Saturday, May 26, 2018

First Stamps

Dear Manzil,

Today, you got your first stamp in your passport. We hope it'll be the first of many many! As you travel the world, we hope you grow in every way possible. Traveling will do that to you, if you let it.

Here's to many more Spanish adventures and Spanish siestas!

Love you, always,
Mamma and Daddy


Spanish Siesta

There is a boy named Manzil
He couldn't fall asleep
We tried to rock,
We tried to roll,
But there was still no sleep
Constipation didn't help
Neither did sleepless pain
But maybe he'll go to sleep
When we land in Spain!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Area Code

Of all the places I've lived
All the people I've been
My favorites are many
Here and now is what I have
And completes me to see
That I am whole
And I am all I have been
And all the places that live in me


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

In Place

They seem to be falling
Right where we need them to be
Right when
With a few bonus surprises thrown in
And that, is truly a beautiful thing


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Lining

I can see it rising
It's always been there
Just not sitting I've been able to see
In a long time
I know everything that goes up
Must come down
This down was so low
I don't know how I can take another down


Monday, May 21, 2018

Made It

Dear M,

We made it! With lots of love and help. Lots of encouragement and very little sleep. We made it. You're a pretty wonderful teammate, even if you rip your diaper off with the utmost sense of joy and sit screaming in your crib when I'm running off to go pee after 5 hours of not! I love you even more for being the spunky child you are.



Almost There

That eve of the unknown
When tummies erupt with butterflies
That have recently found their freedom
From their caterpillary confines
That's my least and most favorite time


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Don't Worry

I wish I could say,
Don't worry.
Right after I made you
That wouldn't be fair
It wouldn't be fair
To ask you to put away your knives
Right as the hyenas are coming for you


Friday, May 18, 2018

Let Downs

I wear my shame with pride
It teaches me to be better
To know better
And to do better by you
You deserve more
And tomorrow
I'll be grateful
If you let me try again


Thursday, May 17, 2018

I'm doing this

Where did all this strength come from?
I looked all around me
I didn't know it had been inside this whole time
But here I am making it happen
Doing it
With all this strength I didn't know I had


I can do this

So many downs
And many more ups
That's how I'd like to remember my days
That's how I'd like my days to remember me
Let's see how today is


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Trust Me

How can I
When you don't?
One's not dependent on the other
But they almost are
I know you don't agree
But how are we to move ahead together
When all that we have left behind has us chained?


Monday, May 14, 2018

Thanks, Men

You can't take accountability
You won't see your role
It's all happening to you
And you are of course not to blame
You are, though,
As toxic as the system that bred you
And your pollutive leftovers are not welcome here


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Your Mamma

Dear Manzil,

I have been a lot of things. I will be a lot of things. Things will change me and I will become them. There are things that I am ashamed of that I have been. Things that I'm so proud of. Things that I have left behind. Things that I haven't yet found. Some days I think about all the forgotten things, the broken things, the untimely things. I think about all the things that are indefinite, things that are begging for repair. I think of things that keep me up at night. Things that give me a reason to wake up each day. Things that complete me. Things that leave behind holes with no bottom. Things make me who I am and I make my things mine. Of all the things I have been though, my most favorite and filling is to be...

Your Mamma


Saturday, May 12, 2018

A Village

It really does take a village
They told her
But then no one stayed
And no one came
To light fires
Help with the cooking
Lift up fallen hearts
Or do anything
Remotely village-like
Looked like
In addition to raising her child
She also had to raise her village


Friday, May 11, 2018

Let Down

Can't always be up
She told me once
Not always strawberries and bananas
He told me
The thing is though
I only ever knew down


Thursday, May 10, 2018


Dear Manzil,

Those few sounds
Are sounding more and more like
Sounds we make
Will that mean
You'll forget to tell stories
Like you do now?
Those animated "Ohhhs!" With your mouth
In the most perfect O
Your baby giggles
Uninhibited by the volume control
Of this world we live in
I am so excited to hear your little voice
Talking, sharing, telling stories
I just hope you don't forget these ones

Love you, always,


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Made It

There's still a story
Even after the book ended
Even after you made it
To the very end

There's more to
more to be done
Don't stop looking
Who missed what you'll find


Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Dearest D,

Not a day has gone by
Since that day 9 years ago
That I haven't marvelled at how we got here
And who we are today
This Pinot we have built
And the mountain we are climbing
Would be so pointless and impossible
Without this bellyfull of wine

Love, hamesha,


Monday, May 7, 2018

Why Won't You?

I ask right now
After wondering all day
Maybe you know
Maybe you know as much as I do
It doesn't help though
To get closer to unknowing


Sunday, May 6, 2018


Eleven is a funny funny word
And a funny enough number too
Prime, palindrome, and even super-powered
It's even more special because of you

Eleven months ago
Our life changed some
Just a tad, you know
We became a dad and mum

Eleven months of memories
Eleven months of giggles
Watching you move with ease
And get out all your wiggles

When you stand up every day
And take those little steps
We want to get out of your way
But also cushion those tumbles and trips

Now as you prepare
To walk out into the world
Our urge to shelter, protect, and care
Just grew elevenfold

But grow you will
And grow you must
You've got dreams to dream and shoes to fill
And you do that with confidence and trust

Trust in yourself even more
When life is rocky or uneven
Can't wait to see what's in store
For you, our sweet boy of eleven


The Broken Club

Welcome to the Broken Club
We have all sorts among us
From hearts, bones, dreams, and hopes
We specialize in all things uncontinuous
Our admirable collection of brokenness
Has roots in our homes and families
We got stuck in the middle of messes
And others trying to figure out happiness
The thing about brokenness
Is that it teaches us all about the strength of glue
This is a test of whether you can survive a break
And if you really have it in you


Friday, May 4, 2018

No Breaks

The universe just keeps at it
No breaks for this heart
Even as I pick up all the little shards
Left behind


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grateful Eyes

Even with this throbbing headache
Right behind my eyes
I am grateful for what I see
When they're open
For what they show me
And all the light that has still not reached them


Wednesday, May 2, 2018


You know there's something wrong
But you don't know how to see it
It's a far far day
When you will know to say it
For now though, you'll have to know
There's something very fishy
Even if you can't smell it


Tuesday, May 1, 2018


When all I needed was a break
You chose to break me into little pieces
So you could feel whole again


Monday, April 30, 2018

What Are You?

