Monday, September 24, 2018


How is it possible
For you to just this way
So much that I can't feel my leg
Or my back
You own my body
Its pain
And I paid a lot for it


Stood Up

Not my
It's you
Still, my heart broke a little
And I bought flowers to repair it


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Watered Up

I wish I could find all of the words
In all of the world
To tell you just how it felt
To feel bubbles the size of buses being popped on your head
To hear the sea lions bark with my ear hugging yours
To feel our hair most from our own see and the ocean below
Stuck to our faces and the backs of our necks
I'm really struggling to find the words
So I guess these will just have to do


Friday, September 21, 2018

I'm lost

I didn't realize it
That I was never really found
And the woods are so deep
I don't remember ever setting foot in them


Thursday, September 20, 2018


You're ready to say so much
And yet you are holding it in
You reserve your words in loud exclamations
Ready for any occasion


Wednesday, September 19, 2018


That's so funny
You said
Through tears that didn't seem remotely happy


Time to Go

You reek
Even when I air you out
Even when I scrub every inch of you
You torment me
And you must go


Monday, September 17, 2018

Nothing in Here

Each day is such a mighty act
Of just getting by
And getting through
Without completely losing it


Sunday, September 16, 2018


I didn't ever realize I was looking
I didn't know what I didn't have
I hadn't seen what I couldn't find
Until I found you


Are You Concerned?

Does it bother you
When we're headed in the wrong direction
And you didn't realize
Or do you pretend unit didn't notice and keep moving
Just in case you stumble into righteousness?


Friday, September 14, 2018

Look At Me

A few years ago
I couldn't say this
Was remotely possible
So much would've come in the way
Mostly me, I would've come in my way
And lost sleep and been disappointed
And disappointed
But all I can say now is
Look at me


Thursday, September 13, 2018

How Low?

Really, how low is too low
Before you crumble and let go?


Stuck Still

I can't feel my feet anymore
I've been standing with my feet dig in for so long
It's hard and sticky, this ground
I wish it were the golden sand
Being drowned by relentless yet gentle waves
But, no
This is quicksand
This is tar
This is a mess
And I'm stuck


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cold like an Avalanche

I was trying so hard not to catch it
Tried to slow down
Tried to catch my breath
But every time
My feet caught up
And I caught it



Another one come and gone
Will you chase it
As it runs far far away from you?


Sunday, September 9, 2018


All it has ever taken
One woman standing up for
All it ever takes is for one
To hold the other up


Saturday, September 8, 2018

High Energy

Dear M,

I love all of you,
I love that part of you that's all energy
I love that part of you that's ready to explore
I hope you never change
I hope you always know

You light up my world,



Even in the face of absolute terror
We have it in us to find a speck of beauty
And that little speck sometimes
Is all we get to
Hold on to
And nurture till it becomes a flame


Thursday, September 6, 2018

New Things

Dear Bumpy,

We miss you everyday! You were our first and you have seen us through so much. Today, we got a new thing. It looks like you, but different. We remembered you and miss you.

Thank you.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018


I thought another one of you was about to pop out
And the pain caused nausea
And the pain made my arms numb
And the pain made me hyperventilate
Till I thought I was going to pass out


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

I am worth it

Sometimes I feel unworthy of my dreams
That I see in the secrecy of my sleep
Soo, especially on the mornings after
I work with myself
Persuading myself
That I'm worth every glimmering
Speck of my dream


Monday, September 3, 2018

Hold Tight

On Friday night
I thought to myself
Monday night was so far
Last night
It had sprung up on me
Before I had the chance to soak it all in
To hold tight


Sunday, September 2, 2018

Open Up

I learn to give birth to such beauty
Whenever I open up to the unknown
Like bringing a being into life
And out into the world
Through a mere opening of what is used to being shut tight
And so much beauty can come
Feeling opening doors that have always been closed



Thanks for being there
So we don't have to
Do this
Even though we have some a rather decent job
Of pretending we can
So far
At least


Friday, August 31, 2018

Goodbye August

Days filled with heat
That we hardly felt
And nights of cooling breeze
That we came to know a bit
New moments
Plane trips
And so many hellos
New firsts
It's been a long one
So with love and joy,
I say goodbye


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Good Times. Old Times.

It's almost as though
No time has elapsed
Yet here we are
With 3 more in tow
Still anchored by
Memories of cooking
Late night surprising
Loving and more


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

And Done

It happened so fast
Yet took so long
And such a village to make it happen


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Call to Conscience

We were all called
To stand up tall
As we witnessed our own privilege
Of being on this side of the wall
To unpack all of this
Is to sit with all this trauma
That we have made others endure


Monday, August 27, 2018

Where Were We?

