* * *
I walk as a liberal icon among people
who don’t realize their thoughts are their barbed wires.
My personal choice of weapon is the feeling of exhilaration that
comes from being hopelessly free and it shows as glad throbbing in my eyes.
I carry it with me because society is funny,
I am single and so I must not be too difficult it says.
To make my mouth smile around crowds,
I gather thoughts of all my blessings.
I have no love for money or fame,
but only for those born with ugly faces.
I feel pity for those who can’t wait for paradise,
yet have the talent for picking the wrong men.
For me, the world is my tribe and these feelings of connectedness
are not tied to just one person but the whole of humanity.
For you, I will march the streets to fight all the diverse elements of society
because you’ve been disenfranchised by them.
When I walk into any room, I am the only vision most times,
dazzling like a field of daisies while still delicate as a single stem.
I sit pretty, a little bit of an artist’s muse, filled with personal fulfillment
while dramatic sagas rage inside me.
Wild thoughts of a cigarette put a quiver on my lips,
while making me dangerous from deep inside.
Watch. Set. Hair. Set. Smile. Set.
I feel so beautiful and pleased with myself,
I just want someone else to feel that way about me.
Just as suddenly, I wonder if I am being myself,
or am I urbane and chic only to please and be judged by others?
I put on a self-assuring act like I have a plan,
like I am yet to pick my man on my own terms.
“Hello, anyone out there who claims to treat me fair,
and replace my freedom with a set of diamonds?”
For all the self-assurance and the hermit state of mind,
I have nothing but fears of turning into my mother.
Reminding me of the little girl I was, folding clothes
and cleaning away those dirty dishes while following her around.
This is how it feels to live, one minute the heart’s leaping with thrills,
the next, it’s hiding all those worries that bring me to my knees.
You still want to know what’s difficult about
the ambivalence of living a woman’s life?
Let me carefully mull over my predicaments of
Shakespearean proportions that can both confuse and console.
Do I demonstrate restraint or live recklessly??
Should I have to pick between career and family?
I spend my time with drive and intentional purpose,
shopping when I already have monies in the bank.
And skydiving when I already have all this freedom.
So, where’s the challenge??
Should I take him back or seek new men?
Is it better to tighten my lips around foods or seek refuge in them?
In the nights, it gets so quiet in here,
what’s everyone praying for? What’s my religion?
Where are the rules of the society to live by?
Will you judge me if I show my solidarity to a man,
while watching female love scenes all night in bed?
Where are all the men who need a woman?
I cross and uncross my legs in thoughtful anticipation.
All around me, these leftovers on the side table and
the kitchen counters are destroying my inner peace.
The screen in my palm is showing me possibilities
that as a woman, I can choose – To swipe to the left or to the right.
All I want is to welcome daybreak with whispers of laughter
and spend all this love that’s turning into smoldering piles of passion.
I have so much to give away, and so little time…