0. I was just trying to breathe
Every inch of my story line
I drank like coffee that you need so badly
You don't notice the taste of ash
it leaves in your throat
and when I breathed out smoke,
slowly gliding from my tongue,
you'll know, the words I can't choke
the ones I hung to dry,
but left them outside
through a crisp winter season
and returned just in time
to catch the lullaby as it dissolved into water.
I couldn't wait any longer.
I broke them into icy pieces
that fit back in my mouth.
I held them there long after I breathed
the blizzard that had formed in my stomach.
I couldn't swallow, I couldn't breathe
and I couldn't wait for you to leave.
So I locked my icy breath in my hands
and looked for silent corners between buildings
so I could begin to understand
how to squeezed out the blood from the words I've been spilling
I. White Moonlight
I went up the mountain side
listening to the canyon's song.
Dancing beneath the tree lines, I soaked
in the pines and cypresses.
I ran to the west, searching for a place to rest.
Fell asleep in the foothills
and had to run home to catch the light
Running in the dark, I would not beat the night.
[I was a villager traveling through
There came the White Knight with red hair in view
offered a space, a safe place for the night]
The white knight held out his hand to an aching soul.
Trusting the purity in a path lit by moonlight
Unknowingly, I would never trust white again.
Deceived and seduced by the safety and warmth of white,
There was a subtle yellow tint in your light
that began to scream from its origin and fight against the walls
A cinderblock room colored in skin absorbed my calls
There was air trapped in my bones
that halted movement and created unfamiliar vocal tones
There were no cuts or bloodstains,
but all that was white drained to red
as he wrapped my limbs in reins
(to) make them dance, make them spread
Dance for the White Knight
make them move as you please, White Knight.
This body was a delicate ship that had been sunken
from a night spent in a dungeon
with a monster disguised as a man
whose touch would shave inches from my wingspan
Now these limbs do not belong,
the pressure outlines of your unwelcomed hands
Whimpers became the lyrics to my muted, morning song
I didn't know, how minutes can become tattooed in your veins
with each breath, a gentle push of blood through your body
you begin to taste the ***** again
the red clouds invade and bring me back to the monster's den
Now he holds these layers as the corners all peel
from a defeat long ago, a kidnapping, a delicious steal
The potency of your dominance
the power you must have felt
in watching a flower melt
The moon is now a cold light,
but nothing is wrong.
A response clean as white-
to be naked and unprotected for so long.
My youth cools the coffee
My stomach burns the atmosphere
Teeth marks stains on my pillowcases
In the day, there is outward harmony
Like carefully crisscrossed shoelaces
Night falls with the sound of silent sobs.
My walls begin to melt.
They are turning yellow
Reliving how it felt
to be betrayed by something white.
I can't live through the day with anticipation of the night
when that white light floods in
I try to tear you out from beneath my skin
IV. Don't Try to Love Me
The luxury to be still.
Motions that were quiet
Set the music to your gaze
as you reopen the tears
When will you open the steel curtains,
you drape around your heart?
I run my fingertips and I can’t find
how you’ve cloaked the mistakes in your architecture
There is nothing poetic about solitude
Let me pinpoint the coordinates of your pain
Let me find the exact longitude
Let me be your constant latitude
I know you are alive
You live in some unknown torment,
I once saw you writhe in the night
and under the moonlight
He didn’t know
How I was preoccupied
I had to settle the background noise
the constant buzz between my ears
that fills my head so I could never hear
How much he could have loved me.
How sweet to be loved by you
You are warm weather in February
You are the reflection of a mountain in a reservoir
mais mon humeur est noire
We were in a large room lit
by one lamp in the far corner
when words poured from my jaw of glass,
I guess I could have asked
but it seems no one knows
the cadence and way words can flow
into our hearts and puncture the soul
How sweet it was, to think I could be loved by you
You are figurine of my fears
A January wedding in three years
A shadow mapping an escape plan
Yet I lace my fingers in your hand
You don't belong with me
but when the delicate words
trembled from your lips
and your voice stopped
with my stare
Both your hands in my hair
I wish I knew how to tell you,
but I couldn't remember why
you had to be someone to just pass the time.
