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

It has been a long while hasnt it my old friend? Since we laughed and talked in the old way, worlds blending into one garbled fluid dance, we made marvelous partners, you and I. Oh, how we moved through gardens and caves and fields and we played. We let joy flood our face pretending we were one. Not in truth only in jest but those moments, do you remember? What were you just thinking? You had a look in your eye and the ghost of a smile. Maybe you thought of me back where you left me. I’m still here waiting. Inside this house with its mouse-filled walls and its creaky floors. I still get splinters when I move from room to room, hiding from the shadows. They still haunt me here. Still scratch at my bedroom door. Whispering for more. It gets lonely here. I’ve made friends with the bats, remember how we used to watch them fly out of the house into the evening sky? We watched them grow smaller and smaller as they flew further away. We wondered if we’d grow wings so we could fly. Grow smaller and smaller. I hope you come get me. It’s dark here and the walls are not silent. They whisper secrets I’d rather not hear. Tell me stories I’m trying to forget. I miss you, you know. Do you miss me too? You must. You must feel empty too. 

To the White Man Who is No Longer a Part of the Conversation:

I bet it hurts you, doesn’t it?

to think that there is something

in this world which does not

revolve around you

it must shock you to think that

though the fuckery stemmed from you

you are no longer a factor in this equation

I’ve cancelled you out

smudged the edges of

my apartment and

ushered the toxicity

which is your imprint

upon my flesh

out of the building

you are hereby dismissed

do not think for one moment

I am sorry to see you go

you who have fetishized

raped and abused me

crawled between my

bones and my flesh and

leaked out your poison

What really gets me?

you’re convinced this is love

your smugness is nauseating

your certainty preposterous

yet you stay firmly planted

rooted in the rewritten history

you believe is your truth

your blindness is appalling

your presence is threatening

it is time for you

to exit the conversation.

 

Mad as Hell

Cant you see your ignorance brings pain
Over and over and over again?

Tell me, what do you get 

From being an insufferable fucking twit?
I’d smack hard upon your face

If I thought for a second it would make you change
But your ingnorance is so deeply ingrained

It’s not astounding to see you have no shame

Benefiting from bodies lain

Casually in unmarked graves
Where will you be in a hundred years

When all that remains of us are your tears

Trickling down your pale white face

As buildings burn and what’s left of your race
Are sitting on the searing coals

With nothing to eat and only each other to hold?

Salome

They called her hair windswept when it blew across her face. Salome’s mother always said it reminded her of a wise woman, walking along a shore. Her baby, bound for greatness. Salome’s mother always told her she could do anything, be anything, sky’s the limit. I guess Salome took her seriously. You could often find her walking along ledges, arms spread wide. Everyone thought it was to steady herself, but now it seems maybe she was doing something else. Practicing, testing her limits.

It was a neighbor who spotted Salome first, slowly making her way up the top of the cliff. He saw it from the edge of the village where they lived.

Ital was sitting on his rooftop, warm clay beneath his hands and feet as he leaned against the edge, pulling on a hand rolled cigarette. He watched Salome’s slow progress up till she reached the cliff’s zenith. He thought to call for someone, Salome’s mother perhaps… but when Ital heard the voices below, he realized that he needn’t bother. Already the villagers had begun to gather. Some shouted and pointed excitedly, while others murmured prayers and judgements.

Salome’s mother was among them. She didn’t seem as bothered as he would have expected. Though she did have a calm sort of concern about her, steady like a river. When her eyes found and fixed on her daughter, they remained there, unmoving.

Salome took a deep breath. Then she took another, and another. Closing her eyes, she began to center herself. She knew everyone in the village thought she was mad. Even across the distance she felt them waiting, judging, felt their eyes on her. Taking a deep breath, she sat.

The sun rose in the sky, it burned hot and persistent against her dark skin and she welcomed it. Salome had always found that the sun opened her up, connected her to the world around her. She thought of the Sun as one of her lovers, it provided for her a spiritual, sensual experience.

A breeze picked up on the cliff, carrying the smell of dust and dried grass and wildflowers up from the valley below. Salome inhaled deeply, savoring each breath, letting go.

The sun had set. Salome noticed only after she opened her eyes and found stars glittering over the village. Some of the villagers who gathered earlier had since set up tiny makeshift camps. A handful of blazing fires raged haphazardly in the mouth of the valley. She imagined they were cooking food on them, making love by them, drinking wine off one another, dancing and laughing. She felt the threat of jealousy tug at her chest.

Salome could hear the drums. Could feel their beat thrum through her body. She wondered distantly when the music began, it trembled the earth beneath her, Gaia’s heartbeat. Lightning bugs danced around her and crickets added their notes to the drummers’ song.

When Salome stood up again, the moon was glittering over the valley, making playful shadows among the rocks and creatures below. Things scuttled and scurried making patterns in the dirt. She could still smell it on the air, sweet and clean, like after a heavy rain. The dirt felt cool beneath her feet, it grounded her. Salome took one step, then another, until she was at the very edge of the cliff.

Then, she leapt.

45

The air is getting louder

Coming in with a harshness 

I don’t remember hearing

It jars me

Lately I have been catching myself 

Grinding my teeth

I will myself to relax

It is an effort.

Moonrise

The night the moon came down, she hung first in the sky unmoving, watching

She glittered her light along the treetops they danced in gratitude

I love you, you know – she whispered to the wind, urging it to carry the message along

Unsure of who she meant for it to reach