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Hale Salafia May 2014
It stings,
My arm,
But I'm used to it.
I'm used to the sick way the pain gives me something to feel
And how my heart stops pounding quite so hard
When red spills down my arm

Instead of feeling better
Here I am
Writing ****** poetry in the midst of relapse
Waiting for the antidepressants to finally kick in
So that maybe for once
I won't always feel like I'm sinking

This ball and chain called depression
Keeps holding me back
I can no longer launch myself into your arms
I am forced to crawl,
To carry this burden
Until my arms can no longer support me

I'm done.
I'm tired.
I want to be alone

But interspersed with the hauntings
Thoughts of living
Sneak their way into my mind

And tonight

I want to live
Hale Salafia May 2014
They came back

Like the raging winds
And the torrential rains
They came back.

The urges,
The desire to tear into flesh
To sink into an abyss of pain
Only to never come out

I was naive to think
They'd stay away for good
To think
A little over a month was long enough to
Escape the hell my life had become

I thought they were gone for good
That I was safe from my most primal urges
**** or be killed
Destroy or be destroyed

But a month isn't enough
To stop salivating over blades
To stop daydreaming of bridges and throwing yourself off them

It will never be enough
No matter how long I stay clean.

Because I will always be smudged,
A mirror  coated with dust
Never to reveal the whole truth,
Just a sick dance of marionettes
Jolting against their strings.
Woah ****** vent poetry
Hale Salafia Apr 2014
Is not an equation.
There is no
x, y, or z
No variable
No shortcut to find a companion
If there was,
It wouldn't be love
But a cheap imitation,
The store brand of human emotion.
And yet
I still yearn to be a
So that I might lie tangent to your curves.
Hale Salafia Apr 2014
There are 206 bones in my body.
206 ways to break and bruise and punish.
206 words to describe the trees in winter and the pain of memory.
I could tell you all of them.
All about them, too
Names, position, function.
I could teach you how to keep them strong and healthy
And yet
All the research in the world
Couldn't tell me why they vanish
In your presence.
Maybe they’re shy
The butterflies get to them, maybe even worse than they do me
Maybe they want to give us privacy,
The big mama skull ushering her children out of the room,
The nearly identical ribs roughhousing with the hips
And the smallest who make up my pinkies ducking through the door last,
But not without a peek back and a giggle.
There are 206 bones in my body,
And I do not regret a single one.
Hale Salafia Apr 2014
Gender is a ****.
Now bear with me, I don’t mean it in a bad way
I mean it as gender is elusive
Gender is tricky
Maybe with my words I should be more picky
But that’s not the point
The point is gender is something I cannot hope to begin to understand

Maybe gender is a universe
And within it we are all stars
Or maybe gender is an ocean
Not quite the Dead Sea where everything floats
And not quite everywhere else where everything sinks
But somewhere in between
And within it we are all jellyfish trying to string together a coherent stream of consciousness that somehow makes sense

It’s getting away from me
I used to think gender was a binary
Male, female, *****, ******
Everything coincides so we all fit into this dichotomy
But that leaves no room for Alex who is sometimes Alex and other times Cassandra
Or Sasha who is somehow both at once
Or me who lays claim to no label, because all of them throw up a red light

There is one thing I do know as fact
Pronouns are not a privilege
They are a right

They, them, their:
Singular gender nonspecific pronouns
A customer came into the store today and bought twelve packs of gum
I didn't know what was on their mind, but
Maybe they wanted to kiss their lover full on the mouth while an orchestra of taste crescendoed around them
Caleb came into class today with two cupcakes
One for them and the other for their best friend who hadn’t shown up in two weeks
Claiming “She’ll be here today, don’t you worry”
And the rest of us lapsed into silence, knowing she was never coming back

She, her, hers
No longer will I suffer in silence as those I care most for
Call me something I am not
I am not your daughter, I am your child
I am not your sister, I am your sibling
I am not a girl
I am a nonbinary
I know it makes no sense
But if you just listen you might be able see
To escape the past tense
And start living in the future with me

No longer will we stay quiet
Duct tape over our mouths as we are locked behind closed doors
Buried beneath accusations of
“You’re just pretending”
No longer will we stay silent
The wrong pronouns whipping our bodies into submission

Is not a pronoun
Is not a compliment

You sit in the audience groaning
When will this queer shut up and go home
Isn’t it enough that we acknowledge your existence
But you don’t
I cannot count the times I have been misgendered
I cannot count the times I have wanted to speak up but didn’t
Knowing I would not be taken seriously

Now I will not be silent until there are no more stories of
Schoolyard oppression
Trans suicides caused by a “lesson”
I will scream myself hoarse until
Trans women can walk the streets in safety and
Bathroom means bathroom not
Remember this
As we are forgotten by our cis siblings
As we are told we don’t exist
As you, the cis  in the front row
That your daughter at home
May not be your daughter
At all
Just a poem born out of my frustration with gender

— The End —