I’m in a familiar place in uncharted waters
People are arriving but I don’t know why.
I park the car I’m driving and look to see if I’m in the space.
Moments later as I walk away, more cars appear,
filling the empty spaces around me.
I walk into a room backstage, someplace I do not know.
A man walks up to me and it’s clear I know him.
I’m not who I know myself to be. I’m someone else.
This is true by how I walk and hold myself up.
I watch people walk in and out of random doors.
I hear people speak but I can’t understand words.
I pace back and forth on a red carpet.
I’m impatiently waiting, mindlessly anticipating
walking thru a red curtain.
For what? I will never know.
I wake up in the morning and do not feel like myself.
My body aches in unfamiliar ways.
The joints in my hands crack,
my right thumb somehow feels unnerved.
The muscles in my back and neck haven’t
been the same since experiencing multiple panic attacks.
I look in the mirror and do not recognize myself.
My cheeks are puffy, resembling a chipmunk,
reminding me of when I had my jaw surgery.
My eyes are strange, for my top lids are pulled back,
giving me an unwanted stare I don’t realize I have.
The puffy pockets underneath my eyes indicate
swelling that somewhat subsides by the time I say goodnight.
I look out onto the day and everything has changed.
My vision has been on the decline
for the last two months and has suddenly
taken a nose dive into the great unknown.
I can’t see much beyond twelve feet,
it’s like looking into a fish bowl,
everything is fuzzy or blurry or double.
I see double if I look up and tilt my chin down.
My reality shifts into two, pulling apart from one
another like something is breaking from being
overstretched, people often look like their souls
are leaping out of their bodies like fading ghosts.
This has been occurring since October, it seems like
a lifetime ago and yet it’s still jarring every time
I watch something transform into perspectives
no one else can see. People often have four
eyes, which is always the most alarming.
I haven’t felt like myself in a long while.
This temporary normal that’s constantly shifting
will never feel normal. I woke one morning
and everything had changed without a warning.
I’m still process everything that has happened,
it’s overwhelming and terrifying to have no
control over what is going on with your own body.
I just want to see again. More than anything,
I want to have my vision back.
I want to be able to see things far away
without fuzziness or double preventing me
from appreciating the beauty around me.
I want to walk around without feeling
my depth perception being off.
I want to be less sensitive to bright lights.
I want to look up with my eyes
instead of craning my poor neck.
I want to not feel my eyes focusing.
I want to no longer feel eye strain.
I want to no longer feel like my eyes are buzzing.
I didn’t realize how much I took my eyes
for granted until things unexpectedly shifted.
Though my viewpoint tends to focus on
the negative since they’re more overwhelming,
there are a few shining spots in all this chaos.
My eyes are not budging out of their sockets.
Though my eyes are sitting in different places,
it can go unnoticed if you don’t know it.
They may look a little different and certainly I can tell,
it’s not my biggest problem by any means.
I have a prism on one of my lens that corrects
the double vision when I look forward.
I don’t know what I would do without it.
The support I have from my family is unconditional,
they continue to help me through this process
as we figure out the best avenue to take
to relieve the discomfort so I can move forward.
Two people share a connection
when their eyes meet.
Everyone who is watching
wonder what could be going on.
Is this fate or planned?
Are what we seeing an illusion
or a true moment?
What is authentic
and what is for the cameras?
People who don't understand acting
can't comprehend what they're seeing
as anything less than true love.
Coincidences are the universe
trying to tell humans the truth
through simple observations.
Keep your eyes open.
I used to be uncomfortable
with silence among others.
Sitting and not saying a single
word was my personal hell.
To be honest, it still can be.
Why aren't they saying anything?
Is it that hard to start a conversation?
Say, hi.....no, that's too much.
I once went on a hike
with my family, and my sister
pointed out how much
I was constantly filling the air
with my own voice.
Stop talking and enjoy the silence
was her advice to me as
we were descending the
I didn't know how to do
that, for I didn't realize
how much I was talking.
I was resisting the quiet
humans often label as
Since that eyeopening
moment, I've become more
comfortable with hearing nothing
when with a group of people.
The natural instinct is to say
something because we deem
it's better than saying nothing
and feeling uncomfortable
about losing precious time.
I've been building awareness
about feeling comfortable
with the uncomfortableness
that comes along
with the construct of silence.
Silence in my car
alone with my thoughts
is another monster I have yet
When the radio doesn't work,
I become annoyed.
I'd rather hear something
with a beat than listen
to the same worries
My thoughts are jumbled,
writing allows me to straighten
Conquering silence is a lifelong
battle between being
unaware of how much you're
saying to fill the air
to being too aware
that any sound
can make you question
who is actually there,
listening to the buzzing
in your brain when the radio
When they don’t like something
they kick you out and throw away the key.
When they don’t like you
they call you a bad person because of your qualities.
When things bad things happen
supporters will rally around you.
When freedom of speech is tested
the people will fight back by calling out the wrongs.
Lies are now seen as a perfectly
good option for speaking your mind.
We teach kids that lying is bad
and yet, we have our government hiding the truth.
We have social media platforms
covering up their mistakes instead of making them right.
Thinking about themselves first
and the customers, citizens of earth, second.
When did spreading falsehoods become acceptable?
When did we look the other way to red flags?
When did we become the adults we tell our children not to be?
When did lies become another word for truth?
When will adults be held accountable for what they say?
This is not normal.
This time we’re living in isn’t the norm.
Don’t get used to it.
Don’t become desensitized.
When lies become truth,
keep calling out the lie.
One year ago, I was in a hotel room in New York City, about to leave and take the N train from 42nd street to 23rd street to see the Flatiron building, when I got a notification on my phone from CNN. There was a breaking story on Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker. The story was by Ronan Farrow and it broke down many tricks and avenues he would take to manipulate and take advantage of women. I showed my mom the headline and she shrugged, continuing to get ready for the day. I sat down on the bed and scrolled through the story, getting chills on my arm from every account I read.
One year ago, I didn’t know the magnitude this story would have on our society. No one did. After so many years in power of Hollywood, no one knew the significant impact the fall of Harvey Weinstein would have our society. No one had seen a man fall from grace this hard and this fast. No one realized that he was the first of many who would follow in his footsteps. I was too preoccupied with seeing the Flatiron building before the remnants of Hurricane Nate rolling through New York to focus on our society breaking into two. A few hours after receiving the notification, I became overly preoccupied with trying to get home through the shitty weather.
It wasn’t until the next day when I was sitting in the hallway, waiting to go into my last class of the day that I understood how this Weinstein story hit a spark in the universe, creating an explosion of women sharing their stories. I was seeing people using the #MeToo on Twitter and Facebook. The more stories I read, the more I felt less alone while at the same time becoming angry by the fact of how common this is and how it took a hashtag for so many women to share their stories public. I was hesitant about sharing my story and after lots of trepidation, I wrote two poems about how the actions of careless boys have impacted my life.
One year has passed since #MeToo spoke to the zeitgeist in a way no one could have ever predicted. We have opened a door we can never close again. One year later, we’re listening to women’s stories and believing what they share, yet we don’t believe them enough to change the old patterns of human history.
It’s been fall for two days and I can already feel
the crisp in the air. It makes the hair on my arms
stand up. I breathe in deep breaths to take as much
as this magic in as I can. This is my favorite time of
year because it’s gone in a blink of an eye. It’s delicate,
for this beauty comes from the change of leaving the
earth. Orange leaves stay on the grass until they
get raked up on the weekend.