Heroine

Be my hero tonight

Make me feel all right

Enter my broken heart, and stop it

I’m tired of crying forever, my tears ran out long ago

I’m miserable, trapped in a game I lose more everyday

Enter me, heroin

My veins are open

I welcome you in

Bring me the peace I’ve yet to know, heroin

Wash my pain away

End my days today

Erase what I can’t unwrite

Make me numb tonight

Drown me and make me disappear

Whisper sweetly in my ear

Be my heroine, heroin

Liberate me, give me wings

Breathe me out, heroin

I want to feel the sun outside my door

Feel what I’ve never felt before

Fulfill my every need

Turn your gaze upon me, faceless friend

I’ve waited long years to meet you, heroin

Are you still suffering?

I was on my 24th consecutive hour of work; sweaty, hungry, dehydrated, and raggedly exhausted when a patient walked into the urgent consult office where I was posted on call, sat down and said:

‘A long time ago, you fell in love with someone who was not as in love with you, and for that, you suffered a lot.’

I was the clinician, yet without asking a single question he arrived at an accurate diagnosis of my neurosis: perpetual heartbreak.

I felt somewhat violated when he proceeded to tell me that I had one birthmark on my upper thigh and another under my breast, and that I should take off my clothing and show him. He wasn’t spot-on about the birthmarks, but he was correct about the heartbreak. Maybe we all have heartbreak in our pasts, but he really got me when he asked, ‘Are you still suffering?’.

If the imprints on my energetic field from that loss of love are obvious enough for some rando creep to read them like a news headline, I want to change the vibe I’m giving off.

I was still suffering, and in trying to escape my suffering I became a physician, hoping that the overwhelming process of medical training would take my attention away my broken heart- a treatment that provided a temporary distraction at best, but not a cure.

Now with spiritual healing on a level even deeper than heart break and reciprocated love in my life, I am still suffering, but less so.

Sea Change

You came in like a whale

Mapless, I didn’t know where you’d been or where you were headed

Your eyes held the treasures you’d seen and the mermaids you’d befriended

From first sight, you were all I could see- you filled my eyes until they overflowed

I felt so fortunate to behold you, if only for a moment

Your appearance above the surface seemed to be for me alone

I blinked and you crashed back into the depths, upsetting my little boat

The commotion stirred by your momentum smashed me to pieces

I’m still picking them up

You deftly moved on to a far away ocean, perhaps without knowing the wreckage left in your wake

Perhaps you never saw me

Yet my love for you remains deeper than the sea

I wait and watch the horizon, hoping to the moon that the tides will bring you back to me

Though you are not mine to have

Only in my heart could I contain something so much larger than myself

Freedom

From the top of the ferris wheel of young love

You came to exist within me

Though I will never see your face or hear your heart beat

I carry you with me still

I had lofty goals of starting a family while starting a career

With less than 9 months to solve big problems, reality set in

I was privileged enough to have a job but not privileged enough to have maternity leave

I searched desperately for arms to hold you while I worked, considered everyone I knew, and found no one because everybody else was working too.

I am grateful for my freedom to choose what I do with my body

I take responsibility for my abortion but I must acknowledge the role that US healthcare un-system played in my decision

Why is it that so many nations have figured out how to provide years of parental leave, afford their citizens healthcare as a human right, give freedom to live without fear of financially devastating medical bills, yet we cling so bitterly to our ‘freedom’ that it poisons us to death

Our freedom is an illusion- the uneven distribution of privilege in America imprisons us in different ways while blinding us to each other’s struggles

Dear one, I blame myself for your abbreviated and hidden existence- I chose an unforgiving career with militant training and rigid requirements that didn’t allow space for the expanding curves of my female body

I felt trapped between the walls I planted myself between, I searched but I didn’t find room for you

I prioritized service to others so much that I had nothing left to give to you

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Those words don’t come close to expressing the raw maternal emotions I feel for you, little one.

The air above my closed lips crushes me, impregnated with secrets

Even if I had managed to keep you, American freedoms might have killed you in your youth. We have racism and freedom for gun violence in this country, dear one, and you would have been born brown.

