I tell her too much but I thought all people were poetry. I have burdened her with my humanity. My unchecked openness. My sloppy sloshing heart. She shuts down so I do, too, but for me it doesn’t stop feeling swollen inside. What at first was a swell of succulent affection is now an infected throbbing slash of rejection which underneath is a self-loathing that burns so deep it will stay with me for three decades to come. When you are eleven years old, the wide soft field that is your life gets eaten and eaten and eaten until it becomes a rotted sort of gray all around the square patch of life you are left to inhabit on your own.
You are afraid. You learn to do it the way you learn to do it.
Are you sick of it yet? Exhausted of how I want to tell you how fucking good this feels to be me again. The same me who was five years old and then ten and then fourteen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty one. After twenty one, of course, it gets so blurry I could almost vomit the way I used to so regularly back then. So thin, so thin, so pretty, so easy when shit gets hard. Twenty years of blackouts and red screams and “I’m fine.” And we’re fine and we’re fine and we’re fine.
You’ve got the life, baby, you’ve got the life but I’m not so sure this time.
The sun comes up slow in a powder blue winter sky. The bare trees are golden in the light. Still cold as hell but illuminated like wooden stalked electric wire. When you tell the truth you can’t know what will happen next which is maybe why more of us don’t do it. It is not our fault that we want to and it is not our fault we don’t. The vultures out there are real and so is the bony hand of death although to be fair that’s true either way. You can say it or not say it all you want. Time and life and feelings we didn’t bargain for churn and press against us as deep down we only knew they would.
You wanted out but not all the way. You wanted out and you almost got there, Christ. It almost took you right away. I pull on an old tee shirt and pour the coffee and write all about the person I want to become someday. If you do not escape into the words you will find other ways to do it.
He wants a kiss but all I want is to hold hands. All I know is I am scared of something I do not understand. He takes more than I offer and I hate myself for not knowing I even had it to begin with. And right there, in the molten center of the hot bothered truth of that, is why I fell down the rabbit hole and why I’m trying to climb out. The way in is the way out, and this is true of all things. I loved everything about myself at one time long ago before I can remember. I crawl backward to move on. I am trying to get back everything I never got to know I was.
It is a quiet morning all around my thoughts which fill six pages in a spiral notebook and began before the dark had even faded out. The self I couldn’t have known before comes forward like a tiny pale ghost, passing into daylight. I take it to my chest and stroke its fairy phantom head. The life I tried killing off wouldn’t die. The truth and the lies are faces in fog, now coming into view.