Part of me wants to say, “I don’t know how this happened!”
But I do.
It was one too many comments in a day of exhaustive, unsolicited feedback from strangers who felt ownership over my body by virtue of its existence in their presence.
My options were to scream into the void or put words on paper. Thankfully, I did the latter.
Over months, I edited the words into a poem. I sent that poem to nearly a dozen journals before Kissing Dynamite sent me the email that changed everything.
They wanted to feature my rage in their May 2019 issue.
I provided commentary to readers. I got to tell the why and how of the words that had poured out of me that one angry day that could have been any angry day.
The feedback I received was empowering. I hadn’t felt so validated in my feelings of violation and indignation.
To be nominated was itself an honor. It was enough.
Last week, following a string of bad news, I received another email with the subject line, “Congratulations!” Inside, the lovely Christine Taylor, EIC of KD, told me that my flicker of fury had been named a Best of the Net finalist for 2019.
This is how it happened: I turned my hurt into flame into a story. I shared that story with someone who found some beauty in it, who shared it with their corner of the world, then shared it again with an even bigger corner of the world. Someone there saw some beauty in it, too, and decided to share it even wider.
There is magic in how it happened, and something so desperately human that it can’t be named.
Thank you Christine, the KD team, the judges and readers and producers at Sundress Publications. Congratulations to my fellow finalists, the winners, and all the other digital poets just trying to make something of the everything. Keep doing.