Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category


A year ago a day was taken from me
Just a few hours slipping through the cracks
And with it my sanity
A loss I couldn’t mourn
A wound I couldn’t see
All the healing
All the surviving
All the fucking times I’d said “this is my story, and it’s molded me because I lived”
And what was left behind was an automaton
Bleeding where a piece of me had been ripped clean from my insides
And thrown against the wall
A year ago a seed was planted in the side of my skull
Blooming into nothing but hate and deceit
And I, blissfully unaware, believed the air was full of love
A toxic naïveté
As poison filled my veins
A lullaby of ersatz peace giving me an insidious sense of serenity
I dreamed of a future I would never see
Waking up to the nightmare
My world razed at my feet
A book of matches in my hand
A year ago I forgot how to scream
Staring at a distorted funhouse version of myself
Believing myself to be the monster standing before me
I forgot how to breathe
As I fell to my knees and waited
As pitchforks we’re sharpened and torches lit
I carved my confessions in shorthand in my skin
As stones struck from all sides
Whore! They screamed.
Do you see what you’ve done?
You’ve defiled a sanctuary.
And now you’re bleeding on the floor
Where only the worthy may kneel for absolution
And sister, that ain’t you.
A year ago a handful of hearts believed in me
As I grappled with my own understanding of guilt and shame
Because I had no name for a sin I didn’t recognize
When my only failing was not remembering
And it cost me dearly
A year ago I didn’t know I had a reason to grieve
I couldn’t allow myself to feel hurt or angry
Couldn’t feel the injuries that festered beneath the surface
Whispering “you don’t deserve to know the answers you seek”
But somewhere I knew.
I didn’t light this fire, but if I didn’t move forward it would consume me
And for 3 months I sought forgiveness
While simultaneously trying to make peace with the unknown
For 3 months I searched for a light in the darkness
Knowing my voice was in there somewhere
For 3 months the body healed and my heart kept beating
Love found new strength and my spirit learned to be patient
And slowly I pushed forward. Step by tenuous step.
On wayworn feet.
Collecting shards of my broken memory.
Until at last I let myself rest.
And looking at my hands I could see clearly again
Ugly, vile, violent
The contents of my stomach churning with each new image
I could hear, feel, taste, and smell every lost second
With the knowledge that in the end the villain was right
No one had believed me, not even myself
And I found my scream.
A war cry.
A keening.
A promise that his threat would not become a prophecy
“I’ll make sure no one ever loves you again”
A year ago I was sent on a journey without a choice
And while it hasn’t been smooth, clear, or clean
It’s been real, raw, and a year long lesson in love, faith, and family.
In not walking away, not shutting down, not sacrificing my integrity
In strength. In growth. In peace
A year ago I lost everything, if just for a moment.
And found me.


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All I’ve Got Left

I open my mouth and there’s no sound
Who is this girl without a voice
This pen without a word
I close my eyes and try again
Searching inthe darkness for anything
And when I scream it echoes through the Chambers of my heart
But outside all is silent
I smile
Tears rippling behind my eyes
Not ok is not allowed
It’s the first item of the litany of things that are not allowed
A tome of guidelines to keep me where I belong
Don’t get too comfortable.
Don’t get too close.
Never let your guard down
Never exhale. Never exhale. never exhale.
Don’t let them see you.
Run. Hide. Run. Hide.
Stay small to stay alive.
Don’t be too loud.
Don’t. Ask. For. Shit.
Don’t. Need. Shit.
Never say no.
These words only get you hurt.
I’ve kept myself empty to not be a burden
Given so much of what I am
I don’t even remember what it feels like to hear my own name
So with eyes closed and mouth open
I call for you the only way I still know how
And give you the one thing that can’t be taken from me
Not my body. Not my life. Not my spirit. Not my happiness or my words or my tears. Not my laughs or my prayers.
I give you love.
And when I open my eyes there you are
The first full breath I’ve allowed myself in lifetimes
And the only word that comes is your name.
And hope my love is good enough

