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glassea Feb 2018
where i am, there aren't
many people who understand
the clean start you bring.

if i could i would
pluck you from the sky,
walk you through my life.

say, "this is where i saw you first.
this is where i turned my prayers
to you instead of god."

say, "this is where i stared at
the pale insides of my wrists
before i matched our glows."

say, "this is where i realized
you are the closest i will ever get
to a culture i'll never know."

if i could i would
polish you to perfection
and push you to the heavens.

i'd cover you with
my mother's silk scarves,
drop them one by one.

dear moon, old friend;
thank you for this hard reboot.
i'll pay you in red envelopes
the next time we meet.
chinese new year has a lot of personal significance for me, and i hope i've captured that at least a little bit.
  Dec 2017 glassea
gillian chapman
the roots of my people
are winding, twisting,
intricate art in themselves.
our skin—
a million shades of
rain-soaked and sun-kissed.
our bodies meld with
our bamboo, stretching
our fingers
endlessly upwards—
our plum blossoms,
resilient through sheets of snow—
our willows,
soft and airy,
swaying in perfect rhythm
with the wind our land breathes.
we are born of nature—
our voices sharp and nimble;
oxygen leaves our lungs
and carves peaks in the sky,
pierces clouds like
the huangshan—
we move
like no other blood,
fast and flying,
the roots of my people
are painted in
calligraphy pens and ink,
and it runs through
each of us,
as we stand
tall, serene,
in symbolic tradition,
just like our trees.
  Nov 2017 glassea
i apologise,
i'm well aware
it's illegal to use
pictures of people
without their permission,
but your image
wanders through my
fantasies with no
regard for roadblocks
or boundaries, and
frankly, i'm tired
of throwing photographs
what i lack in sleep i make up for in daydreams
glassea Jul 2017
i fell in love through song,
through a girl like me
loving a girl like you.

i fell in love not in a heartbeat,
not in a breath.
these things take time.
i take time.

i fell in love through a song
i played on repeat three days ago.
i fell in love with you
through words i cannot hear.
girls like girls like boys do, nothing new
glassea Jul 2017
say cowboy.
say hot dog.
say ice cream.
say baseball.
see, the step into the sound booth is an awkward height,
about 6 inches off the ground,
and i find myself raised on a pedestal,
sealed in for you to inspect,
watching you and an audiologist
through a glass window,
watching you decide my future
as you face away from me
so i cannot read your lips
and you cannot see me shouting stop.

say airplane,
say sidewalk,
say you might hear static in your right ear
but i know i will only hear a tone,
an electronic beep going on and on and on

say conducive hearing loss say sensoneurial damage say surgery say it might be permanent this time,
like it hasn't been permanent for the last ten years,
say there's a new technique say we can fix this,
say negative impact on social life, say poor classroom performance,
say we just want what's best for you,
say try hearing aids try CIs try cued speech,
say you need to be fixed.

it's been a decade since i first entered that sound booth,
noises not echoing off these walls that take a little more from me with every test.
it's been a decade since my hearing slipped away and
i am done mourning it but i don't think you are.

persistence is a valuable trait but stop trying,
stop putting me under with an x on my right cheek so the surgeons know how to lay me out on the operating table,
stop refusing to turn on the captions because i need the practice,
stop talking to me without tapping me first,
stop screaming at me when i mishear.

i am done mourning my hearing and i don't know if i ever grieved in the first place but you are still stuck in the stage of denial,
hoping against hope for some ******* miracle.
i don't want a miracle, i don't want anything god can give me because i am not lacking, i am whole, i already am the miracle you were looking for and i don't need to be fixed.

but you don’t believe that, do you?

so the audiologist can open the heavy soundproof door but i am still trapped inside this box,
the walls swallowing my words as you decide my future for me because
no one wants to listen to those who cannot hear.

say stop sign,
say hairbrush,
say push the button when you hear the beep
and i hold it down with my thumb,
gripping the clicker like the handle of a gun
until you tell me to let go.
but i hear deserts stretching away from me,
flat sci-fi dreamscapes where there is only one sound and i can hear it too.

say tinnitus,
say psychosomatic because you don't believe that i might hear infinity where you tell me i shouldn't.
say hole in the eardrum say the surgery might have accelerated the deterioration,
say we can try again but
i gave up ten years ago and i think you should too,
and i'm here in this sound booth screaming for you to stop
but you will not look at me,
will not even attempt communication.

no one wants to listen
to those who cannot hear.
this is meant to be spoken word.
  Dec 2016 glassea
we were built so fragile
just about to fall
but look at how we fight
look how we stand tall

human bodies
weren't made to sustain
but we conquered it, we broke it
we bared the pain

from typhoid to bad falls
a deep cough, mental stress
after all we are susceptible to
you'd think there'd be nothing left

but we have survived plagues
we have fought through the wars
airplanes were built to sore the skies
submarines to explore the waters

heart break can **** you
(trust me, i'd know)
but 7 billion broken hearts
and we still don't let the hurt show

we walk into work
we raise our children
we do what needs to be done
even when we're broken within

we help one another
empathize with anothers pain
put aside our worries for theirs
even when there's nothing to gain

kindness, solidarity
contribution, charity

we are the children
of a nation that survived

when the volcanoes erupted
when the ground shook
when our homes were consumed by fire
and all we could do was look

when the floods took our babies
and the tornadoes took our homes
we rebuilt from ground up
and prayed for our children's souls

prayer and endurance
might and fight
we have pushed through the darkness
without the promise of light

ask me and i'll tell you
how my dad was so sick he was left for dead
ask me and i'll tell you
how my mom sat every moment by his bed

ask me and i'll tell you
how many nights i slept well
ask me and i'll tell you
how my mom never let us find out he was ill

ask me and i'll tell you
the tears she wept when he was well
ask me and i'll tell you
the tears she wept when got up and left

ask me and i'll tell you
i've seen hurt, i've seen pain
ask me and i'll tell you
i've seen guilt and i've seen shame

ask me and i'll tell you
the stories of my grandparents during the war
ask me and i'll tell you
that they still smile, even though they remember the horror

ask me and i'll tell you
how my aunt held her 12 day old daughter
(her name was nour)
ask me and i'll tell you
how she kissed her forehead before laying her in her grave

ask me and i'll tell you
how easy it is for humans to break
ask me and i'll tell you
how easy it is for their worlds to shake

but ask me and i'll tell you
how much strength we have shown
even in the depths of darkness
we still have hope.

we are the children
of a nation that survived.
to syria and yemen, and all our brothers & sisters who suffer and fight:
we see you.
glassea Nov 2016
the sun and moon collided,
burning desperate tragedies.

but i think you and i
might have been the real casualties.
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