Too Much

Are you upset because you feel that you gave too much, darling?

Too much love and affection, only to end in rejection?

Too much energy and time, too much of your body and mind, did you spend too many of your dimes?

Too many gifts, too many kisses?

You were too much for me

I risked my life for you, with every imposed act of unprotected sex

Your arms were prison bars to me, your body was a wall I couldn’t make fall

Finally free with the help of geography, I set to work separating you from me

I told you so many times that your love was toxic for me

You cared only for yourself, I was an object on your shelf

We both gave up the chance to be with dozens of other lovers

I gave you the best years of my life and you riddled them with strife

I thank you for all of that, even though being trapped in an unhealthy relationship damn near killed me

You were my drinking buddy and my drunk enemy

You never kept the peace for long

A loud grievance about how the world did you wrong was perpetually erupting

Despite the fact that you were a spoiled, silver spoon over-fed blond haired, blue-eyed white American male

Honey, your complaining is still ringing in my ears

You gave me the time of my life, never after

Our friends went out of their way to keep us apart because the damage we caused each other was so painful for them to watch

Our approaches to life are opposite

I ask what I can give

You ask what you can take

No wonder you were so fond of me

You want without end

I could never satisfy you

I am at peace now, and I wish the same for you

I no longer feel torn by my simultaneous love and loathing for you

I feel only grateful to have survived our relationship

It was almost too much

Mi Hija

My daughter

I don’t want you to suffer as much as I have suffered

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made

There will come times that you will feel afraid, exhausted, irate or heartbroken

Though your heart may break, you are unbreakable

Human flesh is soft but your spirit is strong, stronger than you know in this moment

There will come times that you will be tested and you will challenge yourself

There will be times that you will have to forgive

Set yourself free from loathing

To love is to live

Don’t work too much

Allow time for yourself and those important to you

Mi hija

I loved you before you were born, and I will love you even after I die

I want you to live deeply, to know true love and friendship

I want you to feel safe and supported by life

You can accomplish what you set out to do

This is especially true because you are mi hija

I know well that you will suffer because of this life I gave you

You will feel pain, bleed, and at times perhaps wish that I hadn’t brought you into this world

Forgive me, mi hija

This Earth is so beautiful, I wanted to share it with you

In attempting to create a happy childhood for you, I wanted to correct the wrongs committed by my parents

I want to impart on the future what I learned from the past

I want to break the pattern of intergenerational trauma, to heal my heart and our family with the love I pour into you

Life is not easy, mi hija, but I hope you will find it is worth the struggle

Good

I no longer strive to be labeled as ‘good’ by others

Like a trained fucking dog

I don’t want to act sweet
When I feel salty and bitter
I never wanted to fit into a box
Or stay between the lines
I don’t even belong indoors
I am a wild, free woman
If that means I’m not the angel you thought I was
Then light up the fire and brimstone
Too long have I carried the burden of trying to save the world while looking cute and put-together
Always satisfying other’s needs like plugging holes in a dam and I’m about to burst
I tremble and ache to let go of the many ropes which bind me
So many roles to play and expectations to meet
No wonder I have no time or energy left for me
I am the only person I can save, and my liberation doesn’t require fake smiles or insincere social pleasantries
To live my best life
I must aspire to be more than simply good
I must liberate myself from the ribbon I am wrapped up in
Rip off the docile doll’s dress and burn it,
Warming my hands and illuminating my night
I must feel my body and ride the waves of my emotions with shuddering ecstasy
You want me to be good
But I want to be better

Workaholic

I went into medicine partly due to heartbreak

The exhaustive training of medical school and residency was a welcome albeit ineffective distraction from my sorrow and loneliness
24-hour shifts are a convenient justification for not keeping in touch with loved ones
Even though the real excuse is my social anxiety and sense of inadequacy
Living within hospital walls, I suspect that I am not the only physician who became a medical doctor to try to forget unrequited love, to escape the world of human relationships
My older colleagues work far more than they need to to make ends meet, far more than any reasonable person would work in a week
Who needs friends or feelings when you have patients and science?
Our skin grows pale under fluorescent lights
Our vision becomes shortsighted as the screens stare unblinkingly
Our hearts forget how to feel carefree
Our muscles atrophy as our brains hypertrophy
Our minds become boxed in with facts, our mental filing cabinets overflow
I am a recovering workaholic working alongside workaholics who do not appear to be in recovery
Perhaps they suspect the same of me
Heads down in the trenches, none of us can know another’s heart
We can only know our own heart, if we listen
We carefully administer medications, surgeries and therapies
We measure progress in numerical metrics of lab values, calculated scores and vital signs
We arrive early and stay late
We work day and night without a break
We always have too much on our plates
We deprive ourselves of sleep, fresh air and food
We know why we have irritable moods
Practicing medicine is an unhealthy, imbalanced lifestyle and we know it
We can only ever heal ourselves
I’m ready to show it
I am finally healing my broken heart
I found that I had to begin at the start
Childhood wounds tangle and bloom
Trauma begets trauma until we change our thoughts, words and actions
Breaking old patterns even as we hold traction
I am love itself, I am the source of what I sought
My cup overflows, it was not all for naught

