To Love Myself Again (Part 1, Body)

Finding my way


Perhaps it’s time to love myself again.
Perhaps it’s time to embrace who I am and forgive my flaws.
Perhaps it’s time to learn.

This is a tough lesson to learn,
However,
So I’ll take it slow,
Go easy.
So here I go.

Dear hands,
You are strong.
You can create, and you’re damn good at it.
You’re scarred,
But those scars carry the remnants of whatever pride I once had
These hands have loved many others,
But now it’s time I use them to love myself.
They’ve held many others,
But now it’s time they hold myself.

Dear arms,
You are strong,
Determined,
You’ve lifted the weight of so much loss
You are getting stronger and stronger every single day
I am so proud of you.

Dear shoulders,
You’ve carried the weight of my entire world
You’re knotted and strained
Tight
I don’t know how to take that weight off of you
But I so desperately want to.
I am proud of you

Dear chest,
I’ve spent so many years hating you
Hiding you and from you
Since puberty we’ve played an endless game of hide and seek
One that ends next summer
When you leave for good
And I’m sorry.
But at last,
We’ll both be free.

Dear legs,
You’ve been so fast
For so many years
You’ve meant freedom
So strong
My golden piston legs

Dear feet,
You’ve traveled so many miles
Over so many years.
Step after step,
Getting me to where I need to be.
Thank you.

Dear body,
We’ve coexisted for 19 years and counting
Day after day
Getting along
(Sometimes not so well)
And we’ll be together for many more.
I’m constantly on the look out for my next lover,
When you’ve been here all along.
So I’m declaring you,
Myself,
My newest lover.
It’ll be hard,
It won’t be easy,
But it’s high time I start loving you.

The Finish Line and What Comes After

Lost, I guess


Trigger Warning: vomit

 

When you’ve finished a race,
After the heaving and vomiting
The gasping and spit covered singlets
What comes next?

When you’ve run your last race
And your singlet is washed
And turned back in to the man
Who mentored you all these years
What comes next?

When you’ve run your last mile,
Strode your last stride
And left your last course
What comes next?

Will the feeling ever return
That sweet embrace of victory
Even when you’ve come dead last
Because you won the battle of your mind
You’ve overcome the hills
When it’s all over,
Will it ever return?

When it’s late at night
And you can’t sleep
Because your mind is racing faster
Than your legs are these days
And you find yourself
At that familiar rubber track
With the fluttering stadium lights
Your heart flickers with that
Intangible excitement
You grope in the dark
Grasping for it
Just a little more of a taste
You beg
But it’s no longer there
It was never yours in the first place
It belongs to the generation after you
And the one after them
It will never
Return

an irrefutable fact.

Trigger warning: Death mention, homophobia, blood mention, loneliness

did you know that maybe?

              actually? 

   really?

i am standing in exactly the right moment in history.

not ahead of the times

but coming from them, from the book in my hand, filled to the brim with

our poems and lives,

the not-so-subtle shakesperian sonnets

& the violets, chrysanthemums, crocuses, and lilacs of queer love.

someone will remember us, 

she said,

even in another time.

not marble, nor the gilded monuments of

princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme

he said,

& they were both right.

here we are, remembering, here we are, alive, 

here they both are with us, outliving.

how they kill us is they let us believe we are anomalies,

unnatural singularities,

alone & desperately isolated

& then they let us carve ourselves into self-fulfilling prophecies.

but here’s the thing- they are liars of the highest degree.

(we have always been here.)

(we have always been here.)

(we have always been here.)

once it clicks,

once their warped patchwork of lessons fray &

tatter with the truth

the fabric stays but the logic sewing it together is moth eaten

& the will to pull it all together again is nowhere to be seen.

once it clicks, i’m greedy over words i didn’t allow myself to touch,

i want to devour all of our books, our stories, our histories

even our blood but only if it gets to be in our words,

i am ravenous, i am starving for our words

our ancestors of pen and paper, ink and quill,

i want to remember them

i want “all the woods attune with love”

matilda betham-edwards finding a valentine for her love

“the west a little worn”

emily dickinson letting her pen interwine

simplicity and depth, love and loneliness,

“curious flowers, before unknown”

lord alfred douglas, 

could tell you our history in rose petals and dark thorns 

“the hyacinth was bleeding on the red hills, 

you were dreaming and eros walked at your side”

renee vivien was out before the closet was named,

married before courthouses allowed us in-

“but first i want your life:-before I die I want to see

the world that lies behind the strangeness in your eyes.”

charlotte mew says:

did you know?

we were always supposed to be here.