Dear Manzil,

Today you were on your own
No mamma or daddy
mamma was off talking to communities
And Daddy off teaching geometry
I know it's new
And I know you're being brave
And maybe you even wondered
Where we were

Right here. Always with you,


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Little Legs

I can still see it
When you stood so bold
And moved with your new found courage
The world had nothing on you

The world has nothing on you
But it'll sure try
It'll try to bring you down
To its deepest most rocky core

Its deepest most rocky core
Will on its best days
Threaten to swallow you whole
Maybe even stifle the air out of you

The air out of you may try to leave
But you run after it, grab it, and swallow it whole
Just like life itself, just like your first little run
On your two little legs


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Gotta Face It

Dear Manzil,

There will be a lot of things you don't like about me. And even though I don't get a vote, I do hope you will like about me that I work hard to spreal directly to people. Especially to those I care deeply about.

I love you,


Friday, August 24, 2018


What flavor will you be today?
A little sugary dream sprinkled in
Will add to your deliciousness
And I can't wait to eat you up



You fell
And it made my heart leap
I thought you were two feet
Stumbling in your errors
Finding your way in the dark


Wednesday, August 22, 2018


You never learned to give the benefit
Of your doubt
Doing dubious things
With no one to question your


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

That's a crazy question

No questions are stupid
But some questions are crazy
Especially when asked
When the answer is not something
You're ready to hear


New Sights, Old Eyes

I see you
In ways I hadn't before
In ways I want sure I needed to
And certainly didn't want to
And you showed me new things
That opened my old eyes


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Why are you here?

Your ableism allows you
To be here
Or maybe my classism questions it


Saturday, August 18, 2018


It could've been better
But that means that I now can see
That I'm better
And that I see myself as better
Than I've ever been


Friday, August 17, 2018


I never learned
How to notice
The good things
When good things happened
I was too busy counting down
To the next bad one
To relish in the good
But you said
Life's too short
To only soak in the bad
And I need to learn to listen


Thursday, August 16, 2018


You were just standing there
Alerting us off your presence
Flashy and beaten down
As unsure as I
About what do next


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

So Full of You

You know how my happiest of places is
Somewhere I go with my eyes closed?
Floating in water so clear
I can count the number of stripes on that fish
The air smells wet
It tastes so sweet
I want to let it swallow me whole
But I don't
There won't be me anymore
To make this place my half


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Biting My Nose

Do you realize how
much you make me smile when
you giggle and take my nose in
your mouth
It refines my sense of smell
And hones my sense of humor


Monday, August 13, 2018

I Expect

It was born when a little part of me
Still, I decided I needed to rise
I know I can



Exhaustion and excitement are
Indeed so close
They both let a person forget
Where one started
In excited exhaustion
Or exhausting excitement



What is the root of this friendship
That is bonded by birth
And bounded by life
Will it see itself into the future
Or quietly shrivel inside



The center of a mandala
Is the same place that stores
My beating heart
It's the base of the tallest mountain
The edge of the harshest of oceans
Right before the floor falls
And my feet have to decide
To wade or give in


Friday, August 10, 2018

You Will See Too

It's taking me a while
I've had to find the perfect
And still there are days
When I just cannot see
I look at you from every angle
I stand on my head
I peek under elbows
Are you even there?


Thursday, August 9, 2018

I'll Try

I promise I do
For a while now
I wake up
Earnest in my attempts
And I go to bed
Promising myself to try harder
The question I have though is,
Will you?


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

What's Your Intent?

Last I checked,
I needed no saving
I didn't need a website telling me how
to raise a kind human
I do need some tools to tell
People like you to mind your own business
And maybe even
To save yourself
Do you know where I can find that?



Will you remember me
When you start to leave me
Will my voice echo somewhere in your mind
Even as I work on quieting down


Monday, August 6, 2018

Learning to Sleep

Such a small thing
We learn to avoid it
Disrespect it
Pretend like it doesn't mean much
Revere it, hell, even crave it
We learn to share it
Give it
And struggle to find it
But never have I appreciated it more than
Watching you learn to do it


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Keep your pants on

What is it about you men
That you can't share?
You can't handle divided attention
Even though you've got your balls on you
Your incapable of producing much
Does that piss you off?
Make you want to show me who's boss?
You're the one tied up though
As I walk free


Friday, August 3, 2018

I Saw You

Last night
You arrived in you form
But also not
And it was the not that makes me want to see you again
But it's the you that reminds me to run

So tonight, I'll run


Thursday, August 2, 2018


Maybe there will never be
A place I can call mine
And maybe it won't matter
Because I have places that call me theirs


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Souls and Cups

If I still lived here
Would I still be as flooded with
Happy memories
Or would the struggles blind me
So neither soul nor cup were filled?