Where are you headed?
Where did you come from?
Wherever and whatever it and you may be
I hope you are almost done here


Sunday, April 29, 2018


Who knows if I'm at the halfway mark
Or nearly there
Or maybe this is just the beginning
Either way
I feel done


Saturday, April 28, 2018

How About That

If I told you a different story
Would you believe me any lesser?
I want you to know
That I'm not my lies
Even though most of me is untruthful


Friday, April 27, 2018


Every once in a while
I feel like shit
Not just bad
But a bad person
A bad mother
A bad sister
A bad partner
A bad daughter
On those days
It's good to be reminded
Of all the good


Thursday, April 26, 2018


There will be many
But there's something so
So endearing
So special about
Just having had a few
Something to be grateful for
Anything to count on
To show us
That we can do this


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Day 1

When we look back at this day
I hope it is with love and gratitude
And some astonishment
At just how strong and resilient we are
And how far we've come
And how far we would've gone


Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Dear Manzil,

Welcome to your new home. Today is the first night you're sleeping away from me. My heart is sad. I'm missing you. There's so much that's new here. Your bath. Where you eat. What you see and hear when you're outside. Where you are sleeping. We will make it all home... Our home. For tonight, however, soak in the newness.

Welcome home,


Monday, April 23, 2018


You have so many questions
In response to mine
And all I really want
Are answers to my answers
Can you take me deeper?


Sunday, April 22, 2018

C'mon Already

All we need is a break
From this non-stop nightmare
Not knowing
Not healing
Not changing
Feeling cheated by a little hope
That's not going a long way
C'mon already
All we need is a little break


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Tabula Rasa

Let's start over
Leave the past behind
Look no further
Than this moment in time
There's much to be buried
Or to set free
Feelings and skeletons
Wandering quietly
Letting them go
Is all there's left to do
Have to move forward
I'm ready, are you?


Friday, April 20, 2018

The Fear of Apologizing

It must be so scary
To say, I'm sorry
Because that would mean
Which only come after
But it seems you're stuck at denial
I know, only because
I never made it past anger


Thursday, April 19, 2018

It Happened

A good day went by
And I didn't notice how good it was then
So when today began
Though it really wasn't great
I felt better
Than yesterday
Because at least it happened


Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Could it be
Even if there's no hope
That there's a flutter
Of light?


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Lived Cliche

This is all we've got
Life is short
Who knows if tomorrow never comes
Tomorrow is promise with no guarantee to be kept
You only live once
Make the best of now
Be present, that's all we've got

What if all of these didn't matter?
And loss didn't exist?


Monday, April 16, 2018

Fight On

You can do this
I know you can
We can
We've battled and won in the past
Why would this be different?
We've also lost
But only to stand up
Ready to fight again
We can do this
I know we can


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Of Course

It's far easier to watch
In slow motion
A replay of the last ten seconds of the race you lost
Than to know the exact moment your body was taking a hit, while running
This race, was not against time or other opponents
It was against me
My brain, my anxiety
My body lost


Saturday, April 14, 2018


That little dopamine dose
Paled in comparison to the relief
That tagged along
When these puzzle pieces fit
There's little worse than not knowing
When, how, or why
This is what it is.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Not Again

My heart is currently in my right palm
My throat in my stomach
My head is a million miles away
In the hellish corner where hope goes to die
And then I remember,
That I am here
And that much
I am in complete control of


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Big Days

How do you prepare yourself for a big day?
Your body? Your mind? Your heart?
Big days usually come in to categories:
Big days you work for, slowly, steadily
With Herculean effort and coordination
And tons of communication

There are big days that surprise you
Change you, but you don't see it till they're done

At least today, I saw coming.


So Fast

We tell ourselves
To live life to the fullest
That tomorrow may never come
To live in now
And today alone
The thing is though,
We're tomorrow people
Planners, dreamers, wishers, hopers
We imagine and create that which hasn't ever been
That which doesn't yet know
What today is
I find that a little confusing
And stifling
But maybe I'll deal with that feeling now
Rather than tomorrow


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Of Color

Dear Manzil,

You are a perfect blend of your Mamma and Daddy. You are a tomorrow person, my little cafe au lait. As an immigrant woman of color, I think any storytelling space needs to be won with a fight. This is because the storytelling spaces that currently exist, and the storytellers whose voices we hear, are white male. And by voice, I mean perspectives, cultural attitudes, and I experiences, but I also literally mean voice. I have yet to find a podcast created by immigrant women of color in mainstream United States, which features storytellers with accents from around the world. I think there is no more critical time in our existence as humans, to give a space for women of color to tell our stories, and shift the edge of these heteronormative white male walls out a bit more with every story.

I love you,


Monday, April 9, 2018


What does your victory look like?
Mine is a full night's rest after a day like today
Does yours include accolade?
Or perhaps a side of chocolate cake?
Mine is knowing that those I love are safe.


