But tonight, I was cleaning out my stack of books, journals, and sketchbooks that have accumulated under my nightstand. I found an empty blank book from two years ago that contained only two poems. The following was the first. It's not good poetry. But it was written in one sitting. In ink.
(P.S. I see what You did there. Wink.)
I am not this crust
Diet coke soaked scrollable life
I am not self helped
affirmed balanced inspired or AWESOME
not all caps
not unique views
not bullet points
I am under here.
Raw and wounded.
burning and bleeding.
I am exsanguinating
while people check in with my body cast
hidden rivers of someone else's suffering
A voice I heard once
A glimpse of a face menacing me at night
Waters my babies have stuck their toes in once or twice.
I grabbed them
lied to them
sent them back to the surface
I am not a diagnosis
but I am dangerous.
Where did the words go?
I have trade them.
Have I traded them?
Were they bought? Were they won on a bet?
There was no life there.
Webs and traps and this crusty shell.
Words drying out like herbs that have never been called for.
Balance is a bullshit word.
A lie we tell.
You are only happening or numb.
Living or cowering into the tunnel of your smart phone.
Where will we fall?
What will we break?
It's fluid. Forward moving.
What if I flipped inside out?
Guts spilling. Demons scattering.
Who would I be besides tortured?
Would my babies quake?
Or would they snort and walk away unimpressed.
Rattling this cage
I'm not the lucky one.
Was I ever really naked?
Fucking and screaming and cumming and sweating?
Was I naked? Or just baked-in.
He had bad hair.
But I had bad taste.
A bad taste in my mouth on the way down.
This life is picking my wounds.
Scratching at these scabs.
A cat bawling. A child whining.
A door slamming. A fart. A cough.
A cold word.
Picking and tugging and pulling at hang nails and scabs and stitches.
I'm all taped together with Western healing.
God only knows just how bad a job.
And never alone.
I do love to run.
Not reflective gear or shoes or blue tooth or glossy pages.
I love feeling close to death.
Suffocating. Sweating. Muscles bleeding.
And then heaving back towards life.
Feeling love and hope and more time.
Slowly expanding back into place.
Gently pressing on these wounds.
A body's prayer for relief.
Could I be that girl?
The girl who loves to taste.
To write down scary truths.
Could I be her with all these people picking?
Could I feel my babies back in my womb when I look into their brown eyes?
Could I leave him?
Could I teach them?
Could I be braver than the girl who gathered these wounds like so many pinecones?
All the sandals and coffee and stars and moons
and mother tongue poetry were not just platitudes.
Not just posing.
They were the unfinished edges of a person.
A burgeoning Me.
But I caged her with weak ambition.
With self help books.
With spent money.
Will she spill out too when I flip this bitch?
Will she come out tumbling?
Frightened, but giggling?
Breathless and beautiful?
Will she lie spread eagled and naked?
Thrilled and fallible?
Will she be ready?