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

For Y

Roots, shoots, twigs, and leaves
I am each and every one of these
And really, have I even lived unless I know
What it feels like to have had them broken?
To have had them plucked from me like the very insides of me are being chosen specifically to be
It took me a better part of three decades to learn
That I'm also trunk, branch, bark, and weeds
I can birth new saplings from the hardened skin I grow
And shed what is diseased and what must go
I am planted, grounded, and I've learned to pick up and leave
I know how to change colors if I'm put in that position
I know how to soak up the rain, I know how to brave a famine
I can grow in the wettest crevices and the most hostile of sand
And I know how to spread love without being asked, I know how to change as seasons demand
I reserve the right to choose to wilt
I am entitled to house every bird and the nest they've built
So what if I'm the y of the x?
So what if I don't know what's next?
So what if I have to uproot to become free?
So what if all my branches don't understand me?
Yes, I will break and wilt and wither
After all, I am twigs, branches, and weeds
I am shoots, trunk, and bark
But I will also begin again,
And I know how to restart -
Because, you see,
I'm also seeds.



It's been almost ten years
That I've tried to sneak in
Hell, I've even tried to barge by way in
Breaking down windows
And shattering walls
Though I made it in
I'm not so sure I belong
I still smell of outside



It hurts because this
Goodbye is not just bitter
And it's sweetness is disconcerting
Because I wonder if I'm not
The only one
To think it's sweet


Saturday, July 28, 2018


When my day is supremely banal
Is when I'm most terrified about closing my eyes
Knowing that when they open
The world would've turned without my consent
Without a care whether my life will stay the same
Or stand on its head


All in one day

Old patterns
New endings
Missed middles
All misled by no one in particular


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Enough is More Than Enough

There is no such thing as once again
I will not forgive
And I have not forgotten


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Head Banging

While we jumped
You lay dreaming
Did you see us
Missing you?
We danced with you
Even from afar


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I Know Why

I know me
And I know me well
So I know when I rumble
It's usually because I'm breaking
I know when I laugh
It's usually because I'm aching
And I know why you do the same
Because I know me
I know why


Monday, July 23, 2018

To My Paul Stadler

What if life were as karmically perfect
That our Pauls had no beginning
Or that perfect ending
So we could tell different stories
To our daughters
To our sons?


Sunday, July 22, 2018


It's been so long
I've forgotten what safe smells like
How it feels
When you've arrived
And you're not being chased


In My Head

So much to say
All those voices
In my head can't,
Won't - shut up
If only I could silence them for
Just a moment
I could hear my screams


Saturday, July 21, 2018


How come I can feel you
Even when you're (definitely) not there?
Do you feel me,
Fear me?
When your far from me?


Thursday, July 19, 2018

She Became Him

All those years of running so far
She didn't realize it was
A circle
Only when she stood in front of him
Did she see it was just a mirror


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fly Away

Her fear had wings
of its own
Nothing really stopped it
from leaving her so far behind
She simply had no choice but
to go looking for her courage


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Not too bad

Didn't ask for much
But got more than I would've
If I had asked for some
What should I do with today?
Maybe pocket it safely for another
When things fall deeper
Than even
Rock bottom


Monday, July 16, 2018

What Now?

Where do we go
When we've run so far
From where we all began
That we've forgotten what Yesterday looks like
What will you bring to us, Tomorrow?


Sunday, July 15, 2018


My voice seeps through,

Until every word is soaked in it.

Can you tell it's me,

Even if it doesn't have my have on it?


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sound Baths

Do I have to immerse myself
In the noises of yesterday
To write the songs of tomorrow?


Friday, July 13, 2018

Why Again?

When my body has just recently learned to live in itself again
It decides it's time to take a little lie down again
Question is: will those around me stand strong?


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Such good popcorn

Sometimes it doesn't have to be grand
Or exquisite
Or superlatively extraordinary
Sometimes, all it has to be is
A bowl of really good popcorn


Wednesday, July 11, 2018


Inch by inch
And bit by bit
You chip away
Until all I'm left with it
Is a broken down version
Of this idea of me


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ice Cream

It's the little things
That's how I show I care
I'm rarely on time
But I'll show up in the middle of the darkest night
I can't always keep all parts moving at once
But I'll pick up your pieces with you
I show care, love, and respect in different ways
And sometimes I just buy you ice cream


Monday, July 9, 2018

That's This Life

That's the thing about this life
This is all we get
This is all we get to build and be in
This is all we get to spoil and ruin
Which poisons will you choose
Which rock bottoms will pick you
How often will you burn
How will you know which way to turn
Their answers may not be clear
These questions may never become yours
Either way, it's really upto you
What you do with this
That's this life


Sunday, July 8, 2018

Those Voices

Shhhh, I tell them
Actually, I try to shout over them
But how can someone hear you
When all their job is to talk
And not listen
That's why they're called voices, not ears
The problem is though that those voices are right here
They're my voices
These voices


