Brown Eyes

Brown eyes can show you the universe hiding in a person

My first love’s light caramel eyes brought me to one where I am no longer damaged

On every planet he showed, someone like me could be loved

The first time I looked into yours, they did not show me the red flags through the rose-colored glasses you slipped on me

Under fluorescent lights, the darkness under the surface showed just the tip of the iceberg

Your hands were careful not to leave bruises but your desires did not match mine

Those eyes guilt me until I did not know what my voice whispering “no” in your ear sounded like

Your eyes never spoke about erasing “no” from my vocabulary

Teaching me not to look into any but yours for you were too afraid for them to reveal your secrets hiding behind closed doors

Eyes darkening to cocoa if I misspoke

Lightening to sweetness when I did what you wished – the color of the coffee I now drink to stay awake

So I no longer dream of your visceral kisses convincing me that your yearnings were also mine

Every lover since you has had eyes the color of the sky touching the sea

After you I could not meet anyone’s eyes until I understood the stories imprinted in mine by you

When I remember the brown eyes of a lover, I try to forget yours

The eyes of my first love showed me thousands of unwritten adventures and histories of the sprawling, creaking houses of New Orleans and the creeks in the bayou

But I left him for you

Now I wish I had written those stories waiting in his eyes filled with warmth

He taught me how to love

He showed me the beauty of brown eyes that you so easily took away

 

 

To the boy with the warmest eyes, I never said thank you for being my anchor at sea in stormy waters, for being the light in the darkness

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To My Sister

Who carries the anger for the people who branded me with this trauma

The same anger I once had

 

There are weeks where it is all just a hazy memory yet I’m still stuck looking over my shoulder

My mind has never left fight or flight and this is just a reflex now

Words for what they did never sit quite right

All of them taste sour on my tongue but I am told not to sugar coat the pain

The first stage of grief is denial and I have been grieving who I should have grown to become

At 13 I wanted to be a surgeon, a year later I wanted to have left this earth

Parts of me still believe who I was at 13 is still there in all her naive brilliance but I cannot unearth her

Maybe my 14 year old wish did come true but denial is a strong drug

Actions speak louder than anything and I thought all the kindness and forgiveness I had for them would help them change

The sun and stars were stripped from my sky in return

I could not forge the light at the end of the tunnel of my suffering

My suicide note was whispered in each minute action

I ended up bottling up my anger and throwing it out to sea

It would be no use anywhere else

Maybe you should too

Poisoned Nightmare

Opening my eyes to a clenched jaw and heart I’m sure is screaming loud enough to wake up the whole neighborhood

But the soft sunlight warms my partner’s peaceful, slumbering skin

Rib cage rising and falling in rhythm until a snore disrupts it

It was just another nightmare about your hands molding to my jaw

Convincing my tongue that the poison you were breathing in to me was sweet

Arguing the obituary you wrote for yourself sitting in your nightstand was an adequate excuse for slitting my throat too

Because then we will be together forever without your mother standing in between

My love’s leg twitching brings me back to a world I am still barely able to recognize myself in

He is teaching me how to love again

Yet many days I still feel your hands tightening around my throat

Filling my lungs with your sadness

While I was already drowning in my own

The walls are still closing in on me

You eroded me into dust and everyone keeps reminding me of the mountain I was before you – standing loud and proud

It’s been years and my voice is still the quiet whistling of the wind, not the quaking, rumbling earth I was before

His arms wrap around my waist and pulls me in closer as he’s still at peace in his untainted dreams

And I have to remind myself that it has been years

But a few short years of destruction can undo thousands of development

That’s exactly what you did to me

I hope you never make it back to me

Your dose of poison for so long has not bled itself out and I will never be ready for another

Daily Prompt: Present

Trauma survivors are noted to experience derealization

Meaning life is lived like a dream you can’t quite wake up from

No matter how hard I try – pills, the blood, trying any drug that will make me feel closer to earth

I could never wake up when I really needed to

Wishing it was all a dream when it wasn’t

What happened to me remains as a limestone memorial reaching the sky

Memory picking away at it with a knife making no headway – I never wanted to remember

I wanted it to be a dream but instead what was suppose to be the best years of my life I was convinced it was all a dream

Stuck in a loop rewinding the previous day over and over and over

Because did I really live it if she wasn’t actively hurting me? Giving me what I deserved?

 

One day years later, I woke up in another nightmare

Panicked because it couldn’t be happening again with a boy’s sickly sweet smile drawing me to his addictive mahogany eyes

Abuse can’t happen twice, can it?

