thriving

We the children of boomers
Whose parents made believe in the American dream
Were raised to belief that
We would not just survive
We would not just thrive
We would be special, somehow
We would make a difference

We were taught that if we learned a lot
And retained just enough to spit it back quickly
And efficiently
We would get the grade
And if we got enough grades
We would get the degree
And if we got enough degrees
We could be worth something
Never mind that we owed 300 grand
Nothing could stop us
Certainly not our skin
As white as a snowflake
Which we took for granted
Because we certainly weren’t racist
Privilege isn’t something you see
When you swim in it, it’s like
Asking a fish to notice all the water

So there wasn’t too much to be grateful for
There was just more to strive for
If we got enough likes
Perhaps we could feign for moment
That we were making ripples
Knowing the waves were yet to come
Yet to come
Our necks permanently thrust forward
From all the planning, holding minds fit to bursting
With all the comparing
For all the things we had learned in school
No one had taught us how to notice
what was happening in there
But we noticed it all right when we couldn’t keep functioning
I’m not talking about getting more degrees
I’m talking about basic eating and sleeping
Making a living
It looks differently—
For some it’s thinking about dying
For others it’s self-mutilating
Others don’t want to do anything
And many of us can’t stop doing

We’re not thriving
We’re barely surviving
In reality we’re drowning
Not all of us are
For some, life was handed to them on a gorgeous platter
And there was never the need to step off
Never mind the debt
The jobs they’d get would pay it off
And in the mean time mom and dad would help
For some, their minds stayed steady
And their bodies stayed healthy
For some

But the rest of us need a new blueprint for living
But my god this is not a glorious undertaking
A lot of time it feels like choking
It’s hard to breath in a society
that doesn’t even value breathing
properly.

a new path

I would like to carve a new path through stone
Stone they haven’t blasted a tunnel through yet
I would like to carve a new path that wouldn’t be perfectly smooth
But there would be a sureness in the way forward
Not a slide but a slope
It would be too dark to look behind
Too dark to see the other side
But a solidity underneath, sand
no longer clinging
Bottoms of my feet flat against the red earth.

slinky

What would I be if I didn’t lose myself in you?
They say I’m supposed to start seeing myself through my own eyes.
You rub up against me and leave
Stains

It’s strange when I glimpse the being with my name
And recognize how much she’s aching, forget a pillow
I’ve given her gravel to sleep on and black mud to walk in
She doesn’t really know what it’s like not to
Slink

She’s been healing for so long and she’s also just begun.