a rambling

whenever i feel inept, it’s those small accomplishments that satisfy the ego:

i brewed my morning coffee to perfection;
i arrived to work on time;
i left work on time;
i read that library book for a little while;
i slept on time;
repeat.

but with this self created paradigm these accomplishments soon become mundane. the ego says i’m not simple, thus my routine shouldn’t be. it says i need complexity, i need variety, i need more. i add the following:

i reach out to an old friend;
i see my significant other;
i explore parts of town;
i exercise;
i purchase a new blouse;
the ego is content with these stimulants.

with time, it still craves more. it feels restrained, undesirable, needy, confused, frustrated, and unique. i want to stop craving but the ego tells me my cravings make me unique. i am unique from those content with simplicity, from those who become complacent with satisfaction. i desire more from life because i desire growth.

i tell myself that stagnancy is not mutually exclusive from growth, because there are things to be learned from stagnancy.

i tell myself to stop wanting so much. the ego says impossible. it’s the unfulfillment of those desires that make me unhappy, not the desires themselves.

i need self care. i need self love. i need self forgiveness.

i need to get out of my head

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lost

alki beach is crowded today. shirtless men
are softened by the sun as they
play volleyball and
children race to the edge of the ocean,
squealing as puget sound waters
lick their toes. at the beach’s center, however,
there is a stillness.
a woman faces the shore, her long black hair and
red paisley-print pants ruffled by
the impassioned breeze,
her black crop top exposing a finely wrinkled stomach.
a baby is on her hip, pointing and giggling at seagulls
as she smokes the cigarette that was gifted by
kind strangers.
she stands, immobilized in time.

the demons

in a room full of gabachos,
he says: good afternoon everyone,
my name is silvio marquez. he says his name
like water gliding on wet rocks,
with an accent as loud and beautiful as a river.

he begins his presentation, and the river
is quiet now; his estadounidense-born accent
refers to laws that he recites without a pause,
reminding gringos who haven’t done their homework
that the answer to their questions are in section 17.08-F.

at the end of his presentation,
i wonder if i could get his business card and i
think about how to get it:
should i only mention that his presentation was informative?
should i only mention that i am now considering this field of work?
should i only mention that as a latina, seeing latinxs with power
helps me envision having it, too?

in the midst of my planning un gringo me dice,
he’s so scary.
i look around the room.
silvio is so scary, he’s listing all these laws
and provisions and i have no clue…

i stop listening.

whether we are on the streets
or we work for the government
people of color are still demonized, criminalized–
we are still scary.

salon musings

the hairdresser combs through my hair with long fingers,
diagnosing hair as dry as uncooked, squid ink pasta.
so, what would you like me to do today?
*
at my suggestion, the doctor blocks my reflection in the mirror
and tugs at her hair, smooth like arctic waters–
your hair is different than mine.
she mutters in a language i don’t understand, and says:
my hair is good for bobs, straight. your hair too curly. not good.
**
curly, wavy hair mimics water ripples and
brings breath to a still ocean
that the world covets with prayer because
stillness is peace, calm, manageable–

but fuck that bullshit.
peace is also life, life is breath–
with curly, wavy ripples crowning our heads
we are the ocean’s messengers
bringing the world breath.

morning conversations

every morning, at the small square table
covered with a cream tablecloth that almost
grazes the floor, there is a disagreement.
sometimes it is about thrift stores, memories,
the taste of cinnamon, gun control–
but today, it is about tortillas.

did you know that some people put peanut butter in their tortillas?
my sister says, as she stares at the white woman on tv
eating a chicken wrap.

oh, yeah. i nod. i have a coworker who does that.
some people don’t even heat them up.

she frowns, and shakes her head.
ew. peanut butter and raw tortillas? weeeeird.

my brother leans back on his chair and replies,
maybe you’re the weird one.

what? i’ve been eating tortillas my whole life.

actually, my brother says, crossing his arms,
maybe that’s how they eat their tortillas, and
you were the one eating it wrong this whole time.
even my mom.

my sister rolls her eyes.
but it was my tortilla before it was theirs.