The light spilled over her cheeks
as if God had knocked over a water glass.
It trickled down over her right eyebrow,
over the bridge of her nose,
falling to the left ever so slightly
until it reached her bottom lip.
To my unfocused eyes,
she was an angel.
I blinked the sleep out of my eyes,
taking in shallow breaths
as if any sudden move might disturb her surface.
Ripples on a pond
I thought if I touched her she might burst apart,
and dissolve into a million tiny pieces of air.
I couldn’t move.
But she could.
With a slight furrow of her brow
and a fluttering of eyelashes
she faced me.
She didn’t look onto my face
but rather traced my outline with her gaze.
she said quietly.
"There is nothing more beautiful than you are over your shoulder but I find I cannot meet your eyes.”
There is a small hole in my back and
no matter which way I toss or turn I cannot seem to fill it.
I will walk and walk and walk but it will still be empty
it will still be missing.
I will walk to the end of the earth to find it again
Fear for me is not terror.
It’s an itch on the very edges of my shoulders that will not leave
I have scratched off the top layers of my skin trying
when it comes I am an inch shorter and a foot smaller
and when it puts its hands on my face I can’t bear to look away
my fear is sleepless nights staring at a clock that ticks down to zero
whenever it reaches the end I am convinced that the world will end but it hasn’t yet
I just reset the clock and roll over and over again
maybe next time the world will finally start to break apart
I think about time every time time happens
my mind loves to remind me
again and again repeating lines for emphasis
that I am running out
my heart is too fast and my hands are too slow
my breathing is somewhere in the middle
I am looking for something I lost long ago
I will walk to the end of the earth to find it again
I will walk to the end of the earth to find my peace
It was May
and I was drunk
and I was sitting on a rock somewhere far away from my mind
and my heart and all those other things that you need to survive.
I was thinking about the ocean
and how much my feet hurt.
I had walked all the way out there
to look at the waves and lost my shoes
along with my mind and my heart and
they’re probably swimming out there somewhere;
I’ve just lost sight of them.
The ocean is funny and sad
when you hold it in your hands your fingers can either feel like they own the world
or as if the world can, at any moment, slip through the cracks.
Time is funny too,
and like the ocean,
you can only hold a little in your hands.
In other ways it’s not like the ocean at all,
trying drinking Time and I’ll think you’re on some drug that I’d like to get my hands on.
People describe time and the ocean similarly
and for some reason I think I’ve got it figured out
but I’ve got it figured out in only the way someone sitting on a rock in the middle of the night with no shoes and heart can.
They describe the ocean and time by telling us about how enormous it is,
they try to tell us how deep it is,
how wide it is,
how tall it is.
They can stand up and tell us facts about the beginnings of it and how they think it will end but when you look at the fine print both of them say that they have about 90% left to be discovered.
When you look out at time or the ocean who is to say how much your seeing?
Is the the horizon over there or is it just how far my eyes will reach? Can I predict the tides and the sky and the next person to stumble around the corner?
Maybe I should just go to sleep.
Back when fate was something so true we could hold it in our atlas laced hands things might have been different.
You may think that life can only be an ever consuming sleep but I wish to remind you that does not inhibit us from dreaming.
I believe that one day I will wake up with a knowing;
grasping at any tendril of that which may have been left behind,
with unconsciousness still lingering in my vision.
We learn, criticize and hope
laying in piles of uncreated art.
It is a sad comfort to be human;
a relief much comparable to tearing yourself from a particularly terrible dream.
And we will startle,
again and again,
repeating lines for emphasis,
until we find the truth.
It is then that the dream is over and we return to what is.
I'll talk about God until I meet him in the middle.
I'll talk about God until he comes to me in that dream.
