Little Ms. Sunshine:
I remember the day when my world became smal:l
he opened his laptop to reveal his background picture
sea salt stars
soft serve swirls
i said “it’s beautiful. Who painted it?”
“It’s not a painting at all.
It’s a photograph taken from the edge of the milky way
those three swirls are galaxies
and the bright white lights
are planets we haven’t found names for yet.”
There are so many things bigger than i am
and everything just keeps expanding
like a big bangs prophecy
we begin as nothing but a spark
and keep growing
until our bodies can’t contain our potential.
as connecting the dots in the sky
or the freckles on your forearm
do you see the connection?
In Egyptian mythology the goddess Nut is depicted as a naked blue woman covered in constellations
and as a child i got lots in the hours i spent walking ants crawling on the sidewalk
but to them life itself is a fact;
Little Miss Sunshine
do you know the history of the moon?
Do you understand what happens when asteroid leave behind scars she can’t hide?
Her face is not ceramic
but a damaged relic of her past
(this doesn’t make her any less beautiful)
and instinct isn’t just what we feel but what we have to do
and sometimes I want to scream for each and every time i’ve been told to be silent
and other times I just want a baby
so I can give birth to a universe and
watch it expand.
I want to pretend I am bigger than this
but it’s just as likely that i am just a freckle
on someone else’s hand.
Don’t place yourself at the center
as if everyone can revolve around your experience
when we are molecules
made up of molecules.
born to blaze
if only we knew where we were going.
Instead we keep moving
letting the comet tails take us where they may
make believing that we have some sort of control over our destinies
but here we are
trying to light our own way.
I am flickering
when I burn out
what answers will you give to me?
Don’t tell me it’s easy
to destroy meteors when you haven’t seen the one that ricochet inside me.
Don’t tell me how to shine
There is no day without night.
No ending without a beginning.
No big bang
without the silence that precedes it.
The small inhaled whisper
before I scream.
we are all exactly where we need to be.
Maybe our experiences are shaping us.
something to express
instead of swallow.
they want to call you positivity
but even staring at the sun
long enough will blind you eventually.
Life isn’t ours to control
but to experience
each and every moment.
From pinprick to pelvic split
we are growing
we are expanding
we are stars
we are science
not art projects.
We are small specks speaking.
Strength and weakness interwoven
into a thread
in a fabric square
in a quilt pattern so much larger than we’ll ever know.
So the next time you are faced with moments that break you
know that it is those moments that shape you.
Take your place in the sky
become a constellation.
and become a flickering spark
for someone else
to make a wish upon.
Melissa has been a member of the spoken word community since 2001 and has been facilitating spoken word workshops with adults and teens for over 10 years. She has performed her poetry all over the United States and Germany and was a featured poet at the German National Poetry Slam in 2010. She is currently the Executive Director of S.I.R.E.N.; a non profit program that empowers teen girls through spoken word.