My Grandmother’s Sweater

I’ve lost my sweaters
They held me close as I wept
Buried my face in their depths
When my grandmother passed
They held her too
Shielded her from the bitterness that winter can bring
Wrapped her in their fabrics and heated her
Warmed her creativity
Arms swaddled, her hand moved, penned words,
Poems, prose
I wrote in you too,
Took comfort from you
I’ll miss you
But will always have the echo of you in my mind
Warm fabrics, weathered wool
You held me, you held mine
Now, I’ll let you go

Stardust

I’m not shiny, I’m not happy,

I am hurt and damaged

Most days I want to slice myself open,

Rip out my heart, tear apart my soul

And throw myself into a deep dark pond because

That would be easier than figuring this shit out

That would be simpler than asking myself

Where the fuck do I go from here ?

How the hell do I find happiness in this shithole called my life?

That’s most days.

Then there are some days where I remember,

I stand outside and stare at the night sky

I let the darkness surround me and gaze at stars

I tell myself that I am made of fucking stardust

And anything is possible

I tell myself that I am smaller than a grain of sand on a beach

I am atoms, and molecules and energy and life

And I can just be

I can just breathe

Because I am fucking stardust.

Dust

the thing that tugs at me from my  last relationship is not the fact that she and I didn’t work out, because, bless her. I mean, bless her. Hell in a handbasket that one, but the emphatic way in which she professed her love for me. Then just shut it off. Which if I’m honest, I shut mine off too. I tumbled head first into love, because that is actually, not a thing I do. I am meticulous and I analyze and this time I didn’t. I didn’t think, I just lept, and I’m not sorry for it, I’m not ashamed of it. What I am sorry for is that I let her speak in absolutes. I let her tell me that she would always love me. That she would love me forever. She didn’t even love me for a month. I’m smarter than that. I’m wiser than that but I let her. And here’s the thing, the whole time the smarter, wiser part of me was raging against it, part of me believed her. Part of me thought, maybe this gorgeous, lively, drunken mess will love me all the days of her life. And here’s the part I resent, pay attention: the part I resent is that I let that possibility creep in, and it didn’t work out. And now, it has fed my complex. I have an unlovability complex, you see, and she fed it. Piled it high with sticks and brush, poured gasoline on it, dropped a match and walked away as that motherfucker burned.

My mother gave me up for adoption when I was a baby. Gave me up. What the fuck kind of a phrase is that? Then, people are obsessed with adopting things, pets, railways, freeways, elephants, things. I’m lumped together with a fucking freeway and I wonder why I feel less than. Why I feel unimportant. Then I wonder why seeing people as carbon copies of those they share DNA with makes me want to grind my bones into dust.

I was given up for adoption when I was a baby. A woman who was supposed to love me forever gave me away like a pair of jeans and a girl who said she’d love me forever didn’t even stick around to watch me turn to ash.

And it’s not about her. I don’t love her. That’s not the point. The point is that I have an unlovability complex and I am ash. I am dust. And I need that fucking shit to change. The point is I share a category with a fucking freeway.

That’s the fucking point.

intimacy

i miss letting people in

i’ve never done it with lovers

only friends

and i haven’t done so in a long long time

people get confused though

because i share details of my life

things which some people would hold

so closely to their chests, never to spill out

i dump all over the floor

i do it for me, not for them

i am purging myself of my pain

but that is not intimacy, it is not closeness

 

not for me

 

to me, intimacy is when i lay my head on a lap

when i share a bed with someone and we let the night drift around us

the lights are out and we send our voices into the darkness

carrying whatever hope or fear or thought held within us

knowing that it will be caught by the other person

intimacy is knowing that even if all you are greeted with

is soft, even breathing, you are still heard

still loved

i miss that.

it has been years.

i want to find it again, in a lover

 

and a friend.

Whiskey

I wonder sometimes if I’m sick.  What it means that I have a bottle of whiskey underneath my bed.  What does it say that I only fall for people I know I can’t have?  I pour my heart and soul into relationships with men and women older than me, married, taken, mentor, boss.  I pour myself out then close myself off.

I hate that when I look at the night sky, I don’t know if I’m looking at a star or a satellite.

I’ve lost my father, my grandfather and my grandmother, fallen out of love, then in love and then out of love, all in the span of a year.

I’ve been gutted. Cleared out and all that’s left are tendrils, hanging, reaching toward each other, trying to connect, heal.  Trying to form a new heart, kidney, lungs.

The only time I can feel anything is with something in my hand.

I’m bleeding internally and it hurts like hell.  My insides are throbbing.   But I can’t feel them.  Sometimes it’s like I’m numb.  Feeling and not feeling.  Phantom heart, phantom lungs.

I remember what it is like to feel.  And I’m sure I’ll feel again.  I do it sometimes.  Spontaneously.  I’ll realize I’m laughing, or smiling without it being forced.  I’ll feel an urge to kiss a cheek or hold a hand.  Tears will spring to my eyes and blur my vision.  Rage will burn like coals in my belly and I’ll be heated.

I’m a poet without poems.  I’ve writers block and words come out hollow.  I turn phrases and they’re heartless, soulless.  Where is my passion?

Where is my soul?