I am wonder.
I think about how those words scrolls up the violet screen
In the feminist art wing of the Brooklyn museum
And how my team nicknamed me #wonderwoman
Do you ever think about how
You may wake up in the exact same place on Earth that you went to sleep,
But you'll have traveled thousands of miles in space.
And it’s 3.00am and I don’t know how far I’ve traveled in this small infinitesimal speck of time.
And I know that when you reduce life to black and white you will never see the rainbows.
Who am I in this moment?
I say my name like a spell
In the hushed breath of pre-dawn light
Shift it around on my tongue
Playfully slipping from syllable to sweet syllable getting my synapses firing as I take my namesake and organize that shit alphabetically
Amanda Kelly Rosal Espiritu
Letters slip off the Notes app on my phone
It’s all gibberish, but then…
Depression deceived me into believing that I was alone and made me bitter
And anxiety refused to let me reach out, retreating in moments
When a small voice inside me tried to say I was being silly.
I bought into the lies that started looping unexpectedly at a much higher volume,
Playing like it was the top hit on every frequency,
As if in some moments I was getting too happy,
Autoplay would choose my greatest doubts and the fattest tears
That pushed their way out ducts I try to keep shut with super glue.
Echoey ones that told me no one wanted to hear about my pain or see my tears
And would rather the wattage cranked up behind my smiles,
That they wouldn’t believe me if I told them my truths,
That they wouldn’t care,
And that the knowledge of my sadness would be an inconvenience
And not understood or welcomed.
I started to ration out when I would share the negatives,
Assuming a quest for perfect balance - the right amount to share.
Not too much because that would mean I was a hot mess
And my inner child still strives for those gold stars and going beyond perfect scores
To meet the impossible standards of family who thinks nothing is ever enough.
Nothing I do is ever enough.
I’m a black panther in a family of hamsters
More comfortable on their wheel taking up no space at all.
I try and try and try.
To be transparent and wrench a bleeding heart open just enough
To show wounds from my past I carry on my soul. And always will.
But not too much.
Just enough to show that I’ve been through battles
Come out with scar tissue stronger than unblemished areas that have not yet known pain.
To show that the war my demons fight isn’t tearing me at the edges,
Dragging me on auto pilot to almost daily worship on my knees at a porcelain throne,
A habit I thought I kicked but is something I’m simultaneously, secretly proud and ashamed of. My emotions numb as I amputate them in the aftermath that is floating down old pipes,
A massacre easily flushed away.
Leaving behind phantom limbs of worry and anger and self love I fight off when then cling to me Because they feel hollow.
But This is getting too dark. Too real.
Too near the depths of my stream of consciousness I try to wade into
But only along the shallows, ankle or calf deep.
Can’t ever reach 50% waist high because that’s a no go zone.
I remember my roots in the shallows,
The darkness in the deep, deep part of myself that is too twisted to ever see the light of day.
It would be bleached and bloated above the surface,
Ugly in a world that values sparkling, and beautiful, and perfect impermanence.
So I sigh and grin big, focus on being a Dreamer and go to battle, always to battle.
I infuse a little more steel into my spine
Wrap myself in soft smiles and starry eyes
Diplomatic and balanced
Mantras and chants about virtues
Stock patience in my clenched palms and lodge it between my teeth
Lips glossy with lip balm
To hide all my cracks that are more prominent in winter
Like I’ve got it all together
But my friends see past the illusions
I spend hours weaving
I never had a poker face
And maybe I just don’t believe in fairies and their mystic arts as much I used to
Their mischief more malevolent in the light of adulthood I wouldn’t have chosen
If I could have stayed small
And unblemished with scars
Self inflicted by time and carelessness
And bad intentions planted that sprouted with the sprinklings of good intentions from parents Who say “If you just lost this or did this you would be so much happier.”
All the tiny magical charms I used to stuff in my pockets and mason jars as a child
My hunts through clover patches for something more
Seem so far away and pointless
I remember I was Jealous of the four leaf my uncle found and framed for my little sister
Knowing from then on I needed to make my own luck
It would not always be handed to me
I would not let it be handed to me
I know now fortunes can change at the crack of a crumbling cookie,
A stranger too eager to get inside my walls and find their own fortunes
A scramble to be intimate and while nights away with someone I’m not invested in
Because my fortune will never be good enough for them and is so easily tossed aside
A scrap of paper and poetry to those looking for gold
But there is treasure I keep so closely guarded I’ve half forgotten where I hid it
And months go by some seasons before I recall I carry gems
My castle walls seem open, gate down across an empty moat,
Sun shining into courtyards and through windows
Beautiful until you notice how eerie and hollow it all is
The throne in the main hall made of porcelain
Because I can’t keep dinner down most nights and feel nauseated when it’s late
And I’m in a car watching the city fly by, bridges upon bridges
And I have to crack a window to feel like I can still really breathe
Like my lungs forgot how to operate
Because my brain is Elsewhere
When you ask what weather I am most like
My friends will likely respond Hurricane
As one did just last weekend
I didn’t ask why but I think it is because
Sometimes I bring
I am a force to be reckoned with
Uproot the old and beckon in the new
Rebuilding my foundations again and again
But there’s something about a search for perfection and fortunes and starting anew
That beckons me onward and others towards me
Charisma they call it
Maybe I still have some fairy charms left in me.