Saturday, July 7, 2018


Mamma bird flies off
And if I were completely honest
I thought very much about
That terrible Black Mirror episode
In which that mother can see everything her daughter is doing
What did you see?
What did you think?
When did you notice we weren't there?
How did you feel?
My heart wept and soared
Because I've never not known what you're doing
And I've never done my own thing
Not like today
And it was hard
Very very hard


Friday, July 6, 2018


All the things you are
you came to be outside of me
thirteen months ago
I see you walk
and I remember when you could barely move your neck from side-to-side
Nowadays, you run
with both arms in the air
saving some poor helpless toys from their misery
of merely sitting on the floor
(and one toy in your mouth too)
you seemed to have forgotten how to sleep through the night
but we're hopeful that will come back to you
Thirteen brought your toddlerhood to fullness
Toddler-tantrums, toddler-tinkering, and general terrific toddledom
You have ridden in a train, flown across oceans, and entertained numerous strangers on bus rides
We saw fireworks through your eyes
We witnessed your hidden turtle come alive in the pool
We've watched you try new foods
and throw the ones you don't like all over the floor
You've been toying with saying, "All done!" "quack quack!"
And seem to have a growing collection of your favorite books
Your love for snakes confuses your Mamma
And your penchant for wheelbarrowing mid-diaper change confuses your Daddy
But overall, I'm happy to report, we aren't too puzzled
We love you, happy 13th month to you!


Thursday, July 5, 2018

When Children Grow

A mirror is what we look into
So we get when it's hot
Baby's feeling hot
But when baby screams
And we're not frustrated
That mirror cracks a bit


Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Sometimes in life
Shit just happens
And when it does
Your strength is measured
By how you'll clean up


Monday, July 2, 2018

Dress Up

You can wear what you want to
As long as we know which box to stuff you into
You can speak as you wish
As long as you sound like us
You can eat what you like
As long as we know what it is
You can be who you want to be
Or so they tell me
I really wish I could believe them


Sunday, July 1, 2018


It's very possible to break
That fortune cookie
Into two ways parts
Of course,
There will be many crumbs shed
And each part may not end up whole
But I still think
It would be worth if they were both split
In the middle


How are you?

How am I?
I am wet. I have been trying to wash away my anxiety for the last hour.
How am I?
I am burning. The cuts in my knuckles are valleys. Through them run rivers of soap and water that still don’t make me feel clean.
How am I?
I am uncertain. Which voice should I listen to? The one telling me that my windpipe is in a knot and is tightening around itself, or the one telling me to breathe?
How am I?
I am alive. And for now that will have to do.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Knot and The Twist

I want to tell you all about this struggle
Deep in my chest
Where my insides are all twisted
And this knot is so tight
From being pulled
By by head on the one end
And my heart on the other
Which will win, I'm uncertain
What if though, neither do
And I'm left with nothing but
Little fragments of what used to be


Friday, June 29, 2018


The way you squint your eyes
Melts me
How did you learn to do this?
Are you squinting away sunshine
Or allowing in sweet wishes?


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Mi esposo es muy inteligente

Apart from being radically lovely,
I also am so very lucky
To have found my very own smart hunky
In my own version of a dream rainy day


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

I Put You On Mute

I'm determined,
She said.
To no one in particular,
Other than the voice in her head
I'm not them
They aren't me
Life is grand
In the ordinary
Still, she searches
For what she's unsure
I think it's her
That she's looking for


Behind because of flying

Such a bizarre feeling
To know you could be doing
What you ought to be
9 hours from now
Time moves funnily
When you move through its barriers
Breaking then one at a time
With the speed of jet fuel
On your side


Monday, June 25, 2018

What do you see?

Just one day
I want to look in the mirror
And hear something kind
Kind and giving
Without questions and hinged consequences
Kind, like a plumeria bud
That gives without needing a lot
Maybe, one of these days
I'll allow myself that sweet pleasure
Of something kind


Sunday, June 24, 2018


Just maybe
You will come and stay
A while
And when you decide it's time to move on
Leave behind
Sugary dreams
And a body ready to face the day


Hello, Home

Dear Home,

I walked in and I smelled you right away-
You smell nice
You smell of hot running water
I take for granted
You smell of smoke-free air
That's loving to my lungs
You smell of familiarity
Sounds, people, family
You smell of clean accessible toilets
With automatic flushes and faucets
You smell of memories
Sweet and troublesome, and importantly, mine
You smell of spaces so green, my eyes hurt
Where I don't have to pre-check the grass for cigarette butts
And you smell of fear
Fear so wretched
It's keeping me up at night
Regardless of this regardless jet lag
You smell of broken hopes and families
Of colonial promises kept
Of screams of little voices stuck in my inner ear for these timely nights when sleep hunts for nightmares
You smell of sweaty palms
At the border, even with my passport in my them
I'm breathless
Trying to catch up with the news
With a world that takes babies away from their mammas
Stamps them with numbers, shrouds them in masks
Leaves them to be painted white-
Like history.
Impeccable strokes of pearl, mascarpone, chantilly lace, and snowy cascades
Sweeping over holes left where old pictures hung
Holes where black and brown bodies dreamed  everyday dreams, like wishing they're not a statistic
Holes from bullets leaving clear paths for our blood to leave us,
Denied the stories of our past
So you can be monochromatic
You smell of overripe torment
Of freshly brewing tyranny
And burnt tomorrows.

