you do not need to be
the watercolor portrait of yourself
your mind has painted for the world to see

you do not need to walk the desert sands
shackled in chains, burdened with the
heavy tents and clothes and supplies on your back
to reach some garden of eden

you do not need to live up to
whatever the world says it needs of you

you need only to
breathe in, breathe out,
take joy in the breaths

make merry in your every day
and, when in grief,
sit quiet in your tearful thoughts

and know that every sun that sets
will rise again in the next dawn

when the dark is scattered by the youthful
chirps of birds awakening

and the yellow-reds match the burning of your heart
as you remember your place in the universe