Sunday, April 8, 2018


What's there behind that veil
The curtain you draw
The walls you put up?

Does every surface become a mirror
When you're too afraid to see yourself?
Does your reflection find some way of creeping into your eyes?

Do you find yourself watching
Even with your eyes tightly glued
Knowing there is no light left in or out of you?

Where do you turn
When your feet are nailed down
And there's no other place to be
But here?


Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Secret Lives of Families

Dear Manzil,

Many times in life, you will be faced with the choice to be honest or not. Honesty can certainly live in a grey world, but really it's pretty straightforward and simple: a truth is a truth. And well, everything else is not. Families can be focal points of lies. We lie for lots of reasons. Most of the time we think we're doing the right thing by lying. Sometimes keeping secrets and choosing to not tell the truth, is a lie. We lie to ourselves because we are scared of what the truth might mean. The truth can often hurt, but if we trust and love the people who are telling us the truth, then we have to trust that they're looking out for us the best way they can. You will have many choices and chances to be truthful, and you will also decide not to be. I hope you will know why and work to set yourself freer with the knowledge of your honesty.

I truly love you,


Friday, April 6, 2018


Turning 10 months is no joke
Even though it's a whole lot of fun
Especially with our little bloke
Who's got smiles for every situation

This big little guy has been
Busy on the move, with places to go
He's been practicing his standing,
Getting ready to walk, keeping us on every toe

A few more teeth are attempting
To make their way out on top
All things, edible or not, are very tempting
And meal times now need a reliable mop

He giggles at Velcro
Loves his Mamma's keys
He swings like a pro
Drums on Daddy with ease

Bath times are getting exciting
With reflections inciting laughter
The bath meant, of course for splashing
Or sometimes to catch the water

Patient, independent, curious as ever
He's always ready to go
Thankful for a good night sleeper
Because day naps are impacted by FOMO

You are changing tons and tons
From your size, your sounds, to your food
Not a day has gone by in the last ten months
That we're not filled with gratitude


Thursday, April 5, 2018


In the divorce
He got her dignity
She got god
Piece by piece she put her life together
Piece by piece he took it apart
Two signatures on a paper
Couldn't give her the keys
When he had the lock
She tried to rebuild
But he had all the blocks
Though his bricks were made of hate
He still knew how to make a prison
With nothing more than his thoughts

I waited patiently for his misery to consume him
But it always found the best company
He surrounded himself with crutches
Even with both his legs on him
Enabled as he may be
Inside he was crippling to nothing
That's when he rose with anger
To fill his shell with more carcasses

A day will come
When it will slowly end
He will be empty in and out
Nothing more than a shell
On that day, she
Will be full and complete
There was nothing he could take
From a carcass with no meat


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Do your best

For consideration
Is something of essence
Was it your best?
Could it have been different?
Some days it'll be a yes
On others a resounding no
Either way keep asking
So you'll get to get to grow


Tuesday, April 3, 2018


There are other ways of making us stronger
Than beating us down
By holding us down
Chaining our control
Using your past
To decide our future
But you chose that
And we chose to rise


Monday, April 2, 2018


Even when it's completely obvious
It seems so unattainable
I could spend my entire existence
Convincing them
That it is so obvious


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Chances are

It's likely I'll screw up
It's likely someone will hurt
It's certain we will experience sadness
I am working so hard though
To focus on all that's good and whole
Because that's certain too
Even if completely hidden
Like eggs never to be found


Saturday, March 31, 2018


Remember how lines drawn on maps
Were meant to tell babies with long noses and flat noses apart?
They were supposed to be able to demarcate
where men with foreskin lived
And where those without would survive
mere lines drawn with pencils, or maybe
Splitting, dividing, like that last slice of pizza
or a melting ice cream cake


Friday, March 30, 2018


All time really does
And all it really makes us do
Is function in two realities
Too fast
Too slow
Also known as,
Now, though, a function of time itself
Is absent from my understanding of time
Even though, it's all I've really got


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Some Firsts Don't Need Seconds

Really don't need to have this happen again
That feeling of waking up
Being called
Walking into
A series of moments that would be fine
If they were never relived
They would be fine
To be left alone
To be sutured by the delicate hands of time
The big and the little working together
To wrap up a wound memory won't let heal
There's a first time for a lot of things
And some of these, don't need a second


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Chances We Take

It's all a twist of fate
Or a sleight of a very clever hand
You don't know if your fork
Was the one you will tell happy stories about
Or will haunt you every night
This randomness is so cunning
You can hear an unruly eenie meenie minie moe
Ringing long after the tiger was caught and let go


Monday, March 26, 2018

So fleeting, but I'm still here

Dearest Manzil,

All these moments
And all these sayings
Fail to capture
All of this

Nap when the baby naps
The days are long, but the years are short
It goes by so fast
He'll be in college before you know it

All of you is already double your height
Since you came out of me
My stretch marks have begun to fade
My body is writing a new story

You are standing all by yourself
You can and do crawl far
But you turn to make sure I'm still there
That I'm still watching, still having your back

The thing is Manzil,
No matter how invisible my stretch marks are
Or how strong you are
I'll still be here, rooting for you, having your back

I love you,


Sunday, March 25, 2018

31. 25.

Dear D,

The universe is bizarre, mystical, magical, perplexing, and sometimes terrifying. I think often about all the breaths we've taken from inside our mommies to those in joy and sadness, and all the things and people that/who have taken our breaths away... And I'm so glad I get to share this life, this opportunity to breathe with you. Raising my cup to today, to you, to 31 years filled with you, and to many many more.

I love you, always,


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Eve. 24.

