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Posts published in “Prose”

(title)

You saw right through me today,
And all the ways I can’t protect you,
Whether in my sight or from it.
And you stared, and I cried,
The first time I’ve done so since your birth,
And you saw me as a fraud,
As this parent by necessity,
And whose only banner is of Try,
Whose only recourse is to soothe you,
And to support you, to hold you
While you cannot hold yourself,
And to give you reassurance
When you cannot know you need it
And to let you know I’ll always be here.
Even if you see right through that lie,
Know I’ll always be here
While I’m here, and I hope to leave you
With more than enough to be who you are.

I can’t protect her everywhere she goes, and that is crippling to think about. I felt this loss, this squeezing of my soul when I looked at her this morning. I knew this wouldn’t be how it always is, with her hands resting on mine, calmed by just my presence. I knew that she would grow up and rebel, or be pressured, or love, and that her mom and I couldn’t be there if she absolutely needed us to be there. I thought about my weight, about how I need to do better and be better so that I can be her support just those few years longer. I thought of how selfish I still am, despite Candi and I being the least selfish we’ve ever been. I felt how I always want to feel: protective.

When you’re this hungry, everything is edible

Especially the puffy appendages of a newborn. Not that I would /eat/ our daughter’s means of writing & walking, but I would stare at them for hours.

How did we grow her? What type of millennia after millennia after eons after eons would allow for evolution to deposit our daughter, asleep, in my arms? How did this even happen?

I need to protect her. I feel every current of air pass by her, and want to inspect each to ensure they’re worthy of touching or, God forbid, being breathed by our daughter. She deserves better than anything we can give, and we must do everything to keep her as happy as we can with the materials this world offers.

I smile and laugh and tear up when I look at her. She poops, I laugh; she burps, I cheer; she smiles, a piece of me is rebuilt from whatever tore me down before. That’s what it is– she is rebuilding me. She is giving me reason and purpose, and I am trying everything to keep her as happy as she can be, because her sadness will break me.

I’m hungry for more time– for centiseconds and milliseconds and nanoseconds to be more tangible, so we can spend more of each with her.

Originally posted this on the app Tencil, which starts each post with a phrase as a prompt, and limits writing to 10 minutes. Nifty.

(title)

As a writer, I always worried about what I would leave behind. I felt my writing was, honestly, only being left for me. Now, with you, I am leaving something for the world. It’s more than me now, but it is my lineage. And that makes me feel more happy than I thought I could be, and more than I thought I deserved to be. You are what I will leave as a mark on this world; you are a living embodiment of who I and your mother are, and for that I am grateful.

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There are always tappings,
Keys, claws, or fingertips,
When I write to you,
Keeping me on task and motivated
To best their pace.

I say that, then pause
To revel in the idea of you:
Not yet molded, so just
A blur, the perfect blur,
Undefined and yet
Familiar, family, loved,
Though you may rebel or
Embrace or fall away,
You will always be this
Blur, this perfect blur,
An embodiment of
Us.

How did you do this, daughter?
How did you give me hope again
That this world can be good, that
There’s more to life than trying,
That the days can slow to smiles, that
There’s time yet to be worthwhile,
That I don’t matter if you can correct
All the failures before you, just by
Being you.

It’s unreal. I am holding back from realizing how amazing it is that you may someday read this or hear this or whatever is done with text in your time. I’m writing to our daughter. This is so cool.

I should probably acknowledge that I’m a social media junky, so I should also probably apologize for being a jerk.

On balance: Our ignorance, our obsession

As a noun, balance is a perception of the distribution of proportions; coincidentally, as a noun, balance is also a majority of proportions. Humans tend to overlook the latter if we feel the former is maintained to our liking. In other words, the world is viewed as being fair if we are treated fairly; we tend to not visualize others’ views, then, because theirs are overshadowed by our own. This is our ignorance. Inversely, if we feel we do not have a majority of or equal proportions, we look intently at the distribution of proportions to provide insight into whether another does have a majority of proportions, and, if another does have a majority, we analyze why they have a majority. In other words, the world is viewed as unfair if we are not treated fairly; we tend to visualize others’ views in relation to our own, then, because theirs overshadow our own. This is our obsession.

