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Chris Hollermann Nov 2021

  You were a puzzle I desperately wanted to complete,
                  contorting myself into every one of your missing pieces
it wasn't enough


I'd get ready to leave

      in love soaked drunken haze you'd talk about the children we'd have or where we might live and I'd stay for the promises of tomorrows you'd never intended to keep
       There was always a next time

times when the gin pickled your compassion and in place of loving brume you threw out hate; lamenting your misunderstood plight in life (straight, white men, often have this plight) and the unknowable pain this brought you

    your abuse came in flavors; bitter mockery, flaming anger and sour ridicule of the way I existed in the world, the same way, that on other days, in happier drunken states, you'd cherish

When you'd sober up, we'd talk and sometimes it'd be okay. Other days you gave me your burdens to hold and if I objected, with words, a look,  or just a feeling you had about me
              you'd scold me for you walking on the eggshells of everything you broke in us, that somehow, was my fault too

   I was always, always, confused by that but I'd try harder to be better so you could be okay
       I stopped talking to you about all the days and ways you hurt me. By then you'd stopped sobering up at all
               Even if you'd been willing to listen I'm not sure what you could retain, the disease had taken so much by then


no matter

   you had me well trained at that juncture.

I became the weatherman of our days. Reading subtle room weather patterns, watching for your rains
            preparing our home for your storms. Our home, you never failed to note, was never mine, but only yours. Though you asked me to spend all my hours there, should you ever sense I became too comfortable you'd remind me I could go

  I learned to lessen your thunder by offering foot rubs, lunch dates, and freshly baked bread. I'd stroke your hair until you fell asleep (passed out) smelling always of alcohol and my failure to keep you well.

  Some days the winds of your self destructive disasters were too strong to offset so I'd have to wait for them to pass. I trained myself to never look afraid because my emotions; my wants, my needs, my tears,
     and especially my fear made you 'regret' me

that pain cuts still

  I learned what your abuse intended to train. Showing you only curated versions of myself that you liked, in amounts you approved of and only at times you desired.
     asking even , for permission to leave the room

eventually though, whether days, hours, months or years
   it stopped being enough

on the last day we were us I was in your kitchen cleaning up after baking healthy snacks, to support your health, after cleaning my place, following an 8 hour shift
                                                     somewhere in the sleep deprivation and domestic details I forgot myself and told you something in my heart, something that made me happy
          to which, unapplied and inebriated, you told me how bad of an example I set at my job

where I'd been promoted

Something broke; awoke, within me and remembering myself, finally, I clapped back
         you sulked like a 36 year old teenager and passed out while I took a shower to cool off
  I tried to talk to you 3 times over the next 7 days about what had happened but at every turn you doubled down, insisting,
                           that per usual I'd made this
     "much to do about nothing"
        I suppose
                                                                                   my feelings
were a lot of nothing you resented being saddled with
    caring if you'd hurt me was a wrongdoing I'd presented to you, by having been bothered enough, to have feelings left for you to hurt
   with great, crescendoing silence, you stonewalled my invitations to engage
        in superiority drenched distain you were fine with us ending, if I wanted to make it that big of a deal

So, on a Saturday in August, we were done.

    I gave your mom the fulfillment of a promise I had made her when I found myself with no way to stay, and having to go.
                for the tiniest window I felt free in my grief, thinking, the worst was done
      then they asked, if I'd show up, just once more, a heal, oh, oops, hail Mary pass to save your life with our love that you were hellbent at throwing away
         I watched you abuse every person you sore to me only to protect and I cried, a little at first, then a downpour that wouldn't relent, a releasing of all your storms I'd never felt safe enough to embrace in our (your) home came pouring out

i watched everything we'd been or could ever hope to be die

   once it was over and my usefulness shifted to obsolete I was discarded. It suddenly became clear where you'd learned it; the art of disorientation through giving kindness and cruelty in equal measure
                             i cried for 7 hours that night

it wasn't until weeks later, after setting boundaries with all who'd emotionally fileted me, that I understood I was a survivor.

                              of abuse
                                                                    of you; my abuser

     in knowing and naming what I'd endured I found the pieces missing form the puzzle of my freedom, the answer why I could never leave or stay left
                                                but now I could
                                                                              so i did

No I do, finally free from us, thriving out of the ashes as someone new, someone you never knew.