Dear D,

Today is your birthday eve. I think back to so many midnight celebrations and cross-global phone calls. I'm so proud of you, the risks you've taken, and how far you've come. Can't wait to celebrate tomorrow!

I love you,


Friday, March 23, 2018

Giggles. 23.

Dear D,

Today was filled with giggles! Even through some difficult headaches and crazy documents, we found laughter! I loved that we could do that!

And I love you,


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Enough. 22.

Dear D,

It's always good to know that something you have to give is truly more than enough. Thank you for that gift.

I love you, you are enough,


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Talk. 21.

Dear D,

Today, as I talked, you let me know I wasn't listening. Also, today, as you listened, I let you know that I needed you to talk. Communication is such a funny thing. I'm sorry that I'm still such a beginner at it sometimes. I'll keep trying.

I love you so much,


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Changes. 20.

Dear D,

Today is a day of changes. Much is changing and will continue to. Today, we are practicing being grown ups, and yet we couldn't do it without the grown ups in our lives.

Hopefully, we'll be those grown ups for our little guy someday. Maybe we already are? ;-)

I love you,


Monday, March 19, 2018

Leaps. 19.

Dear D,

Today is a day of leaps. Leaps and bounds. Leaps of faith. Leaps into the unknown. We've taken many in the past. So many miles, so many moves, so many new beginnings, so many goodbyes, so many big adventures.

Here we are again... At the threshold of a new leap. There's no one else I'd rather be leaping into this unknown with, than you.

I love you,


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Walk. 18.

Dear D,

Today was a day of walking. Walking to a dream, through a dream, and into a new one. Let's hope the sleeping part is restful and blissful.

I love you, dreams or no dreams,


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Trust. 17.

Dear D,

I know I'm that girl with the trust issues. I know that it takes so much to win and then sustain my trust. I know it's not something I'd like you to take for granted. But do you know that I really appreciate that you know that about me?

I love you,


Friday, March 16, 2018

A better world. 16.

Dear D,

You always make me feel like a better, more equitable world is possible. Even on days when it feels impossible. Thank you for that.

I love you,


Thursday, March 15, 2018

We got this. 15.

Dear D,

So much is out of our control. And I'm trying each day to only control what I can. Reasonably. Without losing my mind. I know it might be hard. But we got this!

I love you so much,


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Believe. 14.

Dear D,

Today is the start it something new. You've come a long way. We've come a long way. It's a scary point, but we've seen some ugly stuff together and we've more than survived it. I believe we can get through this. It may not be pleasant or pretty, but we'll get through it.

I believe in you.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Being here. 13.

Dear D,

On the days that you are here, my life is better. It's such a simple thing... Being there. And yet, sometimes it can be so difficult to actualize. Thanks for being here today.

I love you,


Monday, March 12, 2018

Help. 12.

Dear D,

There's so much you've taught me about myself and help: when to ask for it, expect it, give it, want to give it, offer it, hope for it, act on it, and the numerous ways in which to receive it. Our ideas are different sometimes, but I'm grateful that I can ask you for help and that I can expect it.

I love you,


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Understanding. 11.

Dear D,

Even after all these years, there's still room for growth and understanding between us. I love that I can experience that and learn from that. We have been working hard to understand one another, and that makes such a world of a difference. But what I think has helped even more is not making the assumption that we understand one another.

I love you,


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Distances. 10.

Dear D,

Remember how far we used to be? Worlds apart didn't seem big enough but sometimes we could touch the distance between us, even as we say in the same room. That's how things grow and change.

I hope our distances only bring us closer.

I love you,


Friday, March 9, 2018

The time we take. 9.

Dear D,

I will always remember the time you take to spend with us. Like today, how you spent time. But more importantly, that you enjoyed it!

I love you,


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Another go. 8.

Dear D,

Today, we gave it another go and it reminded me that we get many chances in life, if we're lucky. And if we're wise, we won't squander them.

Thanks for taking a chance on me. I love you,


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

And now...7.

Dear D,

What do you think will happen tomorrow? It could all end. And yet, it's you who keeps me going and believing. Believing that even though it could all end tomorrow, now is so worth it.

I love you,


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Here we are. 6.

Dear D,

Can you believe how far we've come and that we're are actually here? There are days where we speak, but don't listen. And then there are those where we can't hear. I wish us lots of listening and hearing all we can go from here to there.

I love you,


Monday, March 5, 2018

Where we were. 5.

Dear D,

I have been thinking all day about where we were 9 months ago. Where we were a year ago. Where we have been. And how far we've come. It's really something, na?

I love you,


Sunday, March 4, 2018

What's meant to be. 4.

Dear D,

Can you believe we're here? 14, 15 years just seemed to have breezed by. You are different. I have changed. We have created so much together, including a human being. Today, things didn't work out as we hoped. But maybe they worked out for the best. I guess what's meant to be, will.

I love you,


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Look at how far we've come. 3.

Dear D,

Today was a day of firsts! We were exhausted by the end of it, but two things were clear: we have come so far and life is freaking fragile.

I cannot wait to see what's next in our adventures!

Love you,


Friday, March 2, 2018

My cup. 2.

Dear D,

Do you remember 15 years ago when you said hi? I didn't realize then, but you had started to fill my cup. Even since then, there are times when my cup overflows, and sometimes when it's got nothing in it. No matter the case, I know I can always clink my cup to yours. Thank you for that.

I love you,


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Because you are. 1.

