I am pursuing an MFA program in Creative Writing and the Environment at Iowa State University, and I work as a teaching assistant for English composition. I am married to someone I love very much. My life—and my writing—is about relationships, reflection, creativity, and empathy. And more stuff too - but those seem to be the things my soul kind of circles around.
“I am worthless” I heard you say Your eyes were empty and your body was heavy Oh, I wanted to banish that evil spirit who whispered that in your ear or maybe hug you until I wore the lie away
I forgot that moment as I lay in bed this morning, thinking about my LinkedIn profile and saying to myself:“You are worthless.”
But then I remembered that it wasn’t true
Some doctor or lawyer was probably at that very moment thinking the same thing and maybe some man was tightening a noose, his mouth so full of those worthless words he was going to choke
We need Someone to hold us to wear the lies away
This breath in our lungs, this light in our eyes, this pain in our backs must bring us to a point where we can see Our worth does not lie in anything we do, but in everything we are: crazy, impossible, lovely, fragile vessels that can be filled with so many things but are meant for love.
On the Internet I read that you can take a rose, slather the stem in honey, stick it in a potato, plant the potato in dirt and wait
The Internet told me I could expect a new rose in time
Now, my husband and I work at a grocery store — me with the flowers, him with the produce, and we discard rose stems and fading potatoes every day, so I told him with a wink that even though we couldn’t have kids, we could make a baby this way
And in our eyes I felt the objection to this, because what if this silly thing from the Internet doesn’t work, and our potato rose baby doesn’t live, and what does that mean?
But I planted it anyway, and soon the bad potato smelled so bad I had to set the pot on the fire escape
But I watered it, and watched, And the stem remained a stem until one day it was gone
The pot was tipped over, The potato was eaten through by some squirrel with low standards
in the flower shop i cut and tie and curl shiny paper ribbon — bright strands of color meant for twirling — nothings, really but they leave these little wisps of happy in the edge of your mind for a second
in the flower shop i snip the broken blooms from the African violets and kalanchoes and little rosebushes a few good petals fall with the bad, lingering for a moment in my hands