163

you always think that these
monumental occasions will weigh on you
this powerful compound of all your hard work
bringing you closer to this idealistic sense of self

the truth is that sometimes it comes and goes
in the middle of the night
and you don’t realize its there until
you’re sitting on your bed
realizing just how far you’ve come from the start
and that moment you once dreamt of
imagined it in the palm of your tiny hands
all those years ago
is here, right now

160

a lonely ghost
a light, flickered out
the one I left on for you
how often do we wish upon people
that do not wish for us

when do we turn out the lights
and walk away from the dark
on our own volition
upon belief that ghosts only haunt us
when we keep them around

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

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.