Thursday, July 16, 2020


Words unspoken 
Haunt you like 
the lingering whispers 
of energy 
left over from whatever 
isn't finished. 

Are you okay? 
Did it hurt? 
Do you need help? 
Why are you saying what you're saying? 
Why do I feel as if I'm in danger?

with that look, those eyes
that keep holding me as if
you had already decided
what was going to happen.

Am I in danger?

I'm frozen, can't speak
can't think, this is all
too overwhelming
confusion too bright, 
to nonsensical, too much to
take as truth.

I'm sorry this happened.
Is there anything I can do?
Can we talk?

about that day, those years, those times, why you were so mean.

Are you sad?
Are you going to hurt yourself?
Are you in danger, like me,
from your own mind?
Does it make a difference
that I'm here
or am I simply wasted breath?

Foregone, forgotten, forbidden.
I don't know what to say now. 
I walked away
because there was nothing left.
No words
Simply empty. 

Thursday, May 14, 2020


Sometimes I think of who we used to be,

And I remember those moments 

that could have become more,

The moments that

were more than I expected,

And the moments 

that were exactly

how they should've been,

And those moments

we wished we could've erased.

I know you're here still

Though I no longer see you 

Every day.

I wonder if you feel me

Like I feel you


whenever I ask

Or need you with me. 

Do you see me in your dreams?

Do we have the same conversations?

Do you wonder if some of it was real

When you wake and start to remember

Or know that you've seen me

And heard my voice

Asked the questions we never said

Started down that road

We couldn't here.

Do you wonder if it was love

Or something else?

A bond built on a toxic mingle

Of separate histories that intersected

For a flash, a moment, a breath,

A piece of darker blue sky.

I still don't know exactly what to say.

Do you?

Could we even speak

Or would the words get in the way?

Would it be better to speak with silence?

Would it get through?

Would it matter

Enough to change the ending?

Or would it remain the same?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Reflections in the Time of COVID-19 Continued...

Reflection #3

Better times could come tomorrow, if we hope enough. If we strive enough. If we do something enough.

Does closing myself off from the world become more than an emotional or psychosomatic survival technique and morph into a physical one?

As I sit in my ability to see my privilege surround my daily moments, I know it stems from socioeconomic structures I still can't fully see. Yes, I have worked hard. But so have others who aren't here.

So, why aren't they here?

That's a question we don't ask enough. Or maybe we already know the answers and don't want to acknowledge them. Because our "normal" would be no more and we could no longer see a world created on a foundation of lies and half-truths.

Masks. We're supposed to wear the physical ones now. The ones you can touch and see.

But the ones that people with privilege like myself don't see until it's pointed out is that wearing the physical ones, even to save lives, can put some of us without privilege in danger of being harmed or worse, killed.

As the majority of those in my mostly white, middle-class, suburban neighborhood continue to not wear the physical ones out of defiance, ignorance, or the masks we can't see, those without privilege who wear them are being escorted out of stores, looked at even more suspiciously, and targeted out of fear. Those without privilege aren't choosing to not wear masks because of blindness or out of the inflated sense of security privilege affords, but because they see and experience a different set of rules.

If we're going to learn, if we're going to build a new "normal" that works for everyone, we need to ask the questions and we need to look at the answers without masks.

No, not the physical ones. The ones we can't see until we realize too late that privilege won't protect us from our interconnectedness.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reflections in the Time of COVID-19

For as long as I'm able, I've decided to start documenting my racing thoughts, anxiety, anger, and sadness regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. As someone who has three family members on the frontlines in healthcare and as someone who is still considered an essential worker, I am having difficulties sleeping and processing the weight of what is happening around the world right now. I'm not sure if these reflections will help any of you, but it might make us feel less alone.

I cannot promise that certain portions of these reflections will not be political, as I firmly believe that this is partly a political issue. #stayhomesavelives #doyourpart

Reflection #1

What's on my mind? Today I managed to work from home and get most of my lawn work done, but without much concentration. People are dying because the hospitals are already having to make the tough decisions of who lives and who goes without a ventilator or a bed. Don't believe this? Ask a healthcare worker you know on the front lines.

While our president accuses them of stealing PPE and I see people making posts that the media is lying and blowing this out of proportion, our healthcare workers are loading bodies into refrigerated trucks, running out of Tylenol for patients, reusing masks and wearing garbage bags, getting infected and dying, isolating themselves from their own families in hopes they don't bring the virus home, and wondering if they will be next to die at 26 or 39 or 55 or 65. As they cry after and during shifts as they care for patients who have to die alone or say their goodbyes over FaceTime to their loved ones, I hope if you still think this is fake or a media hoax or a Democrat hoax, or this administration is doing a good job or prepared our country for this appropriately, that you don't end up saying goodbye or not to your loved ones this way.

As our cases keep growing due to a lack of a coordinated response and people think things are going back to "normal" some day, I hope you get to see a "new normal," where we fix all the things that have been broken for too long with our country and our society. As more people lose their jobs without a social safety net and as more people can't get the health care they need because our system is based on only profits instead of human welfare, please look at who is advocating for humanity instead of things that are subservient to that. Please realize that the public sector, the government is not a business, is not the private sector and for very good reasons (some of which we are tragically seeing now) is not supposed to be. Nor is it supposed to function like a business, as even econ 101 teaches.

Please let us choose more competent and humanistic leaders who understand the basics when this is over. As people like myself continue to feel disingenuous in professions like marketing during this time when we'd rather be on the front lines helping, we have to find solace in the fact that there are other ways to help if we do a little research or start small with what we can do. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know I don't want my family to die or get sick, but the odds might be against that. I'm making my will in case it turns out to be me. To be continued...

Reflection #2

1. A sign on the store's door begins with the exasperated plea of "please buy only what you need." It's a stark reminder that our overvalued system of capitalism is missing the value of empathy.

2. Signs on the floor remind us to stand back and practice social distancing, but it doesn't stop some from pushing forward too fast and too soon. They are stopped with an annoyed and concerned look and step back. A reminder that this is no longer just about "you."

3. Telling the truth and advocating for others' well-being instead of lies that protect the failures and smokescreens of those at the top sometimes means retaliation. Some of us have known this all too well, but we aren't sorry for doing what was right.

4. More Americans will die or sustain permanent scars than what had to. Examine South Korea's response, see, and learn.

5. Many of us are scared. Some of us feel betrayed. Some continue to hold onto the lie, the con, because it's easier than facing the fact we were manipulated. Some of us were bracing for the day the ominous feelings of 2016 raised, but we had hoped it wouldn't be something like this. No, not the virus. The lack of action/deliberate inaction/inability to understand/lack of cooperation between ideologies/lack of real structural change that nearly ensures this will personally impact us all.

6. We will survive as a species, but will we listen? Will we learn?

7. While I respect the human need to believe in something "bigger than ourselves" and a "guiding force," please be sensitive to the fact that there are many interpretations of what that means and there are those that do not believe in a "guiding force" at all. Prayer and meditation (the spiritual equivalent of prayer) have its place, but as a nation we need to examine our collective actions and choices instead of abdicating responsibility for those actions to an unseen force or higher power. Quite frankly, we are living in a cause and effect paradigm and we are experiencing collective effect. With all due respect, science will provide the answers. If we are to turn to the Holy Bible, perhaps we need to take a hard look at whether Jesus's example would have matched with our collective choices and the choices/characters of our chosen leaders.

8. Differences may exist, but many of them are fabricated social constructs. The similarities we all share are human fragility, vulnerability, and the need for interdependent solidarity.