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Did you feel responsible

for the universe –

like the weight was yours to carry?

When it hurt,

and you were crushed,

Did you embrace the familiar ache?

Did you rise?

Did you break when you didn’t belong,

under heaps of identities?

Did you hide in silent retreat,

When your voice was the wrong kind?

Did you feel, more than ever,

that you were your body,

and your color,

and your weight,

and your gender,

and your origin?

Did you take strides still,

when the righteous became still?

Did you become someone?

Are you now,

tuning out the noise,

or paying attention until my very last breath?

I hope you did –

Forget for brief eternities,

The horror outside your window.

Shrink to the size of the present,

to savor the bittersweet melancholy.

Tune into the story that I’m telling –

Every day is life

and it’s unpredictable

and it’s fleeting.

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