Tag Archives: words

On being told to “smile.”



I recently updated my Facebook profile photo to the one show above, and was met with comments regarding my seemingly  displeased expression. 

Though I know most weren’t malintended, the circumstance provided an opportunity to give life to thoughts I’d been considering for a while. 

“On being told to ‘smile.'”

I will not apologize for emoting. 

The only sincerity in my sorrow is that you fear the recognition of pain, anger, contemplation and grief, that you instruct their repression, and you revel in their eradication. 

Do not diminish me to relinquish responsibility for the existence of emotions you would rather not experience. 

Do not qualify me as an inconvenience simply because my expression provokes thoughtfulness. 

Do not reject me in the wake of a denied pleasantry.

Do not seek to slather fractures in preferred perfection for the sake of hubris. 

Identify, accept and respond. 
Consider, question and grow. 

Do not tell me to smile. 


Instead, question why I won’t.

“The nights she locks the door– you better get it open.”

The tempest rages, battering the battlements of good judgment, bombarding built-up balustrades of consciousness.

It smacks stones of sense, degrading details and destroying any moniker of self-mothering.

Naked to it’s lustful and dominating advance, it blazes, emulsifying any educated reciprocity between mind and body.

Keep still until it passes.

Don’t split the skin. Don’t drain the wound.

You should know by now, that monster is a part of you.

“Fall down, never get back up again”

There was a night,
The night of a storm,
When weary road-trip eyes met in a library parking lot,
Leaving lips and arms and legs to follow,
Leaving hands and hearts to follow, unwittingly,
In the dark embrace of night.

You led me to the water,
Flattening blades of grass behind us
As we pursued the otherness,
The separation of unity that was our bodies,
Solitary,
In the whirling eye of a storm.

You whispered in my ear,
The only audible secretion amidst
the deafening pound of waves on the shore
And howling turmoil of the whipping winds,

Saying,
“I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Karly Marie.”

Soft lips embraced neck’s nape,
Meandered to mandible
And met their match slightly parted,
Tongues tangling briefly in a too-quick tango,
Precluding the fire-bellied lust burning between us.

The wind whipped on,
And we stood solitary,
Defiant,
Teetering on our own outbreak of tempestuous howls.

Yet, we pressed together, flush,
Melded.
My hair encased us,
Tendrils whipping ‘round our clutching figures
in a cacophonous cocoon.

Silence echoed.

The waves crashed on.

I don’t know how long we stood there,
But, mark it, we still stand today.