A New Year



Me, on January 1st, still in my suit. I saw my wife last night and remembered the day she smiled at me. Two weeks ago. When she handed me the divorce papers.

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Accepted



Me, with my Chinese postcards. I look excited. I just woke up and opened the acceptance letter from Harvard. My parents promised to pay for the tuition with a second mortgage on their house. I haven’t told them yet that I am pregnant.

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En Route



Me, at the airport shortly before my flight to New York. Backpack packed. Thumbs up. Ready to go. My father told me he wished I’d never come back.

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A New Day



Me, watching the sun rise behind the trees.
A cup of tea and my woolen sweater are giving me warmth.

I think about when we first met.
You sang me sweet songs of love.

But not the sweetest song could ever
describe the feelings that I hold for you since.

The things I remember.

There was that one time, you softly touched my feet with yours,
and my whole body still feels the current
flowing through you and me.

Here I am. Again humming these sweet songs of love.

And I wonder what we might have become.

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Every Day



Me, on a normal Wednesday evening. I am wearing the earrings my mom gave me last Christmas. After getting home from work, I browsed Facebook to see what’s up with my friends. I almost forgot it is my niece’s birthday - the pictures from her party look wonderful with all the family there. Dinner should get here soon and I will probably watch some TV to relax. I have been off my medications for three weeks now. I struggle every single day.

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Lovers



Me, with my lover on a sunny afternoon. She is amazing. I feel amazing. We just came back from the lake in the valley where we swam and played. Where I felt her warm skin on mine and her breath when we whispered sweet things into each other’s ear.

We talked about me moving in.

She and her husband have a farm together with one of her husband’s lovers. I am excited that they invited me to join their lives.

There is no way around it now. Tomorrow I will try to explain everything to my parents.

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Sweat



Me, feeling strong. Feeling energized. Feeling like the day was worth living for. I sweat and have a deep rumbling smile. We got our skateboards out and rode all afternoon. I am thinking back to when I was a teenager and it was OK to play and fool around. When it was OK to simply be. Sometimes I wonder why we let our inner children die.

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Armor



Me, checking my makeup one last time before I go on stage. I am wearing one of my old costumes. The one with the copper headdress. Time stands still while I look at myself in the mirror. If my father could see me now he would weep in joy. A strong woman. A woman without fear. Nobody knows how long it took me to forget the pains of my childhood. Nobody knows they still haunt me at night.

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My Crown



Me, still in my morning robe, trying on my newly finished headpiece. It took a couple of weeks to design and make it - and it fits! I imagine being out on the dance floor. The night taking me in with its dark, cold arms. The lights reflecting on my crown like a thousand stars. The heat of the moment fueling me. I am thinking of my father. Since the day he left us I was not able to trust anybody. Not even myself.

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At My Desk



Me, sitting at my desk in the office. Everything is aligned well on the table. My hair is done the way I like it and the shirt you got me last week fits just right. It was hard to get through the interview process. This job will allow us to start a family and my parents will be proud of me at last.

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