pairs

pairs of eyes
(mostly blue, one pair brown, one pair hazel)
I looked into wishing for
eternal love
unconditional, magical love
I begged them not to leave mine for
a single second.
so, well, when I saw the girl
in the mirror, I spat at her.
she stared into my skin
taking in every blocked pore
and said nothing but “I’m sorry”.

not good enough!
I said,
and I spat at her again.

I locked the door
looked down at my feet
jammed cotton wool into my ears
and when the outside light burned in
(at about four o’clock)
I shut the curtains, too.
not good enough! I said,
and I hung a scarf over the mirror
so she couldn’t look at me any more.

it hurts, I said.
it hurts so much (I gripped my knees and
rocked like a child fallen from a climbing frame).
I looked over to the mirror and its scarf
and I couldn’t see her
but when I picked the cotton wool from
my right ear to replace it
I heard her whisper from behind my improvised
iron curtain.
“I’m sorry”, she said.
“I’m sorry”.

well, I went back into the outside light
after a little while
but still I avoided her in car windows and shop fronts
and mirrors
and oddly metallic hand-dryers and sheets of foil and ice
she caught up with me eventually, though.
and by habitual force
I cleared my little throat ready to
gob right at her, the insolent bitch.

she was still saying it.
“I’m sorry”, she said.
“no time for that,
I’m on my way to
meet a blue-eyed surgeon who’ll fix my pinholes and chips and
prevent that nasty infection from returning to my
badly sutured wounds”.

she said nothing

then

“I’m sorry”, she said.
“I said no time for that!”
and I lifted my hand to silence her

wait
what
she reaches back delicately
she doesn’t grab me like the last blue pair
nor shout like the first blue pair
she doesn’t scream and hit like the brown pair, either

I stare down at my own hand, and shuffle off
to meet the surgeon
but I begin to wonder what would happen
if I looked at her a little more often

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trip

six months of an acid trip
life is full of revelations now
little epiphanies woven in
to my days
threads so glittering wind
through the halls and
stairwells, turning
cobwebs and dust into
pretty paper chains

“girl,” he says
looking up from the ground floor
“why are you always so
guilty?
let go of that conscience, girl”

I say fuck
I always had the words to
describe myself but
I placed them on the page like
newspaper cutouts
a ransom letter to myself
I never glued them
down, so they blew away
into the wind
and I shut my windows hoping for
sense

I sink into my trip
but I’m not in a daze anymore
not a passive witness
not a powerless princess by
the closed window willing
my hair to grow a little longer
this trip is mine now
I embrace the others
that join me
and kiss the ones that
leave me to soar

and I don’t feel
a stitch of remorse
or pain
or shame
not anymore, girl

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.

dew

I’m not there yet, but I will be soon. 

my heart overflows with grace and gratefulness.
I suffer, surely.
but this humbles me
with a reward of
pure, composed contentment.

how could I
enjoy the dawn
so auroral,
argent and glittering with dew,

if never to live
in the mirthless night,
the sepulchral darkness?

if never to lift up my arms
in the unoiled sister-shackles
of pain, and furious fear?

the dawn comes,
and with it
the heavenliest sigh;
“freedom.”