I am a puddle
I am ash
I am remnants of none
You are the sky, You are the flame, You are the One.
and secretly hoping you’ll be there.
It is strange
to feel a certain feeling
that you’ve never had to feel
sometimes I feel like you’re a picture taken by a blind photographer
like the framing’s just not right
All this colour doesn’t fit inside the lines.
I’m no stranger to the feeling of being a visitor in an empty house with all the lights on
not sure how to get comfortable
not sure how long I’m staying
It might be the biggest lie in the world that tom boys and tough girls don’t struggle with body image.
These scars are amnesia
the same amnesia that leads to anorexia and boulemia
Forgetting what this body is for
fooled into thinking it is a word in a sentence
as one dimensional as an ad in a magazine
A Big fat old lie embarassing beautiful
tricked into thinking the only function of these miraculous machines
is a three second impression
that’s how long they say it takes for you to decide if you’re attracted to someone
A Big fat old lie embarassing beautiful
which of those words have you used to describe your body?
when thoughts of masking cuts as stretch marks cross my mind.
See they photoshopped love to fit on a billboard
cropped out your friends, your travels, your family, your home
airbrushed out your scars, your freckles
things that light you up and make you who you are
are the understatements of our century
these are the things that have survived the trends in what is desirable
melting like mascara funnelled into a cookie cutter of food I should stay away from
that is not what this body is for
you are meant to be cherished
you are to be challenged and enjoyed
you are a complex menagerie of pieces and palates, tastes, touches, feelings
your feet are not only for catwalks
they are not meant to be static
freeze framed sporting high heels, mocassins, cleats, kicks, sandals, nail polish
your feet are meant to run
there are times where you must put your foot down
where you must kick your feet up
where you must stand for something
your hair is a forest
meant to be braided by friends
to feel fingers
to be strummed by the wind
your hands to hold, to give, to pick others up when they’re down
to conduct symphonies
to slap knees
to point others in the right direction
your hips are there to welcome life into the world
to shake more or less awkwardly than I do
your lips to speak truth
Ears to be pierced by words
to recognize a song on the radio
or the sound of familiar voice
to ring from loud nights
and be tickled by whispers
what an exciting thing it is to be blessed with a body that functions as it is supposed to,
and yet I cower
embarassed by my blessing
my mind a graveyard of funhouse mirrors
incapable of accepting myself for the way I actually am
if you want to tell if a woman is happy with her body
look at her hands.
rings show a sense that she is willing to invest in the size she is today
my hands are bare
and my greatest fear
is that when I finally meet a man who wishes to slip a ring onto my finger
that when we clasp hands my fingers will not fit between his.
I’m sorry, body
I know it hasn’t always been this way
when I was a spunky twelve year old with a ratty braid bouncing off my back
riding bikes til the streetlights bled like solar flares in our hair
but I promise I will teach these scars to spell beautiful
to love you til you’re golden
but I’m going to need you to be patient.
see, the world’s got its fingers down my throat
and right now,
this poem’s the only way I know
how to spit it out.
the rest of you.
the cracks of thunder
and echo around her
the rain pelting down on her skin
the rush of the clouds
finally finding an outward expression
the catharsis of nature
storyboarded on windows
streaming with raindrops
that bring light out of focus
she feels understood
when her skin is slick and her hair soaks tangles and tree-root spiderwebs
like the tumult has a home outside her
that pain echoes in the thunder
like a welcome
like doors might slam in heaven
like she is not the only one dying to unleash tears and scream
to let anger flash in her eyes
striking those closest to her
is exactly the monologue
to keep her company.
are clouded by the crowded hallways of your conscience
residents of your mind, too many faces extinct.
way too many.
it hits my heart like a Richter scale
it drives splintering cracks down my aorta like roaring roots in dry soil
planted in this garden,
you are adam and eve
and your children try to kill themselves instead of each other.
In my eyes
you are canvasses of white
you are boulders of goodness
smiles, flexed like muscles
it is natural for you to have joy.
and I can’t wrap my mind around it
I strangle it
I squeeze it between my fingers
i feel it pulse between my knuckles
I heave it as far as I can throw
makes me angry.
it makes me uncomfortable.
how can two people with such mangled pasts possibly
live lives of such freedom
does not deserve you.
The grace you have shown to us
when we lunged at you
hands for your throats with cutting words
were ashamed of you
disgusted with you
we have turned up our noses at your gifts and refused your closeness
you have offered love
at every opportunity
and we didn’t know
we didn’t care
that your stories were more scalding than our own
that misery had grabbed at your feet
had washed off your hands in the sink
that psychosis ambled amidst your loved ones
were all debris in the whirlwind that surrounded your past
you had been surrounded by pain inflicted by those you loved long before us
and it makes me feel like this joy of yours is slanderous
a downright impossibility
that you drop crumbs of your past only when asked
mentioning catastrophe in passing
crisis in a beat
letting it slip from your lips
as if each shock had been extirpated of its electricity,
and still kiss
doing ordinary things like
going on walks in the valley and
as if you are not champions of a disease
this world is scratching its skin raw over
has no hand on you,
even though you are two who have truly earned it
I don’t deserve to be your child.
to be the summation of your love
the bearer of every gift you could muster
the recipient of your affectionate gaze
If I started now
i could not give you enough
or unadulterated love to repay you
If I started now
i couldn’t explain to you the gravity of your presence
a rarity overlooked
that your rings are like tree trunks that simply count your years together
I couldn’t adequately articulate the value of your patience
of your steadfastness
If I started now
I would end up
chewing you out.
because I can’t, in the humanity of my heart, rationalize your hope any other way.
