Fitness is marketed as an extreme, elite club. That isn’t the case, and we need to talk about it.
I send loved ones this link,
volumes of poetry,
excerpts of novels I can’t commit to completing.
To them, I surrender everything I’m too coward to realize elsewhere.
They do not know how intimate it is for me to share.
My poor patchwork of phrases is the best I can offer this world,
the rawest roar of myself.
They don’t know the neglect I feel when it goes unread,
when my text gathers dust and falls into the well-intended never-done.
I don’t feel loneliest when I’m alone.
Lonely arrives in the aftermath of unshared intimacy,
in overestimating connection,
Allowing myself to hope dangerously
in the direction of you.
And I know
they’re just words to you.
The difference is,
you put emphasis on syllables,
I place it on meaning.
My words have been written in invisible ink before,
known past lives as silent screaming symphonies without a future concert hall.
I wonder if what I regard as diamonds in the rough
are little more than pedestrian pennies at the whim of foot traffic.
Perhaps that’s why my words and thoughts and feelings are always passed by.
I don’t write for you
or even because I want to.
Writing and sharing it
is a need.
To see myself, I write,
And therefore, to love me, you have to read me.
The American dream was a sweeter snack than Oreos,
More satisfying than a steak dinner.
How full I felt on reveries of ascendance,
A descendant of our independence.
I’m older now.
No longer covered in cookie crumbs and innocence.
And classes away,
Poor kids feast like I did–
On dreams like candy bars.
On a name brand future to erase a Goodwill past.
They’ll grow up too,
But not like me.
Obstacles will slice their dreams just large enough to fill a jail cell.
Access will be a foreigner to their fingertips.
Uncle Sam is a fair-weather relative to the projects,
And a wealthy politician scolds them for not trying,
For not vying for the highest.
They are dodging bullets,
Raising babies while babies themselves,
But a pointed finger has no sympathy.
The American Dream is a craving too strong for Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig to overpower,
Night after night,
Generation after generation gorges itself on too many fantasies and not enough resources when morning comes.
I ponder why my dawn is sunlight and roosters crowing
While theirs is sirens and food stamps.
And I have to wonder
Can we wake from the American dream?