Approval

when she started out,
she’d written for no one;
it was pure reflection,
raw, unfiltered parts of her soul,
once-hidden bits of herself,
toilsome connections and modes of understanding,
the stuff everyday life was after but hadn’t dared to admit,
and it became an outpouring,
unable to be dammed

public approval meant absolutely nothing,
until she experienced it –
now, the thought of losing her audience shamed her

what began as an irrepressible outpouring had become defining,
a definition that vanished the moment she accredited it

-image via Pexels

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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

Weight

can your strength support me?
for I’ve gained too many pounds

and this extra flesh is nothing compared
to this shame in which I’ve drowned

-image from a gif created by Alessandro Baricco, found via Tumblr; reworking of an older poem

Nothing

she sunk to her knees,
the outline of her ribs a desperate whispering
against the smooth cloth of her shirt,
eyelids closing over foggy, tired eyes,
like haunted marbles lodged into two deep, dark sockets,
and she cried,
a brittle bird bone cry,
futility whispering against her ribs,
just as her ribs whispered against the flawless fabric;
she was withering away to the nothing she always felt

-art via Pinterest, original source unknown

Lies

you tell yourself what you think you need to,
rationalizations, one after the next,
constructing and threading and weaving,
in order to go on

you dig and bore and bury,
you force it down, down, down,
into the pit,
locking it away,
resigned to doing whatever it take to keep it there,
fear and shame fueling defiance

and you protect it,
clutching the lies like a shield,
believing the hurt will be less,
the humiliation slighter,
if only no one can see it

except it only grows and metastasizes,
the loathe a burning itch,
the fear always there,
just beneath the surface of your skin,
the shame a purpling, omniscient bruise,
an ache invading,
taking up more and more space,
taking over

there it is –
in your eyes that say what your mouth does not,
in the slight recoil at a simple touch,
in the humiliating burn behind your eyes
that threatens to spill in revealing droplets,
in the distance you keep,
no matter how close you get

there it is,
in the silence,
a clamoring so loud,
it won’t ever allow you rest

it never stays down
I know,
I’ve told myself the same lies

-reworked as part of Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge

Silence 


it closes in on you, the silence,
the pressure of it robbing all the oxygen,
absence coaxing a primal voice to arise that is something no one can imagine until it’s heard

twisting and splintering as it rises,
it’s wicked tongue lies to you,
convincing you, corrupting things,
loading itself with shrapnel from dark crevices and welding it all together into sharp ammunition

it fires and fires, stealing from you,
leaving you without a single word of comfort

only smoke, wafting in its wake

-image via Pinterest

Shameless

there was a void inside her,
a dark closet with a locked door
where she dare not ignite the filament,
for, when light spread its ominous tentacles, 
fearful tears came and eyes averted, 
while scratchy, well-used voices shouted at her from shadowed corners,
reminding her she shouldn't, 
couldn't, 
didn't measure up,
doesn't deserve

'good girls don't, 
curvy girls can't,
what would others think?
you can't be worth the effort

but, with him,
there was no tick on the wall
in which to measure up

with him, not only should she,
but it was expected of her

with him, she could open the door,
demolish the closet,
make room for light and dark
and all the in-between, 
all the time

he made her feel worthy,
and forget about what anyone else thinks 

he made her feel beautiful,
powerful,
herself

with him,
she is shameless

-image via Pixabay