Posts Tagged ‘defensiveness’

The Defense

The part of me who fears being falsely accused
will do anything to defend herself—
build walls of words, make dams of truths,
construct barriers out of old conversations.
She has always been this way,
certain others are judging her.
Certain they find her at fault.
Certain she must protect herself.
I would like to take her for a walk
and show her how the ice on the river
is melting. How all winter long,
the river itself was the only thing
in its own way—impeding, constricting—
doing what rivers do in the cold.
Now that the cold recedes
the river is more open, more free.
I want her to smell that alive river scent
and know that she, too, can melt.
I want her to feel the freedom of warmth.
I want to tell her that sometimes
the best way to know the innocent self
is to let it run away.

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I had a dream I could fly. –Priscilla Ahn

The Blue Angels leave five white tracks overhead.
They are going eight hundred miles per hour,
the announcer says. Below them, I am going

nowhere. They fly closer to each other than my knees
are to the pier. Eighteen inches apart. What to make
of these details. The announcer spills them

through the radio like my brother’s dog
spills the half empty beer beneath the lawn chair.
It seems important, noteworthy, but later,

these points will not touch me the way your hands would.
It is more something to nod at, to say back and forth
to each other, to marvel at aloud. As if it could

bring us closer together, this trading of numbers
and shaking of heads. But the day is warm
and the body can’t help but tremble when the jets push

through the blue above us, displacing sound
and rearranging the air. It is not the speed
that impresses me or even the nearness

of wingtip to nose, but the way that over two million
of us have gathered to watch them fly
in close triangles and peel apart again.

How we long for greatness, how we’re drawn
to the fastest, the loudest, the best. How we long
to come together, to connect. I am not

the best, love. I am tired, getting old. I am
wrinkled and sun-speckled, forgetful and soft.
I am no longer fast, was never the fastest.

I am not strong. I’m defeated. I’m less.
But I am open to love, to being still.
I am ready to drop the stream of facts

and touch (is it possible) what is left.

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