Beyond the simple definitions above, we innately depend on balance as a means to both perceive and interact with our existence. We treasure symmetry as a sign of perfection and familiarity, to the point where asymmetry is valued to offset symmetry’s ideal with its opposite. Balance is integral to our species, and to that end we make obvious representations (yin & yang, tortoise & hare, light & dark,…) to remind ourselves how we strive for balance. We also use a perception of gravitational balance to physically position ourselves as we see fit; we use balance for our basic means of mobility.

I do not know the struggles my daughter will go through, just as I do not know the struggles her grandmothers, protestors for peace & equality, went through. I also do not know the life-altering situations she will go through, just as I do not know the life-altering situations my uncle, a retired police officer, went through. I do know, however, that she will face both, and that her race will be a factor, no matter how hard her grandmothers and great-uncle fought to free her from that burden.

Justice is not blind; justice is a glacier slowly, surely, melting from the ever-burning sun of societal changes; justice denies more balance than is granted, until the denials pile and fall off the scale, replaced by, but still weighed against, the balancing of society.

We value balance in all things. We find symmetry to be beautiful, and feel so strongly that we must also find asymmetry to be just as beautiful.

(title)

we all want to be
better than we are,
but so few bother
not to be who others see.

gave you the better part of my vaulted heart,
broken in cuz I threw out the key
and trying to be who you need me to be,
and trying to be who we need me to be.

see behind us, sitting on that bench
in the middle of a bright afternoon,
watching the fountain as you
slip to sleep on my shrugged shoulder,
and our fingers find way to be clasped
as they ought to be, as they always are,
and your breathing grows & slows,
like it does when you’re satisfied;
I shake my gaze from your figure,
reminiscing of the trips, and I miss
you even though you’re right there,
mostly because I know life is short,
though we’re in 2049 and can’t seem
to give up on being us just yet.

I like to think of Candi and I on this park bench, surrounded by the animated youngsters so inclined to visit, with our grey hair, and my billed cap, and we’re sitting, content, happy by virtue of having no stress, and just thinking about everything up to that point. that’s how I want to live my life: to get to that spot in time, old enough to know what we had and young enough to appreciate what we still have. every stupid decision I make is only stupid if it keeps us from that.

(title)

Memory,
My old friend,
Hiding on the shelves
Of my mind, burning without
Smoke or flame the pages of
This life we’ve written.
Edited by omission,
My volumes are slimmer
Than their binding, bound to
Give me reason to wonder;
What’s been missing, what
Haven’t I read, which way
Should my lips curl, should my eyes
Stay still or float away?

Memory,
My old friend,
You’ve kept me
Sane all these years,
Plucking out the rotten,
But giving me just enough
To make me feel full.
Only after, years after,
I realized chunks
Were missing and I bother you
To give them back, but
You’ve thrown them away,
Giving me just enough
Space to know they might have ripened once,
But not to know they decayed.

I read a class assignment I had worked on when I was ~9. The ask was to have the class write their favorite Christmas memory. I wrote that I wanted a bike at my Dad’s, like I had at my Mom’s, and that I heard a noise on Christmas Eve, only to awake to find a bike under the tree. I do not remember any of that assignment, that night, or that morning. I don’t remember a lot of my time at my Dad’s. I used my memory as a means to erase the anger and frustration I felt toward him, toward being stretched between two households. I don’t remember much, and find it easier to not retain than to try and recall it all. I’m hoping having a child will kick-start my memory, and give Candi and I a reason to slow down enough to enjoy the ride of life.

Memory,
You old devil,
Opening only when
I pull you so.

Hello, memory’s hidden sights

The echo of blades spinning lands in his ear.
“God dammit! Again? We had given them reason to stop–”

“We’ll give them another reason,” interjected the man to his side.

“Don’t be hasty, George.”

“Then why are we here, Tom? To camp?”

“Asshat.”

“Whatever, man. Are we going to let the others know, or let them keep cutting?”

