I’ve recently started writing poetry again. Like, within the last year. Which is odd, because all through middle and high school I primarily wrote poetry, always thought I’d be a poet, and then I got into longer prose. But it’s good to get back to where I started from.
For anyone who hasn’t read a good deal of my poetry or short stories, a word of warning: my stuff tends to be dark. Like, ranging from gloomy at its best to down right macabre at its worst. This isn’t a cry for help, it’s just artistic expression. Some people listen to head banging music at obscene decibels when they get in a mood, I write.
That said, here are a few I wrote over the past year. They were written in a variety of moods, pulling from a variety of emotions and experiences through my life. And they’re all works in progress (although, isn’t all writing?).
Blankets and Sheets
I only miss you at night.
In the dark, the distance between your side of the bed and mine
stretches to fathoms.
I reach out
to cross the distance
fingers seeking flesh
finding only cheap polyester blend and low thread count.
And as the sheet of sleep pulls back
I remember the hours caught
between dusk and dawn,
waking and reaching for each other
blankets replaced with skin,
the soft breaths of sleep replaced with those of love
and extra cups of coffee
promised in the morning.
I remember the citadel of pillows and blankets you erected
added to piece by piece
so that I didn’t even realize it was being built
until one day I set out to cross the distance
and I couldn’t breech your walls.
I remember when a half empty bed became the norm
when I’d have to get into the car and drive
to your brother’s
the party de jour
to reach for you in my sleep.
And so I’d pull your pillow into my arms
press my face into the fabric
and say it’s enough.
I remember when your side and mine merged into all mine
and I wondered why one person would need
so much space.
And I dreaded the night
and the emptiness
and the darkness.
Because in the space between wakefulness and sleep
I would forget
and have to remember all over again.
Sticks and Stones
His words cut into your skin
like the razors you trace over your wrists
telling yourself to stop being a pussy
But that’s the shitty thing:
even though your soul has given up,
your spirit has died,
your body is a selfish bastard
and calls the shots
and won’t let you go.
Says you’ll thank me tomorrow
when you’re forty.
So you do the only thing you can,
pressing just enough
to achieve some release,
and hope that one day
it won’t be paying attention
and you’ll escape.
I used to be skinny.
My tummy was flat,
my thighs didn’t touch,
and when guys drove by, they’d whistle at me.
And it was great.
But I was so tired.
I was tired of always being hungry.
Of my throat feeling like I’d swallowed lye
of my teeth pounding out their incessant rhythm of pain.
I was tired of looking at a plate of food
and knowing which order to eat it in so I’d digest the fewest calories.
Of entering a building and scoping out the bathroom I’d use in case of “emergency.”
I was tired of my mother telling me I was getting too thin
but every time I looked in the mirror, I saw the same fat girl looking back.
I was tired of trying.
Of fighting so hard, and getting nowhere.
I was tired of hating myself.
I’m done comparing myself to everyone else.
Done holding myself up to false idols on glossy, air-brushed pages.
Done letting drive-by assholes objectifying me define my self-worth.
I’m done fighting my mother’s hips and my grandmother’s thighs.
Done trying to fit my ass into a size zero, cause that just ain’t gonna happen.
I’m done looking in the mirror and wanting to change everything I see there.
I am a glorious fucked up mess
and I wouldn’t change a thing.