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Casey Dandy May 16
He pointed at the curve where my mass should be.
The skinny line wherein the whole of my being should fit--
based on what a man in a lab coat said once.
He dashed a tiny spec above it, where I was.
Out of line.
Not fitting in.
Against the rules.
I counted the tiny squares that separated me from my belonging...
… one... two... three...
Three squares from worthiness.
Three squares wrong.
Three squares from deserving love.
Three squares from good enough.
I stared at that dot a man drew for me and discovered brokenness.
I was five.
Casey Dandy May 2018
She contemplated waking up before the rain
In the hopes of feeling something--
Something other than dreary dreadful dread.
Maybe that sounds childish
And maybe, just maybe, that's okay.
Casey Dandy Nov 2017
You feel your chest heave
But breath does not enter your lungs.
As air flows around your balloons and into to your stomach,
your lungs scream for your gut to share.

Your windpipe feels like less of a pipe
and more of a plug--
blocking the life force from entering,
quickening your heartbeat.

All because it's 8:13,
which means:
two hours until sleep
two hours to fill
I need to shower, still,
two full hours
two free hours
work tomorrow
but first, two whole hours
to do...
Two hours.
Only two hours.
Gotta make 'em count!
But how?
Two hours to fill
I need to shower still
two full hours
two free hours

Nervousness, why?
Abstract, human-constructed time.

Two whole hours still
Only two hours to fill.
Casey Dandy Aug 2017
I had a week of bliss, surrounded by love and friendship;
Diversity in color, sexuality, and creed.  
The 'oh-my-God-I'm-gonna-die' turbulence on the flight home,
[Which the pilot coyly called "rough air"],
Was nothing compared to the avalanche of awful I hit after exiting the ramp.
Slammed into the tarmac, engulfed in hate.
My eyes wide open to the bigotry and sin.
[I say sin, not because I believe in it, but because they do.]
Here are my eyes, slammed wide open,
Reading article after article on Charlottesville.
Begging, waiting, for the President to make a stand,
To give us some hope,
To unequivocally denounce white supremacy,
To show some compassion,
To say Heather Heyer's name,
To demonstrate to the world what human decency is.
...I keep waiting.

This was not about partisan politics.
This was not about 'right' or 'left'--
This is about right and wrong.

This is not about partisan politics.
Hate transcends politics.
This was not a chance to pander to or pacify voters.
This was a grim opportunity to be truly presidential in a time of great need.

A person should never experience such radical hatred
for being born the way they were born--
Exactly the way your God made them.

Freedom of speech and expression was not created for the benefit of Neo-****'s.
It was created to liberate Americans, not oppress them.
You cannot [ab]use it as a shield to mask your abhorrent agenda.
You cannot randomly yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater that is not, in fact, on fire;
Nor can you create a fire on a stick then run through a crowd, spouting off your beliefs.

Here are my eyes, slammed wide open
And all I wanted to do was to shut them,
To go back to my bubble of bliss.
But I cannot.
We cannot.
That is exactly what gives hate and ignorance the permission to spread like wildfire.
The lovers need to keep loving.
We need to keep speaking out against violence for violence's sake;
Against oppression of an entire race, simply because of melanin;
Against discrimination of the "different";
Against the ideal of "the perfect race";
Against the idle tolerance of these obscene, disgusting ‘ideals’.
We need to keep speaking out against "taking back our country"--
We are living on stolen soil.
We are all visitors here.

Where did your ancestors come from, sir, wielding the fiery torch?
This land is not yours.
It is not mine.
It is ours--
All of ours, together.
My history teacher had a poster in the classroom that read "We learn about history so we do not repeat it".... Yet here we are again.

A reflection on the violence in Charlottesville, VA
Casey Dandy Jul 2016
There has to be a reason.
There has to be a reason for all this suffering,
All this pain.

What is it all for?

I hope.
I hope to turn my heartache into art.

I could.
I could help someone, anyone,
with my story.

I need.
I need to turn this around
To make it worth it.

Panic. Determination. Failure. Frustration. Tears. Pressure. Panic. Determination. Failure. Frustration. Tears. Panic. Determination. Failure. Frustration. Tears. Pressure. Panic. Determination. Failure. Frustration. Tears. Pressure....

It never.
It never ends.

What for?

There has to be a reason.
I hope--
I could--
I need.
Casey Dandy Jan 2016
With a veiled promise of relief
Her young, trusting mind:
'Yes, anything, please!'

But it's not approved for kids.
But the doctor says it's fine.
She'd try anything to quiet her racing mind.

As the years fly by,
Her mind's still not at ease,
But she continues to take
That oval blue and green.

Slowly-- so slowly,
She almost didn't see--
Slowly, her communication
Isn't so free.

She knows what she wants to say,
But when she starts to speak it
The right words just fly away.

She's not dumb--
The words are all there,
At the tip of her tongue.
But then, suddenly, they aren't.

But surely,
But suddenly.  

She fumbles.
She finds them.
She dusts herself off.

She yearns to turn back time
And warn that young, trusting mind.
  Sep 2015 Casey Dandy
Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.
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