I stepped back
into my life.

Parts of it.

My head swells.
My jaw aches.

I clench
when stressed.

The rest of me doesn’t
feel stressed though.

But my teeth hurt.
So I must be.

I’m buffering.

Awkwardly meandering
through familiar
people and places.

Using phrases
I stamped out years ago.

Hearing them leave
my lips. Oh.

You brought it home she said.

I think she means the culture.

It followed me. Unintended.
Like smudged mascara.

Some things are the same:
familiar, joyful, calming.

Others are missing.

At church the bass
swells and I feel nothing.

And a voice, a sound, whispers
through the haze I feel.

Reminding me
of what hasn’t started playing.

My life. It’s pieces.
They’re not intentionally on pause.
They’re just buffering.

Looking for a connection.
For my purpose.
It whispers…

It’s not sleeping in.
Or drinking out.

It’s not to speak
from a stage losing
my voice.

It’s not to try
and taste every food
and wine.

It’s not to walk
(to step) in sync
with the world.

Culture doesn’t rub off.
It smears like mascara.

Ruining the masterpiece
God created me to be.

I could unplug and replug.
Hard restart.

New router.


stop stepping back
into life. And start stepping

thoughts go here... be nice... be thankful...

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