And I need some air.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Goodbye, Granada

An exciting Friday began this journey
Onwards we headed to southern lands
Only to barely make it
To our part two of three

A baby who won't sleep
Nurse, or eat
But charm those around him
Into forgiving him

Bassinet didn't work
But his smiles did
And so we landed in lovely Madrid
The baby area was a life-saver
With places to run, crawl, and change a poopy diaper
A quick lunch and on we went
To our final destination

Granada only welcomed 2 of 3 parts of our luggage
But Manzil had the time of his life
Riding without his baggage

It wasn't the last of his car rides without his seat
Pretty sure he thought it was a superb feat
Got to an apartment fully equipped
With a stroller, baby bath, high chair, and crib

Got settled in, and stepped out to get some food
Mercadona was ready and waiting
Filled with yummies so good
Chocolate croissants and lactose-free milk
Got us settled in delicious ways
Naps and a late night feast in Plaza Nuevo
We were in love again with late nights and long days

Though Manzil decided day was night, and night day
And so Mamma and he had late night feasts and played
This lasted an exhausting 4 nights
And then he got in shape just in time for Nani's arrival
Daddy headed to Seville and Ronda for a night
While Mummy, Manzil, and Nani saw many sights
Nothing like the Corpus Christi festivities right before
But so much fun stories, art, and local lore

A grand birthday celebration with churros y chocolate under Alhambra's waning sun
And just like that, Manzil turned one
Madrid, trains, parks, and buses were next
We said bye bye to Nani as she headed far from west
Mummy got a little bug, but nothing too rotten
We still got a car and explored caves and palaces long forgotten
Soon it was time to say goodbye
To our favorite walks, fountains, heladerias, cervezerias, panaderias, cafeterias, sangrias, and more
Granada, we will be back, so for now, hasta pronto


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Be The Little Wonder

Let the world guide you a bit
In losing parts of you
So little pieces of you can be found
There's so much fun
In discovering a part of you
You've never known before
What if though, you don't want to?
Will you discovering self understand?


Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Skin on skin
Even in the cold
And yet when you burn
All I feel is my cold sweat
Freezing me


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Judge Less

I try to be less like him
But, no buts
I have to be less like him
Even if most of me
Is him
And comes from him
Still, I am holding the pen
To my book
And he doesn't even know what it's called anymore


Monday, June 18, 2018

Our Precious

Nights like these
Are made of dreams
So delectable and dripping
With wishes that have come true
Gratitude is my favorite flavor
And it's the special tonight


Sunday, June 17, 2018


Daddy, or Addy as our miracle might say,
Is made of all snuggles on the rocking chair
Or baritone lalalaaas in the car
Addy is made of giggles at the dinner table
And long walks to the lake
Addy is made of flying in the air
And drumming in every surface
Addy is made of kissies and tight squeezes
And cold compresses during a fever
Addy is all of you,
And I'm so grateful for that


Sit Up

When life issues you warnings
You ought to heed
Or nights become hard
And days too long to count


Friday, June 15, 2018

You Got This!

You're so strong
Some days I see iron oozing out of you
Like the smelting source of strength
You remind me that I'm so lucky
To have you on my team


Thursday, June 14, 2018


Come out and let's look at you in the eyes
Take your gooey unwanted self
Away from me

Here I am
Fighting for you
Emerging from every crevice
To help protect you


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Sweetest Thing

Dear Manzil,

Right now, you are asleep on my chest. Your tummy is on mine and they're doing a tango of sorts as we figure out how to synchronize our breaths. There is so much, so so much, terrible in this world. But right now, in this moment, the world seems alright. Perfect, even.

Thank you for that gift.

I love you,


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Too too fast

Dear Manzil,

Your toddledom is going by too fast, even though we're only 6 days into it. Time truly is a function of distance and speed. Time seems to move much slower here in Granada. Like there's absolutely no hurry to let the feet of the clock's overtake you on the sidewalk. They call our walking pace "The American Sidewalk Rage". There's really no rush and really no need to justify when you want to have a cup of coffee or that second glass of sangria. Maybe it feels even slower because we're so far from home? I wonder what stories we'll remember from our time here to tell you, when you're older, of times when time stood still.

