One tall morning the sun wakes and kisses my face.
I wander the streets skidding about, looking for a sign.
What am I supposed to do?
The perfume wafts, the smell of mud and drowning grass mixed in.
I can fill anything, a pitcher, a bag... With something new I find.
I tramp the earth with excited feet, a fervent toddler ready to love the moving scenery.
One tall morning, I saw what I was missing.
Open your eyes each day.
it's not loud and abrasive and in your face,
it holds a mystery, carved by shadows and light,
powerful in its subtly
17 is charting a line.
I stretch, I hide, I lie,
yet I can’t stop it from
cutting right through my eyes.
Sigh.

Every morning,
at my best, I put on the coat
of reluctant smiles, responsibility, and maturity
to hide my very own incapabilities.
Usually, I wear it poorly,
sometimes I forget.

Inside,
a voice scratches my lungs:
It’s not my fault!
It’s not my fault
to procrastinate writing my article
till late Sunday night,
to leave the scallops unsalted
and the beans unevenly cut,
and to forget reading the labels
of your newly purchased shirt
before putting it in the dryer.
It really wasn’t my fault.
I was reckless,
But that’s not my fault––
At least… I thought so.

Then,
I realized that
not giving a care,
or “I didn’t know”
itself
is an irreparable guilt.

As a kid,
wearing the coat of responsibility
is a pride,
the complacency when being praised
for picking up a fork,
finishing a chapter of a book,
or putting away dishes.

As I grow up,
the coat I wear with little care
becomes an obligation.
Heavy,
but adults wear it so well;
tirelessly,
despite it’s 34 or 89 degrees out.

Now,
I must farewell the put-offs,
The “not-my-faults”:
my dear friends who have accompanied me
for 17 years and more to come,
my shortcut to bypass
the consequences and blame––
I must let you go,
for the next person who hears my excuses
will not say a word
before scratching me off the list
of opportunities I once though
that I deserve.

In the world of survivals the fittest,
animals wear their coats well,
and
they stride,
heading somewhere far.
Written in San Pedro, Belize, under a palm tree on 12/28/2017.
I returned back to the same home I used to know,
Oh boy, it feels familiar but I'm not so sure if it's good thing.
My first few steps back inside I heard some creaks on the floor in a silent room filled with dust on some brand new furniture
I mean, how is that even possible?
I take a few steps forward as the door behind me closes..
"is this the right choice?"
Pictures on the frames take so little amount of space in the house but somehow they constantly remind me of the past..
Of what this house used to be.
So I tore them off.
I tore them all off the walls so that all you can see is the clear empty walls, looking cleaner and more innocent with a hole where the nail used to be.
I'm not sure if it even looks better.
But I shoved the frames in a box, beneath my bed..
So why is it every time I take a stroll in the house it smells the same, and every time I sleep at night, I feel something hiding under my bed..
I mean, let's be more direct.
You were my home.
But I don't know who you even are anymore...
Cause every time I want to smile, I hear the picture frames knocking on my door, telling me I shouldn't.
Every time I think of coming home, I stop by every store just to make sure I have all the different frames so I can hide that nasty hole on the wall that the nail left behind..
But every time I did that, I couldn't tell if I was redesigning my home or lying to myself.
Tell me, what makes this one so different?
Is it a even a second chance.. or the seventh chance?
The ghosts of you don't creep behind me, it's the knives on my back and I can't tell..
Tell me, are they still there?
Or am I reminiscing about the past, feeling on the scars that I can't see, hoping one day I'm able to study every curve and every mark of where I went wrong that caused me to carry them for the rest of my life..
I mean tell me, because if I can't trace my steps back to the time I've twisted the door knob and walked right in without studying the room or listening to these same empty walls.. would I still be alive?
Or would you have killed me with the same knives that's already deeply rooted into my spine..
you say you love me but it sounds the same.
Fuck! That goddamn knocking is getting louder, it won't leave me alone.
Sometimes, we don't learn our lessons.
i heard your voice today.
it echoed in my ears.
the sound that once soothed me and brought a smile to my lips now feels unfamiliar and unknown,
like, once again, you are simply a passing stranger i have yet to meet.

it doesn't hurt, at least not the way it used to.
the pain is no longer intensely jarring.
instead, occasionally
a numbing wave of missing you passes over me
and shifts me into a new phase of grief,
but i recover.

i have loved and i have lost,
but i am better because of it.
within the darkness and the shambles of you,
a tiny daisy grew through the cracks.
i have blossomed.
your leaving created a power i never knew i had,
it gave me the strength to transform into myself.
As I developed,
they shaped me, as if I had been a block of clay
sitting there on the jagged concrete of
unpaved streets and endless roads.

     My future form dependent
on the timing of passing strangers' beginnings
and endings,

     their rising in the mornings
like the blue and orange horizon
spreading in preparation for the sun's presence,

     and their settling back in
the evenings,
like cool salty clouds of white sea foam
collapsing back into the ocean's
gray waves.

     In each moment passing by
like a kid riding a bicycle, speeding down
the cracked pavement
and turning the corner out of site,

     I was shaped by
the flurry of life that surrounded
every person's presence.

     I was picked up, tossed into the air,
and kicked by small children
with bright eyes
and tongues that stuck out when
adults were unfair,

     I was colored, spray painted,
and scribbled on
by teenagers with messy dark curls,
wild laughing eyes, and rapidly budding senses,

     I was observed, analyzed,
discussed, and compared
by businessmen in jet black suits and smooth red ties,
who pondered cutting me evenly
into perfect pieces for sale on the market,

     I was rolled, polished,
scrubbed clean, and spiced by
rapid tongued mothers
wearing aprons
and holding long wooden cooking spoons,

     I was eroded
and absorbed a vast amount of salt
from teary eyes and bleeding wounds,

     once caught on blazing, fiery fumes
by a man's raging anger,

     once high in the sky, resting on clouds
of someone's love and faith,

     once low in the ground,
sleeping in a bed of dried dirt filled with
people's sorrows and dreariness,

     once drowning in purple satin
of one's longing and unsatiated desires,

     once chained to a planet
spiraling out of control in a universe
that couldn't bear to let go.

As I developed,
they shaped me, as if I had been a block of clay
sitting there on the jagged concrete of
unpaved streets and endless roads.
02/20/18
Maksim 4d
Walking up the concrete hill like an emotional rollercoastser. Feeling like jumping high on a trampoline to walking on fire and shatter glass. Walking up and making that loop with such relief like taking that first hit of that good kush. Walking the concentrate path over the train tracks feeling free like an innocent soul released from prison. Slowly and steady, my pace moving but my mind is mixing with thoughts like food in a blender. Reaching the midpoint, standing high in the sky, above all like the owl on the roof. Such a short distance ahead yet feeling miles away as I take steady steps like a lost tourist following a map. Around barbed wire fence like a captive creature believing to be safe. With a noose as a necklace as a final place which didn't feel right so I lifted it off like taking off my heavy college backpack and realizing to move forward toward my next phase.
As reward for my patient years
Of sorrow, laughter, joy and tears
Life's handed me (to my surprise)
A "me" I cannot recognise

Her hands are bigger to catch pain
That weighs her down like heavy rain
Her eyes brighter, so she can see
The world I found a mystery

Her heart's stronger than ever mine
So she will handle life just fine
But there's so much she doesn't know
And so much more she needs to grow

So, when I think of years of yet
I remind her to not forget
That though she stands a better chance
One day she'll need a stronger stance
I wrote this when I was 16 because I always saw the ways in which I could continue to improve although I appreciated my growth.
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