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It came for me again
With teeth and claws
That sunk into my flesh
With ruby red eyes that loomed in the darkness,
Mocking me as I struggled to sleep.
I was a spectator
As my mood disintegrated in front of me,
Giving way for the heavy enormity of depression
And the burning itch of restlessness
That took up residence in the wounds Bipolar tore across my mind.
It came for me again,
And I, as always,
Was left to fight it in a weary body,
Clinging to contraband hope
That the consequences would not be permanent this time.
It came for me again,
But I am still alive.
What do you want from me?
I ask my memories,
Wondering why they’ve come out to play,
Tap dancing across the wood floors of me mind,
Creating a cacophony that echoes off my skull.
What do you want from me?
I hear them when they respond, “We’re trying to make you safe.”
I know they’re attempting to prevent tumbling off the same rocks,
Trying to ensure I don’t crack bones on the same hard places.
They are telling me to avoid having pieces of me stolen again.
I couldn’t protect myself at thirteen or sixteen,
So I stumbled down the same dark alleys until I was 18
And paid a grander price in an even darker cave at 19.
I’m 22 now, and I’m still picking up the pieces out of the mouths of men,
Men who cut me down until I was a conglomerate of bite size, fuckable pieces.
I was taught not to scream when my pieces were being consumed.
Who needs to be a whole human anyway?
If tip money went into my pocket,
If he told me he loved me afterwards,
If I was alive to see the morning light,
Who was I to complain?  
And when I stopped wanting to see the sun rise,
They gazed upon my pieces
And berated me for the wreckage.
What do you want from me?
Is a question I only know how to ask myself.
I have never dared ask those who stole from me
Whether they came to me in good faith,
Never had the wisdom to lock up what was valuable.
I have never demanded of anyone what their intentions were,
So I ask again: What do you want from me?
What am I expected to provide?
Am I allowed to be a whole human here?
Or will you require I be bite size again?
I am desperate to be safe in the same flesh that once enticed those who hunted me.
What do you want from me?
I’ll tell you what I want.
I want to go home whole,
Knowing my skin is all mine.
Some days I don’t want to be the voice of progress,
The cry into the shadows that demands we shine a light.
Some days I don’t want to be strong and silent,
Keeping my hurt hidden behind “Let’s not think of this.”
Today I don’t want to know where the bruises used to be
Or remember the moment I thought I’d climbed into bed with a murderer,
His arm locked around my neck.
Today I don’t want to be a survivor.
I just want to be okay.
I am lost in the memories
Of what my mind did to me,
Trying to take an accounting,
So I can unravel the mystery.
I am searching for answers,
So I am not a casualty,
Hoping that this heart will keep beating
In a body that once tried to **** me,
Demanding that there's a different ending
To this accursed story.
I am terrified of what I may do to myself if I let my guard down.
It's not that I don't want to be happy.
It's that at my core,
I do not trust myself.
The Highs taste like Lemon Heads
Before burning my mouth like Cinnamon Red Hots.
The Lows go down like soup of ash and cold water.
I am forever trying to find a balance between the flavors of mania
And the blandness of depression.
Often, I find myself hungry in the wee hours,
Dismayed by both options.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that blood speaks in run on sentences,
Slick syllables flow out of damaged veins like rabid speech
And end in ellipses promising that more will be forthcoming.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that antibacterial soap could never wash the sins out
Enough to make me the saint they always hoped I'd be,
And I am steeped in "nice girl" expectations that never came to fruition.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that my brain went to battle with my body at the age of 12,
And now my eyes have seen more than my heart can hold,
So I keep my emotions locked up like prisoners of war,
Hoping that solitary confinement will lessen their ability to contuse my soul.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that guitar strings leave calluses but release heartache,
That music and poetry are borne of the same cloth and stitch the same wounds.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that I've been trying to stitch my own wounds
Since I was a little girl,
Confused and afraid in a world that tried to **** all that was beautiful and different about her.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that this body loves to twirl and flap and rock, and shimmy,
That I am a perpetual motion machine designed to move with the tune of my own feet.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you I've made some ugly scars and beautiful art,
That the line between the two is proportional to my pain threshold.
Sometimes suffering demands that my hands commit crimes against my skin,
But I've learned that I can bleed ink instead of blood.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that I am often overwhelmed by the darkness of the night sky,
The way the blackness encroaches on the moonlight,
But there's no eloquent speech to convey the way the stars ignite hope in my chest,
Kindle optimism in my heart.
I am desperate to hold on to it.
If my hands could talk,
They'd tell you that I am sometimes so human it cuts me,
But I am learning how to exist within that humanity.
If my hands could talk,
They'd end this poem in a semi colon
Because there's still so much they have to say;
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