You have my word

One word can change your life.

Category: Poetry

I won’t have claws and nails here

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When I’m turned up to thunder, savouring the flash of fury in my fists, I am furthest from myself. Wrists bending, threatening to break in the grip of this fight, flesh still singing with the sting of that blow. The wake of this will still stand right here in the morning.

This time won’t be any different. And that’s the difference. She thinks he will change. He knows that his white knuckles – single white roses in a field of red – are his most desperate attempt to grab a hold of himself. He will not change.

I recount in slow motion. Any faster and my head starts to spin (sin, thin white lies, despise, disguise). My demise will be my own fists poised to strike and break the wrists that bend and the bones that breathe life here.

This hurt has held too long too much with its fingers around my heart. It has fueled my own fire, my flash, my fists. It has to go. It has to let go. I can’t grow if it won’t go. Go. Go. Go. God. Go.

I won’t have claws and nails here. Fury be gone. Love, come on, let go. Go. Go. Go. God. Go. Gone.

Fall asleep in the airwaves

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I don’t know if she’ll wake up. I keep my lips close to hers so she can take my air if hers is stolen. She takes my breath away. I give it freely to make space for the place she deserves in my chest.

Her chest heaves with the creaks of years weighted under worlds and wars. She has conquered them all. I lie next to her and wonder, at what cost? How many lives has she lost to find her way home – to sleep in this bed.

Rest now sweet warrior. Rest in peace but not in death. Let the armies carry your guns. Let the children pick flowers for your hair from branches higher than they can reach. Let other mothers lift up your hands. Let me kiss the top of your head.

You are one with my breath. I will watch over, walk with you. Will you let me catch you if you lose your ground? Let me hold you in the grip of your groans while the sky breathes heavy in the dark?

Nobody puts baby in the corner

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Nobody puts baby in the corner. But he did. And it wasn’t the first time. And it wasn’t the last time. And it wasn’t the worst time – she’d been through hotter hells than this a thousand times before. He thought he could save her – pull her up by her hair – help her escape from the flames. So he buried her in water. A daily funeral where her blood became part of the rush into her lungs, her mouth, her emptiness. He could never fill her emptiness. No one could. No one can. No amount of pills or drugs or sex or rock and roll me another joint.

Get me off. (Get off me.) I need another hit. (Stop hitting me.) Let’s tie the knot. (Untie me please.) I love you. (Leave me.) Don’t make me beg for it. (I’m begging you not to.) You enrage me. (You rape me.)

She lives like this. She dies like this. Broken ribs. Bruised lips. Limbs out of sockets. Torn ligaments. No treats, only tricks. Stupid bitch folded into a paper bird and thrown from the sixth story. Someone else is writing her story. Bound ankles and wrists. Hoisted like a crucifix – her head bowed like a flag at half mast. A mourning that can’t be missed though she’ll hide it as best she can. Windows boarded up with black eyes and long sleeves. Trips to the store like he doesn’t treat her like a whore. Everything is fine. Everything is fine.

Everything is falling apart. A fine line between being teased and being tortured. Pins and needles thrust into skin – a sickly voodoo – threading through flesh he tries to stitch her up again. She doesn’t even flinch. Her skin knows needles like the back of her hand. The marks, the scars, the car going too fast to get away from here. Anywhere. If only she didn’t have to ask. He guards the keys like she’s the last prisoner to leave. He keeps her. He keeps her in cupboards and behind closed doors, in confined spaces of his clasp-grasp-gasp for air, love. If you fight it’ll only be worse. I don’t want to but I’ll force you to.

Do as you’re told. Let me hold your hand, waist, throat. Don’t you dare scream. If you open your mouth you won’t eat for days. For weeks. He will starve her soul from her stomach. He can’t fill her void but he can make it his own. Make a home in her spine. He will call himself a god – divine. He pulls the strings, the nerves, the ending. He stops the clock. Get up. Get up. Get up. Stop. Walk. Go. Come. Come. Come here. Get lost. She is lost. She belongs to him.

Will she ever win?

 

I will not be beautiful for someone else

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I am tired. I am broken violets in a vase that hasn’t had water for days. I am cut at the base of a very long stem – growing bent under the weight of others’ sins carried on the wind. How do you grow up when you cannot see the sun? Cannot feel the heat on your leaves? No warmth in the day? No moon at night?

I die. My roots growing further into the earth trying to bury my alive. When I am hiding perhaps I’ll survive. Only dirt is seen by the naked eye, but I…

I grow silently beneath the soil. I wrap all my limbs around rocks that told me I couldn’t and hold them so tightly. They anchor me. I tell them my secrets hoping my stories will bounce back with an echo of truth I don’t already know. I am only a seed below.

Scattered. Like dust. Shattered. Like someone just put me here and expected me to be something beautiful. Something for show. A feature in a building they call home.

It’s a house made of aging bones and hollow noises and records that play on too-loud speakers because why fix a thing that isn’t completely broken? Yet. It’s only a little out of shape. The music is still in time. In time.

In time. My heart no longer beats in time to the right rhythm. Broken violets in a thirsty vase asking for questions to be asked. Why keep them if they’re dead? What if they rot?

I’m not saying they’re entirely ineffectual – I’m a conversation starter at least. What will they speak about with a flowerless mantlepiece? Will they even miss me?

Not planted or picked for display. Just somewhere. A seed. Growing my own way and looking for the light.