Abreaction (from the heartaches we can’t leave behind) by means of emotional bulimia

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Feast 
on tonight’s eight-course meal – 
dishes personally handpicked 
from your most diminishing moments,
guaranteed to sate your taste for pain.

Your appetizer is absence.
It is a taste you know so well,
something you can pull from memory.
Your father was never around
and never got to see you blossom into a lady.
Absence was the first lesson you learned,
the first taste you got familiar with 
as you sucked it from your mom’s tit.
There’s is nothing people can tell you 
that you don’t already know
about people failing to show up –
it’s the salt you sprinkle on every wound.

The next course is guaranteed to make you
ask for more.
Here, your insecurities were added as garnish –
the little something that could make any dish 
taste like euphoria.
One bite and you’ll dance to everyone’s tune,
pleasing yourself
by pleasing your audience.
This is the only thing you need
to validate your existence. 
I can see how much you like it – 
the tingle of adulation creeping into the fissures
of your mouth.
I can see that as soon as the taste leaves your tongue
you can feel your throat aching.
You ache to be more.

Notice the greens of this dish and remember
how you used to feel green with envy
because someone always had the things,
which you’ve always found yourself to be completely
lacking.
You were never enough.
You always had to be more.
You always had to be best.
You always had to prove yourself.
You always had to be something. 
Something.
Your existence became more and more frail
as you let your self-esteem hang by a thread
even as you knew your envy weighed them down.
You couldn’t understand why they were heavy.
And yet, you continued to fatten them up, every night
by feeding them their favorite lies
and tucking them under your blanket
so they can rest easy while you lose sleep.

Dead deams are savory.
And that is how the next dish will be,
filled with the moments where you
hid your smile, secretly savoring that, 
which your heart desires.
Nothing tastes better than dreams not realized,
possibilities that lived and died as just that – 
potentials.
You nurtured each wanting like it were your last.
But when the moment of truth came,
you held on to it tightly instead of letting it fly.
You crippled its wings because you feared
you’d be stuck flying low…
or that you’d never fly at all.
Wasted dreams aren’t sweet 
but they are memorable. 
You’ll take the memory of the taste with you
down to your last seconds on earth,
down to your grave – 
the memory of it shall feed the worms
and nurture the earth.

Regrets when served with spirits
are easier to scarf down.
Make you sure you pair this with the best wine.
You should have taken the job.
You should have said something.
You should have asked him to stay.
You should have done that shit when you had the chance.
You should have done that shit.
You should have.
Funny, the more you repeat the lines, 
the more you enhance regret’s flavor.

This rack of broiled rejection
is unique from anything else in the world.
It’s the only rejection you can swallow
without hurting yourself too much.
The eyes that stared at you
judging you worthless
have been crushed into powder.
Just a mere seasoning,
just a tinge,
just a few seconds,
just a twirl on your tongue,
but enough to make you wonder
why you think you’ve had it before.

Loneliness
has always been regarded 
as a side dish to something else –
the strong flavor needed to add edge,
the muted taste dulling the sense overdrive.
But here, loneliness stands on its own.
It’s not served with sadness or anger.
It’s not offered as a consolation prize
but as a reward.
Taste the loneliness
and feel its coldness spread 
towards the tip of your toes,
feel it manifest into something else
into a type of fear that screams
you will be forever alone
because you are unworthy of love.
This is why no one is brave enough to offer this dish.
No one is brave enough to take a bite out of it.

The words you left unsaid,
well it’s the ultimate dish.
And while most will offer it 
as a prelude
to absence,
or broken dreams,
or regret,
or rejection,
or loneliness,
we offer it as the dessert.
The words you left unsaid
should haunt you,
should exist as ghosts 
dangling at the edges of your teeth
ready to be tasted 
the moment you are tempted to speak. 
The words you left unsaid 
should be the last thing on your mind
before you close your eyes
and the first thought you have
before you face the day.

Feast
on tonight’s eight-course meal
guaranteed to make you bleed
and remember the last time you felt alive…
human.

Worry not if there will still be leftovers.
We will always have more.
We will always have enough
to reel you in
and have you dining
until your bones get cold.

A letter to Clarissa from Septimus Warren Smith

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Black
is scary.
But it is a comfort –
a shriveled island
of nothing
masquerading as a
populated land
teeming with dark hair,
you can drop a needle
and not hear
where it lands.

Black
fills the outlines
of my silence,
it enhaces my anger
at the things
which no longer
make my heart race.

Black
is the void
where I sit
unkissed by sunshine,
the very air
I used to breathe
in triple doses.

Black
is the hurt
I have not felt
or discovered,
that will bite itself
as a reflex
of the sight.

Black
is the whisper
that tells me
I have nothing
left to lose
for I’ve been
stripped of care
little by little
like a decaying
chair,
sitting alone
and lonely
for it has outlived
its use.

Black is kind
merciful
benevolent
staying long enough
to hug me
as I ease into
my nothingness
where I grasp
in the darkness
trying to feel.

The temple for which you should offer your prayers:

Love, you’ve been worrying again.
I see from the look in your eyes
you’re about to wage war on yourself again.

But why
do you have to be
your own
enemy?

