hear

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i suppose god heard my prayers.
i listened to the pastor and i prayed for my husband.
i was sixteen years old.

i suppose the one i prayed for heard in my voice how much i missed him,
despite me saying with firm conviction
that i didn’t want to do this anymore.

i suppose my cousin heard my sincerity.
i really didn’t visit only because i couldn’t afford it.
at the same time i didn’t want to ask for favours.
we are all struggling together.

but did my father hear me say i love him?
did i hear him when he showed it to me?

did the church hear the words of g-d?
or did they mask their confusion for fear of eternal death?

has god ever heard anyone pray?
does he hear anything at all?

do we hear bombs, gunshots and reports of storms
and cry to the sky to be saved?

i suppose that church brother i ran into this week
didn’t hear what i heard when i read the bible.
i suppose i didn’t care to listen to him tell me i should go back to church.
he never heard when i said there are things in the bible that don’t add up.
i never heard when he said that the bible cannot be wrong.
and when i got home, with his card still in my pocket,
i never heard that feeling as i tossed it in the trash.

via Daily Prompt: Heard

neck

i told him i missed his neck,
he thought i said lips.
i can never have enough of those,
but i discovered his neck this january.

it was, so smooth
and so very inviting.
i could rub my nose against it
and inhale its scent

(i can’t give him eskimo kisses;
his nose lies close to his face.)

i’m surprised at how much time i spent there,
curled up against him
with my face as close to his neck
as i could comfortably get it.

i sniffed him a lot,
another abnormality.
i felt my eyes wanting to look at him
to see if he was looking at me strangely.
i was behaving like a dog –
for some reason
my nose was always on him.

i loved all his colognes;
they were magnificent on him,
but i missed his naked smell
of iron, metal, steal –
whatever it was.
that smell was so strong
it made me think it was inside him,
that he was made of metal
and therefore just as strong.

i couldn’t smell him before i left.
i couldn’t smell anything.
stronger than my sense of smell
was the force of my tears
that suddenly rose up
in protest and threatened
to flood montego bay.

i told him i was leaving.
i was not happy with myself.
that was not the way i had wanted to say goodbye.

i went through security
and didn’t look back.

safe in bed and a sea apart,
two weeks later,
i told him i missed his neck.

via Daily Prompt: Scent

Believe It or Not

This draft is from April if you can believe that. You probably can. It was a response to a daily prompt: three things I believe, three things I don’t. I wasn’t able to publish it because for the life of me I couldn’t come up with a third thing I didn’t believe in. Well the third thing is absolute right and wrong. I just came up with that. It’s true though. There isn’t always right and wrong for everything. It isn’t always black and white. There are shades of grey. Sorry for that overused saying there, but, again, it’s true. So there.

I’ve tried to stop believing, in anything, besides right now.

Right now I’m disappointed with myself. Right now I feel bad, after doing something that was supposed to lift my spirits.

A song that I like just came on, and I feel better now. I wanted to dance to it, but I’m not good at free-styling, so even though I got up, I sat back down. I need choreography.

I don’t believe in the future. I can’t see it. Though that never stopped me from believing in God. I don’t really believe Him anymore, but I still believe in Him.

On to the point then. Three things that I believe to be true, and three things I don’t.

I don’t believe my parents meant for us to turn out this way. They meant to raise us well. They did their best. They want us to be successful and happy.

I believe that good people are in the world. They’re not all hard to find either. It’s just that I haven’t found one I could keep near me.

There are cures for cancer; more than one. I believe that. I believe that people are greedy enough to risk the lives of others in order to satisfy themselves. All the things we see in movies aren’t total garbage.

I think I’ve said three things I believe. I’ve also stated one that I don’t.

Well, for two more, I don’t believe in soul mates – not for everyone. The numbers of men and women on the earth are not equal, so there cannot be one person for every single person. Not possible. I also don’t believe…

Colourful Lies

When I was around the age of sixteen I got into the Bible and the religion and it taught. Things got really serious really quickly and my life took a sharp turn. I was on a path to reformation and righteousness and nothing was going to stop me. I stopped all the things I was doing that my religion told me I wasn’t supposed to be doing, and I started doing all the things it told me I should. This included telling the truth. Not telling the truth really. I didn’t start blabbing my mouth off. I just decided I was going to try my best not to lie.

That became a problem when I came to America the next year. I realised that lying was something I was required to do. I hated that. I didn’t do it. Some things didn’t work out. Like job applications. No one wants to hire someone that isn’t available to work on weekends, particularly on Saturday. You also need to be able to work any time on Friday. I couldn’t do that. Addresses were also something that, under certain circumstances, had to be lied about. I hated that too. It was really bringing me down in my effort to be a righteous, sinless person.

