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It’s like being a couple but with none of the commitment.
I can count my twenty-five years of life in trophies, weigh its value in grade point average. I can compliment myself in letters of recommendation. This is a long-winded way … Continue reading Confessions of a People Pleaser
For Millennials and Gen Z
I am an intoxicating idea,
But a dizzying reality,
Some untamable force people want with two hands,
But have no idea how to hold on.
I wonder if I am a tall tale in someone else’s narrative–
Some summer camp personified,
The girl with red hair and pretty words.
I wonder if they gawk at how all of me is on fire.
Perhaps I am the cautionary tale of saying too much,
How my mouth became Pandora’s box, and all my truths have taken on lives of their own.
Maybe my admissions are Greek tragedies some other storyteller now claims.
No girl gets to be the author and the muse–
She is always the object, even in her own stories.
Because the fiction is better than the female.
The story doesn’t speak back.
It cannot cry, cannot disappoint.
They are just words, after all.
And the words are better than the rest of the woman,
How you can take them with you after you leave–
The lightest library held in your heart.
You return for my words like they are paradise,
But your hometown is elsewhere.
Somewhere more tap water than tequila.
There, in your hometown, my affirmations cradle your loneliness. They are your lullaby, although you never tell me that.
There, you tell stories about me until they run out.
Until you return to me just long enough for your hands to slip and your granola house calls your name.
And then, you are gone.
Another tourist disguised as an immigrant.
Did I just begin an essay with THAT title? Yes, I did. Trust me, I think I’m nuts too. There’s a running list on my phone of every name that … Continue reading I Keep Baby Names on My Phone
I am arms wide open,
Exposed satin plush softness,
Unapologetic grainy surfaces from forces I had no control over,
This galaxy is yours for the taking.
But you can’t take it with crossed arms,
hand as a shield to preserve your distance,
The inaudible, “don’t come closer, I’m afraid to be seen”.
Don’t you see I’m afraid, too?
Discomfort in my delicateness, in grieving the loss of a facade that did me no favors,
I stand in this truth,
rooted in my story.
Friend, you are an anthology,
rich in cryptic verse,
a surprise everyone wants to hear.
But you are willing only to distribute a slogan.
Pithy rhetoric is cheap,
so unlike yourself,
And the only person cheated in the transaction is you,
Like fly paper to those thirsty for a faultless God.
But you are human,
this gloriously fractured, fallen and rise again variety of person.
And I want to know more,
Run my fingers along your fissures like you have done to mine,
delve into the gravel terrain you hide so well,
if only you were to grant me the privilege.
Music pulses the path to the crowded house. A sweaty palm clings to the bottle of wine embarrassingly purchased at World Market so I wouldn’t arrive empty-handed. I feel like … Continue reading Am I a Loser for Going to the Party Alone?
The perimeter of my life is all white picket fences and no caution tape. Smiling faces abound at my alabaster skin. I navigate through malls and museums entirely unsurveyed. No … Continue reading Marisa R. McGrath: Problematic White Woman
I say yes to everything but myself. My boundaries exist like an erased pencil line. I march through life as a strong independent woman, and yet, my stride stumbles whenever … Continue reading I Suck at My Own Boundaries