So much is drastically changing in the United States – so many are upset and frightened, while others choose not to be affected by the change taking place. Regardless of the different opinions surrounding Trump’s executive orders, there is still so much unrest and division. Trump’s first week in office has transformed the country indefinitely.

During my senior year of high school, I wanted to do something big before I graduated. I decided to write a slam poem and I performed it in front of hundreds of students and their family members. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, and I came across the poem today. I wrote it almost two years ago and I was in such a strange place emotionally, and it’s crazy seeing how much it relates to everything going on in the world right now.

So, without further ado, here is “Metamorphosis”

I was ten.
I was holding a pencil as yellow as the sun,
praying for the courage to press down
on the piece of paper in front of me.
In fourth grade, my teacher ordered a class set of larva.
That was the year I learned about metamorphosis.
By definition, it’s the process
of transformation from an immature form to adult
in two or more stages.
But I thought of it as
the promise of being something else.

I know how much time we spend
wondering if someone will run
their fingers down our spines,
and like what they read when they open us.
We can have the tragedy,
we can have the happy ending,
and we can survive both,
even if that means we have to
find our way out of the chapter where we got lost.

I was not a child the last time I felt small.
I was not at a museum
the last time I looked at art;
he was the mountain in a landscape
I had to tear my eyes away from too soon.

I don’t need the weather channel
to tell me that my temper can put them out of business,
Because if you press a stethoscope to my chest,
you can hear thunder.
And I am learning that people are storms
in the sense that sometimes
you have to cross an ocean to get to them.
But maybe the quickest way
to facing our own storms
is coming clean through that ocean,
filling the ache in the empty,
not caring if we sink or swim, but if we
still have lightning in us
by the time we reach the shore.

There’s always going to be a devil and an angel
standing on our shoulders,
reminding us that the truth isn’t black or white,
but the color of the sky
after the last shot of a war has been fired.

And we can love ourselves among the wreckage.

This is how I got here:
a long thread of words unraveling
in a moment where I forgot
what it felt like to breathe.
Every poem is a destination,
every poem is telling me that I’ve got miles left to go.
But the end is where we start from.

It takes courage to speak up, it takes courage to choose love over hate even in times of turmoil.

Artists, keep creating, and writers, keep writing.

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