I sleep on my stomach with my back to the stars
and I send my condolences to the moon.
the wires are humming again
she's covering her ears
while eyes flicker
and breath quickens
she asked me to help her kill the parts that hung off her like the tails of ghosts that she claims trace the hallways
she tried to cut out the hardware that embedded itself in her skin
I could hear the metal hitting the floor as I lay asleep
but when I awoke she claimed it was only the bugs dancing in the night
they knocked over the candles and that blew out the light
I used to believe everything she said when she used to talk about how the sky was every color
she said she could see them in my eyes
my eyes are darker than night now
the sun lives downstairs
but he rarely comes to check on us anymore
I don't mind
I need you to understand that
the divine does not become divine
by sitting at desks
my double helix had light shining through the cracks
but that only explains why
there is an ache in my fingers
and a need to run in my feet
as long as there is not only darkness I can make my own way
a spotlight illuminates the desk
at which I sit
I am a soul being carried in a cradle
and my hands keep slipping
my eyes are starting to blur
and they just keep watching
sitting in a sea
I can't even hear them
I am writing a script at age 17 that I will refer to again
until I am dead
I am writing my future
and I'm not sure who my arms think they are
but they write me entering stage left
and when I exit stage right my cells will have replaced themselves
and my arms will be different arms
the only thing I can hope for is that they will have held what they needed to
I do not know the girl I am writing about
but she knows all about me
she doesn't hate me
I know this because she smiles when she thinks of me
she loves me
but I am her burden
affect her decisions
and that is so heavy for my pen
I still see her light shining slightly through the cracks
she will whisper to me
"It's perfectly okay"
"I was afraid too"
and we will take solace in our decisions
The script I'm writing is for both of us
I just hope we can meet
in the middle
Imagine this with your eyes closed.
These are the labored seconds before you open your eyes to the day.
A subtle ache hums in your bones and it takes an amount of effort to pull your eyelids apart.
And the light rushes into your eyes.
Being in an abusive relationship is like waking up in a plain white room that used to be full of color, and you look around wondering when it got to be this way. How could you not have noticed the color seeping from the drywall?
Did it happen while you were asleep?
No, you think, this must be how the room has always been. You must have imagined the color, colors are silly anyway.
No one else lives in rooms that are full of color, this must be normal.
There is an emptiness in your back that will not fill itself with your skin no matter which way you twist or turn and you vaguely remember taking a part of yourself and giving it to another.
Hushed whispers curl around your ears and for a second you can feel someones breath close to your neck.
The voices are familiar, loving, they caress the skin and if you listen close enough you can almost make out what they're saying.
"you're worthless lovely" they say
that can't be right
See, what they don't tell you is that abusers are wonderful, you don't fall in love with monsters, they can be your best friend, your neighbor, the person who sits next to you in class.
The whole point of being with someone is not to make you feel terrible but to make you feel wonderful and that is almost always how it starts out.
After that it just depends on which side of the door you're on.
The wall is as cold and smooth as marble.
And you lay with your cheek pressed against it, as if listening for a heartbeat. Spreading across your skin is a numbness that can only be compared to sleeping with your eyes open,
Don't pinch yourself, you will wake whoever is dreaming.
In health class they aim to teach us about ourselves and others and how to interact and how to make good choices and outcomes of our problems but what happens when your health class illustrates your past?
I have yet to count the amount of people who have came out of that room with tears in their eyes, because they finally understand.
I UNDERSTOOD WHEN THE FIRST COLOR I SAW AGAIN WAS RED AND IT WAS AT THE CENTER OF HIS EYES,
I SWEAR THEY LOOKED SOMETHING LIKE FIRE,
WHEN HE ROSE HIS HAND TO HIT ME AND EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN'T TOUCH MY SKIN HE LEFT SCARS DEEP BENETH IT THAT STILL HAVEN'T HEALED AND WITH HIS HAND IN THE AIR AND HIS WORDS LIKE THUNDER I PUT MY HANDS TO MY FACE AND CLOSED MY EYES WHEN I OPENED THEM HE WAS GONE AND I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT I NEVER LET HIM COME BACK BUT I WOULD BE LYING TO YOU
but open your eyes because in this room 1 out of every 3 people will be subject to abuse and I am not just a statistic but a reason to never shut them again,
I had too many people say that when I was sick every time before I saw him it was butterflies,
and I've had one too many girls come to me crying because they finally have a word to call their boyfriends,
and I have been to too many doctors to call my physical condition a random happening of events,
and I have too many reasons not to be silent anymore
it takes an amount of effort to pull your eyelids apart,
but let the light rush into your eyes