Dear D,

I want to take all the sweet things I've ever said
And squeeze them into a bottle
That you can pour on your pancakes
If you ever doubt just how incredible you are
Even if you can have a little fluff (in your ears ; )

I love you,


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Last days

I think back to eight months ago
From today
And how my entire sense of time
Has been governed by weeks, months, and milestones
How fast it has all gone by
Yet so slow
But, you, you are perfectly on cue


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Have a little faith

It still feels impossible
Yet I try
To move on
From the big holes you left me in
After cutting all my ropes away


Monday, February 26, 2018

The You You Are

Who will you choose to be
When you're faced with your many yous?
Will you choose the you that makes you happy
Or the you that pushes and torments you?
Will you choose the bigness in you
Or choose to be misled by your small version?
Perhaps you'll find that lethargy you hide behind
And see a you ready to leave your orbit
Who really knows?
I know, not you
About who you are and will be
And who you will choose


Sunday, February 25, 2018

That Cake Though

Dear Manzil,

A dear friend yesterday said to me, on the matter of self-care, "What are you willing to let go of in order to take care of yourself?" I should've asked myself that question today because I had such a delicious cake and I'm really paying the price of it tonight with all the delicious cream on it.

There will be many times in your life when you'll need to give up something that brings you joy for something that brings you contentment or even peace.

I hope you'll choose well.

I love you, always,


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mirror Mirror

What do you see
When you're showing me
All there is for me to see
I'm trying to get a glimpse of you
But your shadows are brighter than you


Friday, February 23, 2018

Little Radical

Very few moments
Complete like this
Like that last puzzle piece clicking in
Or the final bite of an ice cream cone
The one filled with hardened chocolate
As though it's consoling me
To make it through the end of my treat


Thursday, February 22, 2018

My One Moment

All it takes is a little tiny clock hand
Holding yours in its palms
Moving along and away
On its path it knows to walk
Whether you keep up or not


Wednesday, February 21, 2018


You came by
Before I even realized
I needed you
How did you know
My dreams were collapsing
Did my surrendering eyes give away
My last remaining balance
Of me


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hard To Hear

I hear you
That these things I say
Are hard to hear
I don't know where to look
For the right words
To tell you anything different
You are perfect
The way you are


Monday, February 19, 2018


Such a blend
A hodge-podge of two
Spotted stripes
There you were
Hopping, more donkey-like
Than I could have imagined


Sunday, February 18, 2018


I know the only way out is
The thicket of my own heady heart
Beating out of my chest
So loud
Even the loudest gulp
Couldn't quiet it
Because at the end,
The end is where I'll find my beaming self
That is
If the passage doesn't extinguish me


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Clean Slate

You mind if I don't move on?
That way I can remain certain
That my grudges will hold me down
Harder than the tightest seatbelt
On the highest rollercoaster
At least then you'll know
That I was completely empty inside
When you decided to fill me up


Friday, February 16, 2018

What did you learn?

We're you listening
When you were being told
That humility could unglue,
Better than anger,
You out of just about any
Sticky situation
But you chose
To rage
And where,
On the darkest hole of your sadness,
Did that land you?


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Better Yet

You are getting better
Better yet
You were so happy and so full
It reminded me
That I'm whole
Better yet
That I'm full


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

That Smile Though

No matter how tough
How confusingly excruciating
Unbelievably terrifying
A day can be
That smile though,
That smile


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

You are more

All the biggest words
In all the biggest places
Can't make you bigger
I still don't fully understand that
But you remind me
That even when I have no words
I'm enough


Monday, February 12, 2018

Dire Brightness

There are quiet little
Spots in the loudest corners
That have some sad stories to tell
And if you listen very carefully
You will hear your own breath
Barely keeping up with your own raging heart


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Flying Solo

Dear Manzil,

We did it! You and I have had many adventures on our own! Today, we flew all by ourselves! I'm proud of us, our teamwork, and our sense of adventure! I love you and thank you for being there for me and with me so I didn't have to fly solo!

Love you,


Saturday, February 10, 2018

February 1 Zero

Treats come in many shapes and flavors
From sleepy sun-soaked snuggles,
Bonus naps, and passion fruit ice cream
To strawberry cake, late night conversations,
And 34 kisses
The biggest treat of them all though...



I hope this eve is filled
With all the promises of tomorrow
For you


Thursday, February 8, 2018


We're the same genre
Even share the same story line
But somewhere after chapter 19
Our plots deviated
Or maybe our main characters
Became more complex,
Mired in their own complex realities
But they both did come of age together
I'm not even sure we find ever be in the same book
It doesn't stop me from wishing
That I was in your page


Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Laughter ensued
Followed by giggles
Dimpled smiles
Filled up the quiet
Of the last few days
It was so nice to see you being



On a Tuesday eight months ago
You became a baby from an embryo
And nothing's ever been the same despite
The occasional sleepless night
Since you were born to us in San Diego!

Eight months since you came out of Mommy
Most days you're pretty balmy
Some weeks though when your new skills form
You go through a tenuous storm
But, hey, it's never been a tsunami!

In the last few weeks you've learned to crawl
And though it may seem a feat so small
We could see how much effort you put in
To build up that core in your body-building
So now you're strong enough to slow your fall!

All that core is helping you play
And set you on lots of new adventures everyday
You're trying to communicate, that's for sure
Even starting to clap to ask for more
And we love how you say, "Mammma" & "Dadday"!

Every morning you sit up, independently playing
Able to stand up and look down at everything
Such a big boy, don't need to be rocked
But you had to wear shoes, because you won't stay socked
Manzil, we love watching you on the go and inspecting !

You love to grab our face slowly
To notice every inch so carefully
You still love munching on your toes
And sometimes we find- your fingers in our nose
And in your belly- khitchadi and ajwain pani!

Now that you crawl, you're always on the go
And you're loving pears, bananas, and avocado
This past month, we made your first sick call
And we're sorry for that yucky mucky Tylenol
You're kicking this virus' butt, and look at you grow!

