Sadly, I don’t have a monopoly on pain.

Even when it expands to the point that I feel it,

drip, drip

from my pores,

no more room.

I try to contain it.

I swallow harder, its roughness scraping my throat – like sharp elbows refusing to relax as I push it down,

to where it belongs – unseen.

It marinades in my intestines.

It simmers when I read

about Trump, ICE, Syria, Racism, home, parents, who I was.

It bubbles, when I see Facebook growing, and


and growing,


Doing Nothing.

Falling in line with the script to refresh,

to like, to post,



Looking for something new.

Things. Ads. I want them.


But clean.

I want, I want, I want – to…

Do something.

Teach me how to Do Something –

Change Something,

Be Something –

or Someone


That what?

Holds a monopoly on Sadness?

Let me expand.

Let the sadness dissipate onto me,

filling every crevice and hidden space,

Let me absorb.

Let me gorge.

Swallow hard.

Shove it down,

like an overflowing trashcan.

Let me stomp it with my foot to shove it in,

make it fit.

Crumple it up until it’s light.


Help me make it light.

So I may see

a better tomorrow.

So I may see your kindness.

Be kind. Untangle yourself from:

selfishness; and

laziness; and

emotional lack of intelligence.

Be with me, one with me.

See that I suffer as much as you do.

And if you suffer as much as I do…

I understand.


Most of You Don’t.

Most of you have so very many


And your vote made me realize that

pain is subjective, and

Sadly, I don’t have a monopoly on pain.





12 year olds


As if the world’s borders ended where Boyle Heights and East LA became


Walking around the beige colored-lunch benches

by the student store

salivating at treats

50¢ I didn’t have

Into the bathroom with the metal reflectors

No glass for us

in East LA

My face a tan brown

lips lined with Jordana honey

hair half pulled back into a tight mean bun

I’m looking at You

Our blindingly white collar polo shirts tucked into our rolled up mini uniform plaid skirts

Trying so desperately to be


To the chain link fence that surrounded the blacktop PE area

our brown fingers grazed that fence as we walked towards the running field

holding on tightly as potholes broke our gait

And I grabbed on and looked out



And while they hollered a “Heeeey!” in response to the high school and above guys dressed in their Chinos, crisp white t-shirts and Nike Cortez, I

faltered. Not wanting a part of it. No desire to be looked at by shaved heads and face tattoos.

But not knowing how to step back and walk away alone.

12 year olds.


As if the world’s borders ended where Boyle Heights and East LA became



ABCs of Life

And she smiled
Because life is worth smiling for
Curiously strange 
Excruciatingly painful at times
Forgiving yourself can truly be
Hating or Having Understanding for Those Who don’t Have it Back
It’s a Choice
Just be at Peace with your decisions
Know that you won’t always get it right
Love and celebrate when you do
Make the good news count
Nebulous concepts are better than
Opaque feelings
Persevere in your quest to explore and learn
Question, question, question
Reveries are medicine for the soul and the intellect
Swim in your dreams, thoughts, and observations
Track your growth
Unless you are continually going backwards
Value your progress
When you find yourself stumbling, don’t panic!
X-ray your life and examine it the way a doctor would: clinically, carefully
Yielding the options to step forward require the
Zeal of a smiling, open face and the will to place one foot in front of the other