me that
I did not receive
A card
On our anniversary
And it will matter
That you
Did not listen
To me
As I was asking
For your love
And affection
Over and over
Again

And now it is
“My fault”
That I left
You alone
To feel the space
I took up and now
I’m disturbed
For disrupting
Your world

I gave you myself
Wrapped up
In a little bow
All of the beautiful
Things I could think of
Generosity and
Kindness and
Tenderness in the
Face of stress and
Sleep deprivation
And my financial support
Endlessly
Despite my own
Tribulations
Yours were always
More pressing
More stressful
More important
I was constant
For you
I wanted to be
Perfect
For you
But I didn’t realize
The toll it was taking
On me

When I tell you
I love you
You could never believe me
Not now, especially
But I have to finally
Love myself
More than I love you
Do you understand that?
I cannot pour myself
Out to you
If I have nothing to give
The nurturing love
The love I needed myself
I gave it all away to you
Because I felt that
You needed it more
Than I did
Maybe you did
But I need it now

I need myself
Where is she?
I’m finding her
I need her
I need her sweet love
That I’ve never had
That you loved so much
You loved the love
I gave you
But did you love me?
My cracks and flaws
And imperfections
The darker parts of me
The parts I tried to hide
I am gathering myself up
To find a way
To care for the parts of myself
That I’ve deemed unlovable
That no one would want
I want to want myself
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