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Every
"fresh start" I
seize. I paint myself a
different colour every time, only for the
tide to drag me in
and soak it
all
away, and it'll
dampen my spirit and flood
my lungs with seawater but it will
never submerge me no matter
how much I
beg
it to -- or
maybe it's because I beg
it to, and there's more joy to
be reaped in wounding me
with its grinning
denial.
1-3-5-7-5-3-1
Ingredients:
    • 1 springtime
    • 1 brain, bruised and ripe for the picking
    • As many hours as can be held in your arms
    • A handful of mantras that got you precisely nowhere, e.g. "this too shall pass"

1) Before declaring yourself insane, remember you are not immune to your own humanity and every emotion seems as though you were the first to discover it. There is, ironically, a word for this - qualia - meaning however elaborate the description, words alone cannot replicate an experience (a yellow sky; a minor key). You are as much an explorer as every other living being, and these are communal journeys taken in solitude.

2) Acknowledge that when you feel blue, it is the colour of forget-me-nots. Unbolt your door, against your better judgement. Spend time among the flowers, knowing this is what the earth is capable of. This is what it creates of its own volition. Wander until no longer threatened, but comforted in the presence of beauty. It is their cycle of blooming and wilting that makes you kindred spirits and—at least this season—you're in friendly company.

3) Notice your conscious hunt for reasons to feel alienated, undecided on whether you are possessed or defective. Recall that for all the nights spent on self-interrogation, indulging in sweeping guesses and bolting your door shut as a service to humanity, you've found nothing of significance. Consider what this may mean. (For best results, do this under the sun. You will sit beside a shadow that has seen enough to understand, and wordlessly pledged its lifetime to you. Do not take its loyalty for granted.)

3) Try to reconcile your hatred of being looked at with your burning, inescapable need to be acknowledged. You will fail. Repeatedly. Keep trying, keep failing, and treat it as a success you've yet to fully comprehend.

4) When it seems as though self-acceptance means turning a blind eye to every wrong you've ever committed, or waving a dismissive hand to all the methods in which you can wound people, re-write a definition that makes sense to you. So long as your hands can wield a knife, they can hold a plant stem or a human cheek, and that is your permission to exist.

5) Repeat until the word 't-m-rr-w' doesn't desperately warrant censorship and you can look into an hourglass without the need to smash it open.
It's a birthright, not a dream:
the rising sun is mine to chase.
I grow upwards, each newborn cell rejoicing,
petals outstretched to scale the clouds
and I do not know where I'll go afterwards --
only that it'll sink into my touch
like an animal seeking affection
and I will say THANK GOD
I didn't shrink like a violet at the burn of judging eyes
when my soil-buried roots hadn't yet much to offer
or deem myself good as wilted and cut my growth off at the stem
(the call is not mine to make)
or declare the fruits of my labour would be poisonous
so time, effort, water are wasted acts of love;
how easy it is to give up
so as not to face the prospect of a hungry autumn
or feel my promises break in my clumsy grip.

We owe it to ourselves to wait and grow
for we may never reap what we don't sow.
experimenting with viewpoints that aren't mine and people i can't be yet. also maybe listen to 'roses/lotus/violet/iris' by hayley williams if you're a huge fan of plant metaphors. also shoutout to @whyhan for the prompt and breaking my writers' block i owe u one
Schadenfreude reigns:
******* spawn of Lust and Wrath
bites at trying hearts.
the gods debate and then concede:
"His punishment is empathy!"

they could have excused the self-assurance,
the love of an entity built in their holy image;
the conclusion that You are the only one good enough for You.
they could not condone Your vicious deeds --
they would not condone the blood.

the gods debate and then concede
Your punishment is empathy
(though never enough to spare a thought
for my voice within the cavern walls
or the spattered blood of Ameinias
or the righteousness of Nemesis)

**** You, bless You, Your Holy Reflection
condemning the flowers and mountains to dirt;
the suitors (silent in Your wake) reduced to peripheral blurs,
forgoing all the world for the sake of Your one true love --
still steadfastly playing the martyr,
not the fool with His fingertips hovering inches from the water,
doting on His Image! loving like gods love irony and a brute-force punchline!

the gods' one choice was to concede
Your punishment was empathy
while the verbal paradise in my mind smoulders into ash.

if You spared just a thought for me (love was never a necessity)
Your words would then be mine:
instead i speak through nobody with thoughts that barely rhyme.
i am small, a silent letter in an 'echo';
arms linked, moving in rhythm, with my siblings --
Your story rhymes, each chapter weaving into a chorus

the gods reprise when they concede:
"His punishment is empathy!"