Timelessly, yours,


Monday, June 11, 2018

Be Bravest

I tell my little heart
When the loud voices in my brain
Drown out all logic
All ability to realize,
No, remember,
That I only can do
So little
So, my little heart
Contend with that
And you will roar


Sunday, June 10, 2018


Sometimes your firsts are my seconds
And the other way around
Sometimes, we see eye to eye
And our firsts are aligned
But our true strengths emerge
When something that's on my list
Doesn't even appear on yours


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mad in Madrid

So much to smell
Really take in
Every sight
Taste every smell
Long bodies tucked tightly under
Orange and black sleeping bags
On ramps between flights of stairs
With a small cigarette sticking out
For fresh air


Friday, June 8, 2018

Dreamy Giggles

Dear Manzil,

Today, you giggled as you slept. It reminded me that even dreams can be made of sweetness. I hope I dream of you tonight. Giggling.

I love you,


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Don't Even Try

I hate puzzles
I hated that they don't come easy
And when they do
They have a spectacular way of making you feel stupid
I hate the act of feeling deceived by a random collection of cardboard pieces
Or numbers, or missing letters
They make me feel slow, stupid, and like I'm missing something

But there's something about solving them that I get
I understand, hell, I'm almost hooked to that feeling of things falling into place
Of the sound of that click
Or the perfection of a snug letter to bring a string of other letters to life
Most of all though,
I think I like that feeling
So falsely there
That makes me feel
Like I actually control something


Wednesday, June 6, 2018


The lines in your hands
Are small enough to hold a year's worth of stories
Some can be told quickly,
Though some may take longer
Each holds within it
All of the everything
Of the last 365 days
And my dear sweet baby,
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy birthday!


Birth of a Mother: All the things you are teaching me

My Dear Manzil,

Here I am, attempting to breathe all of this in...the best way I know how.

I started writing this when you were 21 days old and I was still wrapping this up as you turned 273 days old and I finished writing this when you turned 9 months old. 9 months in and 9 months out! And here you are, a full 365 days old, today!

You are here. I wish I could slow down time and hold on to your day oneness and twoness and so on, but time, as you will learn (and you are so effectively reteaching me), only moves forward. Whether or not you're ready to move with it.

So as to not be left behind, your Mamma, is doing what she knows to do best to hold on to the ephemeral - write about it.

Before I write to you about how our lives have been magical and in the nicest way ever Upside Down (we'll watch Stranger Things together one day ; ), I want to write to you about how our world began to change exactly 12 months ago today.

On June 4th, your estimated date of arrival, I woke up with a sense of excitement. It was like any other day in the past week though. My body didn't feel that different than the day before. I woke up, got ready, and we were heading to the farmer's market because I was craving that cherry almond croissant! It was a cooler day and I wished I had had a jacket on me. The bakers were out of the croissant, but we wandered and found some yummy food nonetheless! We got home and rested, our usual afternoon routine. In the evening, I started noticing more-than-usual wetness. I waited and monitored, and then around 7:15pm decided to call the midwife line and to see what they had to say.

Throughout the day, Daddy and I were doing some big and small things we had been putting off - cleaning the patio, fixing these puppets, getting some final things ready before you arrived. Some were trivial, some significant. It should've been my signal that you were getting ready to come.

The midwives have always called back in an hour. Except that day. It was 8:30pm when I called back to reach someone again. They called back soon after and the on-call midwife said, "You sound worried, why don't you come in to triage and we'll take a look."

Nani had made cheeni-ka-paratha that night. It was what she ate the night I was born 30 years ago. We finished our dinner, put away the food in the fridge, and left home. I half-believed it was time, half-thought we would be back in our bed that night. We got to triage around 9:30pm and waited patiently for the midwife and nurses to run their tests. Turns out I was slightly more dilated, but really not much more effaced and though in pre-labor, not leaking any amniotic fluid. Cleared to go home!

Right before we were leaving, the midwife saw me scratching the soles of my feet. Dan and I looked at each other and thought to mention that though they had been monitoring my bile levels, I had definitely been more itchy in classic cholestasis fashion for the past few days. When she heard this, it became clear that she was more concerned. She explained to us the risk, though low, of still birth. We understood and waited to hear our options. I was not in active labor and didn't want to be induced. But, I was to term and keeping you in me any longer wouldn't have made a lot of difference. On the other hand, if it was cholestasis, the bile level results wouldn't come back for another few days, and the stakes were high, even if statistically the risk was low.

We were given a choice: be monitored at home or be monitored at the hospital. Either way, we were disqualified from the birthing center and we would need to be monitored. At around 11pm, we decided to stay in the hospital to have access to the best care possible. They swept my membranes and we all tried in vain to sleep. Over the next 12 hours, they continued to sweep my membranes to hasten labor. I started cramping on the night of June 4th and continued over the next 18 hours. Nani, Daddy, and I were all in the hospital room and none of us got much sleep. Mashi and Masha were on their way to the hospital too!