Mom and Dad,
that you are scarred
but not marred
by the tumult of these tidal waves,
that you bite your lip and go out of your way to see good
that there is not an inch of anger in you
that you are still standing today
with hands clasped and eyes to heaven
makes me believe in God.
He stands behind the bar
he waits for someone to walk in
like they’re in a hurry
raindrops streaming down the window pane
he can’t see his breath
is he real?
Some things are unsure
he wishes he could see his breath.
the door is silent
no jingle or crash as the door swings shut behind a dubious seeker of liquid truth
journeyers who wish to find some sort of answers
he is the top of the mountain
he is the last resort
but today he stands behind the bar
with no one to keep him company
a dripping tap
Will he ever belong?
A rag polishing the bar
his face like kerosene
burns in his eyes
am I here?
He will not spill his sorrows
not without someone to clean them up.
he is the one who cleans them up.
his heart is like a well
his heart beat the echo of pennies falling from the hands of hopelessness
his brows are dark
he is tired
and he waits
he waits for something to happen to him
and it does
little by little
then all at once
with a footstep through a door
a pale face
a sorry gesture
a strange moment
where he cannot bear to sour her with poison
hands expectant on the bar
scratched off nailpolish
he wants to tell her she is beautiful
but his voice is lost
like a man stuck in a well somewhere
yells for help muffled on the journey out of the dampness
bouncing and fading
sounding like whispers
from a copper tongue
but a whisper would be odd
he cannot whisper or yell at scratched off nailpolish
he turns his back
hoping this moment hasn’t smudged into ignorance
ducking slightly to his right in hopes of getting a reflection of her delicate frame
scratched nailpolish fingers playing a ghost piano
downcast and shy
glued to the glassy sight of herself
she is waiting
after walking for too long in the near darkness
feeling herself become enveloped in the day’s heavy eyelids
drawn into a place with a door
fogged up windows with strict lines of raintracks
more sympathetic than ominous
the room felt like fog
and this figure was taking his time
and she was not too worried about cadence
and this scuffmark of a man could do nothing to surprise her
but as this thought scuttled across her mind
he turned and inched a glass of water
in her direction.
I’m not feeling very sharp
My eyesight is blurry
blunt like my granny’s sense of humour
I wish I was more like a surgeon and less like a patient
waiting for something to happen
finding little scratches on my skin I can’t find the origin for
from the bottom of my heart
that I didn’t feel like a basement.
like the lowest rung
like a place I don’t belong
like my lungs don’t ache enough
like in another lifetime, I’d be sticking my head out the window of a roaring train blazing through the countryside with colours so bright my corneas burned and everywhere I looked for the next few days would be coloured by tie-dyed-lens-flares of adventures I’m glad I’d had the guts and the cash to go on
Every time I consider the hills I wonder if there are people who look forward to the climb
I want to learn to find content in the scale
in the uptake
in the parts people fast forward, gloss over or romanticize
I think it is hard to say
if it really is good to live with glitter in your veins
to be so metallic and golden it hurts
to flash smiles everywhere you go.
I wonder if there is such thing as backalley-on-purpose
like throwing yourself into monotony to save it
or to relish it
to soak it in and smile.
I think that the only way to live is to be brilliantly amazed by everything.
The simple things have a way of hiding their secrets and the search is what makes anything interesting
The older I grow the more I learn that my imagination is more fancifully mundane than years ago and that I find more joy imagining things that already exist,
but the deeper I fall the more that makes sense.
I guess I’m just happy to be here
in a snowglobe of swamp water
in a web of subway trains, street lights and a lot of amazing stories
orchestrated like the music in the hearty laugh of a tired Father who waters us like weeds that spurt out of the concrete
colouring the ground in sidewalk chalk and apologies
He doesn’t mind the spelling mistakes
each step we miss he replaces with a friend or a feeling,
the artist with rough hands
creating like I could never imagine.
so Father, invade my thoughts
like highway robbery
Clean me out of the dirty thoughts and false teaching
set off bombs of blessing and beauty in their place
spray paint in my mind so I don’t ever forget it
"baby girl, I’d die for you again"
and I think in your life you not only consider the good things you hope will come to pass but also kind of expect certain trials or losses to plague, ones that match you, almost fit you- ones that almost make sense in a way. It’s as if our problems are visitors, and there are some you simply expect.
It is this almost expectant familiarity that helps us process and deal with the hardships we are dealt, and I think that is why the most crippling pains are not the most severe, but the ones which come to us strangers unannounced.