You have my word

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Tag: trust

I will not be beautiful for someone else


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.


The magic of Maybe and falling in love


I really have to stop falling in love with Maybe. When I was young I thought I’d never feel these things and now I can’t seem to stop. Stop. Stop? God. Don’t stop. Carry on. A little faster. Don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t stop me from falling. I only want to halt when I hit the bottom.

A beautiful, broken, bashful, bandaged, blundering fool of a boy who – despite having crashed from such great heights – still manages to feel like he has too many limbs attached and too many teeth that slow the words or simply stand close enough to remind his lips not to kiss you. Yet.

You’ll think it funny that at the bottom of Maybe I exist between a rock – your grace – and a hard place: this short, tempting and terrifying distance from your face. Maybe you noticed that when I startled and became aware of your eyes tracing my face, I was inexplicably and profoundly attuned to how lost my hands were.

Maybe all of me was lost, because for a good part of the next hour, most of my thoughts skirted the boundary of: “Why does it feel like I have hands for the first time? How do I use them? Do they even work?”

The bashful boy at the bottom of Maybe is quietly conscious of your hands. He wants to hold them just like you’d hold a pen. He wishes he were a pen – tangled in your fingers, chewed on occasionally and used when you needed him like some kind of magic.

I really have to stop falling in love with Maybe. But maybe I can’t. Maybe that’s ok. Maybe it’s my bashful boyish blessing to keep tumbling – fumbling with my hands, your skin (thin frame) at the mercy of this chaotic descent.

It’s not even dark and I can’t steady the shakes. Maybe I am here alone. Maybe I can love myself without the light.

The battle, the beer and the beast


I have only ever poured one beer down the drain. It is the only one I have never finished. The only one I never care to taste again. Just like I have only ever wished one person’s death. It’s the only one I do not care for. It’s the only one still in my head.

There are four things to keep in mind when tasting beer: what it looks like, how it smells, how it tastes and the aftertaste it leaves in your mouth. If this person was a beer that would roughly translate to: how they look, how they smell, how they feel in your mouth and the aftertaste they leave on your tongue and under your skin.

I learned to taste beer when I was very young. You could say I have a refined palate of sorts, for the sorts of men – I mean, beer – that evokes bitterness and bile. And yet, give it the right name – “little girl child with a man’s hands in her pants” begins to sound like “there’s a sweet and sour edge but you’ll miss it if you don’t take your time with this one.”

How it looks. How they look. How he looks. How he looked. How he looked in the dark with his eyes fixed on me, no one else, is awake, mom’s asleep, she’s asleep, not a dream, not a dream, just wake up, little girl, just wake up, just wake up, just lie still, just lie still, till he’s done.

How it smells. How they smell. How he smells. How he smelled. How he smelled the first time he laid eyes on me. And he knew that I knew no one else would see. Only me. And him. In the day. Or so he thought. There was him and me and ten different versions of who I thought he would turn out to be. His cologne, always too much in his pre-bedtime ritual. And he always came… back to sacrifice me when the ritual was complete. The smell of stale cigarettes on his clothes, regardless of how many washes or how much cologne. That’s the thing about poison – it doesn’t live in your clothes. It lies in your skin.

How it tastes. How it feels in your mouth. How they feel in your mouth. How he feels in your mouth. How he felt in my mouth. How he felt in my mouth when he rammed a whip down my throat, crushed my body like a slave. Held me down and hoped that I wouldn’t fight back. That I wouldn’t make a sound. That I wouldn’t try escape. That I wouldn’t use my fists. That I wouldn’t find the strength I have ten years too late. That I wouldn’t wake the family. That I wouldn’t call for help. That I wouldn’t pray to God. That I wouldn’t hate him. That I wouldn’t hate him now.

The finish. The taste it leaves on your tongue. The taste they leave on your tongue. The taste he leaves on your tongue. The taste he left on my tongue. The taste he left on my tongue… has not yet gone away. It has been more days than I care to count; more pains than days. More tears than pains and not even my drink takes the pain away. And I don’t blame it. I blame him. And for the first time since that first time I don’t blame myself and I don’t blame God – which in itself is more than I could ever have hope to move past. In fact, I never thought I would be able to move, never mind move on or move forward.

But I’m here. He’s not dead and I’ve still only ever poured one beer down the drain… well, now, maybe two.

The spirit will carry me across the blue

A photo by Conrad Ziebland.

I burn my tongue whenever I say your name. The syllables are hot coals behind my teeth branding the letters onto my lips, love. Marry me and I will never be out of time or trust. Let me tread easy the staircase of your ribs to the altar of your Hail Mary. Carry me into the temple and I will burn candle vigils to the beauty between your legs. Your spine, like a prayer, straightening in my throat and I am eternally grateful that father (forgive me) taught the value of good posture. Your fingers like the ten commandments and I will obey each one. You can’t convince me that you are unholy temple – broken where you once bent before. Open your doors to me…

I have always thought of you as part of the trinity. God! You are so lovely and this will always be my cross to bear – self-inflicted penance for loving all that purity – you. I am not worthy to touch. Your blood, love, is holy water to my demons but I will never break your body – never pray you broken for my transgressions. Never swallow you whole and chase you down with wine – I could drink all of you in and never get enough. So write my black heart back to life with the gospel of your tongue – till my eyes are pageless blue and you are the only horizon on my skyline skin. See, this love is not light – it is heavy. It is dark nights where we find ourselves lost among the never wondering how we got here. I always said I would follow you into the dark but I didn’t know you would leave me there… leave me to face the Satan of your absence when you left… taking my breath with you. I hung by your words but not long enough to choke to death.

My kiss, like Judas betrayed, was a gift – some lineage that should have been. My lips that would, before, only sing your song, are now pursed and have prayed too often to even know how to call you. You have gone and the gods have gone with you. So don’t you dare tell me that I am safe with your arms like a cage around my heart. Disarmed. Painting lashes with my own whip, writing tomes to the memory of what was… like this moment… Tell me: Will it matter if I replace you with the moon? Will it matter if my tides come in and out to the sound of another tune – always pulling, never pushing. I release our forevers into the hands of the ocean for it is only the waves that can undo me like you used to. The spirit will carry me across the blue.