46

The time it takes to grow:
cultivate endurance
radiate energy
weed out negativity
drink enough water

branch out to others
touch sunlight
share the room
breathe deeply
exhale fear
insist on persistence
outgrow your surroundings
be kind
be proud

uproot doubt
bloom confidence
do the best you can
be all you can be
and know that in itself
is plenty.

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45

I think my biggest take-away is this:
don’t make a new mistake to cover an old one.

Happiness comes in spontaneous bursts
in moments you never thought you’d miss.
(When I think about it hard enough,
I can hear the waves crash
just out the window–
just out of reach)

We have so much to do
so many new memories to miss;
if my past taught me anything,
it’s to forgive myself, every time.

We only have this time together
and this one chance
to (maybe) get it right
and be okay if
we get it a little wrong, too.

44

Reach in search of self doubt
self hate
fear
anger
frustrations
and come up empty.

You have done enough
the universe is so proud of you
and all the light you’ve radiated
has fueled your loved ones
in loving you back, tenfold.

You are miraculous
a picture perfect work in progress
the stage is dress rehearsal
and you’re just getting started.

You have been magic since your birth
and when you get through
the roughest patch
you are magic, even still.

So let’s skip the dramatic clichés
exaggerated can-nots
let’s reach for everything we deserve
even if we’re scared of failing
and let’s walk on stage anyway.

 

This week, I’ve felt a bit of impostor syndrome and suffered the “I can’t do it” mentality. This piece has realigned me–if you’re feeling the same way, please use 44 to realign. Continue to reach and reach and reach.

Love,

ELLE

43

Silent auction:
all the parts of my body
touched without consent.
Highest bidder
my currency in
all the words
I didn’t say.

Pawned off, no password
no security question that
this was something I wanted;
unauthorized login, unknown server—
are my terms and conditions in such small font
they lay, unadhered?
How do I make Arial
louder?

If only I smiled more, I’d be
grateful
degraded
an arm, grabbed
crowded bar
a leg, grazed
lonely apartment.

I didn’t welcome you here—
didn’t your mother teach you
to never overstay?
Or did your father teach you
it was my fault
for letting you in?
Which is an easier pill to swallow?

If you have liquid courage in your glass,
what do I have
in mine?

 

Thanks to varjakBaby for the prompt, “The handy-dandy computer programmer’s pocket reference”! If I use a prompt you’ve left for me, I’ll give you a shoutout!

42

No halo:
I used to press my fingers into your back
the rebound felt like
wet cement
I thought you would keep me
grounded

There are so many stories
I’ve never told because
I’m ashamed of the moral takeaways
(there aren’t any)

Self destruction like
hurting others
so I could
feel something.

Instead of moving away
leaving this dilapidated apartment
entering plush lawn fronts
instead of seeking more for myself
I just changed the curtains
fluffed the pillows
and stayed
and stayed
and stayed.

 

I know you all often wonder about my writing prompt process, so I’m sure you’ll appreciate where I (swear on my life) got the “no halo” prompt for 42 from.

I hope you’re all enjoying your summers in your nook of the planet!

Love,

ELLE

41

Everything I am
and everything I will become
is already within me.
All the tools I’ll need to cultivate internal growth
are hip-holstered, at my disposal.

I find comfort in that
there is nothing new that will become of me
but the fate that was decided
the day I was born.

Like an abandoned backyard set,
I thanked everyone who entered my life
for all they taught me
as I looked at that empty swing
nostalgic and grateful
for the way they’d leave.

“Everyone you meet has a story to tell you,”
forces us to take those coming and going
as gifts
of shaping us;
that they can’t resist leaving because
that’s what they were meant to do.

The lesson of leaving is not in the longing
clinging to the memory of a back, receding.
The lesson is in dusting off your jeans
and reaching to your hip
to find out what to do next.

 

Thanks to skycielo for the prompt “empty swing set”! If I use a prompt you’ve left for me, I’ll give you a shoutout!

40

Honey, suckle:
perch on this stool
gin and juice and
boys will come buzzing
you’ll see, bumblebee.

Hi, biscus:
across the bar
highballs lined up like
pylons
obstacle course
take the baton
and carry us home.

Tulip:
tight-lipped
making this a game
just makes it more fun.
Like pulling weeds from the garden,
tell me where
to put my hands

Sunflower:
some power you have
over us all
kiss me at my apartment landing,
even the grass dances.

Forget-me-not:
I wake up and you’ve made tea
you’re still here
in my greenhouse
and we’re blooming

 

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadian readers. May our country continue to be the True North, strong, and free.

Love,

ELLE