I fight it
Every time I fight it
And I lose
It takes time to accept defeat.
It pulls me under and I claw my way out
Over and over.
I am persistent
But things are changing-
The world stops behaving the way it’s supposed to
The earth shifts beneath my feet,
Gravity starts to pull me to new places.
I am so comfortable with
It’s safe down there-
Barren and cool, restful.
Every time, I fight to remain,
Every time, I fall to my knees
Dig my fingers into the ground and hold on,
To a god I neither trust nor believe in
Because I know what is coming
What always comes
And I know what will be left behind
When it is finished.
Handfuls of soil come up in my hands and bloom with sharp life-
Roots like daggers find the lines of my palms.
Turmoil spreads inside of me
And I am torn away.
The world has become an ocean
With no surface and no bottom
And I am thrown through it
Pressing my hands against the rough walls of buildings
Here, take some of this
I can’t keep it in here with me,
I was never meant to be
So vibrant inside.
Vines creep out from between bricks
Turning their tiny faces to the sunlight.
They will not remain
I can hear the groaning of steel and mortar as I am pulled away.
Everywhere my gaze falls things are changing
The city blooms
With fearful life-
The chaos my skin cannot contain
For I am made of glass
And I hold this feeling like the storm it is,
Something that could break me
And leave me scattered and glittering on the sidewalk.
The light is getting in from everywhere
And I am not prepared for its touch.
Maybe there is no god
But there is this
And I understand the need for it to be known,
The need to worship something
And this sacred.
Flashes of emotion pierce me like fangs
Little snakes writhing.
I try to soothe them,
And they twist about my head
Whispering your name
With voices like sand.
It falls to the ground and takes root at my feet-
If I were to look into a mirror
Would I turn to stone
Or would I grow roots
And finally be
I burn inside, struggling to keep my footing,
All this power
And none of it’s mine.
I am its vessel and its restraint
Nobody sees this in me.
Outwardly I am quiet.
I let the world push me to the next place, the next hour, the next task.
I ignore this new passion that turns in me like smoke
This need to create and destroy
This agony of feeling.
But every so often
I will meet the eyes of a stranger by accident
And see shock there
And I will know they glimpsed the truth of me.
I am afraid I will see that fear in your eyes someday
The fear of burning cities
A fear I couldn’t blame you for
Because it courses through me like molten silver
Whenever I sit in a silent room with only my thoughts.
On the corner of a subway platform
Clinging to the stone
In French there is a term
L'Appel Du Vide
The Call Of The Void
It means that it is in the nature of human beings
When they look down from a high place
To desire the fall
And that the desire is what makes them afraid,
And not the height.
I have been staring down
From high up
Like a coiled spring,
Like a struck match burning to the quick.
I have been waiting to fall into this feeling and lose myself
Toes curled along the edge
My soul resists, struggling like a trapped moth-
Even if I don’t
The pale, flat shards of myself
The years it takes to mend
The jagged edges that never really fit anywhere
It fears you
And it fears
But I stand staring amid the chaos,
Because here finally is a direction,
A path to follow
A choice that I can own-
The only one that ever really mattered.
The pull is strong.
I spread my arms
As I always knew I would
And lean forward
Hoping that I have one more miracle left in me.
The city blooms
And, pushing up between every grate and out from behind every crumbling stoop