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The Fall

Her loneliness is spelled out in a litany of one word answers and long pauses
Days of unreciprocated I love yous
In unattended sentiment
And every time she reaches out to the Darkness
Nothing reaches back but these demons
Tearing at her skin and sucking the air from her lungs
They pull until bones crack
So she lets go
Complying with their dance to save what she has left
Fashioning a mask with her own skin
One that smiles and laughs just the way she used to
A face that looks ok
But she’s not ok
And she can’t make this mask form the words
Please! Just love me!
One more time or it will disintegrate
Screams echo in her heart
Fists beat on the inside of her skull
You see
The problem isn’t that she needed you
But that you made her feel safe not always needing to take care of herself
The pain doesn’t come with letting her love you
But in making her feel safe showing you all the things she’s kept hidden away
Because when the world has taken everything from her
Those things are all she has to hold on to
Your mistake wasn’t in loving her back
It was not telling her the rules and conditions would constantly change
Not communicating new emotional tax codes
Until she owed more than she could ever dig herself out from under
Her cries at night are a declaration of emotional bankruptcy
And she’s run out of synonyms for “I need you”
And needing anyone makes her feel dirty
Yeah, she’s done some dark things for need
Sunk low for love
Sold her soul for one less night alone
So when she says she needs you know she’s hitting rock bottom and you’re the one thing that can cushion the blow
But please don’t turn your back when she struggles to get back up
Because your face gives her faith that her wings will heal and she will fly again
And please don’t take her hand just to make her feel too heavy
Don’t sell her a dream you don’t believe
Don’t take her for a fool because she chooses love
Don’t let her fool you into thinking she’s blind or weak Just because she leans on you
Resting eyes that never stop watching for a way to escape if things get bad
Her love is trust. Her love is honesty. Her love is a willingness to risk more pain.
Her heart crosses veils and tears down walls
Her spirit heals and protects the ones she loves
And she’s worth picking through the rubble, I promise.
But some nights she sits with her ghosts
And they read out loud the stories scrawled in her scars
This wild exquisite disaster quietly falling apart
And she hates asking, because she can’t always find the words in your language.
Just love me.
I need you.

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Love is the Sixth Sense

Genuine love does not last for long in mint condition original packaging.
Because in order to fully experience love
It must be held, felt, tasted
To fully understand love is to risk losing it
Real love is getting your hands dirty and cleaning up your garbage
It’s facing ghosts and demons and not knowing whether to fight them or embrace them
It’s tearing your fucking heart out and still being able to empathize with the world around you
Love does not conquer all
It learns to not let defeat make it bitter
It’s the smell of gasoline and the whisper of extinguished matches
Letting the fire consume us
No matter how many times we’ve been burned
Love is leaning in when all we want to do is run
Love is hard truths
And there are some days love is simply “we’ll try again tomorrow”
Because love gets mad, hurt, irrational
Love dishes out as good as it takes, but also gives as much as it asks for
Love demands an open mind and a willing heart
Revisiting, revision, reanalysis
And what it cannot understand, love tries
Because there are days when love is perfect radiance
Days where it is cautious acceptance
And somewhere in between, is real life
Love does not cower from real life
Because it cannot thrive in a vacuum
Craving the grit, the blood, the flaws of the human condition
The raw passion of cries in the night
Love is sleep lost and time spent
Without expectation or regret
Unimaginable distances and lullabyes sung to the stars
Love is sweat on an old shirt, a wayworn stuffed bear
Love is an adventure, a misadventure, a story to share
And sometimes the best laid plans go sideways
And you end up camping on the side of the road by a neon sign that reads “closed for good”
Love shows it’s face when it is difficult
Seeping through the cracks of broken infatuation
Making you question everything you thought you knew
Demanding the courage to ask, the bravery to do, the fortitude to feel
Love will drag you down to its murky depths
And teach you to breathe

