three birds flashed before my eyes
you, me, and elohim
what a holy trinity I thought
comedic and full of errors
we made sure to leave room
to honor the past that was
my fingers as I came home
now I can really see
now I can really see
We had to burn the past for my shadows
to breathe free
freedom knocks when forgiveness calls
and we are home deep within
a core that bleeds upward
You left over 900 pennies in a bag by the door when you left. That was a year ago. I housed them in a drawer with other stuffed away memories in the shape of a deck of cards and mismatched earrings and old sets of keys. But today I thought, I should clean out that drawer and cash in those coins. Maybe I would feel a little lighter if I did. Maybe I would have one less reminder. Clear up some space. But, of course, it didn’t work that way.
I get 9 bucks cash from the Coinstar and go buy a coffee. After I slid in my straw, I realize in a way you bought me this coffee. And suddenly I was savoring each tiny pool of liquid that met my mouth. It became the best-damn-coffee-I’ll-ever-have-in-this-lifetime and I can’t stop thinking about you you you. Can’t stop AT ALL. So I had to sit down and fucking write about it.
I guess what I’m saying is-I tried to get rid of you (figuratively through the pennies of course) but you came back to me anyway. I think I’ve finally learned my lesson now. I can’t get rid of you. Because even if we’re not together your soul is still nurturing mine. It still cares. It still always shows up right on time; 900 little time travelers who buy me coffee and remind me to bring my pen and paper together again.
Ask all the big questions
Ask them to yourself
Look up and ask the universe
why we’re starting to look like our souls
Look down at the spaceships we call feet
and think about the first time
you let them take you someplace new
because it was time to move forward
and then ended up on a porch where you found
the words you always hoped to find
for the things you knew were there
but couldn’t see
until you turned on all the lights
in the bedroom of your mind
to find your way here
One Sunday morning, dressed in the clothes my mother picked out for me, I squirmed my way into a booth at Friendly’s for family breakfast. The waiter asked what we would like to drink and my parents responded in unison, “coffee.” Now, I knew I couldn’t order coffee, but I could order something similar-something like coffee. “Tea, please.”
A few minutes later our waiter returned. My parents arms shifted around the table moving the creamer, milk, half and half, sugar, and sweetener according to who wanted what. I looked at my tea cup placed on its little plate and saw a lemon wedge. I also noticed the milk had made its way in front of me. I can’t remember which one I put in first, but I realized later it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter which one went in first because lemons and milk were never destined for each other.
The juice from the lemon curdled the milk, but at the time I didn’t understand this. Chunks in my mug danced around like leaves in the wind and I thought it was okay that this happened, even fun to watch. Until my mother ushered the waiter over and ordered me a new tea.
As I got older, whenever I made tea for myself, I faced the decision: lemon or milk? And it kind of became this larger motif for me, it went past just what I chose to mix in with my daily dose of caffeine. Because, sometimes you have to pick-stay at home for college or go away? Save your money for a house or go on your dream vacation? You just have to figure out what is more appealing to you, the surprising electric shock or the creamy, safe softness?
Besides decisions, it’s good to recognize when you are curdling into oblivion. For example, I would be in this really toxic relationship and I’d have the “ah-ha” moment that it was a lemon and milk situation. It didn’t matter who was the lemon or who was the milk, we just didn’t go together and that was okay. It was okay to realize that. It was okay to make a change in my life.
Look deep into your mug of tea today and do a little self-evaluation. Are you happy with your choices? Are you making the best ones for yourself?
Don’t let yourself curdle, and if you find one day that you did-order a cup of something new.