(always.)

mediations in a quiet building

everything is finally empty 

and you can breathe again,

focus, think,

you are found skating on the ice between moments and liminal spaces

and not trapped or lost for once

you sit at the end of a table where you know no one just 

feel their vibrations

their feet tapping the floor shaking the benches around you 

they talk about all the things they will do at your age 

and you realize you’ve barely done any

of them and the things you used to dream up

feel less inviting than this quiet room, the smell of kettle corn,

the haunted, October born book in your bag

and the promise of sleep, 

of existence without all the roadblocks for a moment 

it feels like you’ve been waiting for this, 

(and maybe that sounds sad, 

maybe you shouldn’t say that, maybe a thousand different ways and a thousand 

different prefaces and pretexts and pretenses before we get to the actual truth)

just breathe. focus. or not. 

or let your thoughts spin. but not that way.

and not too far. just breathe. 

lonely nights

trigger warning: self-harm

and tomorrow, everything will be different. and tomorrow, i will feel things again. and tomorrow, i will not feel so abandoned, even inside my own head. and tomorrow, you’ll be with me again. but you won’t be with me again. but you won’t even see me this way again. and the self-harm marks are turning into scabs, and i refuse to let those scabs become scars, but in the moment it’s just a lot… more… hard… and tomorrow, i will get on the phone. tomorrow, i will not cry in the closet with a pillow like a blindfold because that way you don’t have to fucking know. because that way, i can just walk right past you, and try to look as much like nothing as possible. but for now, i’m stuck. so for now, i’ll just make myself tea. and put on a sweater. and open google docs, and plug in my headphones, and wait out the storm. as i listen to the radio.



also published on goldfishandthemicrophone.com.

not asking to be immortalized, just talked to again

when you remember us, 

you have to remember us as we were.

messy.

messy and sometimes sad, 

overthinking toneless texts until

that record scratches beyond repair 

half convinced of some hidden pocket of anger and hurt.

or sometimes when the words just didn’t come,

and we were left waiting under sleeping bags and stagnant hues of darkness.

you have to remember we were never poetic even though we wrote poetry,

and when it’s late at night and you are lonely

you cannot get out your rose colored glasses,

cannot spin silvery strands around all our memories,

cannot coat them in loss and perfection

because you have lost nothing

(you don’t have to lose anything) 

and you- and we

remain imperfect. 

human.

and you have to believe that’s a good thing.

you have to remember us as we were 

as we are 

(changing)

you have to remember how tired we always were, how stressed and anxious-

but also our inside jokes, 

and also our funny nicknames

and today and that day and that one and the next

you have to remember the good, too.

there’s so much good, 

so much that outnumbers the bad

a whole other poems worth 

or five 

or an epic even

and that’s why this is so hard, 

this tiny ending,

this space that has grown 

between us but isn’t impassable 

that’s why you have to remember us,

not just as we were, but as we are.

grounded. and here. and changing, but not gone.

you can never think of us as gone.

Author’s note: I’ve re-read this poem so many times now that I have no idea what I think of it. Also, weirdly enough, I have a writing account on instagram now. It’s @awordafterawordafter, if you want to follow.

a file somewhere with my name on it

trigger warning: suicidal thoughts

***** is where my name has been censored out.


so i’m looking at posts about depression. even though i’m not even sure that’s what this is. and my tumblr gives me a list of crisis hotlines and asks if i’m all right. and it’s really fucking late at night. and i tell my stomach not to jump and dismiss the whole thing without even reading it. and i hate the way it feels to wonder if there’s a file somewhere with my name on it. i’m so scared of being flagged as broken and yet it’s all i’ve ever wanted. this isn’t a good time to tell stories, but i need to tell you that when i was six, i stopped eating lunch at school partially because it made me self-conscious and partially because i wanted to die and back then i thought skipping a meal equaled starvation. obviously, it didn’t. i wanted to die because i was different. i wanted to die because no one loved me for what i was and i felt trapped and numb and drifting it’s just then i didn’t realize it and my skin was a prison. or maybe i wanted attention. maybe i wanted to be loved and accepted and noticed and isn’t that all anyone ever has wanted and how is that something anyone can ever refer to that as selfish don’t you get it? all i fucking wanted was to not hear my mind whispering at me how i am so, so broken. i didn’t ask for this, and i don’t want to be the kid alone in the hallway again. i don’t want to feel like i did something wrong because i’m sitting in the office to see a speech pathologist getting tested for mental illness, and i’m yours to control so here’s my chest because no one else gets it and i want to die sometimes and i’ll always be different, and no one will ever want you if you’re different. and why do i always have to be so different? why does this have to be such a big deal? and why can’t i just knock it off? why can’t i stop writing angsty poems? stop writing angsty poems the way you write angsty poems. *****, no one cares, and no is going to listen. there’s no future in this. no one wants you the way you are. you’re so goddamn dramatic. just get the fuck over it. don’t feel like a tree being cut down, a door being pounded open. don’t hate the fog as it swallows you, and it feels like you become it. you realize normal people are miserable? you realize your feelings don’t really matter? you realize you’re just an atom and any difference you make can blinked away you are insignificant you are not real just don’t speak up you’ll only make you hate yourself and then they’ll notice you and then they’ll control you and then they’ll take your home from you and then they’ll take your thoughts from you and then you won’t be you and then i’ll own you and then you’ll probably kill yourself like you almost did then you are walking a tightrope and someday you’ll fall and why don’t you get it? i am shouting my pain out, but at the same time i am smothering it.


