context: play this game / with your you-self / when it’s late and
inappropriate. promise yourself you won’t forget / what it means to be beholden to someone. it’s not a lie if you believe it yourself. the thing about this world is she says the sad fact of the matter is no one owes you anything. I am learning again that to love is not to give them everything they think they want. this is how brats are raised. this is how mothers are bullied into submission. because they can’t stand to hear the wail. invest in a good pair of earplugs. beat your breast. your garlic cosmonaut heart. slowed-arrhythmia sending you off. this natural remedy will help you fall. this homeopathic stew. will help you unease right off what’s Bad for you.

what are you truly afraid of?
that everything I’ve done to hurt other people will be done to me. at some point realising that I truly am mediocre. forgetting my loved ones. my loved ones forgetting me. alzheimer’s. waking up one day to find I don’t have any more new ideas, not one. realising that I’ve missed out on the best years doing something else. realising that I’ve let the ones who were best for me go. that I’m not as interesting or funny as I’d like to be. that I’m a self-centred narcissist whose only acts of care are elaborate rituals of self-absorption. turning out like her and never truly being able to gain financial independence or anything noteworthy without the safety net of my parents. not noticing that I’m becoming exactly the person I despise. never achieving self-sufficience. settling for less than good-enough. not knowing my own worth. that there will come a time to be truly, deeply alone, and I will not be ready for it. that being alone will last forever.

tonight / insomnia has never been my thing but trying new things is good for you / I lie and think of all the things you’ve said to me in the guise of care. you stopped to examine the death-flowers but started pulling them up claiming they weren’t good for the phlegmatic soul. you tried very hard to convince me to see loss like you did. to convince me that the heart of the matter is the fact that he left and not of the living. and I am seeing this consume you. like the heart of the artichoke. you choke. on your own inability to process loss and let go. without pain. without artifice. the dog does not get up off the nail / sobbing and begging and whinging / because he does not hurt yet enough. we do not hurt yet enough. we are caught up in our refusals to unclench. unclench. unclench. because we were taught that there isn’t enough mouthfeel to go around, that if the nipple leaves our open-babe mouths there will come a day it will never come back. we are puppy-fat in the wood soft-gumming flatcap mushrooms plump handfuls at a time feeding ourselves. unclench. this is why you thought I was talking about my x when I said muscle memory, when really it was salve for another hurting heart. this is why you try your best to convince yourself  and other patients / eye-to-eye / that it only means something if someone stays for all time. fuck grayscale. it’s a black-and-white two-tone yes-no for you do-you-stay-or-do-you-go. & so my x amounts to nothing and so do I because of a singular no-moment / what about all the times spent / squatting / on our haunches / waiting to say yes / stay? I try to explain why he sticks in my throat like a lump / and your first instinct is cut it out. I try to explain and you bat it away trample down going but he left, but he chose to leave you, like a sweet-soaked refrain attempting to convince / the present is valuable and the past not. all time exists all at once. the song of fear. of wanting but being grab-handed, miserly, a shrill demand, avaricious, a heavy hat. trample me not. I was not raised to worth the wanting. Amanda says nothing’s ever / lost forever / they are caught inside / your heart / if you garden them / and water them / they make you what you are. this is my religion. this is my pain. I am learning that something in me says / you cannot come in my house if you trample on my garden. you cannot wipe your feet if you disrespect what I’ve grown. perhaps you feel upset because it’s too huge / to be any kind of respectable bonsai / and at the right time of day / it blocks out the sun. perhaps you’ve never seen a garden like this one. but in the same vein if you choose to pull up these what you think are weeds / you will try and hurt me / you have tried and hurt me / with the fact of your leaving. you say you will walk / like those before you have / and you have ample cause / to walk

you can always leave / but there are whole trees / and you were always / a plant person.

in the same way I am learning to stand with my back straight to stop / the pins and needles in my fingertips / I am learning it is all right for someone to ask / and for someone to say no / the ask is twofold: the deserving and the right to refusal / these exist at the same time / one does not negate the other / you stand in the dark / with your feet bare / a hand on the door plead-peering into / the refrigerator / righteous with need / rigid with want

as you press out the knobs in my back
garbage bag disposal
you tell me
sometimes emotional pain
results in physical pain
I hate that
you say pain
twice in the same sentence
because I think it is
not word-economical

I hate that it sounds
faux-profound
fauxfound
but contains
that grain / of truth
like it’s too
obvious to be
a tumblr post

the writing motion /
is a straight zipline
bleeding down to
the greedful hurt

you tell me to apply
all my advice to myself
like I’m not already
slathering it over my
wrinkled core like the
reason I can give you
the leavings isn’t
because I’m gasping and
mushing it way
into my skin
like topical remedies
can heal
an internal clot

if we stay in
best undress me
like a wound

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