integrity

it is an effort
to look at you straight on
in the eyes
face to face
with an open heart
you may not realize
that i am having a conversation with myself
i am talking myself through this
continually
yes, i am talking myself through without ceasing

small silent reminders
relax the skin around your eyes
let your jaw loosen
breathe in and out
sit up straight
uncross your arms
tilt your chin back up
blink without aggression
soft focus
look at this situation with soft focus
look at this moment with soft focus
by all means
look at this person
when you can and not before you're ready
with soft focus

i am having conversations with my father
my dead father
because of you
because i need to know
how to still be me
in the face of you
and he is helping me to remember

what i am doing now
is what i am doing now
no more
no less
holding this pen
waiting for a response
sitting in a chair
listening to sounds
saying words
turning my head
imagining myself:
/ climbing up on the table
flapping my arms
making ridiculous outsized bird noises
and seeing what you--
and everyone else in the room--
would do /

what i am doing now
is what i am doing now
no more
no less

challenge