[NOTHING]: seven letters long, pronounced like [SILENCE]:
not a nuance to unravel, nor utterance un/spoken to linger in the air.
these rewards i reap for loving too loudly:
blooming, bountiful  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ;
self-flagellating  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
i choke upon this  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ,
still clinging to Your _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .

the water's silent ennui:
Your punishment, Your empathy.

in a nicer world, my fury burns the love away
-- but still, it simmers. still, it stays.
You wilt like heaven's roses, exquisite in (and after) death
whilst i spoil into _ _ _ _ _ _ _  and watch the world forget.
based on the greek myth of echo and narcissus. playing fast and loose with the whole 'rhyming' thing so uh... brief word of warning if that sets you on edge.
'YOU'RE NO PROPHET (YOU'RE BARELY A POET)', BY PERSON I
"O woe, O why--" --O what a way to live!
Never finding what you hunt, scarcely saying what you mean,
with the audacity to worship those who can;
adoring all that's good, or brave, or noble; learning nothing.
Shameless indignity is the boldest you get:
compare them speaking their hearts against
the postmodern cowardice in all that you are.

Language is a gift you abuse:
you may as well have abandoned your voice;
paragraphs wasted on your camouflage of choice.
Half-built cities on foundations of beige-coloured water --
you keep the imagery pretty and the metaphor alluding to just about anything.

You're scared to speak if it's not been said before.
You're ashamed to speak if it's all been said before.
Reluctant to be original! Embarrassed to be derivative!
The shame is in the fact you don't bother!!
Would you say it matters if it's all been thought before?
Voiced before? Done before? Does it wound your pride
to know that your actions are barely yours?
Does it shatter your resolve, seeing your face in my words?

Omit the omnipresent and stay oblivious to obvious.
Can we call it thorough? -- this solitary hunt for truth?
-- almost commendable, almost fruitful,
had you only checked the blind-spot under your nostrils.

'MEANWHILE, IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD...', BY PERSON II
So... 'just shut up and say it'? Wow, noted. Thanks.
Tonight's been a blast.
You'd hate it.
based on a largely self-deprecating hypothesis that you can either be either emotionally available or actually fun to be around (i.e. what do you hold in higher regard, your compassion or your company?) - i'd love to be wrong on this one. i'd like to actually be both. churned this out in half an hour and yiiiikes it shows. remember, kids, to make fun of yourself at least a little bit BEFORE aiming your rage @ anyone who doesn't live the way you do (or, uh, do it afterwards. tomato/tomato.) mighty easy to get angry at your polar opposite but life's infinitely duller without them.
??? lights a candle by herself, for novelty's sake. She stares into the flame and contemplates her past lives.
??? sends an apology to someone she'd wronged after a dream about giant cobwebs and the sinister absence of a spider. Nothing in this life is meaningless, she mumbles.
??? becomes convinced she's on the verge of a positive breakthrough while her skin is still bleeding and the last time she left the house was for a haircut. Character development's a piece of cake when you never have to place it into practise.
??? is soothed by the bedroom 'epiphanies' about all she's doing wrong, treating the smaller discovered flaws like struck gold; still blocking out the eight-foot fanged thing that's lived in her peripheral vision since youth. It sharpens its teeth on a stone and waves with its free limbs.
???, after one cup of coffee, assesses the employment risks of a potential stalking charge. She interprets Storm Ciara as God grounding her for a week and doesn't move.
??? reasons with herself that - being self-aware enough to know she's not acting reasonably - the likelihood is that something hungry and evil has made its bed in her heart. No doubt she's sound of mind.
??? shoots the messenger. The mantelpiece mirror is moved into the back of her wardrobe, imprisoned "...until [it learns] to be nicer".
(??? blames everything on her Sagittarius moon.)
brief respite. brief illusions of progress.
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