Late January, rainy Saturday.
Precipitation, precipitated, not quite
Steady enough for the wipers. Here, my existence shrinks to a bubble
Caught in the surge and release–a sea of brake lights
My Universe broken
By the stutter of dry rubber on damp glass.
I catch my own eyes in the reflection of hindsight,
A moment, an eternity, waiting
For motion to resume.
The year is young, for all that the coin of January has been spent,
But I am learning to see
That I have value, and to measure progress in kinder ways.
I remind myself to straighten my shoulders
And give my lungs some
To move more. To write an 8 instead of a 7.
To love and work, to choose, for myself alone.
My eyes have a story to tell, here, now.
In the closed car, between rain and traffic and rumination,
The world grows into a different place.
Six weeks since, burnt like a match to my fingertips,
I became 36, a new number collecting changes and thoughts
From all the earlier selves I’d been, like traffic spilling to a stop
Beneath the green glow of a Saturday at the mall.
Eat more vegetables; get more sleep.
The world is not worth my exhaustion.
Choose the nubby washcloth and the moisturizer.
Happy skin is more important than shaved legs or rebellious brows
For this stranger’s body is now my wild own.
With gorgeous crows’ feet marking,
Like the earth notes the passage of water,
All the expressions of joy or tenderness, mirth or delight.
There are silver threads nestled now
Amidst the profusion of gold with which
I was crowned at birth.
Like everything else new or newly noticed,
These things seem to declare
That I belong to myself, now, but also always.
That my path, my humanity, my flesh–
It was never intended to be merely a passport
And I a tolerated alien, a tourist here on sufferance, in the world of men.