Sometimes a flower will wake up in the middle of the night,
Lit up by fire
Under the pouring rain.
Sometimes it is the moonlight that will lead the way
To a blanketed field of glistening ice and snow,
Under raining flames.
I awoke and needed to drown,
While water drops plummeted against my begging forehead
Before I could finally breathe.
All along it was the tears from the sky
That watched me,
At twelve years old,
A flower bud waiting to be discovered
Left his family in the Philippines,
To live in a new home.
He ate dinner at the table with his stepfather, little sister,
And mother whom he barely knew.
He cried every night, and in every shower.
But he continued to fight,
To reach for the better education that brought him here;
An education that didn’t require etching terms and numbers in the brain,
Only to not understand them.
An education that challenged beautiful flowers to think, listen, and speak.
An education full of wealthy and friendly white flowers,
Like those he had always seen in movies and on TV
Back on the other side of the Earth.
Smiles welcomed him,
He was elated, nervous,
the school schedules,
the new places,
He was perplexed
By his peers.
Red, and blue America from the movies and TV
Did not match the brown and black flower buds.
The curly leaves,
But they too were beautiful.
Like him, they were future flowers,
Waiting to be discovered.
At least once,
Every flower attracts a bird,
That absorbs it,
And then the flower loves them back.
He found a dot of light,
That called to him:
their ridiculous flood of resources,
myriad dots of light.
Their whiteness flecked
With little splashes of black,
It wasn’t fair as a stop light.
There was no stop light.
Sometimes we need green,
Sometimes we need red.
But most importantly,
It has to be equal,
For both sides.
But there were no stop lights.
He knew he had to break through the barriers,
He knew he had to plant stop lights,
And continue to reach for this better education.
He found Beacon.
The world never thought of a flower wearing a mask,
But this was the era of uncertainty.
His mother was suddenly outraged.
He didn’t understand.
He thought she was blind.
He just wanted the best education he could get.
He wanted the dot of light
To be lit up.
Was she blinded by the light he saw
Or the darkness from her childhood that followed her?
Instead, his best friend became the flashlight
That lit his way up.
His teachers became the contacts
That cleared the blur.
His tears became the hugs
That he couldn’t feel for months.
Then, the world cried.
He heard it wail.
He caught every tear.
And he was drowning,
Under the reckless storm.
My mother’s eyes
Suddenly became barely alive.
It took a flash flood
Before I reached the drought.
Which was better?
An ocean of tears?
Or an endless thirst?
I got “congratulations” from the boarding schools,
My teachers, friends, and classmates all sang my praises,
My family from the other side of Earth rose from their seats,
And their tears leaked
From their bluest eyes.
Concluded her outraged storm.
But the outcome was drought.
Would a flower like me survive in this selective world?
Was drought better
Than drowning in the pouring rain?
I was certain that in order to rise,
I had to free my tears,
I had to drown
Under the tears from the sky,
So I could finally breathe.