Too often, people work hard to hide
That they are ever broken
Or unhappy or flawed
Or anything but perfectly happy.
Never anything but perfectly happy.
“Don’t dare be anything but perfectly happy.”
I don’t understand the allure of the placid.
What is a pulse without a tempest?
What is a laugh without a roar?
When I meet people, I want to love them.
I want to know the come and go of their
Happiness and full
I want to know the cracked porcelain
The glued-together, burned clay fingertips
The knees that never melted before God.
Everyone is broken in different places
Everyone has parts of them they don’t know exist.
We forget what our bodies are made of until pain tugs at our composition
Don’t know kidney until it hurts
Don’t know bone until it shatters
Don’t know parts of ourselves until they are torn and tested.
We are all torn and tested in different parts.
I want to learn all of me.
And tracing my fingers on spiked wire spines
Teaches me more than caressing my own darkness
So I have learned to love
like peeling back the thin skin of an apricot
Like letting the juice run down alongside my veins
Like seeing the shattered glass
The ebb of the wave
The crash of the tide
Like everything.
All of it.
In its singular composition.

 People: perfect in their private complications.
I don’t understand the allure
of pretending to be okay or fine or blissful
All of the goddamn time
Like being bruised sometimes is a crime
Like we don’t all love the give of softness
Like it doesn’t feel familiar
Like it doesn’t feel brave
Like being human isn’t beautiful.
Except it is.
Being human is so fucking beautiful
And I’m done apologizing for it.

Bet-Zua (Bea) Jimenez is a student, poet, painter and computer programmer from Los Angeles. Since moving to Madison as a Posse scholar, Bea has become much more acutely aware of how race, culture and class define identity, perception and day-to-day interactions. In her spoken word poetry, she explores the world as she sees it, using details of her life to touch on the universal intersection of culture and self.