The Construct of Silence

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
mountain (hill).

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
"awkward silence."

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
to tackle. 

When the radio doesn't work,
I become annoyed.
I'd rather hear something
with a beat than listen
to the same worries
on repeat.
My thoughts are jumbled,
writing allows me to straighten
them out.

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
isn't working.

When Lies Become Truth, Keep Calling out the Lie

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.

 

#MeToo, One Year Later

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.

Crisp in the Air

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.

Motion Sickness on a Flight

Thousands of feet up in the air,

I’m trapped in this metal tube.

I feel dizzy and I’m not spinning.

Overheated from the lack of air circulation.

Head throbbing that will eventually turn into a migraine after I land.

I close my eyes and the spinning becomes faster.

Minutes move along like hours.

I can’t read the book I want to read.

I can’t look at my phone for longer than 5 seconds,

Just long enough to change the song.

I look forward to the blue chair in front of me.

Nothing is working.

The amount of feeling awful comes in waves.

I sleep for a minute or two, just enough to numb the nauseousness

before the turbulence causes the spinning to return.

I feel like I’m going to throw up but I know I won’t.

I don’t get physically sick from motion sickness.

I just feel awful as my mood plummets to the ground we’re flying over.

I repeat these words in my head because I can’t write this down.

I’m hoping I will remember this when I do.