by Dane Swan
Look at your hand. Do not look at your hand. Open your clenched fist and look at the palm of your
hand. Do not look at your hand. Observe the age lines etched into your skin that make you unique. Do
not look at your hand. Use your hand. Do not look at your hand.
Grasp the hand of that person you love. Do not hold their hand in fear that they will not squeeze back
with equal strength. Smile. Do not smile for your happiness is seen as a threat. Kiss your loved ones.
Do not kiss them in fear of their embarrassment.
Look at me. Do not look at me. Look at me observing my surroundings. In other words
don’t look at me. Surrounded by so many beautiful people who have been taught that they are not. Do
not look at me. I’m overwhelmed by the beauty that surrounds us
you are looking in the wrong direction. Do not look at me. Observe everyone here. Take this moment
We don’t smile. We are taught that smiling is a sign of weakness. Do not smile. Smiling IS a sign of weakness. Do not smile. This is a safe space. There’s no such thing as a safe space. Look around you.
Do not look around–
No one here will judge you.
Note: This poem is the first part of a suite of poems.
— from Juniper Volume 2, Issue 2