Versions

Sometimes I cannot sleep; my mind is busy noticing things, things that were hidden (buried) in the peripheral throughout the purposeful rigor of the day.
The backs of my eyelids are vivid nightlights, magnifying glasses for the razor-edged Rolodex of things I have meticulously filed away.
I notice all the things I did do and wish I had not, the things I did not do and wish I had.
In the unwanted illumination, my heart reveals a measuring stick that is rigged in someone else’s favor. I notice how I often fall short.
I notice time’s mnemonic remnants: the faint ridges of forgotten fingerprints, the oily glow of haphazard handprints, the glossy shine of a forehead once rested in daydream.
I notice the scattering of chalk outlines, evidence of the versions I had worked so diligently to scour away.

-imagie via Pinterest

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Unapologetic

as a woman,
society tells me I’m supposed to fear getting older,
that I should fight my body’s natural processes,
feel shame for what I am,
and pretend to be someone or something I’m not in order to be in line with some norm or make others feel more comfortable

I am aging – that’s a fact,
and instead of letting a number, a wrinkle, or gray hair be the beginning of some endless battle I won’t win,
or letting it be beginning of my expiry,
I am loving this shit so much

every year,
it becomes clearer that I should never be anything but who I am;
I sink deeper into this place of unapologetic realness,
and it is fucking amazing

I am fatter, saggier, wrinklier,
and salt and peppery

I am stronger, wiser, more patient,
and freer

most importantly, I have lived long enough to have walked the side of sorrow and see the dawn

I have learned that no matter how far I have run,
or how long I have been lost,
it is never too late to be found

-image via Pinterest

Loose

I wake with a start to the monotonous alarm gone off in the not-quite-morning, setting in motion all the things in a day that can’t be stopped.

After dressing, out of the large bedroom window I observe the sun beginning what could be its optimistic rise over the serrated tree line.

The trees bordering our property clench at the last of autumn’s harlequin leaves in their mournful fists, but for one Herculean tree that has fallen, the wide nieve of its root mass ripped up and resting bare above a loamy gouge in the grassy bed.

Downstairs, all around me, they busy themselves eating the breakfast I’ve prepared and readying for the day, oblivious to the storms inside me, which also can’t be stopped.

This time of year, the ground outside takes on water until it is nothing but soft sponge, just before it begins its slow, deep freezing.

Inside, the ground beneath my feet is also beginning an unsettling softening, the imminent chill of winter threatening to make home in the fading marrow of my papery bones.

Like the lamented tree, I seem to have come loose from my station in life.

-image via Pinterest, original source unknown

Unbridled

from an early age,
I’ve had this crazy feeling,
as if I somehow came into this deep, unexplained power,
an unbridled magic it’s taking me a lifetime to embrace and hone

it compels me,
even when I don’t want it to –
it wants to bulldoze,
excavate,
to crack me wide open,
exposing all the hidden, vulnerable places,
to break me down to my simplest form

I’ve always felt the need to stay ahead of this thing,
or it might destroy me,
and everything in its path

sometimes it feels like I’m gaining ground,
sometimes it feels like I’m losing,
but the whole point has been to just keep moving

-image via Pinterest

Student

last year,
I committed to continued work changing what wasn’t working in my life,
to letting go of things and ideas that no longer serve me,
to de-conditioning myself from a lifetime of culturally-imposed and self-imposed bullshit,
to questioning my personal stories, assumptions, and beliefs that made up my version of reality,
to showing up differently for myself and breaking old patterns

it hasn’t been easy,
and there have been so many unexpected challenges,
but this year has been a wonderful teacher

I learned to observe the voice in my head and not necessarily identify with it,
to work toward letting go of the idea that I’m doing this life thing alone,
to understand that I am valuable regardless of what I produce,
to become more conscious and present,
to work toward being more patient, embracing the growth process, and feeling all the feelings that arise along the way,
to reflect and express these feelings and lessons in writing when I’m so moved to do so,
to work toward continuing to listen to the central voice that is the core of who I am,
and to act more in line with that

