My favorite thing about the evolution of Facebook is that it’s no longer just a perpetual time suck. It’s also a reminder to stay creative. I crafted a newsfeed so full of soul, ambition, and the desire to define and achieve happiness that I stumble across some disarmingly inspirational posts. As a result, I find myself carving out blocks of time to write, edit, and rejoice in the things I love.
Most recently, the tide of inspiration began when some of my literary-minded friends—powerful, creative feminists I look up to from afar—started playing a game called Poetry Flood.
The idea isn’t revolutionary: pick a poet, post a favorite poem, then choose a different poet for each person who likes the post. People don’t always have the time or interest to participate, but it’s refreshing to savor the occasional nugget of poetry in my newsfeed instead of a slew of over-shares and memes I don’t find that funny. If you’re really lucky, or perhaps you just have a lot of friends who work from home, your newsfeed can overflow with extended metaphors and show-stopping imagery.
The inspired idealism in my word-loving heart sang at the flood of poetry I witnessed. I delighted in the wash of artistic voices, feeling the familiar pull to sharpen my pen and give my own muse some attention. So, here are two poems of my own, possibly still an over-share, but maybe the necessary kind.
What I’m trying to say is, find a way to stay creative—even if that’s sharing somewhat cheesy Facebook posts or a cup of chai with old friends who keep you true.
Untogether, An Urban Escape
The breath of the city washed over me,
not clean but not uncaring.
After tracing every curve of my silhouette
and sampling my wares,
the city moved on as easy as careening leaves in the fall wind.
That caress—somehow refreshing,
a mouthwatering mirage in an unrealized dream.
The sun stretched its fingers to tickle my moles,
turning the small of my back into a frying pan,
scooping me into a delicate dance.
A waltz across rooftops of boom boxes and canvasses,
stages and stories, pages and blueprints.
The sun’s lips found their target,
and I found a set of walls I loved to climb.
Parkouring into concrete molds,
squeezing into cubes, toeing the line with club feet.
I tasted the tang of iron, and sweat, and challenge.
I stepped up and trampled the steeplechase.
The threat of the unknown lingers in my rearview mirror
like an imaginary friend who is cotton candy pink and syrupy sweet:
oddly inviting, smelling of old dreams and nostalgia.
The smack of those sticky thumbs signals change,
of country candied apples and field-days of yore.
I traded the wisp of wheat and fog and split-rail fencing
for a rainbow of cardboard boxes.
But the boxes are built on a thousand souls—blushing, loving, longing,
glued together by a horde of struggles and strife.
The multiplicity of intention and desire,
nailed down with a thousand shades of vulnerability.
Sounds from a thousand cultures create a soaring melody,
a blend of hungers—a beat that grows with you.
It just may be the soundtrack I’ve been searching for.
Attention: I snooped through battlements of your words,
trapped inside enemy-lined notebooks that weren’t mine.
You ranked the love I had to give like it was a fossil fuel.
You’re trained for tactical battles,
I’m skilled in the art of negotiation.
Your weapon is silence,
you wield it with deadly precision.
I use everything.
My heart-shaped face writhes.
My voice climbs to a cacophony of heights.
My freckled skin quivers.
I am not dangerous.
My arsenal is as weak as yielding thighs.
Yet even the nape of your neck can turn to marble,
the peach fuzz nestled among the folds of your skin is barbed.
Do not say I didn’t try.
You signed your self-fulfilling prophecy,
and I learned how to brandish deceit.