In this world, there is a fragile child

There is a cry lodged
There at the farthest most upper reaches
There at the roof of my mouth.

There, its origin may be found in between
There in between an exhale and an inhale
There where an ujjiyai breath washes over it.

There is not a wet cry
There lies a very ancient dry cry
There where it’s drier than a long suckled Japanese well.

There is nothing to do
There but notice how stuck
There to the roof is a cry.

There must be a way to dislodge such a cry from
There so I may be free from the horrors
There seem to be inhabiting the world of all children.

There in Nigeria
There in Syria
There in Hannaton

There once was a girl
There still is a boy
There are children who stick to the roof of my mouth like peanut butter choking me so that the word guttural rhymes with suffering rhymes with flutter in my chest rhymes with a man muttering

“do you want a ride?”

There is nothing to do
There but notice how stuck
There to the roof of my throat is

There really no place for my child
There or here  for my inner child?
There is only a lodged cry

There where
There should be
There could be flowing wet breath.

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Craving life

One of the major down sides of social media for me is access to second degree sadness.

I just don’t need it.

Sorry if that sounds cruel, harsh.

But it’s true.

I’m a sensitive girl already.

I feel people’s eyes. Their frantic glances, their furrowed brows.

I’m pained by the way they walk with their head down low.

I’m frightened when their steps get heavy behind me.

I’m deathly afraid of a silence that emanates from thousands of miles away. Because it must mean that something is very wrong.

I absorb another’s anger as if it’s mine

And I jump high at a cough from another room or from a firecracker from across the street or from a chair falling backwards with the wind.

I’m easily startled.

As much as I love how connected we all are through the technology webs, I am also overwhelmed sometimes by

sadness.

Death, sickness, loss, hunger, pollution, destruction.

Hurricanes, typhoons, murder, suicide, bullying, anorexia, drug overdose, car accident.

Cancer, anaphylaxis, SIDS, amputation, chemical warfare.

Cancer.

The photographs, the videos, even the messages of love and care sent from strangers to other strangers.

They all hurt my heart.

My heart can’t hold the sadness, though it’s soft with compassion,

it’s too too thin for the empathy.

And while sometimes my heart can hold it all,

Other times it feels filled up.

Like right now.

Tragedy, one-degree removed,

is life at 40.

Until it’s tragedy, no degree removed.

It was like this, I imagine, for my mother and her mother.

At 40, you start to know sick people, and people caring for sick people, and people who have lost people.

And you start to be afraid you are soon going to be one of those people. Or more than one. All three.

I am afraid.

And while I know that my fear is not a new one, not one invented by me or my generation, there’s something so much more vivid about this knowledge when it’s brought to you in full-color, in a row of announcements on the monitor in front of you via social media

every day, every few hours, every touch of a button

it’s there.

I need a newsfeed of life.

Call me naive, call me ungrateful, call me callous, call me whatever you like, but this is what I need.

A newsfeed of life.