Every once in awhile it scares me that I have a book out there.
It’s poetry. My poetry. Experiences I’ve fallen over in heartbeats of therapy sessions. Scars I’ve picked at, cried over, and stapled back over my skin. They never quite mold to the softness anymore, because I’ve picked at them so much. Now they hang from the real thing; like plastered makeup on Halloween night.
Close Your Eyes, Now Breathe, exists.
My students, who I pant over when they misuse the English Language, can purchase a copy of my own work. They can pick her up, strip her apart, and assign their own grading system.
Will I meet all of their expectations? What about that possessive noun I missed here or that one edit I overlooked there?
Then the voice comes back. It’s the one that knocked my chest awake the night I convinced myself I could never be a writer. It screams –god, dammit, Flose. You are a writer.
You are a writer. You are a writer. You are a writer.
The voice moves me back in time. It takes me step-by-step, reminds me that I’ve written thousands of poems over the years, and that I have finished a second manuscript. People want me to speak at their events, and when I do, they want me to return and recommend me to their friends and colleagues.
You — no, I will be a New York Times Bestseller. I will inspire others to turn their experiences into art.
This is what I am meant to do. I’ll get there, not simply because I want it, but because I work at it more than I have ever worked at anything in my life. And most importantly, because The Universe whispered “Flose, name her Flose,” and my parents heard her loud and clear.
Flose flows. Her words, though dark at times, are meaningful.