journey home: img: rupi kaur

my journey home will
be peaceful and relaxing
it will be the end

-cdk

90ba09e1c529c0deb712685bf13e7b81

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Brussel Sprouts

Avoidance is sometimes a choice.
A child’s repulsion at the smell of Brussel Sprouts,
pushing his plate away.
Geen mama, nee dank u

Politely he declines the Brussel Sprouts,
Justifiably, He’s lived in Brussels his whole life
Everybody knows that the sweets of Belgium
Lie in the waffles.

Avoidance sometimes is not a choice.
The movement of his friend while they play,
Suddenly scares him
And he shuts down.

waarom zal je niet met me spelen
his friend cries.
And so frightened, the boy is frozen.
He does not know, he cannot speak.

As I learn about my own avoidance,
I have to face the realities,
That while I avoid knowledgably
Most times I have to think hard.
Why am I frozen?

When you have been taught to avoid emotion
Taught to avoid experience,
It is hard to be present in the moment –
Because Life is about escape.

I want to avoid life.
I want to avoid feeling
I want to avoid breathing
I want to avoid being

And even talking about avoidance
Makes me want to avoid.
Some of this is choice,
Some of it is not.

And yet, now I have to make the choice
To Not avoid.
I happen to love Brussel sprouts.
If I can experience them – a small thing
Can I learn to experience the bigger things?

cdk

SUBMISSION *cp’s beautiful writing*

This one takes place..sitting near the Ocean with a cup of coffee..early…In the wee hors of the morn…..
Love doing this
Unmistakable ..
In Gods presence…

Up at the wee hours
Minutes before the dawn
I thank God always for these moments,often…
The sound of the Ocean waves crashing onto the shore

AWESOME..peaceful..and private.

I do not have a picture
I have only the sound
Grateful and humbled
By his glorious gracious abound…
C.P.

SUBMISSION – Aisle 15

Long time no hear from our frequent contributor! Glad to have you back!
I saw her in The Frozen foods
and I knew…
I knew because I have seen it before….
I had been there in the midst of the confusion..the loss..recognition..and then
bam….into the abyss one would retreat to…… by the hand that god had dealt to her…..
I recognized the situation….

There was Nothing I could do
So prayed for you both on my way home..
My post…..
It goes something like this…

She will be there for you
When she is in her right mind.
Thinking you had already lost her…
She will be herself again…at a time when you need her…..
As best she can…
Maybe when you least expect it…..
( no one suspected that she could possibly or would again )
Connecting..reconnecting
No confusion in sight.. as clear as a bell..
Like time had erased…time
She will be there….

To the Lady and Her mother in the grocery store……
In Aisle 15…

C.P.

my body

I looked in the mirror
at my 7 year-old self.
My long hair,
tied in a bow.

It was this year,
that I got my first hair cut.
And it was liberating.
And as I let it grow out,
it was shaggy.

I would look in the mirror,
and flex my arms
and listen to my voice, and think
I could be a boy.

I shopped with my mother and brother when I was 12,
At Marshalls and TJ Maxx,
and my brother scolded me
for wanting to shop in the men’s section.

But I liked the button ups,
the tee shirts,
the basketball jerseys better.

I tried my hardest to wear men’s clothes,
but I didn’t want to be a boy, I realized
I just want to be comfortable.
I don’t want to be a girl either.

At 16, I cut all of my hair off –
the traditional pixie.
And I loved it –
it felt so right.

At the time,
I didn’t know there was so much in between.
Now, years later.
All I want is to find comfort in my body.

A body that so many other people have found comfort in,
but not me.
And I want to feel my body.
And be happy.

I want to feel safe in my body.
and what it looks like should not determine my gender.
And my gender should not determine what my body looks like.
Lately, I have found myself wanting to rip my body apart
Because I can’t feel okay.

I want to feel okay
-cdk

What a Hate Crime Feels Like

This isn’t a poem so much as a story written in stanzas.

I left work today.
Wearing a collared shirt
and corduroys.
I was wearing shoes,
A backwards cap over
my freshly shaved head.
I also happened to be wearing a binder.

Nothing out of the usual.
If I’m not wearing a flannel
or a sweatshirt,
this is my look.

I’m just genderqueer,
and I’m learning.
I’m learning what that means for me,
I’m learning what that means for others.

I dream of top surgery,
not to transition fully,
But be in a body that really expresses
who I am.
What I feel.
I don’t want boobs,
If I could cut them off myself I would.

All the same,
this is what I was wearing
and that is how I have been feeling.
And today, I became the victim
of my first physically threatening hate crime.

I left work,
It was cool out but not bad.
And I sat on the bus,
which would bring me around one campus
to another where my car was waiting for me in a park.

And 5 minutes into my ride,
at a bus stop not so far away –
a person walked on – saw me – and made a decision.
He sat next to me, and simply stared.
Uncomfortably noticing this, I kept my eyes down.
I already have anxiety on the buses.

And he stared, and he stared.
And he stared…
For what felt like an eternity.
Then as if he was struck by lightning he stood up.
Angrily and loudly he looked down on me –
Asserting himself,
“WHAT THE FUCK EVEN ARE YOU?”

I felt my stomach drop,
My anxiety closing my throat.
I didn’t answer, I didn’t look up.

He continued,
“SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU?
LIKE I CAN’T SIT NEXT TO THIS –
I WON’T SIT NEXT TO THAT!”

And people on the bus listened.
People on the bus watched.
And yet they all stood back and did nothing.
And I sat there with fear.

“SERIOUSLY I WON’T SIT NEXT TO THIS,
WHERE ARE YOU FUCKING CUPPING YOUR BALLS AT?
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO BE?”

The bus was stopping, thankfully.
And as I got up –
he glared at me and shoved me… just a little.
but just enough.
And I silently got off the bus 3 stops early.

3 stops doesn’t seem like a lot,
but it is when it involves walking
on a highway bridge overpass from one city to another.
And yet, that felt safer to me,
than staying on the bus.

I have used men’s bathrooms,
I have binded,
I have learned who I am.
And today someone took their beliefs
and used them to attack me.

And I had no breath.
And I had no answer.
And I felt such shame
And defeat.
because I fought so hard,
to find out who I am –
just to be hurt by others.

So, what does it feel like to be the victim of hate?
It feels scary, and frustrating, and overwhelming.
And it feels unjust and wrong because it is.
And yet, even after he said all those things –
I didn’t want to take my binder off.
I didn’t want to grow my hair out.
Because at the end of the day,
this is who I am –
And his anger won’t change me.

-cdk