We were excited on the 5th! Having read many many books, watched many many videos, talked to many moms, and having taken classes on the labor process, I had a feeling your arrival was close. I was about 2 cms dilated throughout the day. But I was hopeful. Finally, after about 24 hours of close monitoring and receiving cervical ripening agents, I wasn't making that much progress, and we agreed to begin induction. They began me on a very slow drip of oxytocin. It was to mimic my own body's production. Nonetheless, it pushed my contractions, which had begun the day before, to a new level. They became more intense, but still spread apart. Daddy and Mashi took turns to walk with me on the hospital floor. By this time, we had seen a few rotations of nurses and had our favorites and ones we weren't too excited to see again! Mashi and Masha had brought doughnuts for the nurses, so as we walked around, we kept getting smiles and thanks from nurses. This was nice, but didn't ease my discomfort as I walked around with the monitor strapped on my shoulder and a pink and a blue strap around my belly. Every four minutes or so, we needed to stop and I had to hold onto Daddy/Mashi/the hand rail in the hallway of the delivery floor of the hospital. This continued for about 4 hours.

Later that night, my contractions picked up pace. Our doula told us later that when you get induced, it often feels like one long continuous contraction. Speaking of doula...

UCSD has a pretty spectacular volunteer doula program. Their rules are simple: when you get admitted, ask for a doula. Catch: they will only call in a doula when you are 5 cms dilated. It wasn't easy getting to this point, and our nurse, who had been watching me struggle through my contractions, called in a doula when I was still only about 3 cms dilated. Thank goodness she did that! At around 11:30pm, they upped my oxytocin dose and that's when my one long contraction began. I kept wondering what you must be feeling through it all. All of our childbirth classes, books, and sage advice from other moms helped me understand just why we have contractions. I have seen videos of balloons with ping-pong balls in them and watched lots of videos explaining the pain-fear-tension triangle. But none of it prepared me for the amazing and excruciating thing our bodies were going through. Mine - my muscle squeezing and releasing to evict you out of your home for nine months. Yours - moving about and getting into position to be squeezed out of a very small hole. That hole was getting bigger, and at the speed that it needed to. Our bodies were working together, but mine needed a little more help.

Sometime after midnight on the 6th, Daddy had been swaying with me, holding me, and squeezing my hips. Mashi and Masha were saying comforting things and taking turns to hold me. Nani was making sure I was staying hydrated. After trying to lie down, stand, walk (I didn't get far), squat, crouch, and sway, I asked the nurse if I could go sit in the shower. We weren't in the tub-room of the birthing center, but the labor and delivery room had an inflatable "shower chair". I sat on that and the hot water on my back helped a lot! Daddy, Mashi, Masha, and Nani took turns to sit with me. I don't know how long I was there for, but I remember Daddy telling me repeatedly that the doula was almost there.

At 1:15am, the doula walked in. Amanda! She was every bit as graceful, kind, supportive, and empowering (and then some) as I could have asked from a doula! Amanda didn't even set her bags down, she got right behind me in the shower (in that teeny-tiny space between then shower and the toilet!) and began applying pressure at all the right places. She assured me that I was doing my best and helped me breathe in all the most helpful ways. She got me moving on my feet, off my feet on the exercise ball, and held me up when I thought I was going to collapse. Most importantly, she gave Daddy and everyone else a much-needed break.

This went on for a few more hours. There was no "coming-and-going" of contractions; no spacing between them. They were an "it". One long, endless, excruciating, pelvis-killing experience. I vomited a few times, cried a lot, and tried to meditate a lot. We had my favorite candle, my favorite stuffy, my singing bowl, my meditation audio uploaded on my phone, and of course, my favorite people, all with me. Daddy tried to make me laugh and it worked sometimes! There were many moments when I didn't think I could make it. After about 5 hours of this one long continuous contraction, when I thought someone was sawing my hips off, and I couldn't feel any other part of my body, our midwife came in and essentially told us that we had the bulk of the hard work (pushing) still ahead of us. I wasn't dilated enough and my water still hadn't broken. She offered me pain medication and I took it. It gave me two hours of rest. The medicine wore off around 6 and the contraction(s) came back soon after. At around 7:15am, after much deliberation and many many tears (and feelings of immense confusion - gratitude, confusion, failure, disappointment, fear, relief) from me, I got an epidural. The midwife asked who I wanted in the room with me when I got it, and I asked for Amanda. She held and helped me through some difficult contractions through it all!

After the epidural, I was super confused about why everyone was telling me to sleep. I couldn't eat much from that point on, and I had thrown up most of what I had eaten before that. But I drank a lot of juice and water to keep my fluids up. I continued to meditate and heard many snippets of many conversations between everyone as I drifted in and out of epidural-induced sleep. The nurses kept checking your heart rate through the fetal monitor and Nani kept double-checking their work to make sure you were doing okay! You had so many of us looking out for you through every heart beat. I had to get an extra dose of oxygen occasionally to make sure we were both okay. They continued to check how dilated I was, and at around 11:15am, I was still only 6 cms dilated. A new midwife's shift began and she informed us that we may be looking at many more hours (and even into the night) before you made an appearance. At around 11:18am, our wonderful nurse, Annie, was checking our monitors when we all heard a pop on the monitor. I told her I felt something pop in me, even though I wasn't supposed to be feeling anything thanks to the epidural. Sure enough, my water had broken. Everyone's birth story is different. It struck me a few days before you were born that my water may not have a conventional story of breakage, and that was okay with me. Daddy and I only had one rule: anything to keep you and me safe.

