nips at my heels
like a poorly trained pup and
I whirl around, ego rolled tightly,
raised to strike,
lips forming “No!”
But my soul
stays my hand,
gently grabbing me by the wrist,
“let go let go let go”
and I am moved, my hand
I open my arms and
close my eyes,
shatter my heart like an
unfamiliar bottle of fingernail polish in
a color I don’t understand,
and I whisper
“yes yes yes”.
I see myself
reaching for an unfamiliar color
of fingernail polish;
how it seems so trivial but
how it seems so canonical;
a color I am drawn to, but
a color I am repulsed by, and
I stand in the aisle as time whirls on around me
wondering who I am becoming and
if I will like her
when I am her.
I study the little jar;
suddenly I am crying, and
I want to console myself
I want to control myself,
I want to embrace and deny this shift,
I want to get on and I want to get off,
but really, it’s an earthquake and
I am trapped in a doorway trying to survive,
the choice taken from me, forced upon me,
and I am kissing the ground as it trembles beneath my feet.
I wear a dress of chicken wire,
binding myself inside,
bracing against the tornado I feel
on the horizon;
still recovering from the quaking earth,
my heartbeats strain to make themselves
heard above the din but
I find myself unwilling unable unknowing to listen.
This strange and fractured comfort
this vaguely familiar unfamiliarity,
a place I have been before but
somehow so different this time,
a lover who has moved on and is leaving me
but stops to take the time to wait
as I struggle to catch my breath
and I know I am broken open
I know I am spilling out,
I am conceiving the me I will become
and I will birth myself when the time comes,
alone and breathing lamaze
singing and cursing, wailing and frightened and strong.
I gasp and
I drop the little jar;
the unfamiliar color of change
spilling out, bleeding across my feet
as I take those tender first trembling steps
across my sharp splintered fears
towards who I am becoming,
and my arms involuntarily open to take her in.
I know sometimes you feel
washed up on the shore of your self,
battered by the winds of fortune,
tossed about by the seas of change.
I see you.
I know you.
Your heart and mine
are one and the same.
We are stardust,
children of earth and starry heaven,
love made flesh,
goddesses and gods here
to find our way.
Messages in bottles,
each of us
thrown overboard and drifting,
unaware of being unalone
until a gentle clink of
bottle touching bottle
we are home.
I have a crow in my hair
I am waiting just beyond
There is nothing to fear here
I am warrior
Facing death unafraid
I am older than old here
There’s nothing but love here
Love and love
I am a love warrior
With a crow in my hair
I’m driving with the
windows down and the
music up so loud it drowns out
the roaring traffic, and I
sing my heart out while the wind
slips merrily through my hair and
for just this moment
I am perfect.
It slid up on me
an unwanted dance partner,
all awkward and oblivious,
catching me unawares and
unsure of how to proceed without
somehow breaking hearts,
and before I know it
I am somehow made of paper cuts
and my lemonade tears sear my skin
as I weep for what I’ve lost and
how I lost it,
without ever seeing it coming.
I hold my breath til I
for all the good it does me,
a baby whale refusing to surface
because I’m a goddamn water mammal
what is this “breathing air” shit about?
I am out of my element and
unsure how to proceed when I
suddenly realize it’s my own heart
that I hear breaking,
crushed under the pressure
of trying not to breathe in the truth.
I turn off the car and sit still
hearing the ticks and clicks as it cools
sounds as familiar and comforting as
my own heartbeat,
and I turn off the music and
exit the car and
before I know it
I am suddenly slow.
There’s a monster lurking
dogging my steps
wearing my dress and
when I look in the mirror
that’s who I see;
the monster is here,
the monster is me.
No one else is as cruel,
no one’s as mean,
no one as cold or
nasty or seems to
hate me as much as
I often do,
this monster is in me
(and also in you).
The cure is to love
to look in the face
that monster within
to breathe deep and brace
yourself as you look and
then further go,
the monster within you
must finally know
that you love yourself,
in all of your parts,
all of the light and
even the dark,
and when that is true,
when full gaze is met,
the monster will leave and
be no more a threat.
:: I am proud and delighted that Monster has been featured in Heather Plett’s ebook, A Path to Connection! ::
this poet this person I don’t even know,
and my world exploded.
the room dimmed.
My heart stopped.
I had to sit to keep from fainting
even though I’ve never fainted and I kinda wonder what it would be like
but I sat.
My hands shook so bad I had to breathe for several minutes
before I could even raise my eyes to look at her
this instigator of change
this bringer of words.
It echos through my head
through my core
like I’ve screamed it off a cliff and it bounds back from the other side,
just a small word but carrying dust from a million years of change.
It hits me so hard,
while I sit there, surrounded by people
none of whom notice that I’ve fallen into bits.
I am crumbled on the floor,
tiny fragments of me sparkling in the soft lights,
and as I lay there
I somehow feel more whole than I ever have.
A war rages inside me –
worse than brother fighting brother –
I fight myself.
I shoot myself with cruelty,
I stab myself with hate,
I throw granades of judgement harsh and cold
and relish when they blow,
and give the order to go over the top.
Years, this battle has battled on
my life a lie or a joke or both at the same time
fear living in my every gasp.
And oh how I’ve lost, lost everything I needed
everything I wanted
everything I thought I would die without,
but somehow through some harshness
through some kindness
So the war rages on
me vs myself vs I,
and there will never be a winner.
Truce, and the white flag appears on the horizon.
Truce, and the possibility opens –
truce, that we might not have to fight forever.
“Truce,” I scream til my voice gives out
and I want to paint it all over my body
breathe it til my skin gives in
whisper it til it rides the wind
cry it til it fills the oceans
fill myself with it til I am overflowing
and can never remember what I felt like before
so full with truce with white flags with peace treaties and promises
that I will never be empty.
And I lay down my weapons of words
and I meet my eyes again at last,
and I pray and I cry and I gnash my teeth and I finally agree
to call truce, to end at last this war.