You let the men tell you
you should be soft.
You let them mold your curves
so you can finally define yourself
a woman.

You let other women show you
that you should be hard,
choose to be predator not the prey,
lest your heart
be unguarded.

You let other people
talk you into fighting their causes
while you remain deaf to your own.

Can’t you tell
your soul is asking
to be excused
to not be accused
to be given more breathing room
to touch base with itself?

Why must you set your real self aside
for the woman they tell you
you should be?

You are soft
as you are hard,
you are gentle
as you are strong,
you can be as much rough
as you can choose to be silky smooth.

Don’t be the temple
listening to prayers
that aren’t yours to hear.
You are as much
of a woman
as you hold yourself to be.

You matter.
You matter as much
as everybody else,
never too much,
never less,
always just enough.
All you have to do
is spread your arms
and hug your real self.

You exist.

In case you ever doubt
who you are,
look at yourself
in front of the mirror
and see:
you exist.
Skin and bones,
subdued and powerful –
just how a woman should be.

Fortitude in Frailty

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The world can take away,
at times,
when it should give.
People will hold you down
when they should lift.

The universe conspires
to make nothing work
though you’ve put in time
and done your homework.

You will want
to keep gnashing your teeth
and throw punches –
you’ll want to be anything,
but weak.

But my dear,
there is fortitude in frailty –
a brand of fearlessness
in accepting defeat.

Keep your head down,
once in a while,
and take the beating.
Fighting the quicksand
will lead to rapid sinking.

Let go,
for this is just another day
to live.
Take the weakness
being passed on your shoulder,
go ahead and grieve.

Know this:
today you fall away, in dismay,
but you still make headway.
This day won’t be wasted,
for there’s a new kind of strength
you just tasted.

To be weak
is to be strong, sometimes,
it’s your strength’s
carving fork.

So keep your head down
and live this day,
tomorrow,
you get a chance
to breakaway.

Good night.

Good night

Stay in bed
the night isn’t over yet.
Close your eyes –
you can still walk
in the land of your dreams.
Pay no attention
to the hushed whispers
attempting to chip away
your peace.

Drift away.
Listen to the soft music
that will lull away
your fears.
The stars are spread out,
a huge blanket
offered by the sky.
You are not alone
as the night makes it seem.

Succumb
to the helplessness.
Stop putting up a fight
against the things
that won’t fight back
or will stay in place
however you rearrange them
in your mind.
Don’t attempt to perform –
it’s been hours
since the curtain call.

Tonight,
your soul invites
a battlefield;
you can choose
not to fight.

Stay in bed.
Go to sleep.
Or at least
stay put
until the day arrives.

The battle will soon be over.
You’ll stop fearing the night.

Home is where the hurt is.

There is no place like home
yet, sometimes,
home is where the brand of poison
that can kill you
is manufactured.

There is no place like your bed
where you close your eyes
and pretend you don’t have to go anywhere.
And yet, sometimes,
your own sheets are drenched
by your darkness.

There is no place like your heart
yet, sometimes,
your heart is the raging advocate
for the things that hurt.
It urges you to touch the burning stove
even if it knows it’s hot.

There is no place like yourself
and yet, sometimes,
you spin the tangled webs
that lead to your undoing.
You are predator and prey
for those who are watching.

There is no place like your mind
and yet, your mind is the sword
hanging over your head.
You pronounce your own death
and call for a thousand cuts
knowing you can’t stand it.

There is no place like your head.
But when it is the abyss
swallowing your soul
how do you run
and where do you hide?

The Phoenix Awakes

The phoenix must burn to emerge. – Janet Fitch, White Oleander

I want to lose myself but still retain much of who I am, much how I lose myself in places I visit, much how I always leave a piece of myself to be remembered by, wherever I go.

I want to burn bright, the white heat in my veins pulsating its way to my heart, every inch of my skin, the tips of my fingers, the roots of my hair, the edges of my chin… until my smiles light up every dark cave in anyone’s body.

I want to run wild, chasing the rainbow wherever it chooses to dock, letting butterflies rest on my hair and letting white roses and tulips kiss my cheek. I want to be one with water and the earth and the air letting the fire in my heart complete the astral ritual that will bless the soul, nourish the mind and revive the heart.

I want to envelop the world with my darkness, just once, like ink does to paper. I want to drown the air with silence so only my voice can be heard – soft but clear, gentle but firm, simple but wise. I want to thunder inside souls, receding into tremors and tingles that make hands shake involuntarily.

I want to breathe stars to the sky. I want to sigh moons into existence. I want to dance galaxies to vibrance. I want to speak universes into life. I want to be the reason why beautiful things exist, why life sparks with so much vitality, why anywhere can feel like home.

I want to explode like fireworks and blanket my dreams over the skies so people can’t help but stare in awe and wonder, spurning them to dare and be bold and try to be bigger than themselves the way I have tried to be more than who I am.

I want to be who I am meant to be, fully realizing my potential, never stopping until I’ve constantly died and lived and eclipsed myself – until I could rise from the last trails of ashes meant to birth me. Until I could spread my wings and captivate the whole world with my beauty and magic… before I rise and fly away.