They cleaned me up and Mashi and Masha went to get lunch. They went to Mama's Cafe and picked up some yummy sandwiches, even Daddy's favorite eggplant wrap! At around 12:30pm, I let our nurse know that I was feeling some pressure close to my vagina. If I recall correctly, my words were, "I am feeling like something's coming out, and I feel like pooping!" She said she would let the midwife know. I told her a few more times before our midwife walked in at 1:15pm (she was schedule to check on me around 2:30pm) and declared, "I hear you think you're ready to have this baby? Let's check, I doubt you're dilated more than 6 still."

I was dilated past 8 cms and almost completely effaced! Daddy had just stepped outside to eat his lunch when he was rushed back in. Our midwife made me do a few practice pushes, which helped my cervix to completely efface. Then, she stuck her hand in me and helped turn you a little to better position you (sorry, you were being turned in there!). At 1:35pm, I began pushing. She was encouraging and I had 2 medical students holding my legs up for me (thanks again, epidural) and Daddy holding my right hand, and Amanda holding my left. At one point, our midwife brought a mirror in so I could see you leaving me and entering this world. It was beautiful to watch you - YOU - coming out of me! I felt the pressure of every contraction, without any of the pain (thanks once more, epidural) and after 5 pushes, and a 2nd degree tear, you were out.

I remember our midwife handing you to my tired but enthusiastic hands. You were so small, so slippery, and she leaned in to give me a little more support. You were quiet for about 10 seconds and then yelped exactly as any baby should that's been spending 9 months brewing in a comfortable cocoon and just got evicted to this cold world. But mamma's warm happy hands had you. You smelled of all that is amazing, raw, and so pure. You looked so perfect. You were breathing and you were here. You latched on right away and I began my journey as being completely and utterly in love with you. Daddy had me in one hand and you in the other. Nani was inspecting to make sure we were fine. Mashi and Masha were trying to get pictures and videos. Everyone was crying, laughing, and just marveling at you - all of you! You had arrived.

You will hear this many many times in your life, Manzil - We come into this world alone. I have said that so many times and believed it until you came into this world. You are half me and half Daddy, and 100% you. You are 1/4 Nana, Nani, Grandma, and Grandpa. You are 100% you. You have Adam's head, and Mashi's smile. You are all you! I have thought so much about your experience of coming out of me (maybe there's an evolutionary reason we don't remember what that journey is like!). You were not alone. You didn't come out into this world alone. And you won't be alone as you go through it.

Always, with you, yours,

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This First Year

Dear Manzil,

This is your last day being zero years old
You have done much, and had many stories told
In your name, about you, stories big and tall
You fill us up, even though you may be small
Small you may be, our hearts grow bigger for you
To see how far you've come, makes us a happy two
Every day with you has made us grow and have fun
Can't believe it, and can't wait for you to turn one!

Happy almost birthday,


Monday, June 4, 2018

Not Again!

Feel better soon
That's all I can hope for
It would be so sad though
If this happened again


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Today, Last Year

You were getting ready
To find your way out
I was getting ready
For you to find a way in


Saturday, June 2, 2018


I'll have you know
That if you pull any baffoonery
I shall not stand for it
There's nothing less tolerable to me
Than to have my dignity pulled from under my feet
And no one
Not even you
Has that power over me


Friday, June 1, 2018

Birthday Month

Dear Manzil,

Here it begins!
My new favorite month in the year
I think about last year today
I was so anxious
So big
So ready to meet you
And here you are
It's my favorite month
And it's here

I love you,


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Even When It Scares You

When bumblebees confuse you
And the sun keeps hiding behind clouds,
I hope you'll keep trying to explore,
Even when it scares you


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

One More Week

A year ago
You had made yourself comfortable
Snug in me
Though you knew
Something was changing
I knew I was
I knew you were
And I loved you then
And I love you now


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Dreamy Nightmares

You are still what my nightmares are made of
It doesn't seem to matter
How I reconstruct my dreams
Or how carefully I handpick every inch of the interior walls of my fences
Fences I have built to keep you out-
Keep me so far in
You will forget how to find me in my nightmares


Monday, May 28, 2018

What will today hold?

Time is settling in
To a slow stop
Nothing to do
Nowhere to be
And you in my arms



Mind and heart
Rarely unite
Grey is the norm
In a world so black and white


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