126

I’m doing my best to
make time and celebrate
all the parts of me that
I can’t quite seem to love.

for I am only pieces of this
delicate machine
and if all I can do is
my best,
then that’s what I’m going to do.

124

disguised as an exercise in growth,
I reinvent myself to please others

I’m not meant to be some
beautiful, constant metamorphosis, but
the slow burn of a candle
becoming something gradually and
enjoying the way the flame flickers

I’m changing; if not overnight, then
over my lifetime
and if that’s not something to applaud
I’m not sure what is.

123

shaken like a snow globe
my world encapsulated with my favourite things
and my sense of worth, locked within it
there to please, mantlepiece

a sight for sore eyes
I’ve staged perfect photos in perfect scenarios
painting worlds of envy
earning validation like a coin purse

I’ve written universes
constellations of stars
connecting the stories I’ve lived
shouldn’t that be enough for me?

lately I’m singing songs no one hears
and writing poems because I want to, declaring
any path I choose is mine to lead
I am everything I was meant to be

121

sometimes when I’m not paying attention, I
am brought to a moment, passed
when my legs ran against beach sand
racing towards waves, relentless

a memory just barely out of grasp
of being young and being free
from obligation, rising rent prices
career leaps and bounds

I’m getting farther and farther from the shoreline
I’m lost in something
more sad than nostalgia —
forgetting

120

there’s frost on the windows
melting solid on the sill
a transparent canvas to draw on

I find you in the kitchen
coffee stained sweater sleeves
I spy footprints when the sun hits
the hardwood floor just right;
yesterday’s fancy footwork
in the oven’s blinking light
always reminded of time passing, yet
dancing to it anyway

it’s 8:55am and I’m running out the door
another day at the office
I kiss you like I did last year
and every day since
just like ordinary

119

a bubble, burst
each time a year passes, I
feel it a little more
a sensation like hourglass sand
slipping through my calloused hands

I think of fizzles
champagne, popped
cold, crisp, unsweetened
an overflowing farewell to what we leave behind
and a toast to all we hope is ahead

118

In my life, I’ve heard stories that could crumble whole cities
some that tear us open and
dig at whatever is left
I’ve felt that secondhand sadness
when you are so overwhelmed by how much you feel
that you don’t think you can carry it all

I’ve cried with the ones I’ve loved
and said goodbye to things too good to be true
worlds that are oceans away
and lives I didn’t get a chance to live

I’ve watched people dust themselves off
wipe away tears and
move on, no fanfare

and god if that isn’t enough to know
that the world is cruel, but the world understands
maybe we don’t always get what we want
but we’re always in orbit, together
and I’m okay with that

 

 

The year is coming to a close, and I’m bringing this phrase with me: “and I’m okay with that.” Consider all the things going on in your life and all the battles you still have ahead, and add this phrase to the end of it. Here’s some of mine:

I’m a little sad to say goodbye, and I’m okay with that.
I haven’t figured it out yet, and I’m okay with that.

What are yours? Stay positive, friends. See you next year.

Love,
ELLE

117

life, lived through transition
of finding homes and making new ones
the inherent past of “returning home”
shows just how far we can stray.

I’ve met people who cried like clouds
who stuck to my skin like humidity
and sought to make a house of me

I’m learning to root my feet
into the earth, proclaiming
everything is home to me,
as long as I want it to be so.