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Stuck in my head like music,
like lyrics that flow and move
and have meaning.
Like lines from a movie, that
voice is so clear.
over and over in loops,
cartwheeling between my
hemispheres, until,
I rise before the sun, not

Wanting more; hungering after it.
Surely it will come;
Surely I can appease my anticipation with some fanciful dream
or maybe the passing of time
will help to curb the realized enthusiasm.

But when poetry flows so
freely and necessarily from
my pen, such energy
cannot be destroyed, so much as
passions, emotions,
they take hold, they grab hold;

and i am like a person who is held back by the ocean
from pursuing innumerable wonders
that would
fill my head with adventures
my heart with love.

O what a world that we live in!

so beautiful, yet filled with
many significant inconveniences.

restlessness paired with impassioned hearts and
limbs aching for action, yet constrained by time
and space.

progressive anxiety burrows into the muscles that
crowd my neck;
my joints pop(!) as often as i step.

today, i am extra everything;
wishful squared and restless;
seeking, longing, praying for differences.

my faith lies on a thin white line, barely moving yet
daring to leap.
a little speck, a tiny spark, is all it needs to catapult into the great unknown
that is our future.

my future.

the one i am waiting for, but not presuming to know.

and when it does arrive, the question is,
will i recognize its presence, or will it be like smell,
and simply be another part of me?
God, be the breath in me;

Be the sparkle in my eye, the smile that glides strong and bright over that lower portion of my face;

Be the hand that gives, the wiry cord that ties up all my loose ends;

The socks that hold my shivering legs in one piece;

The shoes, tied tightly, that stand my feet upon the ground, in one place, never fleeing;

The engine within that revs forward at any show of fear, never shrinking;

Never shutting off, shutting down, freezing up.

I hope that I can swallow this angst and remind myself of who I am, of who God made me,

And walk into the brightest light, the darkness tunnel, to the other side of the door which is a mystery unto me.

The time has taken its time. My soul has persisted slowly, dragging its feet in heavy anticipation that one day I would actually need to take this great leap of faith, and trust

That someone will catch me.

And even if nobody does, and I eat gravel, I think God will still have me,

And He’ll be smiling at me, those big pearly whites glowing, because

I tried.

I faced fear and, conquered or defeated, I did what I thought ridiculous, impossible, impenetrable.

And I suppose I’ll just have to dust off my jeans and keep moving forward.


Running forward.
The tape, as I unstick it from its place, rips off plates of paint from our crummy, moldy walls.

My heart wrinkles a little.

I fold the tape over the corners of my collage. Lay it down over my everest-sized pile of clothes-to-trade-for-souvenirs.

I sigh.

It is quiet.

A cockroach scurries out of a shirt sleeve. I flick him lovingly off the bed. The only one to keep my house company these days.

I start pulling out notebooks, so much. So many. Too many things I collect and funnel value into.

I must decide which to take and what to leave behind in the ******* bin.

Back at school, I chuck half the pile, almost violently, into the trash and stride away. Stay there then. Have it your way.

Only a few minutes before all of this, I bragged about being ready to go home, washing my hands of this ridiculous place.

But it only just occurred to me then that by leaving Africa, I will be facing a whole new life. Like a neo-Alice, falling further down the rabbit hole. I am being sieved, strained, pressed until the juices of energetic volunteerism is squeezed dry.

I have only heard rumors, of course, but I believe that what I will be facing will be maybe even more terrifying than it is here.
The broom falls heavy on the floor
sweeping up the fragments of my disappointed heart.

The swagger of your once so-humble soul
echoes like a mockery in the chasm that now keeps the distance
between us both.

How can the one person I respect so much
change so dramatically between one phone call and the next?

You, I thought you’d always have my back,
fail, because you’re now too interested in your own fail safe.

The trust that once bound
disintegrates with each new thing you learn.

Your brilliance has become a curse,
your kindness melted from gold into
a puddle of finite resources made of Chinese plastic.

A voice, sturdy, now
more bendable, less flexible
A boldness once endeared
now feared,
wished away.

And I’m hoping you’ll just grow out of this.

Don’t over-change yourself because you’re
desperate for freedom from your past.

Promise me that you will climb over your

and find the way back to the beautiful boy I was once so proud
to call friend..

Not a friend, this friend,
the knower of my colors

Capture this one not, o life

A prayer and deepest desire,
spare him his innocence.

Don’t let me down, o life.
not this one.
my eyes are filled with wonders,
my heart is filled with spirit
like coffee for the soul
gelato for the brain,
travel makes me sing,
zambia, mallorca and spain.

mother and my friend,
embracing, reuniting
tightening the over stretched
ropes that bind
a mother and
her daughter

under a tourist's sun,
upon white sand beaches
luxury at my beck and call,

i will recover from this
third-world hell-hole

to be conflicted, engages,
happy and bitter-sweetend,

all of this and more, i
am acutely eager to live through.

come on, june 1. you can run to me faster than this.
bout of boredom.
momentary warmth.
chilled walk.
a stare.
a flickering of the eyes.
a name on the tip of my tongue.
it comforts me.

i remember those well.
and with them come memories too great, they bring tears to my eyes.
they are clogging my tear ducts, causing traffic,
causing blurry vision,
taking my eyes off the road God has lead me on.

who am i?
not who i was when i graduated high school
not who i was when Elias died.
not who i was 9 months ago, when Africa punched me in the heart.
not even who i was yesterday.

change is constant.
the question of tomorrow hangs in the air.
will it be better?

but i walk anyway, making myself move forward,
making myself take it in,
because i know that soon this will all be over,
and this chapter, this heavy chapter,
will be finished,
and will be regarded as a blurry memory
where i cant remember who i was, now.

lord, let me take it in.
let me smell you,
and remember who you are.
let me feel you with my memory..
and staple you to my agenda for the blurried tomorrows.
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