VI. Deliberate Return
It should have felt like
a lifted weight
so I could move through
an unlocked gate
brush your teeth on my neck
and your cheeks across my chest
I thought last time was the last time
Tiny drops became the anthem
And the tears found a quiet path
To roll onto my belly
Between you and me
I could still taste the poetry you left in my mouth
the deception and interception
of my growth
and of my youth
My clothes hung off my back
darkness from all the sleep I lack
Trying to wash out the scent of you
after 6 years, I thought I'd be through
but you've kept me here and I've let you
I am a lost warrior in the meadow
Treading water every night
Trapped in an internal fight
You held me in the shadows
Grabbing at the wildflowers in my breath
But I just kept breathing in the echoes
Of a time I must let go
The mist of my trouble followed me in March
I’d sit with tea and say things like ‘I feel better, but maybe not tomorrow’
There was no promise
Just moderate disbelief
No security in my sleep
So when I shook your outline out of my sheets
Laid in bed where I once lost my youth
I wish that this was not my truth
VII. Shuddering While Healing
There is a section of the river where
the current sends it’s shivers
The wind dances with the tree branches in slow motion
(but) I was grown with my toes on the edge of the ocean
Leaning in with your hand and handsome love songs
about relentlessness and forgiveness
You sang a gold song
like a January river
flowing beneath the ice
You thought your love could break through
that shallow ceiling, but I couldn't hear the tapping
as you drowned beneath my feet
I was submerged in the cross currents
pulling me and hugging me caught in the center
how I heated up and bent you
then left to wade in the river
how you stayed next to me
and remained never bitter
I can't find the line
and I can't ask you to throw me one
because I'm dragging you in as I float through
tracing the fire I began on this river
with my fingertips
and remembering how I was grown on the shore
but how I can never be sure
if the breath in my ear
is someone to be trusted
or if the breath in my ear
is that monster crawling near
taking the color, once again, from my atmosphere.
The sweet kisses he planted on my shoulders
and the moves he made were full of truth
The guilt he felt should have been mine
but the longer he stayed the more I felt fine
For the other’s love was simply beige
And outlined in black
I didn’t want excitement
I didn’t want lust
It was not enticement or boredom
It was from the buildup of rust
between my bones.
And I listened to your breath against my shoulder through the phone.
It hit me like an ensemble
predicating the concerto.
You were just an instrument.
And here I thought I was the conductor
just dreaming of ways to escape.
And I don’t sleep well when I’m next to him either.
Because I’m dreaming of ways to relate.
And I don’t sleep well when I’m alone.
Because there’s no one left to blame.
So now trying to be tame
Searching for an answer
in a small place like alone
What it means to be powerful
I saw it in shades of red
To find your feet still melt the snow
To find the only security is within
the confounds of your frozen bones
I was sure that diving meant drowning
but I've been drowning on the shore
Since you touched me and wanted more
Since you saw me raw
I evolved into a monster
scratching and clawing at your dungeon's door
You can't keep me here forever
You displaced my trust in balance
and turned something beautiful into something *******
But if I can see your belly button,
then you were born once too.
What does it mean to be powerful?
I can do it in soft baby blue
I can do it with the haunting memory of you,
but I don't want you with me anymore
So, good night white knight.
You don’t get to have this moonlight
and soon I will no longer be afraid of the color white.
That was the name of my pain.
It was not the bitterness
that makes us take down photographs
or change the song.
It was not about bitterness.
It’s about tenderness
I learned that the silent pauses
between gusts of wind causes
more sound than running facets.
I learned when you’re ******* for feelings
You start to feel the weight of the ceilings
We just hold on our backs and call it 'dealing.'
Trying to achieve the humility of a willow tree
Turning yellow in the slow descent to winter
But I’m not going to wait to give you what you need
White knight, tonight, I leave
Because I know you’ve been living in me like a splinter
Strong enough to puncture
Weak enough to be removed
This glass castle is just a structure
That could be improved
But you already made a house
And now you’re trying to pick out decorations
Let me tell you, humans are not decorations
Another human should be a matched foundation
I think you almost saw that too
When you felt the vibration of the wind from me to you
Terrified because it’s never about growing
it’s about pride.
Too scared of showing
the days we cried
cried so hard it became
the anthem of our week.
No, we can never show we are weak
The fragility of our pride
So we disconnect, in order to protect.
Let me tell you, no one describes this life as a glide
If they do, they lied
Everyone is terrified or uninteresting
Yet we are all putting up walls and distancing
Farther and farther
What would it feel like if I asked you about the sound of tenderness?
Or what it looks like to be repaired?
We are so afraid of being unprepared
we don’t hear how the wind
sounds like children growing
How healing feels like the roll of the river
and just because you shiver
does not mean you will be cold forever
and those silent pauses between gusts of terror
when we are just a step away from pulling that lever
are the moments we should reflect on
These are all those things that cause us
to be terrified
and learn to be tender
XI. Happiness Doesn’t Leave a Mark
How do I tell you
that every day used to be a battle?
One that I fought because I had to
so I could get up and fight the next day.
It was never about winning.
This is a Saturday night kind of pain.
The kind you feel that doesn't belong to you.
But at least you are no longer numb.
I want to show you where I'm from.
That childhood house that saw too many ways
to shatter plates on holidays
When I left, I grew back wings
and flew through the haze
You see, plates and whites are just things
but you can make anything a symbol
and when you see that this is no signal,
this is a sign. That I can be standing here with you
and still die
but this time, maybe I’ll let you inside
I've been too many people to start anew
I've loved the color blue
Loved a man with an amber hue
I was damaged in a yellow room
but I cannot match a color to you
She said "the weakest point in a rope
is where it connects to another
and your insides are tangled"
You see, I can live with the knots
I want to look at you and know
You can trust this knot to hold
You know I'll pull through
You're not so scared
of a scar, or a few
Because I want to share where I've been with you
*and that includes the happiness too.