Beating, breathing

by You Have My Word

beating beneath my fingernails

I can feel your heart beating beneath my fingernails, not in the way I’m breathing but in the way I’m beating sense into my brain. I have to believe. You are here. Creeping under my skin even if I haven’t fully allowed you to claw your way in. Draw me into you.

I stand between self-loathing and grace, finding mercy and losing faith. They demand I keep it together, you tell me it’s OK to fall apart because when I have nothing at least I’ll have your heart. They ignore my crisis of faith and walk away. Again, you tell me it’s OK because in the uncertainty that’s where I’ll find your grace. Just like there can only be shadow if there is light, so there can only be doubt if there is life.

I cannot face the phase you’re pulling me through so I leave track marks in my skin so I can trace my way back out again. Like Hansel and Gretel led to the house of sin – witch waiting to stuff ’em good and feast on ’em. But I can’t rely on fresh flesh lines to string my hope together again, they are not neat enough to tightly hold the promise of your love.

I will not hanker for the depths of a somewhere I have never known. I will not pick-pocket memories from days I wish I’d never shaken hands with, shaken foundations with a force no one can withhold. We were not made to withstand tornadoes of trustless hellos.

So here I stand with poison words like bombs in the palms of my hands. You hit me like a hurricane with black loveless affection. Shit! I hate this! You fit so well into me! Give me you next fix… me… please… me. Tease the tricks right out of me. Repair razed ruins in the wake of where I ran remembering the track marks trailing in the sand.

And there you stand. I stare into your eyes so I don’t have to look down at my feet. Because I’m ashamed and shallow. Because I’m nervous. Because you’ve asked me to follow and I can’t say “yes” yet. Your slow blink, steady face holds my gaze – leaves no room for disgrace, passes no judgement for past mistakes. I shift unsteady. I’ll never be ready. Yet you keep calling me: out, out, out, out! Out demon! You cannot serve the devil and the Divine at the same time!

I am wretched, bastard, son of a gun, yet you call me redeemed, set apart, son of the Risen One. I know that I need you, but don’t want you. You pursue me anyway. You see through everything I try to put up. Do you have any idea how long it took me to put this barrier between us? Now it’s gone. Now I have to trust, even if I get there with clenched fists and fights in the dust next to the heart that I didn’t clean up.

Now I stand holding out my hands. Forgetting how to pretend I’m fine, losing the strength to stifle a cry. Engulf me in albatross wings spread wide with enough space between the expanse of your ends-meet fingertips that I’ll have somewhere to hide.

I can feel your heart beating beneath my fingernails. Not in the way I’m breathing but in the way I’m beating sense into my brain. I have to believe you’re there creeping under my skin even if I haven’t fully allowed you to claw your way in. Draw me into you.

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One of the spoken word pieces I did at the last Spoken Sessions event.

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