im afraid for our future
i stay up swiping through reposted articles
about unexplainable beached whales
plastic outnumbering fish in the sea
& have to wonder
do we really have a chance?
will we get the life
where we grow old
& have kids?
isn’t it a disservice, to want kids
only to leave them in the mess of our making?
will we have the years
to travel to the breathtaking sights?
& will they still be there for us,
when we seek them out?
its enough worry
to engulf me
much like the oceans will
unless i burn to a crisp first
theres this tiny dissonant thought
im assuming its the innate
primate in me
that encourages fight over flight
life over death.
it softly murmurs
in the spaces between
the cold hard beating,
& what if
despite all to come
you will have
a wonderful life?
she has lashes that almost touch her eyebrows
i thought to myself
silently cursing my genes
that gave me barely there
wispy little things
& not wispy in a, “cute, exotic, untouchable” way
but in the, “they look like someone plucked beetle legs,
& sprinkled them onto my eyelids” kind of way.
hers are full, and healthy, and long, and make her eyes wide.
They look like they could swallow the world whole with her doe-eyed gaze
& the losing card in my deck of features
featured on my face.
are they natural? are they extensions? how does she do it?
i must emulate, & pray
that with all the serums,
primers, solutions, & tricks
that my lashes could at least strive to be 30%
of what hers are.
so i investigate
video after video
FINALLY! a makeup tutorial
im hopeful in discovering the secret to long lashes
that bridge her perfect little nose
that she wears proudly in ever photo
every “i woke up like this” moment
are drawn in
with a brand-less
they’re not just “barely there”
i thought to myself
silently comforted in my genes
that gave me true
sprinkled over my bridge-less asian nose
& speckled on the apples of my too-round cheeks
Roosevelt may be mostly right
when he said:
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
in some rare cases
it may also bring solace.
he wants chickens.
he happily recites facts he’s read
about how self-sustainable they are
& shares his plans of a coop in the backyard
& a compost pile
that our kids will tend to.
he delicately asks
how i want the eventual chicken deaths
to be handled
because they dont live very long
& he embraces the extra-sensitive animal lover in me.
he makes plans
how ever small chickens seem
in the grand scheme of life.
he sees fresh farmed eggs
in our future
so despite any doubts i have
about our compatibility as housemates
they must be insignificant enough
for him to still see us caring for chickens.
there’s this simple test
theorists use to determine the success of children
they call it the marshmallow test.
they offer a child a marshmallow,
but also propose
that if they can wait
and resist the first marshmallow
they’ll be rewarded with two.
the impulsive, take the first
seizing the opportunity for gooey sugary goodness in the now
the successful, are those who wait
understanding the double reward for their self control
i am the sugar-driven
the parameters of my test
weren’t clear on the outset.
the two prized marshmallows after my patience
was not a guarantee.
it was a possibility
not wanting to be left
knowing one is better than none
took that first marshmallow
like it was the last piece of heaven
i’d ever taste.
i need to learn to leave the scales
the weighing of equal deeds & favors
i need to adapt to a world
where i cant feel guilty
everytime i ask you to attend a family function
like its one more tally against me
for being weak enough to want you there.
i need to accept my right to feel
like i need you
even if in my mind i havent done enough
to deserve it
we may trade in different currencies
but they’re exchanged for the same reason
i need to remember
that to turn our gestures
into leveraged goods
is to make it a transaction
& not an act of grace.
“there will be two sets of knives
one for you, & one for me,” he says
because he’s seen how haphazardly i stack the dishes in the dish rack
& leave the drying towel unevenly folded on the counter
he’s noticed my frizzy fly-away hairs
that i wear proudly in protest to hair spray & pomade
& my black eyeliner that pools in the corner of my eyes
when i’ve yawned too much on our red-eye flights
he’s observed how my toiletries slowly claim unused counter space
& how he wakes up with my fine, long, hair
woven between his toes, & the fibers of his blanket
he doesnt have to tell me why
there will be two sets of knives
i know all the reasons why.
what i dont know
is where the compartmentalizing
of his & mine ends
& where the sharing begins.
there are things i will probably never have again
now that i’m with you.
i will never have to dread
waking up to passive aggressive texts,
& the onslaught of angry, unproductive back & forth digital arguing.
i will never have to question who’s blowing up your phone,
& pulling your loyalty, your attention from me.
i will never have to imagine all my dirty secrets
that you’re airing out over drinks with the boys.
you don’t realize the bad that you’re missing
when all you’ve been showered with
“so you mean.. a mature relationship?” you ask, smirking.
“no. i mean… the kind of relationship i didn’t know i deserved, but was looking for, my whole life.”
he starts his prayer
before devouring his eight plates of sushi
as i match him– with my measly four
he starts his prayer
with thanking God
for getting “to do life with” me.
& i smile
with my eyes closed
& squeeze his hand a little tighter
because that’s the prayer i say
before i fall asleep.
before the asks,
for keeping him healthy
they say God hears consistency
if that is true
then your name
must be the most prominent thing
God has heard from me
i always kind of liked being unreachable
meant i was un-tethered to the “real world”
i mean i hated that i had a radius
a short distance & practiced route
to get me to & from the hotel
so i wouldn’t get lost.
but at least i couldn’t be bothered
when i was away.
but you went & got me an international data plan
because you know i have a tendency
of getting lost
[even on practiced streets]
so i could be reachable
if i wanted to be.
& instead of feeling tied down
tethered by a leash thats been shortened with this newfound accessibility
i felt even freer.
because when i saw the snow fall in Japan
i could tell you i was thinking of you.
when i tasted the most amazing dessert in Australia
i could send you a photo of it, & tell you to come with me next time to try it for yourself.
because the difference is,
everything i wander towards
i want to share with you.
because you are my world.