Tag Archives: light

Lily Eyes

i’ve been packed in some

u n g o d l y   earth

like all of the dead i know

we are molding daisies

with our hands

 

her chest is

two perfect rosebuds

.         i close my lily eyes

perfume

leaves and cold rain

 

if i reach my branches

.                              a little
to the left

there are earth worms

digging their way up.

 

i try to dance with them

.         we twist freely in the dark

falling in rhythm with the forest

suddenly

i’m blooming like my grandmother’s garden

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I Came Back Broken

weddingmotorcycle

One morning I left, kissed you goodbye

in the sun to the humming of a lawn mower,

your coffee mug carried some motivating script.

 

I returned, same sunset, different Thursday

so often snagged on repeat in our heads

I took my boots off in the foyer,

I left them in the middle of the floor

you tripped dramatically as you

looked at them, looked at me,

I’d came back broken and you knew it.

 

But you didn’t

fold your hands in your lap

didn’t call your mother for advice,

leave the room when I entered,

whispered pleas,

what do I do

will she come back.

 

Instead you lifted me

beneath the arms,

placed my feet on top of yours,

I placed my cheek on your armor-chest

and we marveled and swayed

falling together in and out

of sun and moonlight.

 

I fell asleep, eventually

and you held your breath

you let me rest,

when I opened my eyes again

I tried to stand but

my heart was woven too deeply into yours.

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Love, Breath, Red Wine, Skin on Skin.

 

When I was eight years old, my head swarmed with nothing more than bright flashes of television, landmines of toys on my bedroom floor, the sweet scent of my father when he arrived home from work, always a cocktail of cold and sweat and cologne when I buried my face in his neck. Life rolled by with homework and spans of playtime from three until the sun went down, my mother calling me inside from our cracked front step. At night the humming of the fan was a lullaby.

I never thought dressing and parading my Barbie Dolls across the sidewalk was something to hide until he swerved down my street on his bike, all I remember are the tires, the way he stopped and put two feet on the street to balance himself while he called out something in that childish sing-song voice, silly at twenty-five but nothing but daggers then. We all know the voice, we all run from it. I don’t know if this was my first encounter with darkness, but it’s the best I can remember. Things get twisted up, out of order when you’re trying to pinpoint your first moment of confusing unhappiness, the what and why of it all. Second, maybe, was being the new girl in a new state in a new school at ten years old, thicker now, the bulls eye of whispers and crumbled notepaper. You’re not laughing with me when I’m not laughing.

 

At thirteen a teacher told me “they’re just jealous”. His intentions were the best but acceptance was more important to the awkward teenager, it always is, whether they genuinely like you or not. Sulking was my only talent. Twelve had seen a total eclipse, wandering hallways counting linoleum tiles and feeling empty as the air after the bell gave its final warning. Shoving myself inside a locker was never an option, only drifting through the afternoon until I could close my eyes on a turbulent bus ride and bury myself in the couch and count the teardrops.

Fourteen seemed better, more promising, until the growth spurt that left me thin for the first time since that eighth year of life brought on more whispers, the wondering of why I was really in the bathroom. I felt free, strong-shouldered, until the darkness put its hand on my cheek and asked to stay a while. Life was more than television and my favorite smells now, life had become a series of fleeting laughter, textbooks and deadlines, more sadness than I’d expected when all I had was a dream and a ceiling of plastic, glowing starlight.

There was happiness, love even, but something else, too. Since I was very young there has always been something lingering just overhead, pointing its long, ugly finger and telling me to second guess everything, because someone like me doesn’t get to be right. My demon doesn’t maintain permanent residence, but he likes to pop in and check on me quite frequently.

Now I have love, breath, red wine, skin on skin. Sometimes there is darkness, but mostly there is the most beautiful light.

(I hope you enjoyed my response to the WP Weekly Writing Challenge. The above photograph evoked some difficult memories.)

xoxo

 

 

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Facing Your Inner Demon

This is terrifyingly awesome.

This is terrifyingly awesome.

 

We all have them, don’t we? Mine is a real bitch sometimes. I imagine she wears fuzzy house slippers, filthy from never taking them off. Maybe an old bath robe too. Curlers in her hair, smeared red lipstick, smoker’s cough, talks like she’s been chewing on rocks…OK so my inner demon is my old next-door-neighbor’s grandmother? Ugh.

I am an extremely sensitive person. I mean just the thought of something emotional is enough to send a tsunami of tears from my eyeballs. When Joe and I were still planning the wedding, the time I spent driving to and from places was used to go over my vows in my noggin and I can’t count how many times I almost broke down behind the wheel. Sometimes I cry watching lame TLC shows. Sometimes I stare at myself in the mirror and cry because I’m just so damn beautiful.

Okay, not really.

ANYWAY – my inner demon enjoys latching on to any new information that enters my ears and twisting it up like silly putty before flinging it into my brain, where whatever was said is now convincing me I’m a horrible person. Without getting into specifics, I’ve managed to convince myself of being quite a few things I’ve been told I’m not. Some really ugly, horrible things. The funny thing? A new tube of lipstick or a new outfit temporarily fixes this – I’ll find myself looking at my reflection, head cocked to one side, a smile on my lips. In those moments I feel powerful and attractive, intelligent, ready to recite poetry or attend a book reading. Put me in sweat pants and smeared eyeliner and suddenly I’m a different person. Let someone question the way my hair lays that day? Forget it. I try to melt into the nearest wall and disappear for good.

Does anyone ever feel like this? That inner voice, like a parasite feeding off any bit of darkness it can find. It tries to keep the light out. It tries as hard as it can. “Happiness doesn’t live here,” it says.

I try every day to battle it, to bring it down once and for all, but the damn thing never dies. It’s invincible, I think. But the best we can do is hold them at bay – do something meaningful every single day, spend time with those who want to spend their time lifting you up. Being born with a demon in your head doesn’t make you hopeless. Perhaps it’s even a blessing in disguise, focusing every day on being the best version of yourself possible.

So I guess I’ll consider myself unique. Beautifully unique. And every day I’ll get to mentally punch my neighbor’s grandmother in the face. She was a real bitch anyway.

xoxo

 

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