Misdirection

My mind hides things from me, serves me up doses of misdirection, with hits of delusion, leaving me cloudy, confused, lost and distracted, certain in my uncertainty

Im trying to say, I forgot how you make me feel, and when I say forgot, I mean blocked with all the strength my Warrior’s heart could muster

You got in when the gate was down and you don’t know what it looks like when I am hurt and hiding

I don’t want to be hurt and hiding

This me, listens to Be. while I write to you this poem, this confession or protestation of my affinity for the swag in your step and the God in your eyes

Fear comes in, guardian at the gate come looking for you, wondering what the fuck you are doing inside these walls

You just smile

I’m afraid to look at you, afraid I will see you and remember that feeling that I get when you put your arm on the back of my chair and all I can do is stare at my hand

or my phone or whatever is in front of me and pray to whatever god is listening that the words to come out my mouth are funny or charming or a healthy balance of the two

I’d like to let you stay, your presence is comforting

See, it’s your your smile and the way emotions flash across your face, some stay longer than others and I like to watch them

I like to watch you and I don’t know if that is normal or weird or a healthy balance of the two

but its true

Lilac

For a long time I equated being good with being silent

I was told to hold contradictions in my mouth

speak up but stay silent

speak up when you have something to say, but don’t say the truth

don’t speak your fear

speak so you can be heard:

I have a rage inside me which has yet to find its limit

it crawls up my back, claws out my eyes and spills from my mouth

I war with everyone around me

words ripping//eyes tearing the way through my day

I dropped a bottle of perfume

My grandmother gave it to me when I was a child

it smells strong like lilac and it stained the tapestry

I can’t help the smell

and the bottle I kept safe for years is now gone

like the woman who gave it to me

and is that a sign or just a bottle or a combination of the two

a reminder from the ancestors not to forget them, telling me,

sometimes bottles break

when what’s inside needs to be let out

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

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

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.

 

Open Adoption

I used to check the mailbox every day

looking for something with my name

written in loose cursive,

with a Georgia postage stamp

telling me you love me

I dream of that mailbox

barren and sad, creaky door

flaccid flag, with nothing inside

I dream of ups drivers and big brown parcels,

just for me

I read your letters

to my mother

the woman who raised me

I hear the pain in your hand

when you ask why she doesn’t write

I’m sorry she didn’t write

I’m sorry for what was stolen from us

I’m afraid you’ve died

I look up your name in the obituaries online

like a ritual

So many have died

None are your age

It’s mothers day and my dreams say

I have repressed rage

I always thought it was a super power

Being able to stash it away, but

now there is only pain

and feeling afraid

My dreams tell me

I can’t live this way