A single sound shoots through the summer night. It’s loud and fast and gone before I can comprehend what is happening. There are no rippling sounds that fade into the darkness. No colors flying across the sky. No screams for help. As I’m writing this on a Sunday afternoon, I’ve only heard this sound twice, at different times the last two nights. My only response to hearing such a jarring noise is looking out the window, texting a friend who is sleeping in the room across from mine, and locking the door. I don’t have time to be concerned about what I do not know. My mind is too busy to be distracted by external worries at this present moment.
I was in a McDonald’s bathroom somewhere in Iowa.
I was exhausted from a weekend full of family time and walking
around the Minnesota State Fair.
My dad and I had left a few hours before dawn and began the long drive back home.
As soon as we got on the road, I instantly fell back asleep,
holding the old stuffed animal dog I got as a Christmas gift when I was 8.
We had stopped at McDonald’s to get breakfast and pee.
I was washing my hands when I noticed how glaringly puffy my eyes were.
What is going on?
I thought as I poked the puffy skin around my eyes, taking in this unfamiliar sight.
I walked away from the mirror to leave,
only to return seconds later to stare at this unusual occurrence once more.
I chalked it up to not enough sleep and too much driving and walking
within a short period of time (something I’m not known to do).
This conclusion reassured me enough to leave the restroom without panicking.
I can’t remember if I asked my dad if he noticed anything different.
If I did, he probably just told me the same thing I told myself: it’s nothing.
We got back in the car and continued our long journey home.
As we were merging back onto the highway, I checked my puffy eyes
once again through the camera app on my phone.
In natural light, they were still puffy.
It’s fine. It’s fine. I just need more sleep.
Oh, the stories we tell ourselves in the moment so we don’t obsessively wonder
what bad things could be happening.
There’s a split in my reality
every morning and night.
When what I see doubles
into this hallucination like state,
my brain is confused. My eyes
don’t work together for longer than
twelve hours a day. Individually,
they’re fine. Left is down
and right is up. If I cover one,
my vision is single and up
or single and down.
Whatever I’m looking at
will move to a different space
without me moving my head.
I try my best to fight it until
my eyes are no longer cooperating
and I’m forced to go to bed.
Be your loud, beautiful self.
Don’t allow those who
Don’t understand you
To the silence the singing
In your soul.
The purple tulip arrived a week ago
and will not leave. I glare at it through
a mirror reflection, trying to comprehend
how it might have appeared at this time
eight days ago. No one warned me
I would receive a tulip. Everyone I ask
doesn't seem to have an answer on
where it came from or why it's here.
The bright purple faded a bit within
a few hours of appearing. The purple
stem now has some red in it. It's too soon
to say what this plant is or if it means
anything at all.
The earth is alive again,
the smells of recently bloomed flowers
linger thru the afternoon air.
It will fade by summer,
but at this moment, they're wild.
Life never sits still,
it's constantly moving, whether you like it or not.
It's our jobs as humans are to evolve with the times.
Move forward instead of back,
focusing on the past will only repeat history.
Learn from their mistakes instead of making them again.
Smile as the sun sets later in the day.
The colors on earth and in the sky reflect hope.
Hope that change will come one day.
Hope that things won't stay the same.
Admire the beauty, keep moving forward.
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.