Metamorphosis

After eight days
In a foreign land
One begins to believe
Every bad driver endured
On a narrow winding road
Is American

Or a midday pint is proper
Smithwick’s
Or Guinness
Would do just fine

Rain becomes fair play
And sun, dislodges from the sky
As the strangeness
Of stranger evaporates
Imperceptibly
With the forward lurching
Of time

Refuge

Image

When inside

becomes too much

and not enough

I hunt airspace

finding my balance

under stars

where the oxygen freely flows

in ample supply

under the night sky

my anxiety unwinds itself

reminding my fears

how small they really are

reminding my heart

how full it really is

as I cast my eyes upward

the celestial sky

drops its veil

peering back at me

blinking its thousand

silent eyes

Post Traumatic Election Disorder

Post Traumatic Election Disorder; that’s what afflicts me. It’s personal, because see I’m already ready wired for this. In fact, I’ve found myself horribly triggered since the second debate. I’ve been working, working on being aware and I am aware that there is something so keenly terrifying about watching a man lurk with malicious intent around a woman. I am aware that watching his hands grab the back of the chair I am transported to six years old, to terrified at the dinner table, my father clutching my shoulders and pushing down on them with his hulking frame, his hard catcher’s mitt hands insisting that I eat what is on my plate. While the tears stream down my cheeks, my own body’s salt mixing with the fatted meat as he shoves his fingers past my lips, past my teeth.

I’m right back in that place, only I’m really 43 with a safe home, a gentle man, two children of my own, a successful healing practice with beloved clients and friends who love and appreciate me. I have agency and for now, freedom. I have awareness and fortitude to do what my own mother never could. So, I work through the fear, my anger and tears. I write and tell the world my story. Why I believe we need to actively resist the misogynistic bull fist that is threatening to strip us of our dignity, that fist which opposes all I know of what it means to be human. So, I spoke, I did. I said it out loud, I told them, bared it all. Let it go and damn it, I finally understand that cliche, because it’s not my shame, or hers. It’s not okay. My voice was received.

Then I vote. I dress in all white honoring the suffragette. I channel the memory of my Grandmother, Caroline. I thank her for showing me the way, how to argue with dear friends over cocktails at the club that a woman’s body was hers and hers alone. I thank my mother, though she couldn’t leave when I needed her to she has found her own way to work for change, to empower so many of our nation’s daughters. It leaves me anxious, surprisingly vibrating kinetic dread that turns to stricken as the election results trickle in. I wake at 4:30 am Wednesday to pee and peek at my fucking cellphone screen (that someday I will smash with a hammer) to see the most God-awful headline any rape and abuse survivor could see, “President Trump”.

Change

Today is lavender
It is hovering between
Purple and gray
It is new information
Going to seed
In my flooded brain

Today is quiet confusion
A peaceful chaos
A jigsaw puzzle spread out
On New Year’s Day
Begin at the corners

Today is born new
With stale edges
We will soon slice away
When we find a moment
Safe for cutting

Today I think of him
How the unbelievable blue
Of his eyes
Held me
How he closed his laptop
And turned his body
Toward mine

Today we are aware
Of our drift
The movement shift
That is always present
Though so rarely perceived
Until we turn toward the shore
And discover we have moved
Hundreds of yards
And thousands of hours
From where we once were
Before…today