Oh, how we became
from the solace seeking dead of winter
when there was warmth in numbers and maybe comfort hid there too.
I could burn down the densest of cities with the lingering you abandoned
inside me, there is a gift tied tight
I’ve known you more
than the underside of your tongue
wet, reckless, and longing
I recite your anger with sure lips
before yours even part.
We memorized each other bare-******,
we don’t touch anymore.
The silence just bleeds
Staining the empty sofa
No longer our worn place of comfort.
We are asking for one another with greedy jaws
loosened with halfhearted declarations
and it is not enough.
You wonder how fairytales
could lead you so astray
you hurt yourself on the jagged softness
of bloodied knuckles against your cheek.
Turn the page on the brightest star
as it implodes unheard, without consequence
I built you up in my mind
far too close to heaven
wrapped tightly in the flammable
We didn’t burn together.
Sometimes we love people more in theory than practice.
The choir concludes the service
We are eyes closed, air drawn to hands raised.
They sing because they happy
back in church
always with bodies
Someone is screaming, tongue defying hymn
And yes, how far away we are
I miss him too.
His voice always singing familiar
haunts trumpet blaring
Dark eyes and skin, wide smile, no teeth.
Fearless at 5 singing gospels with no concept of holding tight to strength in the lyrics. My ancestors and their ancestors. Am I listening?
I lose myself in years. I am not
Singing anymore. These chords have twisted themselves into the back of songs, I am
Writing, not singing or speaking.
Cottonmouth. I am sitting staunch against pews, leaning into worn piano keys. Foundation stains, and eyes watching, chestnut brown like mine. G in the key that breaks into silence. I hear a hymn being hummed, bacon cooked and waiting.
Memory tells me it is time to open my mouth
I sing 'cause I’m free.
My speakers miss the slow cracking rasp of your voice
and I know I’m not supposed to talk about the tears
or what happens to our hearts once we break them ourselves.
It comes to be a question of belonging
there is a space within you
perfectly build for me to sink inside,
where I hear your voice wistfully say my name
a space that you’ve guarded not emptied.
Now we are the detriment,
in the question of belonging.
There is a space between the soft flesh of my chest,
beyond the cracking of my ribs.
Inside of me, there is a space built for you
sometimes I keep myself there too.
it was early on
I found your kindness laying between my thighs
your love was barren and no
I couldn’t fill
a sideways heart spilled out
contents burning every inch of
your intimacy touched
giving the pieces of myself I never
cared to part with
left me empty and you
Most days are filled with unearthing
The feeling of
I am enough.
And then there are days, never-ending
days, and days,
I am breathing and that is enough.
I never knew a heart could bend
so far without breaking.
You never knew love
without indiscriminate taking.
We are what myths
strive to be.
A lovers’ journey
Bow your head and drown out the voices.
This is the word. I say to you and your lips alone.
“Kerosene never smelled so appealing as it did that day
we loved under the mask of fumes.”
Dizzy and lost. Our eyes shut to the heat of firestorms.
Between us, we were burning.
They act as if survival has not been its own battle. I am living
clawed into my flesh
by my own body.
Placating to your storms
I temper the heat with unresolved tension.
Disintegrate your body into mine
It’s been so long since we’ve been one.
Missing you felt so cold.
Breathing you in like patience
To let this go
no more hiding in secret places.
There is no safe haven.
You are everywhere and nowhere at all.
You have been hurting since your body took root.
Anguish has taken
gatekeeping your healing.
You are worthy of peace
and so much love.
I hope you stay to feel it.
I hope you stay
I fear my turning
as it has been without disparity
or admittance to healing. With a closed fist, I scream my agony
Into trembling hands. Still a spectator
not a comfort, on my own. I hold within
inherited strength from ancestors not yet raised
passed my groaning ribs. I live in fear
of my birth. Setting lose the creature,
I welcome its hopefulness.
Measuring the ways in which
Mind, Soul, Body.
