Skimming the surface

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I feel seen by your eyes; this frightens me

A bead of sweat drips down your face. I stare, enthralled. I find myself contemplating its flavor.

Your mouth has got me shook. I cant. Stop. Staring.

I peek inside your mind and find it lined with shelves, littered with papers and books, some left open and forgotten. I imagine you skim through them from time to time. But only when necessary

I want to be there when you get out of the shower to smooth your skin with shea butter while your body is still steaming, and hot, and wet

Sometimes, I imagine you’re stretched out beside me. We lay on cool green grass below a tall sprawling tree, sheltered from the blazing sun

you know how when you’re reading and you realize your mind has wandered? Well, my mind wanders to you

I fantasize about loving you. For this, I blame you and I blame Audre. In no particular order.

If I’m right, you think of me slightly less than I think of you, this both draws me back and drives me forward

List for me the following:

your favorite book

your favorite poem

your favorite song

I want to search for you in their words

The next time we are alone, I will not tell you how I feel

I write around you, not about you. I tell myself skimming over you is easier than diving in.

Bast

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The box where I put us spilled open

the cat knocked it off the shelf

mischievous beast, meddlesome Bast

I think she’s tired of her protective ways

longing for ancient days of war-torn destruction

she seeks to make a battleground of my heart, for revenge

Yesterday, Bast asked me to pray to her

for protection, she said.

Politely, I declined

Now I glance up to find her watching me

she sits on the shelf where I’d hidden us away

casually licking her paws, feigning nonchalance

but I see her eyes gleam

they laugh as she watches my fingers

scramble to collect piece after piece of us

shattered and whole, they slip through cracks

in floorboards before I can retrieve them

forever lost to dust & fate

& the Will of the Gods

I cut my finger on your face,

it starts to bleed & I look up

Bast stops licking her paw

she’s still staring, and I can hear her eyes whisper

‘Now will you pray?’

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*

I don’t want to be alone with my own thoughts

So much is happening and I feel like i’ll fall apart

if I let them speak,

I watch television on the internet to drown them out

I bear witness to my own gluttony:

netlix, amazon, hulu…which I cancel periodically

pretending i wont start them again

I make a therapy appointment for wednesday,

this makes me feel better

I feel like i’m going to be sick

physically ill

I need a distraction

to distract and be distracted

to give and take until this thing works itself out

until I figure myself out

I need to remember that this isn’t an answer

only a piece of an ever evolving puzzle

which shifts itself constantly;

knowing i can’t keep up

doesn’t keep me from trying

Get off my back

I want to be drunk now

maybe then words would come

flow out of me like lava from a volcano

destroying everything in their path

if I get them on the page they’ll be safe

I wont feel the need for them to flow

from my mouth into your ears

that’s where they’ll do the most damage

if I put them down here

how will you know

they’re for you?

I sit here grounded, you – analyzed

me – sinking under the enormity of circumstance

I’m strong, I know this because I feel my legs work as

I strain against a crippling weight pressing down on my spine

Get Off. My Back.

I whisper these words like a prayer

beg them to lighten my load

I feel pieces shift, break & fall away

I exhale, slice open another dust covered box

cutting my hand on the box cutter

I dig in, my hand stains everything it touches

Dark Horse

*

I sent a boy a poem last night

not about him, he just asked

he said it was pain full: two words

I thought it was a mistake but it wasn’t

the world is full of pain

brimming and it keeps coming

we spawn our own disaster

moment after moment

each atom, each babe

we teach what we know &

what we know is pain

despite all the disparate voices,

rushing rivers, sprawling trees

shouting for peace

Or,

I still have the bottle of wine

I bought to help me write

its just sitting there

waiting for me to make a decision

to commit

I look at it and perceive it as beautiful

& I don’t know if this is because of the wine

or the glass

or the fact that I picked it

for its name: Dark Horse

zodiac of my birthday

fate full day

so I’m reading this bottle as a promise

or, I’m reading this bottle as a threat

Open Window

I have a narcissistic wound

according to a book which reads me like I read it

& tells me about my scars

like it was there when they were cut into my skin

from the inside

toughened,

strengthened

constricted

which is why I didn’t know

I tried to tamp me down

dreamer, lover, achiever

was buried beneath the scars

I’ve found an ointment I rub it on my skin

I don’t know where it came from

I found it in a tin on my window sill

I left the window open last night

felt a breeze graze my face as I slept

traveling across unfamiliar lands

with old familiar guides

I awoke to find the gift waiting

‘use me’ it said

‘I will help to heal you’

I don’t know the names of the gods who bless me

that knowledge was twice taken from my spirit

but I feel them with me

know they bless me

as I love on them, they love on me

it’s comforting to be loved in such a way

this is the love to sustain me

It’s a fight to stay sane

I know this

its why I unpack

I watched what it did to my father

bottling up his trauma

spending his life with the people who hurt him

I grew up with the person who abused me

I’m asked to continue to spend time with that person

as though that were a normal request

as if I am wrong for loving myself

fuck

I push everyone away

everything I type is so cliche

like

everything is so fucking trite like

this is the shit inside my head

insecurities and fucking

doubt

a child screaming to be loved

to count

I crack myself open &

wedge a crowbar between my rib cage and pull

I spill out

I leak onto the floor

this bleeding is healing

I know

doesn’t make it hurt less

it hurts more

because I know there’s more to come

healing hurts this way

I could press my hand to my heart

to stop the bleeding

blood would just seep through my hands so

I watch as it falls through the cracks of the floor

collects in the cool dirt beneath this room

below this house

I hear it sink drop by drop

pooling

into the water supply

but the well has run dry

this blood from my chest

all sadness and grief and rage and joy

I offer as sacrifice

to the earth who birthed me

& the well which sustains me