Brave New World on the Back of a Grocery List

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

Breathing room.

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

Tamed.

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 declareTree-Line-1

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.

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