You Do Not Belong Here

I’ve worn your shame
a long,
loooong
time.

It cut into my shoulders,
stretched tight across my back,
and caved imy chest
so my breaths came in and out
as tiny puffs
of wretchedness.

Your criticism colored my face
a darker shade of brown
so you could hate it more,
blame it more,
see me as a monster of the night
instead of
a child of the light.

The lash of your tongue
and the beat of your
pious and
punishing drum
became the soundtrack of my
off track life.

Until I realized,
this is my life.

And you do not belong here.

Years I’ve spent
unraveling
the mangled mess
of your twisted mind,
extricating
myself from
your parasitic
embrace.

And as I’ve stripped myself
of all you want to think I am
or ought to be…

I found freedom.

I found breath.

I found a new home.

And you do not belong here.

I Don’t Know

I don’t know
upon what ground
your feet will fall
when I no longer walk by your side.

Fertile soil?
Shifting sands?
The crumbling concrete of a dying world trapped by its own misconceptions?

I don’t know
where the wind
will carry you
when I no longer hold your hand.

Gentle skies?
Blooming clouds?
Thunderous storms of lightning dancing to the sky-splitting clap clap clapping sounds?

This world,
my child,
this world
I cannot know,
not for sure.

I have no control
over the sand,
over the wind,
over the cruelty that will mark your soul, or
over the awe that will shake your bones.

I don’t know
what life you will live.

But I know you
were born to live it.

And I know how deeply
you are loved.

Falling Apart / In Love

Falling in love with you
has left me falling apart.

Pieces of me, old pieces, worn pieces
distorted and degraded pieces

keep falling away.

Parts of me that don’t know how to love, that
don’t know how to listen, how to be patient,
how to reach for kindness through fury and
blinding frustration; those parts of me
just

keep falling away.

Like a tree in the winter, I shed my withered leaves,
as my foliage

falls away.

Like a snake growing, molting, renewing and healing,
my outer shell

falls away.

Like a young butterfly searching, pushing, forcing
my way out of the darkness,
my cocoon

falls away.

And out of the fallen, discarded pieces and parts of me
steps a being
born of love
born of faith
born of the will to keep, forever,

falling in love

with you.

Birth of a Woman

When I was young
and a boy
broke my heart
for the very first time
I called my older brother
and begged him to come save me.

“Hurt him,” I said.

“Yell at him.”

“Beat him up.”

“Make him suffer the way I’m suffering now.”

My brother held my hands,
hugged me,
kissed my head,
wrapped me in his love
and said,

“You can handle this.”

“Whatever you need done,
you can do for yourself.”

“You don’t need me to save you.”

“You are strong.”

“You’re gonna be okay.”

“You’ll always be okay,
even if I’m not here.”

He was right.

I Promise

I will be
your anchor
in the raging ocean waves.

I will be
your roots
in
in howling winds.

I will be
your warmth on the
darkest, coldest nights;

your shelter from
the hottest, fiery blaze.

My Demon Sweetheart

… a poem about depression.

Oh, my familiar friend,
I would tear your tongue out
for how you speak to me
but for the elegant truths your lies
come dressed in.

I would walk away, never looking back,
but you wrap me in such utter,
blinding darkness
my skin feels warm against
the ice in my bones.

When you sweep me off my feet
and take me to the bitter edge
I beg you just let me fall,
but that sweet release
isn’t why you came.

You, my demon sweetheart, are the best
at the worst kind of seduction.

Your crippling love won’t leave
me in peace.