mixed feelings about the human race

My heart is immense ocean –

It could swallow

the world whole

But this is temporary

And unsustainable

Because my love

Is rivalled by

Fiery hatred

And I burn everything

Into ash.

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living in this body

somebody will see, tell you

that your body is a temple

and worship the depths of you

And then somebody will tell you that your body is not

and try to mark you up

beat it into your flesh & bone until you turn colours

until your body is a canvas

his canvas

They will tell you that your body is wrong

And they’ll say it with their eyes

with images of other bodies,

“perfect” bodies

glaring in accusation at you

with snide comments about what you are

eating until you start to wither

instead

and then they’ll say your body is too small

you are shrinking skin and bones oh no

and they will find that when your skeleton is

arching out of your flesh

the ugliest of all

and tell you to get better soon

as you lie your head on the bathroom floor

dizzy

you’ll look at yourself in the mirror

and forget

that words are just words

Your body won’t be done hurting though

Because there will be some people who will take your body

you will say no, you will try to make it stop

but they will take of you

your innocent trust in friends

family and strangers

they will strip you vulnerable & scared

of sleeping.

And your body will hurt, first inside

And then forever.

But there will also be days when you will give your body away

Fleeting moments of joy

At feeling real, at feeling breath leaping out

of your lungs

and shuddering and gasping as if you will

never get enough air again

aching and sore from the tips of your toes to the v

of your thighs to your eyes

still closed in memory.

Somebody will hold you and you will feel loved

Despite your body’s scars

invisible and visible

I also know that we will die &

this body will maybe live out

every breath possible before

it’s done

or maybe life will find a way

to end first

Prematurely stealing years

You promised

To yourself

Either way, your body will be gone

But memory of you will remain.

infinite loop

Getting stuck

Was never something planned

for you

You thought every step

Was taking you somewhere

But maybe all you did

Was come full circle

Without ever really pushing past

The confines

Of your fears.

then v now

I used to write

the pain away

until it bled into ink

And scarred the pages

of notebooks

Now when I write

The pain only shifts

changes position and

lives inside me

So immense

That I can’t write it away

Now when I write

The pain bleeds into me

And scars my pages

Instead

condemned

you can hear

in the boards, if you press,

her distaste and disappointment

at her own state of disrepair

She’ll tell you

from the rips in her wallpaper

Revealing the burgundy

Of halycon days

To the silver chandelier

Rusting and dusted with cobwebs

she would have been

gleaming

In the past when there were

people to keep her polished and

Shining

For much too long

She’s wondered

How people can be so different

From caretakers to derelicts

She’s seen them all

adorn her halls

With paintings and family photos

Scale her stairs with careless stomps

Missing steps completely

And rattling the front entry

Echoes of laughter in the den

Their heads together

Setting up the dining room

For guests

Only the best of everything

Gowns with perfumed wrists

Crisp suit jackets

Their cooking permeating

Throughout until windows were

Thrown wide

Throwing glass

And punching into her drywall

Until they turned to each other –

Sometimes only getting their pound of flesh

Could satisfy them

Growing up joyous & hopeful

And growing older & uncertain

Stale glances

Staler attempts at caring of her

Until they can’t anymore

For one reason or another

She knows humans are fickle

Their nature temporary

But she remembers every one

Who has loved and left her

Something about them making her

Necessary and relevant

When here

Condemned

When they’re gone

Too long.

A hard lesson to learn

You can choose to close your eyes

Once in a while,

You know?

You can rest too

You don’t have to feel responsible

For curing

Every injustice

Defending

Every victim

Putting out

Every Fire

If you don’t watch out

For yourself

You too will

Go up in flames

And what good

will you be to anyone

Then?

Be nicer to you

even though

these days often feel

insurmountable

and it feels like

every time you catch sight

of the peak

you come stumbling down

back to where you started

there are other moments too

when you’re doing good

as you make your way

one foothold at a time

trying to be better

every time you start again

don’t forget

to be a little kinder

& more forgiving

to your self

so you can keep on

climbing

and get there.

Tired

I swallow my pain

It tastes like used needles

Empty of delight, sharp-toothed

I am fetal position

And I ask you to stop

Kicking
You are the whole world

You are hate, unmasked, volatile

And ready to destroy 

You are ugly and twisted and angry

And force yourself into me

Despite all my best intentions
I sometimes match you heat for heat

You turned my heart into lead and 

My mouth into rust

I tense until I am taut and then

I am snapped string

Damaged goods
My face is what I begin to wear to pretend

That I am okay

You heap upon me all your misunderstandings, untruths and blame
And I catch it all, more fool me

Because for some reason

As you grind me under your heel

My arms have refused to close you off

Even though all you do is

Hurt me

It’s like I’m hoping for you to get better

It’s like I believe in you or something

Even though you often give me signs that you don’t get it

That you are cruel and unyielding

But I am getting tired of waiting for you

I am getting tired of waiting for justice 

That never comes

helpless

I can put on their clothes

Talk how they talk

Walk their walk even
I can blend right in until that moment 

Realization hits me
No matter what I do

My brown skin outs me
I have no power here 
I am nobody 

negligence

she put herself in a box

on a shelf somewhere, thinking: I’ll get to that later

and then never did

 

she woke up, of course

20 years down the road

as if emerging from a nightmare

she shivered in cold sweat

wondering how she could have

lost herself

 

trying to retrace steps

as if all of those years

– all those selves she could have been –

were really in a box somewhere

and if she could just find it

she could go back

to who she used to be

like none of them happened