A year. Twelve months.
Three hundred and sixty-five days.
An election outside.
Twelve incarnations of inside born across
three hundred and sixty-five days.
A dozen deaths of famous.
Hundreds of invisible deaths, faces made
criminals, martyrs, victims depending
on which news channel.
Someone else across the world
is grieving over the half-exploded body
of a loved one, and no one hears their cry
except the blood soaked into the soil.
I think of the year not just as what happened personally
but what has occurred outside of my body.
Maybe that’s why I cry sometimes
even when nothing bad has happened to me.
My year was not the swift transformation
of a Pokemon evolution or
the extinction of old lives.
It was rock formation, the shedding and mending of layers
of myself into something more
An accumulation of changes, moments scrapbooked,
lining themselves like a strait between two countries.
The first, old, a finite map,
high school wrapped in a diploma
and folded into folders on my laptop,
three years worth of self-doubt, friends walking
in and out my home, gone,
some staying so we can keep each other warm;
fall, winter, spring passing over us,
the pessimism settling neatly
between my teeth, my ribs, something
that turned me into a fortress with cracked windows
but watered a perseverance that flowered into
something like poetry.
Senior year was a breaking out of,
a hand that held me skyward, thrusted upwards,
a challenge to fly in a given time before
the ground catches up to me.
Summer, sweet yet tumultuous,
a sea taking me somewhere
I wasn’t sure I wanted to be.
College: suddenly adult, suddenly
meal plans, lecture halls, roommates
other than my little sisters;
suddenly failure is real outside of class,
suddenly money is water for everything,
suddenly having no idea what I’m doing
is a present worry, not a future thought.
Suddenly I’m drowning.
The first fall week is spent meeting everyone,
welcome week hype a kind prelude.
The second is smudged behind tears.
The third I realized this was actually happening
and that I can swim if I kick hard enough.
The fourth I met my future at a neighborhood cleanup.
The fifth I tried and failed to get into a slam collective
and realized the only reason I wanted to be in it
was because I had no community
to share stories with.
Every week from there, eating days like pacman
working through assignments, finding friends,
learning love, learning patience,
learning how to breathe again,
how to fix the shatter, reverse the blunt trauma
pessimism inflicted upon hope,
learning that loving abundantly
is more strength than weakness.
New Year came with a brilliant noise of worship.
After dancing before the Lord, I went to the bathroom
and rinsed away 2016,
told myself that I was going to me okay,
that this year I would build myself again,
clean the debris and turn it into a garden of words,
turn myself into something closer to accurate,
carry and move forward.
I watch the snow fall outside the window,
an invitation. Footprints already indicating movement.
I am ready to grow.