i challenged myself to finish whatever i start
even when it’s difficult
even when it doesn’t sound concise or poetic
its better to finish imperfectly
than to give up for any reason at all.

i wish i could make up a story
and use my imagination to appeal to your inner fears and dreams
create a fictional soul with whom you live through for a time
but i’m not that kind of writer
it’s not for any lack of imagination or ideas
or that my creativity can’t work that way
it just doesn’t
because I’m not done telling my story

I’m going to marry my boyfriend
and there are a few reasons why
here is one

he stopped one day
on the other side of the table
and looked at me with eyes that not everybody sees
they asked a question
but his mouth uttered a statement
“you really hate being interrupted -
it doesn’t just annoy you
you get really upset”
and he’s the first person who’s ever noticed that
how when someone verbally cuts me off i feel ripped off in the heart sector
like they’re taking something essential to my being
by robbing me of my stage time
a kanye and taylor over and over
except I’m not that strong

and i don’t have a beyonce to save me
so i can triumph on a world scale
instead i triumph on smaller scales
one morning at a time
because there was a time when there were no mornings
no purpose
no goodness
just one long, extended night

and more recently, there was a time
and still is a time
where it’s hard to speak up
to even be convinced enough to convey my side of an argument
because i know no one is listening
because i know people will believe I’m wrong
because i know I’m going to get cut off

i know I’m not always right
i also know opinions aren’t facts even when backed with unwavering emotion
and therefore opinions aren’t right or wrong
so no one else is right, making me wrong
and i should say what i feel
because when i do, the right people listen

twenty-five percent of the way
to twenty-five
i still struggle to order in restaurants
especially in groups of more than two
i get frustrated when people don’t hear me
even though my voice is soft
i say thank-you too much for a canadian
even though I’ve learned how to cut out the ‘sorry’
its a slow incline
a work in progress
not just from being a woman of colour
but from once being a child
who wasn’t valued
or deemed important by her needs

so i was the difficult one in the restaurant today
i ordered a bagel and lox off the menu
and now I’m going to eat my breakfast
drink more coffee
and vow to advocate more for myself today

even when I’m tired
and even when the beginning
of the end is near
there was a time where there were no mornings
and id rather be tired
and awake and alive
than living dead
alone and unloved
isolated most by my own self

6 am yoga classes might be a bad idea for me
but being here, now, isn’t
wherever i am is okay
even when its comfortable
because I’m somewhere else than in my head
I’m better blinded by the sunshine
than the darkness of the past
and one day ill marry my boyfriend
and it will be a perfect day
whether theres rain or sunshine on the other side of the waterfall
there will be love
between and around us
but first within us
and within me, a soul that burns
that’s loud and unapologetic
and no one will interrupt us
not even if there are kanyes at our wedding

i will keep living for mornings like this
the imperfect ones that don’t make it on instagram
when i don’t know what to order
and I’m dropping grapefruit pieces on a dirty seat
because I’m awake and alive
it’s a beautiful day
and anything is possible
when i love myself
even finishing what i start

© Mary dela Torre, 2015