I’d like to continue to move forward this year,
to further this journey by finding out what the hell ‘self care’ looks like to me,
to stop eating the things that are poisoning me and not missing them,
to forgiving myself more naturally and in healthy ways that move me forward,
to getting out of my own head and being a good friend to the people whom I hold so dearly,
to developing a different relationship with work,
to being less instinctively guarded and spreading love in as many ways as possible,
to including more of the things that feel expansive and less of things that feel draining or contractive,
and to loving myself through all phases of my evolution

I’m a lifelong student,
and I know this year will be a good teacher, too

Happy New Year! 💜

–image via Pexels

Elements

I have been beyond tired, beyond lonely –
simultaneously lonely and never alone,
with an emptiness settling in so deeply,
it was a stone inside of me,
hard and sharp

my past and my fears are the leaden shackles I have always felt a duty to escape;
my rest is formed by my waking life,
and my waking life has too often been formed by feelings of defeat,
sorrows I allow to permeate as I set forth in my duty

but, in the center of my core,
I have always known it is possible to break the old, rusted, fear-forged chains of the past,
to encourage elements to transition from one state into another,
transforming and casting an entirely new life

sadly, chains made of blood and memory are a million times more difficult to sever than those made of steel,
and the past has a tendency to overtake me when I am not paying enough attention,
or, when I pay too much,
and I’ll find myself making the same mistakes as those who’ve come before me,
with the same resentments set to boil

but, I have also been tired, yet content,
simultaneously fulfilled and alone, but never lonely,
hard-won self knowledge settling in so deeply,
silence and gratitude are all I need to feed the gentle stillness in my soul

because those old, rusty chains do eventually break,
even though the breaking is an endlessly tiresome business,
and when I look the fearful past in the face and call it by its name,
it loses its rigidity and strength,
becoming just another corroding element,
flaking away with time

-image via Pexels; shared as part of the dVerse Poet Pub’s prompt, The Art of Confessional in Poetry

Blush

it’s crazy how I’m caught off guard,
after all these years

how tearing down walls left me with no guard at all,
my smallness in the open with you

how that hungry look,
a few whispered words,
warm in my ear,
or the gentle trace of your fingers at just the right moment,
can make me blush,
and squirm,
and want

it’s crazy how being off guard feels so at home,
with you

-image credit Tumblr

Don’t See Me


opportunity doesn’t knock, it slithers,
it wriggles and burrows with its chattering teeth,
until it tunnels down, down, down,
clawing and eating away at my insides –
and I feed it

I nourish it with eyes that see,
but pretend not to,
with haunting excuses hovering in wait,
gathering to lock fingers and create a wall no human could possibly scale
alone

they hide my most precious secret

knees to chest,
arms wrapped tightly around,
and eyes unable to meet yours –

don’t see me

I am not what you think
(I am not what I wish I was)

-image via Pinterest

Glutton

I crave the soaring fly,
the savory-sweet dopamine high,
the trojan-horsed famine to feast,
fist to mouth feeding this homeless core,
my shattered beast,
desperate to numb its bitter and cold,
but its icy fingers won’t release their deadly hold

I yearn for the rolls and folds to soften the deadly blows,
for this insulation to thicken and enclose,
for this savage internal verse to shift,
becoming honeyed prose,
but the strikes never slow, never soften;
at this rate, this oversized shell will be my coffin

I hunger for the serene, obsidian quiet,
for the release of this crippling riot,
for the free fall into the sweet, thoughtless void,
but it’s unreliant;
it’s all razor-edged neon, blinking, non-compliant

in it,
there’s only me,
myself,
and I,
all hiding behind the insatiable high,
this corpulent encasement a cage for the silver-tongued blows;
I am gluttonous shame,
a faceless name I don’t quite know

-image via Plusmommy.com