The lack of support for pregnant women and new mothers in the United States is barbaric.

Instead of taking away our constitutional right for abortion, give us a constitutional right for maternity leave.

Instead of the right to bear arms, I wish I had the right to hold you in my arms.

How Long

I’m trying hard to live without you

You’ve got this gentle way about you

I’m trying hard, but you’re so far

For many years, I’ve cried these tears

I’m trying hard to live without you

But you’ve got this gentle way about your love, dear

I want you near

You’ve been so far for so long

So I wrote you this sad song, dear

How much longer dear

Will you be gone

Green Room

In the green room of life

We all sit down, take off our masks and laugh

We congratulate each other on another a good show

Seated on the other side of the curtain where duality dissipates

We debrief, recount, replay, tallying up the sacred lessons learned at the end of the day

In the green room, the oppressor and the oppressed embrace

Realizing that we are one, smiling at the absurdity that we ever thought otherwise

Recounting blows, former harsh words melt into knowing smiles 

Disbelieving that we ever forgot that life is a dream, a game with infinite lives, a simulator in which to act out our drama

In the green room, there is nothing to fight about

Life’s perfection is seen clearly and we remember that we are whole, that there is nothing wrong with us, that we are playing

And we play again, vowing that we will remember our true selves this time around

Soar

This body is my prison

Everybody has a body
Everybody is somebody’s son or daughter or both
Everybody is somebody
I’m tired of trying to be somebody and failing and flailing
When I could shed the skin I’m in
Crack open my ribcage and fly free
I’d let go of my eyes that once gazed into yours and kiss goodbye my lips that once kissed yours
I’d let go of my strength and my softness, my curves and my curls
I’d give up my form, vanities and imperfections
I’ve flirted with suicide my whole life
And spoken of it to no one except the one who pulled it off
I heard his rib cage crack open on the concrete below our college dorm
I understood
Afterward, we sad survivors put on a show- a tragedy!
But he just did what he wanted to
What many of us want to
Those who want to be free from their body know
The temptation to empty the lead from their pockets
And soar

Swallowing Fire

My unspoken sadness and madness

Burn like hot coal in my throat
My sore neck holds the tension of another night’s nightmares
Running from persecutors with unknown motives
Even in my waking life, I don’t know why some people get so mad at me
How tempting to cut them off like a gangrenous limb
I hesitate when my persecutors are my family
Stubborn old fashioned tradition of gritty endurance
Ancient dynamics, drama on loop
My sister, abusive and oppressive
My parents either didn’t notice or didn’t care
I used to want to be saved, wanted my parents to protect me, to show my sister that I mattered. That will never happen because it hasn’t happened yet
My rescuing is entirely my responsibility
We are grown as hell
I notice and care about the years of mistreatment and terror
I will protect myself
Though I’m not sure how
Though my throat is scalded with all the fire I’ve swallowed
Fire I’m getting ready spit when I tell you what you are

Bouncy Ball

Resilient sphere of color

I throw you down but you only bounce back higher

Dancing down the stream
You get caught on rocks and fallen leaves
I free you and follow you down the babbling brook
Your journey is again halted by forest debris
I dislodge you with a stick and you bound onward
Carried effortlessly by the water
I was told that all rivers flow to the ocean
I am determined to travel there with you, to see this through
Then I learn that water sometimes moves underground
Branch still in hand, we are both stuck on land
I didn’t account for this
Years later, I am an adult in a high-pressure profession
Just now pausing after years of running
As if I’ve been chasing a ball down a stream
Bouncing from one goal to the next
I am bewildered by the restless movement which only distanced me from my heart’s desires
In exchange for passing tests, I received more tests
No one ever asked me if I want to be tested
I value serenity and peace, meditation in nature
I was already where I wanted to be
When I was a girl with a rubber ball
Bring me back to that forest stream
I will stand in it
Let the cool water wash over my feet
Bouncy ball by my side
In stillness and simple satisfaction
We will stay