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the innkeeper Aug 15
That nameless spark
The one that starts in your diaphragm
you think it’s your breath,
but it gets stuck

Chest—hot
Breath—ragged
Heart—taiko beat

But you turned away...

“Didn’t want to start something”
You said

“Smart for you, sad for me”
I said

...Incompatible, I rationalized

What to do now?

Did we dodge a bullet?

Would your woundedness have moved
Through me and left a mark?

Your hesitation has.

“Everyone is complicated”
You told me after you kissed my neck

Do I stay soft?

Stay open?

I didn’t know when you said “everyone”
you meant yourself
the innkeeper Jul 12
My heart is open and getting softer to
This unruly, textured, tender, layered existence

This isn’t new though

It’s always been a giant beating thing.

It beat for acceptance and praise and approval
As if those things were Love
As if those things sustained anything besides veneers

When my heart beat for anybody but myself
Kids, partners, parents, friends, strangers
It beat so loudly that it drowned out
The sounds of its own losses

This time and space forced me to be so
Unraveled
So broken open
That the only beating my heart did at first felt traitorous

Slowly, slowly when I had no reason to protect myself
No reason to deny my small self anything
Because there was nothing left to grasp for...
My heart turned to itself
the innkeeper Jun 30
The things we built were on a rickety scaffold
stretched as high and fast as our love
when we got to the top I wanted to cling to you
and look in your eyes
and tell you that I was scared.

I’m scared.

And your eyes are gone.

The scaffold has tumbled
and the pieces are shiny
and sharp
and broken
the innkeeper Jun 28
My existence isn’t something
you test out your empathy on

My humanity is not something
that asks for your sympathy

My life and loves and lived experiences
are liberated from your thin,
watery approval

Your opinion holds no bearing in my body.
I don’t want them.

I’m scared to sleep again because that’s where the dreams live
My dreams don’t know that hope feels like death
That thoughts of you need to be closely filtered,
monitored, redirected and pushed away
Lest I start crying and not stop until
my body has lost all of its water in tears

My dreams are where I remember
you played on my body like a jungle gym
Where every kiss seared my soul

The big dream has yet to be told
that no one is coming to the party
and it is still building the venue

The dreams are where
memory, fantasy and hopes grow
in fertile soil without knowing
there is no sun to feed them
and the water is running dry

Time is returning to me
And you’re gone
the innkeeper May 31
If I share with you what was going on for me,
Hope, the thing with feathers,
springs up in my chest
I know there is no room for it
despair is my alternate companion

Both are always present and vying for attention,
they both want to be fed

I am doing the work within myself to soothe the spaces
where each companion wants to land
to take space where it doesn’t fit

I cannot let hope touch down and root
So it rockets around in my fear
causing collateral physical damage
as I try to eradicate it with logic and self cruelty

I cannot let despair sink into my soul
So it is ever present in the air around me,
condensing with thoughts that drip
from the ceiling and leave stalactites,
sharp and threatening to fall and pierce
the innkeeper May 31
I find myself flooded, panting like I’m in labor
Birthing the tears and blood and anguish of loss
Trying to find air that doesn’t feel like it’s suffocating

Every breath feels like I’ve missed a step
And that hitch catches in my chest
The rest between the in-breath and the out stretches on
And lifetimes long I can see the futures
we could be dancing and breathing in together

The way my heart keeps beating is traitorous,
To burn and cut and shatter with each pulse
and yet keep beating for the next one
I exhale the air leaves my body in a weak stream
and a strangled whimper

— The End —