You've gone from superman, to cat and cow
Your yoga moves make us go, "Wow!"
And we've been noticing lately
You enjoy playing with another baby
Maybe you're over your Momma/Daddy phase (at least for now)?

Here you are on a Tuesday eight months later
Teaching us new words like, "Eighter"
We are so proud of you and to be your parents
And we don't need any further assurance
Because we've known no joy greater!


Monday, February 5, 2018

Diaper Excitement!

Dear Manzil,

Like most first time parents, your Mamma and Daddy get very excited about a good poo! Especially after 9 days of diarrhea, it made me jump up and down to see 3 very good looking poos! I was so pleased to note that their texture, consistency, smell, and color (notice the thankful omission of one of the senses ; ) seemed to return to normal. Normal - that's one adjective I have not used in a while to describe the past few days. We've been so worried about you. So sad that you were in discomfort. So upset to see you in pain, shivering with a fever, and confused about what's happening to you. Normal will be slow, I know. But this feels a gazillion times better than even yesterday.

With diaper joy,
Your silly Mamma


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Still Not There

It feels farther than ever
The end to this
And it doesn't help at all
To hear
That this is just the beginning


Saturday, February 3, 2018

So Simple

Dearest Manzil,

Sometimes the pleasure of laughing
With someone you love
Is so simple
Sometimes it's one of the hardest things to do
I hope you never have trouble
Laughing with those you love

With laughs,
Your Mamma


Friday, February 2, 2018

The Power of Rest

A little bit of rest
Can go a long way
To recovering
And that's what we got today
Some days it's a little
Some days it's a lot
Most of the time time though
It's right on the dot
Not for a mamma or daddy
No, no, there really is
No such thing as too much rest


Thursday, February 1, 2018


Dear Manzil,

I am on a hunt for words
Ways to tell you
You have my permission
You can close your eyes
You can trust that I'll be there when you wake up
You can expect to get a response when you communicate
You can take risks
You can move around safely
You can laugh without care
You can giggle out loud when you want
Or cry as you please
You have my permission, Manzil,
To become the person you want to be

Not that you need my permission (or will wait for it ; ), yours, always,



This golden leaf
Hardly could shine
When it's tiny gold roots
Burned inside


Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Dear Manzil,

Your fevered body shivered in my arms
And yet my heart was fine with so much warmth
All for you
What I wouldn't give to make you feel better.

Your Mamma


Monday, January 29, 2018


Dear Manzil,

I messaged your Mashi today saying,
"Help! I'm stuck under a sleep-resistant but finally asleep child who's also pressing on my very full bladder!" This was after four abortive attempts at trying to get you to take a nap. I dream-peed, shifted my expectations, and enjoyed two hours of precious snuggles. This was also after hours of not eating and feeling bone tired, displaced in our own home thanks to bathroom repair work, and knowing a very long solo evening was waiting for me.

Even at the end of a day like this, you never fail to give me new perspectives, make me want to do better, be better...and look at the world differently.

Thanks for that gift!

I love you, always,


Sunday, January 28, 2018

So Good

There's a cycle there I don't know how to break
I don't even know where to begin to cause some dents
To birth a few cracks
To get to



Dear Manzil,

It should be more like, better?
Question mark
It's so tricky to know
But what's harder is to trust my instinct
Resist spiraling into questions
Worrying about questions
So many to be asked
Few with answers
Tomorrow, though, will be better.

Love you,


Friday, January 26, 2018


Dear Manzil,

My heart beats awkwardly
In anticipation of what may come
This not-knowing is what
Is stuck between my rows of teeth
Grinding my jaw to a fine paste
I feel around my mouth
Is it my bottom tooth rubbing against my top one
Or the other way around?
Just like my teeth
My worry doesn't have anywhere to go
Except to line itself up in untidy lines
And get ground up.

I know, you'll be okay. Still, I love you,


Thursday, January 25, 2018

To Larry

One hundred and fifty six
And that's not even close to the number of ways
You can break someone
Not like your favorite fallen cup
Shattered into a million little scars
This is like breaking the very letters that make
Why oh you
This is like shooting an automatic weapon
Through the flesh of the darkest densest sky
And still not seeing a single star shine through
This is like cutting your nails into millimeter sized pieces
While they're still attached to the bloody tips of your fingers
Fingers can move, touch, feel this way?
Fingers can break this way?
And then when you're done breaking
You realize there's nothing left inside of you to fix
You're the grimy leftover of forgotten glue
Incapable of holding anything together
Least of all, you


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

There are so many

Dear Manzil,

Today was your first time in the trolley
I wanted to show you that
There are so many
Ways to go from one place to the next
As we wandered in and stood about
I wanted to share with you that
There are so many
Different people in this world
When we walk on these paths
We have to learn how to look beyond seeing
Have to learn to listen past the point our ears know how
There are so many
Lenses and voices
I'm learning to do all these too
I'm terrified of all you're touching
But I know it's helping you reach new places
Leaving behind old boundaries of what you know
Which you know will shift, because
There are so many
Places to experience
There are so many
Lives to live
So even when it terrifies you
I hope you take the trolley

There are so many
Words I have to tell you that
I love you,


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Mistaken Identity

Dear Manzil

Many times, you will make mistakes. Some, you may even repeat. The question really comes down to:

Do you have the humility to admit your mistake?

I hope you always do,


Monday, January 22, 2018


If nothing can go wrong
Then is it really a risk?
Or is it just trying something
That flirts with the outer edge of
Your dreams
And the blankets you're tucked under when you see them?


