please stop me

without thinking, i

speak, thoughts bubble, spill

poured from my tongue

unheeded, unfiltered, burning

my limbs swirl, unchecked,

not paying attention, lost in some savannah somewhere

warm, curled up in this shadowy memory,

my mental effigy of love

kicking me in the heart steadily

i lose attention with

currency, i am more curious to see

what is on the other side of inhibition than anything else –

how far can i get when i am not listening

to my own heartbeat?

something new.

Dear Anna,

I keep saying to everyone how much I miss you,

but it isn’t direct enough, I want to scream it out since you aren’t here

and that’s what is on my mind.

Today, I walked out into the frigid air and tossed my head back the way you always do,

arms out, just experiencing exactly where you are to the fullest you possibly can.

Snowflakes tumbled all over me, my

eyelashes were covered in little fluffy flakes.

If you had been there, you would have

understood how weird all this is, that

something as little as snowflakes in eyelashes is

totally new and foreign, overwhelmingly strange.

Someone sang a song we’ve sung countless times in the kitchen,

I carried the harmony without even thinking, half-expecting

your mellow tones to spring up out of the air and croon out the melody

in that dusky, raw voice of yours.

We’re older, yes, we’re growing, things are changing,

but that doesn’t change the fact

that no one asks me what I dreamed about

when I wake up.

she sees my Anna.

“Her hands are beautiful. An amazing piece of art. If I could write a book about her hands, I would. But no one would read it. You may have heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words. But does it go vice-versa? Will a thousand words repaint the picture? I do not know if it can ever be true, but if it is I know that it cannot be just any thousand words. They must be perfect. And without those perfect arrangement of words, the picture is not painted.

I am an artist. But I am not an artist with words. And I am not an artist of reality. I can paint what is beautiful in my mind. But I cannot replicate the beauty of someone else. I cannot replicate what blows my mind.

And if you have not seen those hands, then how can you realize their beauty?

They called her Tubby-tub-tub. Fat little fingers, pale like her American sun. They never darkened, never tanned in her new home. Once, twice, three times, again and again she gave them a chance. Many times she moved. Many times, they grew and slimmed, grew and slimmed, till they became as they are. Long and slender. And pale as the LED that lights her world.

Clean. Dirty. Clean in their dirtiness. Dirty in their cleanliness. Pale like the soap of their scent, dark from the dust she cannot shake. Dust of her home. Karimojong dust. Dust that leaps from the untamed ground, hungry for the sweat on her skin, that swirls about her in a dust devil, the torment of the plains. Dust from the land that seeps into her, affecting her very soul, becoming one with her spirit. And though she washes, it will not leave. It has become hers.

The fingers move like the rain. Quickly, quickly, tiny pin pricks, then faster and harder, devouring the pages she turns, the pen she holds, the keys of the laptop she click-clicks away. clickety-clack clickety-clack. Such a sound cannot suit those hands. Poised over the keyboard like a dancer, first waiting for the music to start their song and then gracefully playing out the words in the notes.

Graceful. They are graceful. Even in their clickety-clacking dustiness, there is nothing that could undermine the elegant gracefulness of those hands. Those beautiful hands. Even with the correct thousand words, who could replicate such beauty?”

Maria Tricarico



third culture kid/reentry

I am of this place’s history

but I hold nothing here

but the chilled dirt & leaves

and the occasional pull of


the rest is dry-heat

blowing me back,

the warm breezes

pull at my heart

and Skin,

baking love deep into my veins

that missing-all comes like an easy heartbeat.

dear anna III

don’t mind me

I just want to be tangled forever in your hair

to lie, silently caressed by your thoughts and words

where i can hear them all

and not miss things because I’m too far away.

where i can see your flying green eyes fall into mine when we understand

you watch me paint, i watch you read

never a judging word or glance

because you know me all the way down to the bone and through the other side

skin and blood connect us tightly

even while we’re forever away and will never be the same because of it

while we meet people the other will never meet.

I’m tired of this!

not hearing you, not seeing you

I think of you

when I don’t understand

when no one laughs

when I see something beautiful

when i see someone with green eyes

when my laugh sounds like yours

and when i breathe.