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Tracie Bulkley Aug 2015
Dear Ex, The First,

I haven't spoken to you since the day I cut you off from me
Occasionally I have wanted to, but to do so would only dredge up darkness.
So all I wish to say will be here, in case you ever find it.

I'm sorry it's been years.
I wanted to say you were right.
Right about a lot of things.
You once told me I'd grow up to be ***-crazed and wild.
Well I was, for a while,
But not for the reasons you thought.
Once for love,
Thrice just to not be alone.
You said you never forget your first love.
Well I haven't forgotten.
I've ignored, and I know I don't love you like I did,
But I've never forgotten.
You said I would stop believing in God.
I did for a while,
But not the way you expected.
I believed He existed,
But, for a while,
Did not believe in Mercy or Justice.
I found them again
Turns out they were just lost, not dead.
You said that you and Jacqueline were together
And that she didn't like me talking to you
That's part of why I never spoke to you years later.
I sometimes wonder if you got married.
I sometimes wonder if you still remember me
Or think of me.
Remember that poem I wrote the day I went away?
The House on Morris Street?
I think you misunderstood what it meant.
You were angry and hurt.
I don't think you understood
I burned down the House on Morris Street
Because I couldn't bear to watch it rot away
As you and I both knew it would one day.
I still look you up sometimes
Just to make sure you're still OK.
If you wanted to say something to me
I wouldn't ignore you
But if you didn't
I wouldn't blame you.
Just please be alive
And please be happy
I recall much more happiness you gave me
Despite the sadness in your soul.

The Little Paladin
Tracie Bulkley Apr 2015
I'm a horror fanatic
Because if I can outrun the shadows of dusk
Maybe I can run away from the possibilities
That tear at my slowly dying dreams.

I'm a gamer
Because if I can save the world
Maybe I can save myself

I'm a reader
Because powerful emotion
Is a drug that heightens
Rather than dulls the taste of life

I'm a writer
Because it's the one dealer
That feels good about what he's selling

I'm a fantastic lover
Because someone once told me I was worthy of hate
And it's the one way I know
To make him a liar

I'm a great make-lover
Because the height of satisfaction
Lies in another's perfect joy

I'm a healer
Because I've been a hurter

I'm a fighter
Because a healer has to be.
Tracie Bulkley Feb 2015
She’s perfect, isn’t she?
That girl in front of you.
Barely finite lines of gold and ochre
Pure as thoughts from her head
Luna-cloaked and markless
Kohl and oak descrying
The haze and high of your waking breaths
Both in substance and in pleasure.
Just what you always wanted.

Not me.
My brief and ebon-neared lines
Murked by impure hazes
Luna-pocked and touched
Kohl and oak, but too-hard trying
A breeze, gentle and cautious to remove the dream
And give truth tangibility.
Much too real for you.

Snow-goddess shoulders covered
Just because you possess them
Luna-soul untouched, unseen,
Just for your security
Empty breathing, nodding crown
Ensynchroned, timed, with yours
Every face, and every line
Unbroken marble replica
Of air

How dare I.
Goddess shoulders bare as when I please
You could not possess them
Luna-soul unsecreted but,
Before you and your battering, unashamed
Swimming, messy, living within my crown,
Out of step and of my mind
Every inch, an inch of mine
How dare I be unbroken art
Unbroken art of Earth

Of air.
Twisting 'round your fingers
Curved into your body and your brain
Bent whichever way you opt to bend her
Over, under, and around.
Into pain and pain-ed pleasure
But always pain in pleasure and pleasure from pain
Both and neither
Either and physical or transcendental
Always and never in your purpose
Rarely and often from your desires.
And she's so willing, the wind.
Servility incarnate
Submissive, crawling, pleasing unto you
Easy girl
But only to your touch
Lest she be a *****.
Formless, unreal shadow,
But somehow air that no one else may breathe.

Of Earth.
I awoke in formless panic in a cold bare room
After heart-pounding, frozen-dreaming
Of how you left me in numberless shades
Of black and blue and gray
I had terrored and cowered
Wondering if my strength would crumble
Ever seeing you on your knees.
Not because I fix on that
Just because I felt afraid.
Because you never laid a finger on me
No, you never had to
The Luna's cloak will mark itself
When the core is hollowed cold.

Yes, so perfect
Is she?
Just the way you like her.
Insubstantial, shapeless
No rigidity or life
Submissive, satisfying
Yes, the daydream on your screen
That you try to say that you don't need
Is everything that your earth desires
For she is air and you are dirt
All that the breeze can give to ground
All that nameless women can give to you.
Tracie Bulkley Nov 2014
"Clearly you didn't know what love was before you met me."
That's what you said to me.
What a load.
Let me tell you what you taught me about love
And how wrong I know you are.

