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

When Dragons don’t Text Back

‘Would you rather be a dragon or a unicorn?’

I repeat the question my sweetfriend asked the night before

‘Oh. That’s a good question!’

‘Well?’

‘Dragon. Definitely dragon.’

I text my friend too much. Sometimes she responds. Sometimes she doesn’t.

I know she loves me.

She makes me feel safe, absorbs my madness and spits out rational thought in her sleep

We talk about sex, fuckery, and the magic of extra biscuits

I am learning this is what friends do

Practicing the art of leaning into my sexuality isn’t a joke

Especially since I tend to extremes, abstinence or Lilith on fleek

These are my settings

Fate and the Universe have sent me on a side-quest to balance

My friend is my inspiration, guide, and also the dragon who lives in old, dark caves fucking with nearby villagers

Weary traveler, exhausted from my quest, I approach the village

Naturally, recognizing my warrior status, the villagers solicit me for assistance

I oblige

Slowly I trek up the mountain to the cave where the dragon sleeps

My approach wakes her. I find her to be perfectly lovely, if a bit surly

She explains that the villagers often climb through her caves and interrupt her sleep

To ward them off, occasionally, she takes to burning one or twelve of them to a crisp

She says they taste wonderful with salt. I laugh

This is how our friendship begins, the warrior and the dragon

I came to slay, but stayed to play

Anyway, I’m texting my friend

We are talking about sex and trips and food that makes us come

I eat a canna-chocolate and write one last message before sleep pulls me under

Typing it, I am glad for her, her fiery mouth and her ancient wisdom

The text is word vomit in the form of late night poetic mania

I know she will not respond, I send it anyway

When she reads it I know she’ll think I’m ridiculous,

Smiling to myself, I think of where we began

Ridiculous, isn’t that what dragons think of man?

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.

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?’

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

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