Thinning fabric

We broke up the other day, I’m trying to pretend not to notice

Truth to tell we were never really together

I try to recall the times you’ve broken my heart

I’ve let them fade into the fabric of our story

Fabric worn thin by my worrying hands retracing patterns again and again

Trying to commit us to memory

I glance at your piece of our cloth, you’ve cut out bits of us, leaving patches in our truth

I wonder if you remember what it looked like before you erased us

Does your mind recall how beautiful we were?

Threads woven together bright and dark, hazy and shining

Like sun breaking through clouds after a raging storm

These days, you see only the storm, can only take in the chaos

Should your fingers try to retrace us, they’d find holes held together by trivial pieces of our memory

I still see us, breaking boldly through clouds

Weaving our story together with threads of tenderness, laughter and pain

How could you cut us apart?

I’ve kept my piece intact; fingers retrace our history at times lovingly, at times mournful

Feeling always where we’ve thinned out

Our fabric is worn, the time has come to put us away

Tracing patterns once more I fold us up and place us in my dresser, next to old faded sweatshirts of love gone by

What you choose to do with your fabric, I have no say

For my part, I’ll keep mine hidden and safe

Neatly folded and forgotten as we carry on the aimless game we play

We broke up the other day and today, the sun is hidden away

Skies are dark, dreary and grey, contented to stay that way

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

Shadow Dancer 

I don’t know why I think you are hearing me

Working out the rhythms in my silences, and downbeats

Are you listening when I pick up the tempo?

I am dancing a salsa over here and am left with the shadow of a partner

All I have are illusions

I whisper sweet nothings into your dark, ephemeral ear

Tell you my secrets while my body moves to the music

The song is our heartbeats pounding out different rhythms

It complicates the beat

I can’t tell if it is beautiful

My feet keep moving, keep stepping

The sun is almost set and the moon is sleeping in

Darkness falls and your shadow fades

I am left with just me, the night, and the sound of my solitary heart beating

The sound of my feet dancing, stepping out a furious rhythm

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

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.

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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