Orderly

There was seemingly so much order in the house

I didn’t hear the echoes of screams or shouts
Silence deafened the din
The ticking clock was the only sound within
All those books lined up stoically on shelves
Couldn’t hold back his chaos from hell
Every room was clean and neat
Her living nightmare uncontained by crisp white sheets
Grandma, you lived with abuse all those years
Warrior-strong, I never saw your tears
Grandpa’s explosive anger was unjustified
You finally have peace now that he died
But you can’t turn back time
You can’t take back years of your life
From your struggle, I have learned
I depend on no man for what I earn
I prioritize how I feel inside
Over how others perceive my life
Spring cleaning starts in my mind
My relationships are full of ease, not strife
I know you had your reasons
And I thank you for your sacrifice
I honor you by living my best life

You Can Have It

Darling, though we’ve never met

You rolled the dice, you placed a bet
That you could win a lawsuit
Born of the heartbreaking news
That your baby died inside you
A horrific experience, true
But of your baby’s death, I had nothing to do
The coroner’s report reveals the truth
Your baby passed away at least a day before you ever walked my way
Darling, I didn’t even lay eyes upon you
I was being a team player, not a baby slayer
In going above and beyond to help another
I didn’t imagine I’d be sued by a mother
You said we dropped the ball
But we were never playing at all
If it is money you are looking for,
Honey you’re knocking on the wrong door
All those years I could have been earning
I spent in medical school learning
about medicine, not about law
Perhaps I wasn’t well trained after all
You want us to take the blame
for your unspeakable pain
Can you imagine what I have given up
just to help you, is it never enough?
For you, I went hungry, I went without sleep
Hard years away from my family, I didn’t see
I got stuck with needles, splashed with blood
Only for you to smear my name like it was mud
On the journey that led me to you,
I gave up love, I gave my life
I turned away from ease and took on strife
Of my own pregnancies, I sacrificed them all
My weeping uterus bled raw
Just to give you my best, I gave up the rest-
My youth, my babies and childbearing years, too many unnumbered tears
I stayed in an abusive relationship throughout medical school
Because the only way to escape my abuser would have been to drop out and forego my education
I stayed in hell for all the women held back from their full potential because of men
Though it was the hardest thing I ever did, and I still have nightmares about him
I don’t feel safe in my skin, but then again I never did
I wonder if I’d do it all again, just to reach out my hand, only to have you bite it
I fought hard to serve you, and serve you I did
Without a word of thanks from you, kid
Then again, we’ve never met
I’m named in your lawsuit, yet
What I’m trying to tell you
Is that my medical degree,
My heart, my mind
My hard work, and all my precious time-
You can have it
It was always yours anyway
Everything I do, dear patient, is for you
I give you my life- you can have my lawsuit too
In trying to hurt me, you only harm yourself
We are all connected in the One True Self
Limitlessness is bliss
Reach out and return the infinite kiss
Available to you at any time
You can have it if you understand this rhyme

Puzzle

I like to look at my map of the world and visualize the continents moving back together:
Puzzle pieces whose edges have been worn by time
I see how well they still fit, nook to cranny

Do you remember when you were all one? I ask the colorful curves of our earth
I wonder if the eastern shores of South America ache for the familiar embrace of the west African coast
Or if Cape Horn longs to kiss Antarctica on the lips just one more time

Traveling by map, I island-hop
I stop for a shag on the Shag Rocks and eat a sandwich on the South Sandwich Islands, both of which are east of Argentina and north of Antarctica.
Islands are the delicious crumbs of earth’s picnic

When I observe others struggling because they feel separate from All That Is,
I try to piece us back together
Though the salt water between us is blinding

I relax my gaze and see
That you fit perfectly with me
How we ever parted in the first place
Is the real puzzle

I Know You

I know you
With your love for women’s bodies and booze
You blast your charm loudly
You walk big and talk proudly
I remember you
We’ve met so many times before
You want to buy me a drink
Which means sleep with me
Which means impregnate me
And leave me to pick up the pieces
At night your drunken demons resurface
Chattering of insecurity and fear
A horrific dialogue that only I hear
But honey, I don’t need to bear your load
I’ve got enough to carry on my own
So don’t put it on me

I know you
Bestowing me with bottles of wine and hotel rooms
you even insist on opening doors for me
Yet the only thing you don’t give me is the one thing I want from you,                                            if you were to ask, or to listen:

Respect in the form of safe sex,                                                                                                      which is the only sustainable great sex
I will think of you with bitter regret
When I get tested for HIV, long months from now

You are there to bed me, to liquor me up and strip me down
But you are not there
When I am spending time, money, sweat, blood and tears
On emergency contraception, pregnancy and STD tests

Thank you for making it easy to move on                                                                                      Until we meet again                                                                                                                                     I hope to recognize you then                                                                                                               I know you