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Eyes Open

I keep my eyes open

when we kiss
because I don’t want your lips
to become someone else’s teeth
don’t want your sweet breath
to reek of the trust sucked from me
want to taste your wine and my whiskey
not venom
numbing my reason
as the poisons leach into my heart
I keep my eyes open
in defiance
of every voice that threatened
that no one else would ever love me
every curse hidden within an apology
my eyes and arms
as open as my heart
so you know
when I sigh it is in joy and peace
not fear
that in holding you
I release
every weight of my heavy world
rising to the tips of my toes
to let you consume the parts of me that please you
your voice reverend and grateful
as you make an offering of yourself
and I imbibe you
like the first breath of life
deep and sacred

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is this what they see when they look at me?

have they always?
and when they discovered this shit was hereditary
did they think
it would just keep quiet
if they turned a blind eye to the disease
that was my inheritance
the child who was not supposed to be born
from the woman who was not supposed to survive
a ghost haunting my own skin
trapped in a shell of the me I could never be
so I’ve spent all my lifetimes trying to create my own peace
and once in a while I step from the skin I’m bound by
and into one less untouchable and torn
less stretched and way-worn
unfettered by the gravity of time
unbruised by the bluntness of mere existence
this skin is strong
this skin is unafraid
this skin is sought after
praised as a sensual soul, instead of used like a whore
a skin that cares less
while the one I live in feels everything
like hooks through skin and sinew
each one tagged with a name, a smell, a date, a sound, a face, a touch, a place
a collection of barbs that catch and tug as I pull through my day
they say the skin you have today will completely regenerate in 7 years
but each new casting is another broken mirror
each one more shattered than the last
and for almost a year there’s been a truce between
the darkest parts of me and the monsters that lurk within them
but it returns to me now
a plague of old terrors on new skin
and I scream and scratch
as it crawls and constructs from within
a serpentine whisper slithers through me
did you really think you could get rid of me so easily?
the air around me catches fire
I forget how to breathe
my blood alive and seething, weeping from crooked seams
how many times have I sewn myself back together
because I believed I could get the razors deep enough
to scrape away the hell I saw
carved on the inside of my skull every time i dared close my eyes
definitions I learned as they latched on
parasites feeding on secrets and lies
this is what love means
this is why she left you
let me prove to you I’m not every other human you’ve ever trusted
this is why she left you
this is why they all leave
and in the darkness the wolves feast
on everything I’ve flayed away
trying to not be so weighed down by myself
the same claws and teeth that give me the strength I need to keep fighting
will just as soon turn on me
because you cannot tame these beasts
they must be free to give their obedience
and everyone has moods…some days
so smile
Jenn?  Did you hear me?
I said everyone has bad days
the histrionics are unnecessary
find a distraction, get more sleep, lose some weight
quit embarrassing me
stop overthinking, stop being so needy, irrational
this talk makes me sad
can’t we just be happy?
what a shame
what a waste of potential
what a relief she can’t see you this way
this is why she left you
this is why they all leave

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I’d forgotten how suddenly it happens

that the ground beneath my feet
is pulled away
and before I can exhale
I am free, but lost in the abyss of silence
both falling and floating
thrown out of orbit into the stillness of too much space
wasting precious borrowed breaths
on screams no one can hear
how quickly the path vanishes
the moment I find the North Star
how completely I run out of time
in the vastness of the sky
the gravity of the situation lost in translation
Houston, we have a fucking problem!
Don’t leave me out here
to be just one more star
dead and faded away before the world takes notice
the weight of desperate supplications I cannot possibly carry
an anchor I cannot drop
an albatross still alive and trying to carry me
just adding to the list of failures
that will haunt me far beyond my last spark
I’d forgotten how suddenly it happens
that the heavens go dark
the blind faith I’ve been rationing for the journey
choked out by reality
how pathetically I will continue to pray
even after it’s obvious
there is no god here
just empty dreams with nowhere to land
just satellites bantering manufactured life
just me

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