Universally Adored

No one is universally lovable.

What I know now is that my choice to love myself first is worth more than the rest of the universe loving me.

There’s something powerful there, right? In knowing that the affection we hold for ourselves matters more than whole planets and populations?

Afterspeak

The words, sometimes, they meet you before you’re ready, and they float inside our ears inaudibly.

Until the moment happens, and they surprise our memory. Those disregarded words enter our conscious when we heard them, and they reappear when we listen to their memory.

I get to be alive another year

I get to be alive another year

and there are people who can’t go to the grocery store

or finish grade school

or sit in church

without the interruption of bullets.

My life keeps opening up.

Meanwhile, opportunities close for women in Texas, Oklahoma,

all over the us.

Men I once respected support other men they’ve never met over women in their own lives.

Rage is a part of the celebration. I bring her to the party.

Rage is a way of saying that I’m still here,

and for as long as that is the case,

I’m going to bring two more hands to solutions over problems.

I’m still here—about to turn 29—

and Breonna Taylor should be too.


Survival isn’t worth much when guilt sandbags it.

We have to make our blessings matter by mobilizing through radical hope.

May our optimism radicalize us enough to burn every oppressive bridge

so every marginalized life feels warm again.

Interlocked

Flesh never fathomed itself

Into puzzle pieces

Until your jaw rested in the crook of my neck.

Your heartbeat

a lulled, molasses punch from your chest

through

my back

until my heart felt it too.

Your body temperature became my favorite climate.

I’d sacrifice all the perfect posture in the world

to model the shape of us.

Never has a being felt as blessed being landlocked

as I do with your frame around the back of me,

The breeze of your breath at the nape of my neck.

Who needs oceans when you’re in the arms of the holy land?

Residue

I don’t think that you search for me everywhere.

I’m neither that important nor omnipresent.

Rather, my memory’s residue never fully leaves

And you can’t decide what’s worse:

A jolting reminder so intense that the thing is almost ruined by how much your brain stitched my name to it,

Or

Eroding that residue because it’s all you have left of me, and even if the sound of my name now grinds your teeth, I’m a sunrise in your memory—

Something temporary and passed who once brightened your entire terrain and warmed you into being seen.

We all reconcile with that residue,

Most allow a square or more to stay. Not because we want them back.

No, we just want to memorialize what was, acknowledge that it mattered, and maybe, the good is a reference point we can draw upon in the future.

Coincidences

There are 5 men in my family named Thomas on either side, including two in my immediate family.

Thomas comes from the hebrew ”Ta’om” meaning twin.

I’m a Gemini, one of five women in my family born beneath that constellation.
My name begins with the same three letters as one of my grandmothers, three great aunts, and two aunts.

Common sense calls this a bunch of coincidences.

Maybe they are,

but maybe they’re tiny winks from the universe that I belong to these people,

that this, beyond DNA,

is on purpose.