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I struggle with the code

I struggle with the code
And living by morals
That I chose by birth

My face is worn by a million men
With a mouth that speaks for a multitude
Each word must be beaded
On a narrow thread

I struggle with the code
Because it is so much bigger than I
And means more than my single life
It isn’t a burden
But an honor
I do not deserve

The question isn’t how
Because my brothers dig paths
In the world my sisters birthed
From ancient, immortal loins
Where a home awaits
When I come home
I will no longer struggle

The question isn't how
Because my brothers dig paths
In the world my sisters birthed
From ancient, immortal loins
Where a home awaits
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This is the location where I’d like for us to meet

This is the location where I'd like for us to meet

Cobblestone and brickwork from an alleyway emerged
At an intersection where two narrow roads converged
Opening a pathway to a seldom traveled street
This is the location where I’d like for us to meet

Covered by a shadow while the sun hangs in the sky
Still revealing slowly floating clouds that pass on by
Guided by the pitter-patter of our anxious feet
This is the location where I’d like for us to meet

While the air is incensed by the dining lying near
And the crowds are over leaving open walkways clear
Bring your happy laughter and a smile for me to greet
This is the location where I’d like for us to meet

Long before the hour comes to take you far away
While you travel distant and I’m forced by fate to stay
Hidden from the beating of the waning Summer heat
This is the location where I’d like for us to meet

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He Realized He Had Forgotten His Wallet

He didn’t make it far before
he realized he had forgotten his wallet
but he already decided
it wasn’t worth continuing on.
However, he wasn’t ready
to accept the defeat.
He wouldn’t continue,
but he wouldn’t return.
Nearby was a park and he
decided that was
where he wanted to go all along.
It was a short walk.
About as far as it would have been
to return home.
He was now twice as far as he was.
His brow furled
trying to keep both
sun and sweat
from his eyes.
It wasn’t that warm,
but frustration made everything
more intense.
He certainly wanted the park
to help provide the peace
he wasn’t willing to for himself.
Every exasperated sigh
was redefined as a mindful breath.
He was exceptional at self-delusion.

he realized he had forgotten his wallet.
In the park, there was a bench.

In the park,
there was a bench.
On this bench,
there was a squirrel
and nothing else.
For whatever reason,
he decided that
this squirrel needed
to be bothered.
He walked to the bench as if he
wanted to sit next to the squirrel,
but really he knew he was
definitely going to disturb its peace.
On approach, a tail twitch.
Two steps, standing alert.
Three steps further,
a retreat away from the bench
into a tree.
As the squirrel jolted the man smiled.
He decided this was his favorite bench for the day
as he sat down.
This time the sigh wasn’t a sigh,
it was actually a mindful breath.
His eyes closed and he allowed
the warm sun shards breaking
through the tree canopy to shower
him with solar massage.
He hadn’t forgotten that this wasn’t
where he was really planning on going,
but he acted like it.
His smirk was convincing.

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Allow me not to introduce myself

As a child I always found introductions disappointing

An introduction
is the act of colliding my ego
against social expectation.
Whichever is most brittle
determines how awkward I feel
when I walk away.
Oft times
I simply imagine the outcome through
vivid prognostication,
just long enough for others to leave
for some other,
If I can experience abandonment
before there’s even a salutation
I meet with it less violently
even if more frequently.
After all,
I’d rather be on the wrong side of a good event
than under the spotlight of catastrophe.
Those who stretch out their neck
invite nooses.
They’ve finally gone.
Just one more semester left
of hiding behind my glasses.

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Familiar and Distant

It’s ironic,
when asked to recall my family’s voice
my first thought is a threat
to literally put words in my head.
My great-aunt was a collector of knick-knacks
and curios,
and was also my default care-taker
while my mother worked.
Her West Indian and Panamanian heritage
was always betrayed by her voice,
her idioms.
She was caring of us,
but protective of her collections,
“An’ if you break it,
I’ll cut your initials
into your forehead
with the broken pieces.
I’ll do like so…”
She continued to mime the action
I am relieved never came to pass
despite the stunning number of pots
and vases
I destroyed in careless play.

Reminiscence of visiting my family in Panama

That I never really listened
to my family
never occurred to me before.
That my memories
of their voices
are a din of sounds,
not language.
And their words are divorced from the audible
to my recollection.
Mannerisms and attitudes stay
in well preserved packets of cognition,
but their phrases are not words to me.
Those phrases are meanings,
shadows of a trope.
“You have more luck than sense.”
They have told me.
Maybe this is what they saw.
Senses dulled to my inheritance of wisdoms
and just enough luck to survive without it.

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I always remember to stretch in the morning.
In a therapy session, I was once asked
why I looked so uncomfortable.
I replied that it was because I was in a therapy session.
The therapist told me to relax,
and for the first time in my life
I was prompted to stretch.
“Never be too afraid of formality
to give yourself the right to be comfortable,” he continued.
On that day
and in that moment
I first explored exploring myself.
Once I felt my comfort was valid,
I could no longer accept not adjusting in my situation.
Once I twisted my back in relief,
contorting my perspective to new angles became my default.
Once my arms stretched into infinity,
how could I cease to fill the expanding universe
with my expanding self?

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Diamond Jacket Button

Conversations hung in the air
suspended on rising warmth
from an active street
Billowing syllables soup into a moist ether
A spark of light cuts the chamber mist
as Isabel thumb-flicked her jacket’s button
As the garment glid from her shoulders
She felt immediately cooled
Only to be cloaked again with
surrounding voices
Satin red interior hidden by dark blue outer fabric
folded over her arm
Stately well read interior narrative replacing it
from the dark, blue, and droll faces they escape from

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Affection Confection

My love is a confection mixed with bitter herbs
Tubes of sour lemon icing, disguised in pink and blue
Milk white filling leaks from parted lips again
Half baked emotions don’t contain the recipe flavors
Glowing bright, my oven sits with vacant racks
The timer hasn’t yet called my attention
Yet unjust desserts are served to Gordon, Judy, and the rest
While the iced tops make it look appetizing
Cold, sour, and bitter argon colored undone tarts