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Up Above

The view from there is uncanny
I never felt more low
From up above


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Statistically Coincidental

Coincidences are statistical
And nothing really happens for a reason
Other than it was going to happen anyway
And it happened because
Of random chances
Coincidences came and went
Had their day
And now are conveniently
Out of fashion
Signs are happenstance
Of could be would've beens
And really nothing truly matters
Except of course
Random coincidences


Night Out

Dear Manzil,

Today, I went out
And getting out has never been this hard
Or this easy
All mixed up
At once
And together
Like coffee in milk
All the better

I missed you,


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Your Smile

Dear Manzil,

I want to capture your smile
I promise, I'd let it go soon after
A smile like yours doesn't deserve to be captive
You make me want to hold on to each moment
Like I've never seen it before
Like I won't see it ever again
But, like your smile,
I must let go
And set free
Every moment

With smiles,
Your Mamma


Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Dear Manzil,

So much to see
So many sounds to bounce to
Which one did you enjoy most today?
Which ones to make tomorrow?

Love you,


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I hear you

Dear Manzil,

Today, I woke up to only one functional ear
It made me sad to think
What it would be like
If I could only half-hear you
Then, I got thinking
What would it be like
If I could only half-smell to,
Half-hold you.
Somehow though
I realize how resilient we are
And if that were to happen,
If it is possible,
I would love you double

Love, always, doubly, truly, triply,


Monday, January 15, 2018


Dear Manzil,

It does get better
Not everyday
Not all the time
And not without effort
But it does get better
With each moment
The harder gets left behind
So does a stronger you
Believe that
Each moment



Sunday, January 14, 2018

Some Nights

Dear Manzil,

Some nights are a dense forest
Complex and colorful as they may be
Their new and old
Can be terrifying

Some nights
Even the familiar twigs on trees you swung from everyday
Become agonizing claws reaching for you

Some nights the rustling you hear
Between the babbles of teary streams
Are your own restless dreams
Waiting to be born

Some nights your own shadow
Catches up and beats you into
Forever darkness

On these nights
Gratitude may be hard to locate
On these nights
Fear may be thicker than the heaviest cloud
On these nights
It's more important than ever to
That dawn is just a few hours away

Love you, always, in light and at night,
Your Mamma


Saturday, January 13, 2018

I won't always get it right

Dear Manzil,

There's a little voice inside me
That needs to find its volume dial
And turn itself way up high
I wonder if it ever heard itself
What would my voice think?
There's so much it would have to say
Trust yourself
Forgive yourself
You're trying your best
And I just wish I could turn up the volume
So I wouldn't need to hear that from anyone else
I could just turn up the volume
And listen to what's been yelling itself hoarse all this while
I try lot of things
Crying it out to pick up instantly
On-the-go to scheduled to the minute
Sleep anywhere to controlled environment napping
Sippy cups to transition utensils
And there will be a million other things to choose from
And I won't always get it right
But it won't stop me from trying

I love you,


Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Relationship with Gravity

In the beginning.

It couldn't hold my down down
This gravitational pull had no competition

Falling with no help from gravity
Is a fall so deep
So steep
There's no point in trying to defy it



Floating would make more sense
If I could just stop myself from sinking

But my relationship
Won't allow it

But in the end.

Gravity wins.


Nectar is Juicy

I am not one to pluck things that grow
But today I reached up high and picked
The word

From the tallest branch

I turned it around in my hands
And looked at it from the underside and from the left

It almost appeared bigger from one side than the other

It smelled ripe
Maybe even overripe

Telltale signs of overuse and simultaneous neglect
Left it bloody and bruised

I can't decide
Do I want my straw
Or just go at it with my hands
Slurping all of its untidy insides on my outsides

It doesn't matter
It's so very very juicy


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

In My Bones

My fingertips protest in silence
The arch of my back bends quietly
My neck won't move in boycott
The weight of my arms falls further down
I feel my exhaustion
In my bones


Monday, January 8, 2018


You gave me that very last spark
The final strike

I thought I had gotten rid of all the parts of me
that were paper

If most of my insides are water
Why, then, did I burn so brightly?


Dream a Dream

I woke up this morning wanting to eat my dream for breakfast
It had that gingery warmth that lingers in your mouth long after you finish your meal
It had heavy tones of hope
And an overarching note of optimism
Those are not my favorite flavors
Those are not flavors that favor me
In my dream whispers of tomorrow
Became flashbacks from days past
And just now felt like kinetic sand
Every grain real and everlasting
In my dream I held my heart in my own hand
It beat to the rhythm of my most beloved song
And as long as the song played, I knew my heart would keep beating
In my dream my feet dug deeper into the earth
Sharing home with the roots of a banyan tree
And no one seemed to care
Which was the end and which the beginning
In my dream all my demons and skeletons
Dance together in ceremonial pomp
And at the end of the night take each other to bed
In my dream distant shores groan in the ache
To join their continental sisters
And leave behind little notes of longing hidden between rocky crevices
In my dream turtles take off their shells
Moving about with drunk whimsy glee
And no one tells them where to go
Or how long before the sun comes up again
In my dream I am only me
In a way that reaches every single molecule of every single cell
Walking in step, swinging hands between them
Knowing that they are what's keeping me going
Keeping me dreaming
It's so tangible now
I don't even have to close my eyes anymore
To taste this life
In my dream


Sunday, January 7, 2018


Some days more than others

Your finiteness storms through

My assumptions and habits

Arriving unannounced, unnecessarily

With the fury of fear-filled exhaustion

Breaking everything in its path

"I've got you," you whisper between my hair

But I looked, you weren't there where you said you would be.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Seven Months

Manzil our sweet baby is seven months old,
and he got bundled up to experience his first real cold.

