A Poem For Those Who Are Afraid To Leave Their Houses

Books A Poem For Those Who Are Afraid To Leave Their Houses

Poet Joshua Jennifer Espinoza believes language can be both a medium for transformation as well as a way for us to find our own identity. In her own words, Espinoza writes poetry to better understand herself and her position, but she also writes to honor the history that she's part of.



First you breathe. This sounds easy,

but trust me—it isn’t. The air seems

to get in its own way and your skin

pulls itself taut over your muscles. So

find a window. This can be anything

you want. A soft feeling. A memory

of a youth spent wandering. The

empty space and broken glass where

a window used to be. Now reach

through and feel movement. See the

trees bending and swaying while birds

make the most of things. Observe

the way light changes a scene. Yes,

change, like loss, like fear of a new

reality when you had just finished

learning to survive this one. Hold

the fear. Tear into it and taste it. Let

it dribble in streaks of blue down

your chin and neck and bathe in it.

Your body will do what it will do.

It will accept the air no matter how

thick it becomes. You will reach

for a door and suddenly you’ll be

out in the wind touching all the

horribly beautiful things. You’ll say

this moment is not my enemy and

sometimes you’ll believe it.


Originally published by Lambda Literary.


Photos by Drew Wilson.