Yet Another Poem

I’ve tripped and skinned my knees

Take the pain and pull it lengthwise

Never lose my sight, never stop and freeze

Keep tugging at the stinging skin

Stretch it out, stretch it paper thin

Can’t see the forest for the trees

I tried to clean the lenses of my glasses

But I got distracted by the slight breeze, felt the

Ice cubes in my palms

Press the edges along slender fingers

In hopes that it might melt the words that have been sitting in my mouth

Hold it still against lips that are already blue

Bite and clench the jaw, shatter molars

Crack my teeth into pieces

The wave is nauseating and I swallow every crest

The tide writhes like a sea of snakes

I feel in my stomach the baby birds that left the nest

I contain multitudes

I contain galaxies

I contain glaciers

The reality of how I live in the middle of a thousand different places that I will never fully explore heaves in my chest

Filled with restless energy

It’s made a home where it wasn’t even welcome as a guest

The fact that I cannot sit and relax for a while on every park bench, every shorline

Takes shape and oozes through the gaps in my rib cage

It is not violent or painful or explosive or fast

It is slow, it is seething rage

It is the relentless onslaught of falling snow

It’s not knowing how fast or how far you’ll go

It’s turning the page before you’ve absorbed the author’s message

All that’s certain is the knowledge that every day you’re fading a bit more

Losing daylight, blood, sleep, and hope

I can only sit and claw at my bones

Scratch designs into the calcium

Crush each individual vertebrae in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure

It’s the moment when your whole body crawls into your throat

Right before you empty the contents of your stomach all over the floor

It’s pressure, hot and thick and suffocating

And it’s being able to breathe all right and not knowing why you’re screaming at yourself to pull the fire alarm when you can feel the flames all around you but there’s no smoke and everyone looks like they’re doing just fine

 

I don’t know what’s wrong

I can’t fix what I don’t know

I can’t play detective when I’m spending all my time looking over my shoulder

If people hate me then why is my heart so full of love,

And my stomach so heavy with all the glasses of water I’ve had just to keep my mouth from asking for help?

It’s a fragment

It’s a series of fragments

It’s asking yourself why the fuck you left the fan on once again and can’t you just do something right for once and –

Stop.

It’s eating vague apologies for breakfast so you won’t slap your friends with another meek “I’m sorry”

What did I do?

What didn’t I do?

I pour more milk in the bowl and crunch the words until I can’t think anymore

It’s tight muscles

Rearranging your life a hundred times just to plan for the exit of people who swore they’d done this before and you’re not a burden and can’t you just calm down for once in a goddamn blue moon, actually, now that you mention it I can’t quite make it downtown just to rescue you, I swear to god I can’t take it any longer, get a grip, don’t make me responsible, I can’t I tried I searched far and wide for my last scrap of patience deep inside but we both know it’s true that it’s best for me and for you if I just take a vacation within my own blue skies, here’s hug and a kiss for the ride, you’ll get by you’ll see what I mean eventually you’ll see

I’ve sighed and skinned my knees

Take the pain and run with it

Can’t see the trees for the forest

I’m a big picture kind of person but it’s way too easy to get lost in the details

This time I might just have the common sense to close my eyes

If all else fails it doesn’t matter

If you can’t make sound you can’t even feel the release of crying out

 

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Another Poem

I haven’t posted poetry in a while so here’s a slam poem. ¬†Warning for strong language.

“I’m Still Sad But What Else Is New?”

You said you loved me more, fuck you

I knew this was a lie

I don’t think you noticed my eyes or my lips or tried desperately to memorize the outline of the white sheets as they crumpled around my soft skin

I don’t think you stared so hard it brought tears to your eyes because you knew deep in the pit of your stomach that everything has its own expiration date

This doesn’t even matter because

I can’t eat when I’m sad

And a piece of fruit pressed to my lips only stains them cherry red, strawberry pink

Tip of my tongue

Juice dripping down the side of the kitchen sink
Or is that blood?
Hearts break slowly

But at least you did some gardening first

Uprooting the weeds in my belly

Planting wildflower seeds in the furrows you made when clawing at my skin

The love for me you left behind is like finding blood on a bath towel

and not knowing where it came from

You’re sure a wound must exist and conclude that the pain just went on hiatus

I really hope I don’t bleed out in my sleep
I know I loved you more, fuck you

I remember the incredible thump of your heartbeat

Hot and strong and made from the stuff that glues together even the most wild of pages

The book that is your body is bound by sea salt and sunshine

I never liked holding shells to my ear when I went to the beach

because I couldn’t hear anything and the sand that got caught in my hair

stayed long after I’d left the shore

When I laid my head on your chest

I could finally hear the ocean the way that I’m supposed to

I didn’t know that your scent would be harder to scrub away

than a few grains of sand

And it would rub my skin twice as raw

I tried to memorize the imprint of your body heat,

the topographical map that was left tattooed on me by the warmth of your torso

I want our tectonic plates to collide again and create more islands

Never mind the sand

My memory isn’t worth much more than the change I have in my pocket

but I’ll be damned if I forget the sharp bite of your fingernails

into the smeared canvas of my back

and the eager blossoming of pain

when your teeth rent through the fabric of my frayed common sense

exhilaration unfurling like ropes of light from cheap drugstore fireworks

You turned an abandoned art project into a goddamn masterpiece

Spun gold cobwebs over paint that had long since dried

 

I know I loved you more, fuck you

The way your touch felt on my skin,

pressed against the shower wall

grinning while rivulets of warm water trickled into my mouth

Your eyes in the half light

gray light

soft afternoon light

oozing all over the walls

smudged into corners that had been dark for too long
Fuck you, I knew I loved you more

when I realized that I’d slashed my own parachute to shreds

just for the pleasure of falling together

I didn’t think far enough ahead to realize

that when I hit the ground my spine would telescope

Part of me doesn’t care because this gave me a chance to stare down the moon

The sun will blind you if you look for too long

but no one tells you that the moon will drive you stark raving mad

 

I know I loved you more, thank you

For opening dusty windows I never even knew existed,

for watering plants that had long since been forgotten

and proving that the monsters under my bed would stop biting me

if I’d simply turn around and bite back

For demonstrating that it’s okay to choke back up the water of clean,

Christian thoughts that flooded my lungs instead of my mind like they were supposed to

To scream through a mouthful of lake sludge and saliva

that sex is not something that will be wrenched from hands

You did not pry my palms open

You were the first person who let me uncurl my fingers on my own

You were the first person who let me help you take off my clothes

 

Baby girl the thought of you struck me across the fucking face today

and I haven’t seen you in 58 days

I traced the outline of your fingertips,

stroked the raised welts on my cheek,

tried to hold the imprint of your hand

because I’m still sliding backwards down the canyon wall

And the girl who was once my safety net

is now halfway across the world catching butterflies

I used to love the outdoors but after you gave me vertigo

I don’t like hiking all that much anymore

It’s hard to stay on solid ground when every time I look over the edge of a building

I think I see a flash of your hair down below

and I have to stop myself from jumping to maybe catch the end of your sleeve

before you disappear around the corner

But you’re not a butterfly,

and even if you were I know I’m not supposed to pinch your wings
Either way, I miss falling for you