read all of my other work at goldfishandthemicrophone.com.

i am going to write

i.

i am going to write stream of consciousness poetry in the font

you always say is just there to trick people 

into thinking that my words have meaning,

using lowercase is a further deception and

roman numerals is a party trick

(if the line structure wasn’t here 

you would leave and no one would blame you)

ii.

 and i keep writing these poems out to you

but more often than not you are just me

or some contradictory person made up of half a memory, 

Or sometimes i’ll use her to talk about myself if i’m not

really existing 

iii. 

you will say that messy rhyming defeats the purpose

and this is just a shitty try at subversion 

iv.

you will say this is what the internet has done to us

“identity politics” or some other phrase

that turns wanting to be seen as human

into selfishness

wanting to be truthful

and alive

v.

like that’s really a new thing,

like this hurts anyone

like i am anything more than a confused person

who is trying to make sense of her world

vi.

i am going to write stream of consciousness poetry, the kind you hate.

the kind that you say is just there to make myself feel like i have meaning,

and i will say it is worth it.

patronus

trigger warning: depression, suicidal thoughts


i should probably tell you there’s a dementor in my head / i created it from the well of hopeless that feels like a lake when you fall into it / and i want you to go until you’re gone / and then i’m drowning in a river of silence / there’s a dementor / i sleep with / breathes like bass cello  / and i know you want to know the truth when you ask me how my day went / but i don’t fucking know / because i believed / all the lies i could quickly inject into my veins / because nothing else felt true but / inside i’m so far away it feels like a movie i’m watching twenty feet away / the things i feel / the things i say / i should tell you /  the dementor / is not the best teddy bear / but it’s the only thing tonight that feels like safety / i should tell you / i’m drowning / i should tell you / that there’s a dementor in my head / and i know you would tell me learn how to cast a patronus / but i don’t want to / but i’m scared / but it’s a part of me / but don’t touch me / don’t get anywhere near me / don’t tell me you know me / don’t tell me / no / tell me everything that sounds like safety / because i’ve dissected myself so deeply that i don’t know what my soul would even look like anymore / & harry’s patronus / doesn’t even keep the darkness at bay forever anyway / the therapist / i only see on a walk in basis / always tells me / to be stronger / ties flimsy / guy wires to my fingers / like that’s actually enough to keep the black hole away from me / i should tell you that the memory of you is already melting into my history / i should tell you taking advice / feels like letting some stranger take remote control on your computer / i told her / i think i learned when i was younger / freeze yourself over and get some ice skates / get on your jacket / tough it out and get goddamn stronger / and maybe you didn’t even mean it like i heard it / but those words are still tattooed into my forehead / i think i learned that / beating the dementor / back with your fists / into a box of metal / it’s easier / than letting someone in / and don’t let them in they’ll just adjust the heating like it’s that simple or that easy / but hey as long as you’re the victim / you can’t be the monster / and maybe that’s why i keep hurting myself on purpose just to make sure /and while we’re at it i should probably tell you that i can’t stop thinking about what if we’re just a bunch of dust flecks shuffling around our little space rock playing universe / & what if it doesn’t matter / what if / a part of me / it doesn’t want to die exactly / it’s not that there aren’t things that make me happy / it’s just i don’t care and i can’t seem to grasp the concept that my heart is not a punching bag / and i’m not even sure i should try because what if it turns out everything i thought i knew about myself / was a lie / it’s not that i want to die exactly / it’s just /  i’m that island / in the south pacific / they all say is gonna get buried in water / and i’m stumbling around an empty room / and i swear the whole world is spinning / and i can’t breathe / and i’m collapsed against the kitchen counter / and there’s a part of me that’s numb to everything / it’s not that i want to die exactly / it’s just / i’m tired / and sleeping this out sounds / really nice /  it’s just i wanna / press pause on my life / i wanna wade through a river where the water rinses away the past and leaves me with the quiet sunrise of the future / and nothing hurts / and nothing can hurt me / i want to see if the grass is greener / because i’ve been told they have flowers / i’ve been told flowers will make me feel prettier / i’ve been told flowers are good at getting rid of monsters / i’ve been told the grass is greener / and why  / can’t / i get there?


check out my other poems at goldfishandthemicrophone.com and read my short stories on wattpad by clicking here. and if you’re interested, listen to the spoken word version of this poem in the youtube video below.