all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein

all poems and photographs
© by Maya Stein
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Please include a link (www.papayamaya.blogspot.com) when reproducing any of the material in this blog. Thank you!

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

how to get everything you’ve ever wanted





















First, you must believe yourself worthy.
This is not the same as deserving.
This is not a promotion, a raise, a graduation.
This is not the prize you win after countless attempts at winning.
This is you standing naked in an empty house at midnight,
the street below dark and silent, the fruit bowl in your kitchen
brimming with oblong shapes that eventually you recognize
as bananas. This is you aligning yourself with the stationary and the shifting:
the broken light bulb, the foghorn, the water tower, the power cord,
the orange chair you write in, the carpet stain that won’t disappear,
the sound of morning cars on Guerrero, the swaying palm tree, the laces
on your basketball shoes, a stack of paper, a water bottle snapped to your bike,
a piece of lint your lover removes from your cheek, that cheek, that lover,
the new blossoms on the lemon tree, the toilet that needs to be flushed twice,
the grooves on the coffee table, a calculator that needs only sunlight
to turn it on, the man who cut your hair, his pierced lip, his quick scissors,
the letters your grandfather sends, the gas pump, neon, frozen waffles,
a stack of martini glasses, doorways, picture frames, kitchen remodels,
long white envelopes bulging with receipts, a backpack filled with dirty gym clothes,
an apple tree in hibernation, empty check boxes, the steps outside City Hall,
a balloon escaping the clutch of a 3-year-old, tears barreling down her cheeks,
an anchor, a crossing guard, a detour, a yield sign poised on the lip of the highway.

Forget the pulverizing mirror, that blistering microscope of discrepancy.
You are not less than but equal to.
Throw away the movie reel casting you as the villain, the buffoon, the mistake.
You are not less than but equal to.
Turn from the narrow dead-end road book-ended by barbed wire.
You are not less than but equal to.
When he tells you you’re beautiful, say thank you.
When she holds your hand driving across the bridge, say yes.
When the morning opens, say hello.
When the light flickers out, say sleep.

6 comments:

Jen Lee said...

Okay, I'm just going to bathe in this for a few days and soak it in. Thank you!

GailNHB said...

Love your list of all that I can align myself with. So many details to notice and bask in. To be grateful for.

Thank you.
Yes.
Hello.

Emily said...

Your blog is like a little oasis for me. I especially loved the line: When the morning opens, say hello.
I could linger on it time and time again.
Thank you :)

erin said...

"Throw away the movie reel casting you as the villain, the buffoon, the mistake." - I love this line. Great!

Victoria said...

this is incredible.
beautiful.

Kathy said...

Ah! So glad to have stumbled across a Maya Stein in the world! Clapping with delight!