The woman works at my favorite grocery store, her eyes every day sagging with exhaustion. “No, you can’t return that. No, there is no discount for three. No, I don’t know the answers to any of your questions.” I look into her ‘go away’, ‘leave me alone’ face—her nose, her mouth, her delicately sculpted eyebrows. And then I dare to look into the eyes that invite my heart to see.
So I do. I open my heart. To hear her speak, speak without her voice. A tenor only an open heart can hear.
My brother. He is disabled. My mother abandoned us. I care for him all night, every night. I love him more than I love myself. I give him more than I give myself.
I see a crown atop her head. The skin on my arms shivers with the beauty this young woman hides, hides inside her deepest self, inside her heart.
* * *
The elderly man reeks with anger. As he walks by they turn their faces away in disgust. He is spoken to with disrespect, with foul flavor, with ugliness.
I don’t want anyone to talk to me. I don’t want to go on. There is nothing worth living for anymore and I don’t want anyone to try to change my mind. I love my wife. I miss my wife. My heart is broken without her. And then quietly, ever so quietly…..I wish someone could see me. I wish someone still loved me.
I see him draped in garlic from his garden, his aura shrouded with stench. A stench so strong it wards off his heart’s ache and soothes his mind’s demand. I give him a hug. He weeps and holds on for days.
I’m a gang member.
But I love my son with a passion I have never, ever known.
How do I turn my life around?
How do I become the hero my son already knows me to be?
Will anyone ever give me a chance?
The only chance that really matters now?
Will anyone ever be able to see me for me…
For who I really am?
* * *
If I make myself wings, will I get to heaven any sooner?
But you already have wings, my dear.
Yes. The problem isn’t you.
It’s the rest of us who forget to remind you that you can fly.
We look with our eyes.
We see with our hearts.
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