You taught me
That it's okay to judge everyone
You called them all weak
You called yourself weak, too,
But acted like you were somehow better.
So you didn't do anything to help others
With their weakness
And you never overcame yours.
Well I know I'm weak
But I'm stronger now,
And I'm not done trying.
You made it harder for me to love
All the beautiful people in my life
Because you had me feeling
Like if I didn't agree with you when you said
"Gawd, she's bossy"
Or "She needs to start running"
That you'd judge me too
Call me a *****
Or a feminazi.
Well that's over now.
I know you're a judgmental *****.
And I don't have to smile and nod anymore
Because I already lost you.

It's time for me to love again
Exactly the way I knew how
Before you ******* me up.

You taught me
That the worth
Of love and affection
Is based only on it's rarity.
You taught me that withholding love
Makes it "special"
And "meaningful"
And that is contrary
To the very nature of love.
Love, the boundaries of which
Are expanded only upon
Its giving, freely
And liberally.
I could have loved you
So much more
If you hadn't tried to shrink
The boundaries.
You made it harder
For me to love.

That't not right.
And I am going to love
Exactly how I knew
Before you.
My ex got jealous every time I showed affection to anyone other than him, and said that because I hugged a lot of people, my hugs "didn't mean anything to me." And that's wrong. The person they really didn't mean anything to was him. So **** that guy.
Tracie Bulkley Nov 2014
I'm sorry
I'm afraid I read your poems
Every single one.
(Except not, because I only got half way down before I felt like a creep.)
And I liked most of them
And the ones I didn't,
I refused to like (out of fear of being a creep)

I'm very, very sorry.
Each one I read broke my heart.
Here, I've made a mess, let me pick up the pieces
I'll put them away just as soon as I've said what I need to say
And you won't have to see them anymore.

I'm sorry,
I cried too much
Over absolutely nothing at all
I've never met you in my life
But when I read
"Letter to the Setting Sun"
I was hoping the whole time it was secretly about me
Because there are 26 letters all jumbled into different patterns
In that letter
That describe every thrum that has hit my heart since I was 13
And old enough to wish I was in love.

I'm sorry,
I've gone and made a fool of myself
But I thought you should know that your words are capable
Of breaking and mending a heart at will
Be careful with that power, and use it well.
She's a lucky woman who gets to hear the rest.
And no worries.
This is a love song, but not that kind.
But by God one day I'll have a poet like you
Or -- God will it -- one day I'll BE a poet like you.
Sorry... I'm not a creep... But when I read your poems, sometimes it felt like I was talking. Apparently you're capable of saying everything I've ever wanted to say, but ten times better.
Tracie Bulkley Nov 2014
"Get better" says the roommate, hugging you before bed
"Get better" says the mother to her ailing daughter
"Get better" says the little child to the dying man

"Be better" says the God to his child

I've tried to be better, really I have.
I gave up sins and lies
I'm keeping my body to myself
Keeping my lies inside and letting the truth spill out
Upon all the people I wasn't ready to trust it to
"Get better" says the priest to the sinner

I've tried to make myself better
I gave myself every medicine in the cabinet
No, I promise that's not literal, it's just a metaphor.
I took some truth, to help me sleep at night
I took some blame so he would see me cry
Maybe he'd believe how sorry I am if I cried again
I took some words, and gave some back
Hoping that if I drank enough
Of what he had to say
And puked out all that was inside of me
Maybe there'd be room enough for peace
Or love
Or forgiveness
Or by God, relief
But now I'm just empty
And aching to binge again
"Get better" says the doctor to the bulimic

I've tried everything to make it better
I've wrapped myself in praise
Twisted my mother and father around my fingers
Pulled my friends into my darkness
Because they can't quite pull me out
But there is just two more coverings I need
Or true love
And can't quite reach for either
"Get better" says the passerby to the shivering lost one.

I have cancer
Not really, I promise that's a metaphor too
I'm dying
But seriously, just a metaphor
I'm cold and weak
And puking everything everywhere
All the time
Thinking it'll feel better
But tomorrow there's always just another load
And more poison to fill the space with
"Get better" says the man to his cancerous wife

"Get better" is what you said to me,
Pretending that you still care.

"Please get better"
Says the dying to her life.
Tracie Bulkley Nov 2014
You told me I'd be the one to leave when things got hard
Then walked away when I needed you most
I guess you just needed to be the one hurting
So you wouldn't be the one getting hurt

You told me you can't trust me anymore
Then tore my heart up every time I let my guard down
I guess you can't trust me to let you anymore

You told me I'm an angry person
Then couldn't forgive me for something that wasn't wrong
I guess I'm angry that being your ***** wasn't enough.

You told me I didn't really change my heart
Then couldn't even change your mind
I guess you like to project your can's and can't's on me
That's okay
I'm not you
And I'm not who I was
And you think I didn't need you before?
I'm not who I was
And I don't need you anymore
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