When asked to tether myself to thoughts
that anchor fear onto bare ankles
balancing the edge of diving boards
leading the way to calming chlorine.
A sideways home filled with
emptied liquor cabinets and screaming doors.
Silencing words before they reach
the underside of my babbling tongue.
If you ask the heart why it self-destructs
Forgets to beat, forgets to hush.
The cause of the ringing in your ears
You mistook for love.
floats to the bottom, then
bites her tongue, and falls in love.
She falls in love.
She falls in love.
It was in the death of autumn
when Bravado came to me
as a lover.
Warning me not spare you
Disdained for leaving you hissing
through my garden like a snake,
spewing venom into thorns
for the way, I’ve taken back my life.
I’ve been revived in a skin
you cannot claim.
Do not bother searching this soil.
There’s nothing in me
left for you.
Reckless words serve their purpose.
You leave, bandage up cracks.
Never speak of it again.
It happens again,
Honesty. The free will you forgot
escapes on its own accord.
A beautiful day with your mother.
A drunken tryst with a friend.
Once you speak it
those chipped pieces of self
shift reliving moments
worse than their inception.
There’s healing in the breaking.
Lingering pain that opens doors,
opens mouths, opens hearts.
You speak his sins
as if they are yours to repent,
Don’t let them call you weak for staying
so long after it began.
It is always the same ‘they’ who saw the signs
and did not offer the kindness of a hand.
I hope you know
the strength of your light still existed
when it was kept within.
I am finally being forced to deal
with limitations, my mind has set.
So, what does that mean?
I spent a life of heavy determination, littered with no’s
Fighting my body while it screamed that I’d do it anyway.
And I did.
I was astounding, gregarious,
Momentum passed brain chemistry.
This ‘no’ is different.
And it’s lingering
And it hurts.
There is no work harder and achieve.
There is no scream and endure.
There is no getting around this.
No one cares if I get stable
No one cares if I medicate.
It’s a no, that stays a ‘no’
No matter if I promise to change.
and I have no choice,
but to pull my head out of falling embers.
This residual loss, I watch
my dream as it shatters.
Fading flames can’t catch my attention.
Barely an adult,
and I am carrying around a life sentence.
I buried my heart
within a dying star
and called the burning
Never knew how hard
the sun works to warm
until I felt my grandmother’s
firm hands tremble in mine
as we held each other tight
until we could free
I still carry
of deceptive joy
heavy in my womb.
I keep with me
what you’ve been able to discard
into incoherent stories
crafted from my absence.
Bone creaking silence recites,
“The body does not forget
on the wax of candles
I want to wish you
and your presence
Your memory is aging.
Waiting for you
make a wish.
Artists cut from clashing fabric.
We spoke in vibrant, fading colors
baby blue and forest green.
land and sea.
You aren’t brave enough
to tread my ocean.
I have no interest
in climbing trees.
They said the warm weather
and good vibes would
save the frigid /
inconsolable / lost
want for a new life.
We are still cold and lonely.
We are still searching for heat.
Like a curtain my straightened hair hides
me in its second act
Covering the understudy
set to take my place.
A performance of me, who is not me,
body dressed up and acting.
In the pews,
Ma, and Pop, waiting to be proud
accomplishments I claim, but reject.
Afraid I didn’t earn
how I am seen to a crowd.
My hair curls to
chases a curtain call.
I bend at the spine with a smile
You are that first gasp of air,
the relief in resuscitation.
The only reason I’d ever dream
of breaking the surface.
Eyes to the sun, drifting
towards settled land.
I’m breathing on my own now
but you don’t seem to care.
Backs to the water,
float arms out to the heavens.
This is the first of few days
I haven’t thought about drowning.
You are not stuck.
Have you not woken this morning to a new day?
Your mind thrives on each new thought.
You are born an idea of hope
gifted to this world,
and the freedom
to choose who you are.
Who you will follow
Who you will lead.
You are not stuck.
You are building everything
that you were meant to be.
— The End —