Exhale

part of me yet seeks to be

still.

exhale

without soulclawing for air

in a pain-murmuring body

holding itself hostage.

daily, i hunt armistice,

for tenuous relief

from this sisyphean shell,

forever roiling with

ebbs + echoes

of bonerooted pain-

newly validated

by nodding white coats.

the nightmare breathes inside my skin

i feel it

before my eyelids even flutter open

it whispers me awake

an agony anthem

gleefully unraveling

the sandman’s lullaby

in its midnight playground

disease has burned its brand on me

its spiderweb suffering

deepwoven into fickle DNA

seeking mastery with a conqueror’s fist

yet i

like many others

am so much more than the pain i carry

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Potential

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Prospects stir within me

peeking through the murk

of disarming doubts

and missed opportunities

to eye tomorrow speculatively

They venture forward

brushing aside

clinging fragments of fear

trailing shreds of futures

from restless dreams

shedding past selves

and stowing their baggage

in the corner

My possibilities

jockey for position

as they thrum restlessly

at the starting line of my soul

waiting to gallop off

and be chosen

as the one

who could change everything

Be

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who am i?

said the face to the mirror

eyes glinting,

shuttered lids

blinking,

bracing

against the hopeful

agony of anticipation.

have i triumphantly

shed the skin of my past,

shucked off

page yellowed demons

until they slink sullenly off

for a smoke break?

the more honest question

would probably be

do i want to know

the answer?

Demand

The world keeps ripping off odds and ends

from my anatomy

my internal makeup

all that it is to be a self.

 

sending grasping fingers scrabbling wildly on skin

passing through the cage of my chest

squeezing particles of being and shaking them loose

to rattle around my bones until they’re discharged

and fed to the inexorable hungers of

–the needs of a lost little kid hellbent on destruction

–the unspoken, barely suppressed worry of a mother’s eyes

–the faceless demands of circling debts loans mistakes & regrets

–the terrors of a world that seems to be giving up on itself

–the insecurities of people focusing only on division (and of course multiplication)

**the warped internal civil war of a person who is her own salvation and her own worst enemy

 

each time, it costs me me more to hold it together with an increasingly patchworked soul.

I can name my paradoxes and rages, laments and glories,

And love myself for my flaws as well as my joys.

But how do I stand firm in the storm of life that is always reaching and grinding down

until it feels like there will be nothing left?

Ripening

I miss the me that doesn’t exist yet. The me that doesn’t ever feel hollow or tarnished, but new-minted brassy with happiness. I can feel her roots, burrowed too deep for conscious thought or recognition. I’m outside the cocoon, a spirit adrift, idly watching the twisted not-quite-right person struggle to bloom.

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