158

step ladder dreams
of moving up in the world and somehow
not feeling bigger.

what is growth without acknowledgement
of what you’ve left behind
saying goodbye to the people you used to be
and opening doors for the people behind you

how happy will we be
when we reach the coveted top
and the sky is blue
and the velvet rope tapers off
the success, palatable in the air
and you end up celebrating alone?

remember the worlds you lived before this
stay humble in your pursuit
and leave the door wide open.

157

some nights when the cold wind calms
the cars stop honking
people kiss goodbye
I imagine all the ways 
my dreams are just too full
aspirations just out of reach

maybe this wasn’t meant for me
perhaps I wasn’t cut from this cloth
the wheels screech
my mind goes silent

I wonder why it is
we stop when every light is green

155

enthusiastic approval
of even the tiniest of wins
what a delight it is
to be delighted

I’m always trying to best myself
to always grow and be better
I suppose I should also remember
that to best something is to
once have been the best

and maybe that miniature win
should be enough

154

how many days do I spend thinking
I’m doing the wrong thing
letting self doubt burn me alive
dousing this fire

why is it when we think of ourselves
we first think of what we are not
how radical would it be if I
kept the flame lit
and let nothing put it out
not even me?

153

I’ve spent childhood believing
that there’s this idyllic destination
where the people are kind
and the world doles out only
what you can handle
that there’s some supreme being
making decisions that are
what’s best for me

but I’m learning lately that
looking out for yourself
is the only guarantee that you’re cared for
that there are no other more capable hands
to manifest what the future holds for me
than mine.

152

this much I know is true
you can work hard for the dreams you’ve dreamt
buy fancy clothes, diamond necklaces
host wonderful dinner parties, RSVP only
and still go to bed alone.

if you spend every day in service of a goal
you decide to put nothing else first
find calm in quiet days
with people you love
doing nothing in particular

because remember come morning, even
the richest of the rich
in their lush coats and finest silks
have to change out of their clothes.

151

I’ve slipped on my shoes and
I’m pushing the front door open
greeted by rich, dense humidity
creating a thin sheer of dew
on my summer’s skin

I’m transported to this time in my life
when togetherness was just a neighbour away
and every problem felt like a big one
I stepped off the porch
the way humid warmth attaches to me
like nostalgia

there’s comfort in the heat
of feeling so uncomfortable
I place one foot out
and then the other

the cicadas so loudly exclaiming
what a relief it is
to live in the past
because at least, you
always know what happens next.