I have a brother now who is three years old and he has a habit of lying. I’m trying to break him out of it, but sometimes, while I’m telling him not to lie, I’m wondering when I’m going to have to change this statement. While I would like him to be an honest person, I know that sometimes he will have to refrain from telling the truth. Lying out-rightly may not always be necessary, but sometimes it’s best not to speak. He’s not old enough to understand that yet, I don’t think, but he will be one day and while teaching him that lying is not a good practise, I will also need to teach him that telling the truth is also not always wise. I’m wondering what his reaction will be to this lesson.

I didn’t like having to learn that holding my tongue was sometimes the best thing to do. I didn’t like having to learn that what I considered truth was not welcomed by everyone. Since the time I was sixteen and now, being twenty-one, I’ve let go of my religion somewhat. My language has loosened and I now wear ear rings and nail polish, but I don’t make a habit of lying. It’s just that sometimes I’ve had to pretend I was someone else, or write a figure that was not so correct when filling out a form. I have to convince myself that I’m not doing something terribly wrong when I commit these acts, but at the times they were performed, they were necessary and urgent. The fact is, I did lie, but I needed to.

Well Isn’t This Funny?

Lately I’ve been thinking about what I would take with me if I had to be stuck on an island and could only bring or have three things with me. It’s an old question I’ve heard several times but have never seriously considered. Sometimes the question doesn’t ask what three things, it asks what three foods. I’ve concluded firmly that someway, somehow, I would have to have fried plantains with me on that island. No doubt about it. Fried plantains must be there. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, trying to carefully and thoughtfully compile my list of things or foods so that I could write a blog post about it. I thought it funny then that this morning the daily prompt asks what things I would send someone else to an island with, that someone else being my best friend. The only difference is that here I’m asked for five things. Fine.

  • If my best friend were to be stranded on a desert island with only five things that I were to give her, one of them would be a book. I know she doesn’t like to read a lot, but I do. Granted, I read a lot less now than I used to, but I still think reading is a good thing and I admire people who engage in it often. It’s a hobby I think is great to have. I’d give her a book; a really good one that would her hold her in place and keep her eyes on its pages until there wasn’t one left. I’d give my friend a book.
  • The second thing I’d send her with would be a working radio or some other music playing device. There is no way I would send my best friend to an island without any music. She loves it. I love it. It’s a must that she have it with her.
  • I don’t know why I’m only thinking of this now since it is something that we all need to live, but food. I’d give her food. Lots of it. She needs it doesn’t she? People need to eat. This would be a collaborative effort because I would need her input when considering particularly what foods to give her. I already have some in mind, but I’m sure there are more that she’d want. I would definitely give her eggs, franks, and plantains. She likes eating those at night. I think hot chocolate mixes would be in there too. She drinks that with the eggs, franks, and plantains. Chicken too, and rice. And festival.
  • A bed. Or a mattress. Or a really comfortable sleeping bag. I don’t know what this island will be like, but I would like her to be able to sleep comfortably there. A bed then, or a mattress, or a big, cushioned lounge chair, or a really thick and comfortable sleeping bag.
  • Water. She would need water. Clean water. I’d give my friend water.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Someone Else’s Island.”

Life Is Too Short to Not Be Happy

As you may, or may not, know, my mother died last month. She was only 46 years old and had she lived but three days longer, she would have been 47. She wasn’t ill. No one expected her to die. Something just went wrong with her surgery, a surgery she had done several times before.

For some reason I’m not terribly sad or upset about her death. Maybe it’s because I know she was doing well in the last years she was alive. She was making plans for herself and doing something about them. She was living. She was laughing. She was having fun.

I want to emulate my mother and be happy. I want to take her advice and not let anything stress me out, not let people stress me out. I want to do what I have to do and not get bogged down by the negativity that surrounds me. I want to go places.

I’ve never thought of life as something that I had a whole lot of, or that was ahead of me, like it was spread out before me and I could take my time to do whatever I wanted to with it. Especially now that my mother has died, I dislike people telling me that I have my whole life ahead of me, or that I’m young. That means nothing. At any given time and in any of a number of ways, I could die. It could be today. It could be tomorrow. So I want to live my life and be happy.

Life isn’t something that can be rewound and played out again. There are no do overs. I knew this before, but now I want it to be a constant part of my thinking. I only have one. I want to spend it laughing. I want to spend it loving. I want to spend it being happy, because life is too short not to be happy.

My Tale, of Two Cities

I have lived
Somewhere
Called a city.

I now live
In a real one.

And for the first time
Since I have lived,

I wish the real one
Would go away.

It is cold
In temperature
And expression,

Always asking
How I am
But never really caring.

My life is now
In this city,

But my life
In the city before
Still lingers
In front of my eyes,

And so I live
With a chronic case
Of nostalgia

Carried by waves
Of why
Did I come here?

Helpless
And wanting
For dreams
Uncertain

I lie down
And think
I should accept my lot.