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demerara

he certainly looks a superhero,
defined in blocks of
masculine warmth and prowess
all wrapped up in demerara skin and eyes
but it’s not so dramatic
the way he holds his hand out to
cradle me in my fear
I shine a light to the sky when
I see a burning building in the mist
and he arrives on time
gently turning my face to the present
“darling,
a flame in the oven
does not mean the building burns”.
I don’t know whether to
call you brother or father
or both,
or neither.

neither.

my comrade in doubt and kindness,
I channel strength to you and from you.
your beautiful soul hurts, I
know it does, yet you
are the fireman hero
jumping into the fire despite the
smoke already bleeding in your lungs.
you are the human hero,
you are.
but this does not mean
that you must never be weak.
be weak, my friend
because you can
because you are strong
because you have me and us to
cradle your mind as
you have cradled mine and ours.
we survive always
you help me heal my burns
I see yours itching for ointment.
your kindness could
never be contained by pain.
expand and
let’s let go
and be the
delicate
strong
powerful
tangible
human
embracing heroes
that our children
always wanted to hold onto.

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devotion

what do I remember?

not the nights I stayed in alone, for fear of encountering something worse outside.
not the nights I spent talking to empty, strange men online at four in the morning.
not the nights spent asking google the same panicked questions over and over again til my eyes blurred and the sun came up.

pain has a way of getting away from you. this is the brain protecting you, you see. childbirth hurts, a fucking LOT, but women do it all the time, repeatedly. no pain, no gain. was there e’er a truer cliché? no, probably not.

for all the nights of my life I’ve spent saddened, alone, anxious, defeated (and there’s been enough); recalling the pain now is dull and old, even only days later. but the nights I’ve spent screaming with laughter, forging friendships, exploring things I love, making even the tiniest of bonds with people sat next to me on creaky old couches? those nights are clear as pealing bells in my head, whether years or days or decades have passed. joy remains. always.

life is a pointless piece of shit, but that’s no reason to waste it. that’s no reason to cage myself in a four-walled prison of my own making. I stay awake late anyway; if I’m going to be tired, I might as well be fucking entertained.

I’m not a disease, I’m not a disorder, I’m not a diagnosis. sometimes things will be bad, because the brain gets tired, the brain goes wrong. but it always gets better. it ALWAYS gets better.

the inner monologue, the one that tells me I am too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too unstable, too broken. that voice is the disease. me; beautiful, strong, smart, singular. I am not those thoughts. I dare now to answer them with petulance rather than acceptance. I dare to tell myself that I’m wonderful; to offer myself the same love and devotion that I wish so often would come to me.

we must love ourselves. we must not neglect ourselves. we must take care of ourselves. one of the most wonderful aspects of humanity is sharing, communicating, bonding. but I alone inhabit this particular sack of mobile meat and bones, as you do yours. we are truly alone. if we cannot even fall back on our love of ourselves when everything around us turns to shit and the world lets us down, then where can we fall?

don’t fall into nothingness. embrace yourself and treat yourself with the kindness you readily offer to your lovers, your friends, your pets. you deserve it.

monsters

a poem to calm your anxious thoughts, some words to soothe your troubled mind. you have survived everything. you are still here. 

everything is lovely
don’t you worry,
don’t you worry.

I know you can
see the monsters,
my darling.

but I promise,
that they will not hurt us,
I promise you.

it’s not bloody wounds
that you see on
your sacred thighs,

it’s not acid
that you feel bubbling
in your throat.

I promise,
my darling,
that it will all turn to gold

if you can
just hang in long enough
to see it transform.

kindness is queen,
so treat your own heart
with sweet compassion.

the rest will follow,
the rest will follow.