Invisible Women

Invisible women
Wives of men, Mothers of sons.
You ceased to exist the day your body was sold through the holy sanctity of matrimony
Stripped of your father’s name and prettily cloaked by your husband’s name.
Do not be fooled.
Your new identity comes at a price too horrific to name: Erasure.
You are no longer Eve, daughter of Man, autonomous person;
You are now His Wife and Their Mother, invisible woman.
Nameless, faceless
Worthy of mention after you’ve birthed a son to carry the family name.
Worthy of shame after you birth daughters, poor souls condemned to expunction.
Who are you? Where have you been, seen, heard, felt?
Tragically no one but you will ever know.

This piece was written as a response to my many observations of the gender politics that riddle family gatherings. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the men in my family have the habit of introducing first their sons by name, followed by their unwed daughters by name, briefly mentioning their married daughters as “My daughter, so-and-so’s wife,” and introducing their wife last as “My Wife.” They don’t mention her name and rarely ever turn to look her in the eyes when they make the introduction. If she’s lucky her husband will make a half-hearted wave in her direction; but that’s a veritable rarity. With this behavior he enforces a hierarchy that clearly renders women invisible, worse than a second-class citizen.

“Invisible Women” by Azul Serena

My Violin, Our Love

I’ll know that I am ready to commit to you and our relationship the day I learn to love you the way I love my violin. Within seconds of laying eyes on my violin I knew that it would change my life forever; however, it was years before I understood my transformation.

The violin challenged me to persevere when I was on the verge of hopelessness, and to rejoice at the minor victories that come with mastering its complexity. It was a humbling experience that taught me that its beauty was a reflection of my commitment to learn, refine, and perfect the foundational techniques.

There were days when the music flowed effortlessly from my fingertips, giving me a false sense of grandiosity. I, the violin virtuosa, was unstoppable, brava, a prodigy! But inevitably, time and again I fell from that precarious precipice; the pain was a direct correlation to my arrogance. In those moments, I, the apprentice, was too eager and inept to be granted the honor of touching the delicate instrument.

Thankfully, soon enough – or maybe not too soon – I learned that the joy of being a violinist doesn’t stem from the ability to play beautifully, rather it stems from our ability to transform the screeching sounds of our rigid fingers into the driving force that wills us to practice for hours on end simply to hit that note and play that rhythm.

Thus, the day I learn to embrace the fact that love requires more than fluttering lashes, rosy cheeks, and puckered lips, will be the day I learn to treat our relationship the way I treat my violin: gently, reverently, passionately, patiently.

“My Violin, Our Love” by Azul Serena

What is it about you?

What is it about you that makes me believe
The only sceneries worth admiring
Are the ones reflected in your eyes
The only scents worth inhaling
Are the ones that linger on your neck
The only textures worth touching
Are hidden in the ridges of your fingertips
The only melodies worth hearing
Are the ones commanded by your supple lips

“What is it about you?” by Azul Serena

Cosmic Collision

We were both comets
Fiery and raging with purpose
Searing our paths through the vast universe
Leaving a wake of wispy granules
Ready to join in the creation of greatness
Confident and unerring in our trajectory,
An empty vastness of potential unfound and untouched
Beckoned us forward and onward,
Until we crossed paths
And paused.
Nevermind that the manifold mysteries of the universe
Rushed past us as we lay suspended in time
Quietly learning our silence and melodies
Intently studying our wars and our peace
Slowly learning our purpose
As individuals in a world of infinite infinities,
As Titans in a world of our own
Born of a gentle collision of cosmic proportions
With fires more potent that the steady flame
Of our singular passions.

“Cosmic Collision” by Azul Serena

Tell Me Where We Stand

I don’t know what you want from me or where we stand.
I think you like me and I think you care about me,
But there’s always a nagging whisper saying otherwise.
I know what I want:
I am asking for transparency.
If we like each other let’s be frank about our intentions.
You taught me that you prefer it when I am honest with you,
And in that manner, I am asking that you to be honest with me.
Know that I am prepared for failure.
If we don’t work out I will know how to heal.
I won’t resent you; I won’t resent us.
I will simply heal.
If you don’t want my affection, tell me; I will understand.
If you don’t want my friendship, tell me; I will understand.
Tell me anything just don’t leave me in the dark.
That’s all I ask:
Be honest and tell me where we stand.

“Tell Me Where We Stand” by Azul Serena

I Sealed My Fate

I sealed my fate today.
I told the world my greatest secret:
That you are great
And worth the wait,
The challenge,
The reward.
I tried my best to keep you hidden
To bask in the thrill of your tight-lipped smile
And heave under the weight of your unwavering gaze
But the world demanded to know you,
To see you for who you are.
And so I shared you,
But I shared you,
My secret,
And sealed my fate.
A fate of warring insecurities and joys
Intriguing nuances and reveals.
A fate of drawing pleasure from your light.

“I Sealed My Fate” by Azul Serena

I Worry

I worry that the girl with the pretty hair and stylish coat
Is the reason you have gained those extra pounds
That you hid so well last month but are now peeking through your shirt.
I worry that her chuckle has become the lantern in your darkness
And my dimples have become a spot in your fading memory.
I worry that this sinking feeling in my stomach
And the sudden rush of heat racing through my veins
Will turn my heart into a frigid stone incapable of love.
I worry that my destructive love will tip the delicate balance of our ‘us’
Like the raindrop that bends the unyielding leaf and spills the brimming glass.
I worry that I lack the courage to tell you that I love you
And that the intensity of my emotions will be the force that pushes me away.
I worry that I’ve waited too long to tell you how I feel.

“I Worry” by Azul Serena

My Father’s Smile

I don’t understand what you mean when you say I have a disarming smile
But I assume it means that I have my father’s smile
The one that makes you laugh when all you want to do is pout
Smile when all you want to do is frown
Pause when all you want to do is keep on walking
And dream when the nightmares refuse to stay at bay.
I may not know what a disarming smile looks like
But I sure hope it looks like my father’s smile.

“My Father’s Smile” by Azul Serena

For My Sisters

This piece is dedicated to my sisters, in both blood and spirit, who are learning to navigate and reconcile their journey through life.

You’re pulled left and right, up and down,
You twist and turn, and bend and snap.
You succumb to it all until you break,
Splintered to the core, shattered at the tips.
You lay fragile and wounded
Until your faint tremor,
Like the unsteady stance of a colt,
Becomes a force to be reckoned,
A mane tossed in the air, a gallop imprinted on earth.
Don’t be afraid to run and pause at your leisure,
To emanate truth as fire and ice,
And touch with a stroke that’s both tender and tough.
Don’t be afraid of the pull and the tug,
For both teach a side that previously hid from your eyes.
You’ll be pulled left and right, up and down,
You’ll twist and turn, and bend and snap.
You’ll succumb to it all until you say, “Enough!”

“For My Sisters” by Azul Serena