Walking into camp, the others knew what was going to be said by the way Tom was shaking his head and the way George’s happiness was barely being held back.

George handles confrontation the way a shark handles water; it’s his territory, and everyone else is trespassing until he kicks them out.

Tom, though, knew as much of confrontation as a panda knows how to hunt in a desert; he’ll stand his ground, then wander a bit, and eventually faint from dehydration or fear.

The others bent forward and lifted themselves up from the log.

“I heard saws,” Tom said, nearly not wanting to say so.

“Any scary things left from last time?,” asked George.

“No…,” said the third from the left.

“Shit. How are we going to scare them this time?” Tom didn’t like confrontation, but one-sided scare tactics allowed the group to get what they wanted without risking anything.

“I can…,” George trailed off.

“Do it, and we’ll kick you out,” the second from the right said, straight-faced and with an obvious disdain for George’s thought processes. Depending on others is tantamount to one’s having failed.

George’s eyes hid behind their olds for a second, then widened as though being electrocuted. He was furious, though knew he couldn’t say anything; the incident a few years ago embarrassed him enough, and he didn’t need another.

“Fuck it. We’ve been here and doing this for 7 years. If they don’t know yet that we’re not to be messed with, then it’s their damn fault if they get hurt.” Tom’s panda spirit animal awakened, sounding more like a grizzly.

“Wow, Tom, so will you be going up to them this time?” asked the first from the left.

“No, I’m a lookout. I, …” Tom responded, not even wanting to finish what his responsibilities are. He always knew he was more important than they thought, but only when they needed him did they say so.

“We know, Tom. Everyone has their role,” said the tenth, a grey-haired woman who knew Tom from before all this, and knew what his potential was. She pitied Tom; not because he was a failure, but because he didn’t know his own potential, so never could have lived up to it.

“Let’s try to reason with them, then. They know why we’re in the way, and we know why they don’t care. The last outcome either of us can stomach is to have the other’s wants done in full,” the sixth from the log stated, with a hint of a plea.

“Alright, alright. I’ll go back,” responded George.

As Tom turned to see George leave, he focused on tomorrow. He would spend it with his families, home and work, going after a day he could smile about later. He couldn’t wait for this weekend, “responsibility to the world,” shit to end; he’d rather be responsible every day, and not try to be someone for a few days who acted as though they had anyone else but his own best interests at heart. Hell, he did this for time with the boss, George, not to save anything; shit, other than his family and friends, what did he really want to save?

He loosened his neck.

He loosened his neck.

He did this whenever he would otherwise be relaxed.

“My remindance of life,” he would say, if ever he were asked– not yet, no, but if so.

His hands, having completed their task, left his neck for his horse’s.

He gave himself more time to ponder if anyone would ask, and began placing the odds on his Mother, if she were to see him again. He realized her odds were not realistic and revised them.

Many on the path he took had not seen their mothers again, he thought; he is now another numbered soul, lasting so long as someone else wonders who had been on this path.

Being from his town, he gave no more thought to loneliness, and remembered how far he yet had to travel.

Farther down the path, or up and down if taking into account the gully his horse just trod through, he sought a sign he was headed where he should be.

He loosened his neck.

Soft crackles emanated from beneath his hands.

Satisfied, he continued looking forward, forging through a landscape he would, if not focused, have grown to appreciate.

He wondered, if he were to be hanged, if his neck would snap quicker or give him time to reminisce longer. He had heard of the flashbacks, but only from those who had not died.

Odd, he thought, how others can know such occurrences without having had them. Then, he could know a fish breathes underwater without doing so himself. He liked his comparison, and tilted forward in his saddle a bit.

Again, he wondered if he would be able to remember all he could. He started to visualize his youngest self, though could not discern memory from story.

He loosened his neck.

Seeing as he had not done enough to be hanged, he found comfort in the length of life yet lived, and let his memories fade into his background.

He loosened his neck.

Stiff, he thought. It may be that he should stop.

He leaned back in his saddle, the man who had all he owned with him, and looked around. [letting focus fade into his background]

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