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Emily Aug 2021
When I look in the mirror I see
roses. Stark and stubborn.
Bursting from the cracks
in skin too plain
to do them justice.

When I look in the mirror I see
thorns. Threatening to break through the façade
so carefully contorted to fit
that cookie-cutter idealization
of a pre-packaged identity.

When I look in the mirror I see
monochrome; like the eyes of the beholder
who twisted my covert dissatisfaction into something--
maybe not beautiful, but at least
accepted, yes; eyes that couldn't behold
when I had my own ideations; couldn't accept
that underneath that soft, dull skin,
there were thorns.

There are thorns
and there are roses, too, when I look in the mirror--
they are engulfing my reflection;
transforming my figure into one that is unrecognizable
to those discerning eyes--

but not to mine,
these fiery red eyes of the beholder
which finally recognize beauty
worthy of love.
Emily Jun 2021
see the thin film of the atmosphere
that sustains all of life
memories of the fragility of the Earth
pondering "why we exist"
on the horizon,
aspirations to seek out
habitable environments in the universe.
Ingenuity — that little helicopter —
defeating the odds
outliving its planned lifespan.
put the first woman and
the first person of color on the moon.
science is critical in answering
Are we alone?
implications beyond our solar system
how Earth evolved, and why
you could see from that altitude
how we're messing it up
the thin film of the atmosphere
that sustains all of life.
science is critical in
defeating the odds.
Emily Apr 2021
I have to believe
there is meaning behind
this life,
and why it all comes
crashing down sometimes,
a tsunami against
dreams that weren't meant
to be, shaping what
we were meant to be but
never dreamed,
like the first seedling on
a nursery log,
the way morels grow
after forest fires,
a planet and a sun born
in the aftermath of
another dying star,

light reaching closed eyes,
by which time it is soft enough
to ignite
something deep within
your heart knocked down by tsunamis
time and time again.

Broken dreams mean less
to supernovas
of which we are born.
Dying stars mean less
to sandstone shaped by tsunamis
which witnessed the end of dinosaurs.

Sunlight reaching soft closed eyes in
the aftermath of forest fires, reaching
seedlings on a fallen log
mean more.
Emily Mar 2021
The soft night calls
turn off the car engine
let the silence in

The click of headlights
and darkness floods this space
a darkness you could fade into

Breathe the whispering glimpses of
feelings no longer
detached by time nor space

A whisper,
and thoughts come flooding back
A memory,
secrets too heavy for this body
One by one,
let them fly

Away, through time and space
Away, through dark and quiet
Away, through this soft night

The kiss of mist, cold against pink cheeks
breathe in whispering glimpses of
feelings no longer

Detached by time and space
the click of headlights, turn on the car engine
quiet darkness dissipates.
Emily Nov 2020
remind me--
what was ever so romantic about
sunrises, rain, and morning coffee?
remind me how to find meaning
in the monochrome,
paint color into the mundane
and strive for imperfection.
Emily Sep 2020
watch the sun set red through wildfire smoke
from the roof of a battered minivan
that's weathered all the storms of
our Oregon mountain home--
we find ourselves here, repeatedly.
lost on rocky dirt roads by the cliff's edge,
trying to figure out what it means to be twenty
in a world that more and more these days
seems to be crumbling around us--
drive us somewhere never listed on the map,
with music blaring through broken speakers
we'll make our own destination.
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