He went from splashing in water and beach sand,
to holding powdery snow in his teeny tiny hands.

He journeyed through the airport on yet another flight,
to look in awe at all of the holiday lights.

He smiled when he saw his picture hanging on the Christmas tree,
and every morning he still wakes up with glee.

He's improving his grip and now we have witnessed,
him snatching Christmas ornaments like nobody's business.

He's sucking on his socks to soothe the pain in his teeth,
and the only way to stop him is to put shoes on his feet!

And now he's stealing Momma's toothbrush to put in his mouth,
wondering when the rest of his teeth will come out.

He's meeting so many new people, learning to play with other babies,
and practicing being brave when he only wants Mommy and Daddy.

He signs to ask for food, drinks from a sippy cup,
and if you give him cereal, peas, bananas, or sweet potatoes he'll slowly eat them up!

He's scooting so far, to explore explore explore,
and smacking the springy stopper of the door.

Climbing on vents, under tables, in the laundry baskets, and finding wall sockets,
he's got the Mommy-Daddy rescue-me-card in his back pocket.

He's standing up with help, pushing the laundry basket to walk,
investigating the stairs, and using his hands to talk.

He's rolling in both directions, and sometimes on piles of books,
and loves to show off those "only Manzil can get away with this" looks.

Climbing on Grandma and Grandpa, giggling when Daddy tickles him,
singing with Mamma, and sleeping through his fingernail trim.

He'll let you clean him up in the shower in a jiffy,
but he escapes diaper changes better than Houdini.

He loves live music performances from friends,
he is sucking his thumb less,
and teaching so much to his parents,

Manzil, he is definitely the best,
We are loving every single moment!


Friday, January 5, 2018

8 Years

Dear Dan,

Eight years since that sunny day
When we danced our way
To a beginning so new
You could smell the vernix off of it
Like these new born days
Those days were filled with
Forgotten expectations
Some degree of unpreparedness
Sleepless nights

Our baby marriage has grown into a
Sweet eight year old
So much that has been taught
And so much still to learn

I wish nothing more than to see our
marriage age into wisdom and grandness

I love you,


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Good Night, Baby

Dearest Manzil,

Every evening when it's just about time
when you start to get ready to
dream your precious breaths into the night
I feel the day becoming water
slipping through my hands
my fingers grasping at every drop
any drop of the day

There's nothing to hold on to though
the day ends
another day goes by

I'm left with that same yearning
at the end of a vacation

I play back the day in
Black Mirror style
Feel my mouth letting out a little smile
watching you try something for the first time
Sliding on the upturned laundry basket,
pulling yourself up
munching on bananas
playing hide-and-seek with the sun

I don't feel ready to say good night

Some other days
every muscle in me feels wrung
overdried like stale raisins

Those days I grasp at time
like it's the very slippery rock at the very slippery edge of a very slippery cliff
My tired body pulls me down faster than gravity can imagine
I pretend I'm under the surface of the ocean
in Manuel Antonio
with rainbow-colored fish ignoring me
and hugging me all at once

Every inch of me
is ready to say good night

I can't wait to see that barely-two-toothed
smile in the morning

Good night, my sweet baby.

I love you,


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I wish I could

Dear Manzil,

I wish I could walk into a room of
people completely different from me and
not want to run and hide

Not want to wish I was white or a man
or skinny or tall or less freckled

Maybe they would mansplain, whitesplain, and body-shame me a little less?

Maybe they'll try to not proclaim how we live in a post-racist non-heteronormative world where fires that consume us are just smokey products of coincidence

Maybe they'll try to not tell me that I am walking on glass floors that used to be ceilings and that mothers want everything and can have it too

Maybe they'll listen when I anger and when I question without needing to tell me I'm
over-caring, over-thinking, over-feeling, over-being, over-asking

I am underwhelmed by their inability to step outside of their privilege
Perhaps it's overwhelming to see that my otherness is so utterly otherly

I wish they would know
I don't have excellent English speaking skills
They have a poor knowledge of history

When they don't know where Mali is
Or that India is in a different time zone
They don't get to tell me that we live in a post-racist not-ethnocentrist United States

If they decided to sit-out their right to vote
They don't have right to tell me global climate change is a hoax

But these dualities are not alone

The world is really very very grey
But that doesn't make mansplaining and gaslighting something that's in your head

And it doesn't make it so you won't do it yourself

Being partially white, assigned male at birth, and born into an educated, privileged family in this city
You don't control

But if you mansplain, whitewash, or choose to not question your privilege
Then, my dear, we need to talk

Because, Manzil,
I wish I could walk into a room of
People completely different from me and
Not want to run and hide

And I wish you never have to experience that

I love you,


Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Dear Manzil,

I wish I could capture just how
Powerful your mornings are

The moment before you flash
That barely-two-toothed smile at

When the stench of decaying hope keeps me awake or wakes me

Some days all it really takes is you looking at me
Like I have all the answers

I know that you know that I'm learning with you
Learning that all it really takes is unfiltered

To make it through the day

I love you,


Monday, January 1, 2018

Old Ways

Dear Manzil,

You smell new
Every inch of you
Every moment with you
Oozes newness
Pushing the old out of me
New clothes
New sounds
New perspectives
New mistakes
New challenges
Even as I get older
You make me feel new
And whole

A new year began today
But you woke up just like you did

You still feel new
Your little hand on my heart
Reminds me that it wasn't too long ago
Our hearts beat as one

You are new
Like the pages of a freshly published book
The first line of a poem being read for the first time
The first bite of a warm cookie
You are new

And I'm so new
At giving up my old ways

I love you,