Affirmation

I lay with eyes closed
back on the cool floor
in a dark room
listening to soft breathing around me
and the instructor
who tells us
to imagine we are near the ocean
sinking into the sand
letting thoughts come and go
and my mind wanders
to how my mother
always sees her mother
in her dreams
and then to how
my Afghan friend
says her aunts are visited by their mother
in their dreams
but her grandmother does not visit her
and my grandmother only visits me
sometimes
except for always
because I am her
in many ways
in how I carry myself through the city
to how I dream of flying
and how I can never make up my mind
welcome your thoughts but let them go
it’s okay for the mind to wander
but bring it back
here I am
back on the mat
with eyes closed
in a dark room
just breathing now
instead of thinking too much
about whether I am on the right path

-L

my mother always interprets my dreams

what i like about myself is that,
once i am awake,
i will look you in the eye

last night, i dreamt of a jaguar
laying in my bed —
a mother and her cub
i startled them,
they left, and
i lost them

in this way, i carry my skin
as though i wish it were armor

at work, i hide my underarm hair
as a secret
i smile when i register that
that’s what you need

and when i get home late at night,
after mopping the floors,
i can’t sleep

last week, riding the sierra vista rail
i had to stop so i could listen to the
wind brush through the lovegrass

from where i stood, the wind
carried the sounds of
coyotes howling from the west

and tonight, on my walk back to my car,
i notice a fox crossing my path
ahead of me, looking for a bush
or shrub to
hide behind

now i think about looking him in the eye,
disrespecting me, “excuse me?”

i think about looking him in the eye,
disrespecting me, “i will explain”

i think about looking him in the eye,
disrespecting me
disrespecting me
disrespecting me

the jaguar, an animal,
and instincts,
my mother tells me –

something about
following them

-A