Black boy brilliance
Black boy beauty
Black boy bravery
Black boy brilliance
Black boy beauty
Black boy bravery
I sit on the guardrail
Smoke from the cigarette in my hand
Curls into the air, spiraling, dissipating
Behind me, I hear footsteps
Shuffling through the parking lot
A figure emerges beside me
Without so much as glance in
My direction, he
Carries on down the street
He is not trying to be frightening,
Menacing, he is simply living his life
One step at a time.
Anxiety rips at my core
Like a knife – carves at my flesh
Jagged, uncertain lines
Blood rises to the surface
Leaks out from tattered
Runs down my chest,
Making rivers of my legs
Warm, wet, slick
Pooling at my feet
Dripping between cracks
Of well-worn floorboards
Looking down, I sigh,
This is certain to leave a stain.
We are in flux,
Phasing in and out of
Each time we
We find ourselves at
Another point in
A girl walks
Along wet city streets
Heels click click click
She runs her hand
Along stone walls
A finger snags
Flesh is torn
She resumes her walk
Blood drip drip drips
On crooked sidewalk
The only proof
She was there
Soon to be
By drop drop drops
Of pouring rain.
It is said that time heals all wounds. A trite statement, to say the least, yet as time wears on, I find more and more truth hidden within its depths. To say that time heals, is perhaps an oversimplification, let us say instead, time allows. Time allows for things to move, for us to learn, grow, evaluate and evolve.
Today, I did a thing which I expected to rip me open, expected to tear the flesh from my breast and expose my beating, battered, heart. I re-read an email I had received from a woman I used to love. Or to be more precise, a woman onto whom I had projected ideals, and having done so, fell in love with who I perceived her to be.
We had a falling out. To be more specific, I professed my bleeding, broken, baby queer love and was slapped down, like an upstart kid. Rightfully so. But fuck, did it hurt. Like salt in a wound I throbbed. My entire being throbbed with the pain of rejection, of confusion, of denial.
I raged against the idea that I could have possibly misunderstood the aspects of our relationship. I raged against the thought that my perceptions, the lens through which I viewed my life and the people I let into it, could possibly have been clouded by the circumstances of my past, rather than the perceived reality of the present.
Thus, a period of discovery was entered.
I wrote and wrote, poem after poem, rant after rant, pages and pages and pages and pages of text. Of hurt, of pain, of longing, of lust. I recounted, I recanted, I remembered, I misremembered, I raged. Months and months and months passed. Years passed.
I do this thing, which my friend thinks is crazy; she thinks it is just begging to sink me into the deep, dark, depressions which are so often my truest lovers, my dearest friends: I re-read my journals. Often. My pages and pages and pages of text. I rip myself open again and again to see. To see what can be seen.
And that is what I did. I read and re-read and skipped some sections and went back and read those sections and became so infuriated with myself. So sad about myself, because I had been – was still so lost and deluded and sad.
I had projected so much onto this person, this woman. She was never who I thought she was. Nor was I ever who she thought I was. We were merely sets of ideas and experiences and thoughts and emotions coming together and drifting apart and coming together and drifting apart until the drifting was all that was left.
She told me this thing, which has stuck with me, to this day…so many days later, she said “I am not who you think I am.” I didn’t understand what she meant. It took me years of writing and reading and knowing myself to understand, a bit, of what she was saying. I didn’t see her. I couldn’t see her. I was looking through glasses which were so thick and hazy that I couldn’t even see myself.
Until I ripped myself open. Until I let the wound bleed. Let it fester and sore and puss and run and dry and crack and heal. I looked into myself. I sat in silence and knew myself.
Parts of me were hard to know.
Parts of me screamed in pain and anger and pain and anger and rage and pain and anger and rage and hurt and betrayal. But I began to see myself. I read and re-read my writing and I ripped myself open and I discovered something. Something beautiful and surprising. I saw the distance. Saw where I began, and how hazy and clouded and dripping with pain and trauma my perception was. I saw how I had been conditioned, opened up, made ready to be broken. And I was broken.
But I learned about myself, and learned how to begin to love myself and learned how to love others well and true. Or begin to.
I retraced my steps. Listened to music I loved when I was younger, watched television shows, read books, read essays. Delved deep down into the psyche of my past self and wandered through the corridors of my mind. Walked and walked and walked until I arrived at that moment. When my beating, bruised heart was broken and went further. I walked until I met myself.
And I did the thing. I did what I thought would break me, what I had been so averted to for so long, I re-read the e-mail she sent me. The e-mail that deluded me. That I clung to with some distant, tenuous thread in the farthest reaches of my subconscious.
I was not averted.
My vision was clear. The haze which had clouded my view for so long had lifted and I thought to be angry. Thought to rage at myself for clinging so long to someone and something that was never meant to be mine. Then I realized that had I not, I would not have the perspective that I have today. Would not have been ripped open and so would not have written and written and read and re-read and arrived here. I would be elsewhere. Still battered, and bleeding and broken.
Because I did, I am mending, healing. Learning and evolving and no, time may not, perhaps can not heal all wounds, but it certainly allows. That is a lesson worth ripping myself open for again and again and again. It is a lesson I will never tire of learning.