I sometimes look back at 6th grade classroom settings
and i wonder about the times
i would raise my hand low enough
to be seen,
but high enough to be acknowledged
that i tried.
I reminisce about the times
when the words could’ve easily
catapulted out of my mouth
but there had always been bright orange road cones
placed on my tongue
with a permit;
my signature on them forged by
the things in my head that cause me to tremble
when i ask for directions without practice,
if i raise my hand without practice,
walk around without practice,
do some-*******-thing on my own without practice,
practice, practice, p-pr-practice, don’t stutter,
I sometimes fold my paper in half
because i know what its like
to take up too much space.
Turbulence always equals
Chances, to me, were always either just one, or only ever finite.
But he’s got that infectious laugh,
and he held my hand
the whole cab ride back home
until they stopped shaking.
When he wraps his arms around me,
I begin to understand that vacant parking lots
never stay empty for long and sometimes ringing car alarms
are better than the silence I pretend to love.
And I didn’t get it.
I didn’t get how people could be so courageous.
Anxiety has a weird way of
making the process of falling the scariest
thing of all instead of the actual landing.
But those brown eyes had reminded me that
love lullabies our troubles to sleep.
Love turns the quiet into a symphony
of voices of all the people
whose heart you keep in your palms.
Love turns the trembling into a warm embrace.
Love never had to be a home.
it was a resting place
even for the restless.
This piece is meant to be read out loud.