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I had the complete teenage experience.

Towards the end of high school, I met a boy who seemed mysterious and wonderfully complex. He looked as if he had a deliciously dramatic life where no one understood him and where his sullen, brooding voice kept getting lost in the crowd.

He played the drums and listened to violent music. And he had lots of goals he wanted to achieve in some glorious far off…

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I moved to the desert last year. I didn’t know the land’s history, or the shades of its people, or the ways in which the dialect twists and curls when spoken.

I never knew sandstorms and I’d never seen so many beige buildings. And then I met them: the Pakistanis who had grown up in this country. I know them, and I cannot relate.

How can I relate when they haven’t seen Lahore with child’s eyes…

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Sometimes there are those nights,

you know,

when the moon wears a watery halo

and the sea seems to be sewn into the sky;

grey and white waves

sailing and ripping through the dark,

lined in silver.

Gliding and leaving no mark.

These are the nights that make me feel

lucky.

You know,

The kind of lucky you feel when

you’ve been given all of what you don’t think you deserve.

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I have a boy who…

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As A College Student In The Real World…

Being in college is being in the real world. 

A professor offered this nugget in class today. 

And even though I don’t own real estate, a manicured lawn or a squall of mewling offspring, I feel like a real person. Living the real life. Doing real things.

I mean, where else but college would you have to rush to meetings after classes, inhale morsels in that 10 minute window between lectures, and…

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He looks at you.
Smiles,
the gaze with the half lidded eyes;
He sees you,
As you.

When you don’t see him,
his eyes
are plastered open:
He tells his friends
about you;
As a thing to possess.

And in that neon bright room
with burning minds,
the questions begin;
You’re on the table
as an insect,
dissected.

The way your legs curve,
or your hands;
He calls them ugly,
they laugh;
And they think about…

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About The Woman Who Raised Me

The woman who raised me is not my mother.

The woman who raised me is not a mother.

This woman has a tiny heart, and a smaller spirit.

I have learned this the hard way.

She was always too busy to read me bedtime stories but never too occupied to later point out the adolescent acne that spotted my face.

And now whenever we meet, she laughs and tells me I’ve gained quite a bit of weight.

And…

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Bird In A Doll’s House

When I was younger, there used to be times when misguided little birds would accidentally fly inside the house.

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How To Be Proud Of Your Thin Skin

I have a new mantra for you. 

Over-feeling is not a bad thing.

Going through the world with your heart on your sleeve is not a bad thing.

Feeling others’ pain as you would your own is not a bad thing.

Taking things to heart and hurting is not a bad thing.

There are people who will ask you to toughen up, brave the world, grow a thicker skin. These people feel the world’s pain on a daily basis, and…

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How To Love Your Looking Glass

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Do you see you?

You have bumpy bits and wobbly bits and parts of you you wish you could photoshop away. It doesn’t work that way.

To throw some ideas out there, for example: What do you need for the perfect bikini body?

Why, a bikini, and a body, of course. What more?

You are not your waistline, or your pores, or your thighs, or your forehead, or all…

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The Coward Does It With A Kiss…

Have you ever loved someone so much that it takes over an entire city?

The walls of your home have sponged up bits of the love you had. And now they’ve turned on you.

Every street you walk on, each corner you turn, it’s there. The love, it stares you in the face. The rain coaxes it out of the ground; it crawls up with the writhing earthworms.

The love has taken so much of you, there’s so little…

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