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.
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.
Do “I hate you” and “I love you” mean the same to you?
Because it seems to me at times, you may confuse the two
You’re the type of boy who’d fuck me thinking “Nigger”
Who’d ask again and again if black men’s cocks are bigger
I see you
Walking like you own the place,
Like god cried in the heavens the day that your face
Cracked open your mother’s legs so you could stand before me and say
“I hate you”
Boy, Imma laugh in your face.
My screams were so loud, the next door neighbor would come over to make sure I wasn’t being murdered.
That’s what she told me. That’s the story I was told, time and again, by my neighbor and by my mother who adopted me, about my first year on this earth.
Now, I think of the pain that baby must have felt, the confusion, I must have felt.
I wonder, if I’ll ever cry like that again.
Sometimes, it makes me sad that I can’t remember a lot of details from my childhood. Then I think of that first year and still feel a longing, but realize it’s no wonder my body aches. No wonder I’ve had the same knots on my shoulders and through my back for as long as I can remember.
I think of that baby, of me, and wonder what, if anything, it would take to make me feel that way again. And I pray to whatever goddess watches over me, that it never comes.
It is said that time heals all wounds. A trite statement, to say the least, yet as time wears on, I find more and more truth hidden within its depths. To say that time heals, is perhaps an oversimplification, let us say instead, time allows. Time allows for things to move, for us to learn, grow, evaluate and evolve.
Today, I did a thing which I expected to rip me open, expected to tear the flesh from my breast and expose my beating, battered, heart. I re-read an email I had received from a woman I used to love. Or to be more precise, a woman onto whom I had projected ideals, and having done so, fell in love with who I perceived her to be.
We had a falling out. To be more specific, I professed my bleeding, broken, baby queer love and was slapped down, like an upstart kid. Rightfully so. But fuck, did it hurt. Like salt in a wound I throbbed. My entire being throbbed with the pain of rejection, of confusion, of denial.
I raged against the idea that I could have possibly misunderstood the aspects of our relationship. I raged against the thought that my perceptions, the lens through which I viewed my life and the people I let into it, could possibly have been clouded by the circumstances of my past, rather than the perceived reality of the present.
Thus, a period of discovery was entered.
I wrote and wrote, poem after poem, rant after rant, pages and pages and pages and pages of text. Of hurt, of pain, of longing, of lust. I recounted, I recanted, I remembered, I misremembered, I raged. Months and months and months passed. Years passed.
I do this thing, which my friend thinks is crazy; she thinks it is just begging to sink me into the deep, dark, depressions which are so often my truest lovers, my dearest friends: I re-read my journals. Often. My pages and pages and pages of text. I rip myself open again and again to see. To see what can be seen.
And that is what I did. I read and re-read and skipped some sections and went back and read those sections and became so infuriated with myself. So sad about myself, because I had been – was still so lost and deluded and sad.
I had projected so much onto this person, this woman. She was never who I thought she was. Nor was I ever who she thought I was. We were merely sets of ideas and experiences and thoughts and emotions coming together and drifting apart and coming together and drifting apart until the drifting was all that was left.
She told me this thing, which has stuck with me, to this day…so many days later, she said “I am not who you think I am.” I didn’t understand what she meant. It took me years of writing and reading and knowing myself to understand, a bit, of what she was saying. I didn’t see her. I couldn’t see her. I was looking through glasses which were so thick and hazy that I couldn’t even see myself.
Until I ripped myself open. Until I let the wound bleed. Let it fester and sore and puss and run and dry and crack and heal. I looked into myself. I sat in silence and knew myself.
Parts of me were hard to know.
Parts of me screamed in pain and anger and pain and anger and rage and pain and anger and rage and hurt and betrayal. But I began to see myself. I read and re-read my writing and I ripped myself open and I discovered something. Something beautiful and surprising. I saw the distance. Saw where I began, and how hazy and clouded and dripping with pain and trauma my perception was. I saw how I had been conditioned, opened up, made ready to be broken. And I was broken.
But I learned about myself, and learned how to begin to love myself and learned how to love others well and true. Or begin to.
I retraced my steps. Listened to music I loved when I was younger, watched television shows, read books, read essays. Delved deep down into the psyche of my past self and wandered through the corridors of my mind. Walked and walked and walked until I arrived at that moment. When my beating, bruised heart was broken and went further. I walked until I met myself.
And I did the thing. I did what I thought would break me, what I had been so averted to for so long, I re-read the e-mail she sent me. The e-mail that deluded me. That I clung to with some distant, tenuous thread in the farthest reaches of my subconscious.
I was not averted.
My vision was clear. The haze which had clouded my view for so long had lifted and I thought to be angry. Thought to rage at myself for clinging so long to someone and something that was never meant to be mine. Then I realized that had I not, I would not have the perspective that I have today. Would not have been ripped open and so would not have written and written and read and re-read and arrived here. I would be elsewhere. Still battered, and bleeding and broken.
Because I did, I am mending, healing. Learning and evolving and no, time may not, perhaps can not heal all wounds, but it certainly allows. That is a lesson worth ripping myself open for again and again and again. It is a lesson I will never tire of learning.
pain shoots through my
body as memories
rise in my mind
the pain shocks
I ask my
and it subsides
There is an ache deep in my bones. It has burrowed itself within the marrow and refuses to let. It has moved from my heart, where it had previously taken up residence. There was too much space there, it felt lonely in the wide rooms and sought the comfort of closeness. Sought to feel the limits of its surroundings. So it found a new home. My heart is still empty though. I had thought, mistakenly, it would seem, that once the ache in my heart had vacated, there would be a flooding in of emotion. Joy, compassion, love, excitement, tenderness. They did not come. My heart remains empty. I feel the echoes. Reverberating off of the walls with each beat.
I’d trade if I could. I’d move the ache in my bones, tiring and heavy, I’d welcome it back into my heart, I’d sit with the pain of it. The discomfort. I’d welcome the sweet agony. At least then, I’d feel…something.