Poem: The Heart Rate Of A Mouse

Written by: rossryro and turnoffthelights708.

All credit goes to: Anna Green, Kam for doing the Polaroids, and the people who made the pictures or took them. Give credit if you plan to use. Thank you.


How can you expect me to love you if I can’t believe it myself?
Lies are what keep me going, tearing me apart silently from the inside without my knowledge.
Not denying that we didn’t have anything, we had something.

I need help finding out who I am, not who I think I am.

I can’t keep pretending that everything’s okay.
One day I feel useless and the next completely right.
Pouring my thoughts into words, keeping you by my side.

Is this love? What they call love?

I don’t know what I’m feeling, but I don’t want to.
I can keep these things inside, if I try.
But it all seems to happen naturally, the way we are.

How I…love you?

I see you in my dreams, images that stir old memories.
When I reach out towards you, your body disappears.
You tell me secrets that no one else will hear.
For me to keep and you to cherish.

Sometimes the lights, the noise, the girls, the sound, everything gets too much.
And when I turn to you, you aren’t there.
There’s another person there, staring at me like I’m someone.


The reflection that they wish they could see themselves.
 The lie that is woven carefully, perfectly, measurably through something I’m not, but through you.

Only you.

And if it’s not you, then why am I still here?
Still here when it’s pouring down rain, still here when we’re touring Europe together, still here when you’re in that hotel whimpering my name in your sleep and reaching out to where I should be, wrapped into your warmth and embrace, knowing that I’m not there?

Because if it’s love, then why are you leaving, hiding, wandering away from me?

The only hope you have.

The only truth you have.

The only one who will understand you.

The only one who will love you.

Of course we can circle each other until one of us admits defeat.
Of course I can tell you I won’t kiss you.

Of course.

But why should we let a good thing go to waste?

“Because everything I feel is amplified with you.”

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal

by Naomi Shihab Nye

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any  Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well – one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma  wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I  put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu-biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew – however poorly used -
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled  entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical  treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get  there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride  next to her – southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her  other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies – little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts – out of her bag –
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo – we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers –
Non-alcoholic – and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American – ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend – by now we were holding hands –
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate – once the crying of confusion stopped
– has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.