THE RISING (3 months later)

I went to the last place I can remember who I was before you; the same place that held me after our first break; that welcomes me back
  after our last

I sang the music you never liked; the songs I put on a playlist of us that you fast forwarded through
                   I laid down in spiders; letting their webs keep all the words we shouldn't have said, the ones you left unsaid, and your portion of our blame you let me carry alone.
     I stood up and let the wind take all the anxieties reading the room for your moods gave me and I let them float away --- saying
the goodbye you wouldn't give us

  Honoring what was good in the love I'm leaving behind, seeing clearly, now, how your punishment-affection-withholding chipped
  away at my foundation
                   I understand the strength I held; hold, because despite it all I kept getting kinder, softer and wiser while you kept letting life make you colder; using my light to stay warm and blaming me, without saying a word, when it wasn't enough to stop your past from catching up to you
                                                 i originally left for you
but I'm staying away for me.
                                           For the girl your abuse buried (may she rest in peace) and for the fiery phoenix of a woman you lit her world on fire, trusting she'd be strong enough to find joy in the unknowable aftermath
                               today is my closure
                       pieces of what we were sprinkled on the grounds of where we'd been and I'm going home (my home)
                 beautifully whole
         finding hope blooming in the holes where your lies used to live, feeling the clouds fill me up, holding space for all that awaits; ready to begin and
                             I'm happy

the spiderwebs can keep all our yesterdays, I've got beautiful todays and tomorrows to attend to
Chris Hollermann Nov 2021
The first time you kissed me my heartbeat couldn't breathe
           I felt suspended in the present, completely in my body; on fire with our heat
   my mind, usually drenched in anxiety; pacing through possibilities, went beautifully, blissfully, blank
                              I sank into my body; feeling grounded;
               an oak tree with the freedom of a breeze; wrapped up in the moment, lost even to me; savoring what was, not worried about what we'd remember or what we'd be
The next day my lip was swollen from the urgency that made it feel like too much fabric was held between us
      time still moved, but, for the moment, for all the minutes that included, we were still in crackling connection
  a story we were just starting to tell; the adventure of us and right there a the beginning
                               we stood still, sturdy and free
          beginning and becoming
                             simultaneously everything and nothing
                just being

It was beautiful;

                 it still is
          We were beautiful;

                                    we still are
Chris Hollermann Nov 2021
I read somewhere when we let our defenses down we become ordinary,  
        the simplification of self allows us to transform into a transparent being; fully able to allow in divinity and shine light into the world.

your kisses on my neck caused a chain reaction that ended with my head falling back; off the pillow, shedding my defenses, sinking into you
     your touch can do that
          strip me down to my elements and raise what's raw and primal into sanctity
If awareness is impossible when when are heads are caught up with life's illusions of control, ensnared in self-imagine; your ability to
        erase my ego brought me to a higher awareness than I've ever known.

The hallmark of spirituality is the softening of ones' soul then on a Sunday not so long ago an atheist and a non-religious came together,
        finding church within, and on, one another
  so why, and for what possible, highest good reason can the persecution of pleasure; the embraced reverence of each other, be the wisest course for humanity?
    In concert with one another barriers of self fell in the creation of an us; elevating and excavating urgent tenderness from my soul. A process that, in every sense of the word, was divine
     Still religious takes this holey exchange and demands our atonement.
         You want a confession.

Here's what I'll confess.
    The union of him and I, the earthy tanginess of desire, brought my soul closer to 'God' than any bible verse
                   so following the logic of keeping faith simple I'll to church, just not before your alter
  instead I'll allow my soul to soften in the arms of a lovely irreligionist, naked and unashamed
  ordinary, transparent, and in the greatest good of us; of my essence, of me
    It makes me smile because the universal flow, as I know them, would smile at the tragic irony of how our humanness made something so simple, instinctive, automatic as coming together into a shame shrouded sin
   causing a fall from grace, instead of into Grace.
Chris Hollermann Jul 2015
Our love story was short.
I used three words to describe it.
I. Love. You.
You used two.
I can't.

Then there was nothing more to say.
Chris Hollermann Jun 2015
My eyes had a way of changing color, grey to green, depending on pain

He had a way of inspiring the spectrum by the way he withheld his heart,
A varied action
Dependent only on the day
And had nothing to do with me

It felt personal though, it always feels personal when hearts get involved
Hearts and their agendas

I gave up on my dreams of us being any of the scripts I craved but
I'd still held purpose in love transforming his loss

Selfish or selfless,
Agenda's agenda

I'll go on loving him because with love like this it's the only option I've got

But I'll do it agenda less
Perhaps my eyes can find a terminal balance

Hazel Grace
Chris Hollermann Mar 2015
The coffee slides down my throat,
Straight shot to my vines, an imitation of alive,
My hearts too preoccupied to do its job
Busy singing a siren song about a guy
Who didn't want me
Doesn't miss me
And won't

The anxiety of that truth slithers around my neck at night, stealing my rest
As the memories of his touch haunt my mind, circling on repeat, whispering 'almost'

I didn't know him long enough for it to feel this way
Heartache is for the splits of duration not the barely begun
Here I am

In withdrawal of him and all we could have been
Chris Hollermann Sep 2014
An onslaught of misery forced me into a whirlwind of change
To strong to resist, to sudden to understand left only to stand and observe the destruction
The overwhelming aftermath left me sweeping all emotion under the rug, setting myself up to later trip up and leave me dripping with stale grief, swearing, as the grief stricken crazy do, that I could hear the angels weep the day you died, and how the wings of your memory brushed my face each night
How I could swear we bridge the gap between our worlds when I see you in my dreams
- From A Journey of Self to Self
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