I’m stuck in replay again because every day passes without him hurting me

But that’s all I’m convinced I’m worth

Someone bring me back to the present

via Daily Prompt: Present

Roots

A famine lost our stories that we were suppose to pass down in the language we got stolen when they cut out our tongues

I like thinking we came from the cliffs with the cold ocean hardened us to steele

But I know it is more likely my father’s great-grandparents came with hollowed out cheeks, able to count every rib protruding from skin to stubborn to give way already

My father grew up in Boston, a city notorious for its diaspora population

As an impoverished kid he saw his fair share of street fights, living in his fair share of projects

Noting he was one of 5 Irish kids in a disciplinary high school full of Italians

Maybe that’s why he spent so much time running and teaching us that the English we had grown up with was wrong outside the house

Because in his youth he was lesser than due to his roots, and the dialect we were all taught would give us away

Scars of the past still linger in the memory of my father

Yet knowing I have the same stubborn as his mother is the best heirloom I could have recieved

Daily Prompt: Sympathize

 

To the girl struggling with her new disabled identity –

I see your frustration and fear

I see your anger

This new adjective was added to descriptors of myself when I entered college despite the diagnosis at 14

Figuring out that having to think more about fully picking up my feet wasn’t something everyone else had to do didn’t come until college

And damn is ice difficult when you get around on malfunctioning feet all the time

Some days I want to whisper that I understand your struggle yet I still carry shame in this uncomfortable adjective tacked to me

Denial eats away at you saying “I’m normal, I just have to get around a little differently”

Ending with you realizing you now have to navigate the world while reminding yourself what your body is incapable of trudging through

Finding pride in your body and the way it functions unlike the next person’s is a lonely journey when you’re one in 250,000

One day there will be too many falls and black bruises kissed by pavement equally as dark

My side will be kissed by a cane to aid my feet unable to leave the ground behind without dragging

But right now you can only see my hands tremble, unable to wrap around fine motor skills, some days worse than the others

Medication covers the pseudo-seizure episodes plaguing my body too many times a day for me to avoid becoming a target

I will not die of this but some days I am afraid my muscles will betray me enough to do so

I still see you though, and I hope you hear me whispering that you are not alone in this

via Daily Prompt: Sympathize

A Type

I guess you can say I have a type these days

His eyes are the colors of the ocean in the Caribbean, arms just as warm

Since you I have never dated a brown-eyed boy

My mind screams danger every time I find myself enamored by one

I hope your lips taste of the warning I left for every girl since

His heart is home when I’m a ship lost at sea

His words aren’t daggers getting under my skin long enough to leave a wound never to heal

You were an addictive poison my mind tried to get rid of but my body couldn’t stand withdrawls

For a year after you left I didn’t realize I was still alive

I have saved every letter but I no longer remember the love you handed me wrapped up in a package convenient for you

The locket matching yours lays unworn on my desk with a photograph in which you’ll always be young and sweet

I wish all the time wasted on you could given back to me, I wish all the pain was transferred to your memory so maybe you’d feel guilty

Before loving someone now, I have to let them know what you did to me and more often than not they run the opposite way

You branded your name on my skin so no one would love me the way you did

I hope no one does

Healing Hearts

My heart recognized yours before I knew it was you

Before I knew how I would love you until there was nothing left of me but the whispers of my name in the wind

Happiness manifests itself brighter now that you’re here next to me

I no longer felt as if I were wasting someone’s time by loving them

Giving more than I would ever recieve

I no longer feel like I’m running out of time with someone

Feverishly trying to memorize the way your smile forms, mapping freckles on your back

 

Sitting on the couch healing cracks said never to heal, going over memories I had long buried hoping they would disintegrate into me forgetting

Working through pain of years long gone, auctioned off to people who could put them to better use than I could

I had nearly given up, but your hands are patient and your heart is welcoming

Healing every part of mine broken by a man whose name can’t escape my lungs anymore

And I give you everything I can in return

All the misplaced love for people undeserving I now gift to you, every moment I can give back to you with laughter shared

You make me want to live my best life with you by my side

Love of 15 Year Olds

5 years later I no longer recognize the soul living in your body

Just a faint reminder we were once so closely bound by the pain we shared

You mended yourself with the grace of God you so thoroughly believe in

Preaching His greatness, He extracted the drugs from your veins, making them forget their insatiable hunger for all that is bad

I used the art whispered down through generations instead of folktales

The ache still runs through me duller now than it was then

I don’t know if you even remember yours

Our bodies still remember but my soul no longer recognizes yours

We have both healed into better versions of ourselves

Maybe that means forgetting we were once in love – but an artist’s hands never forget

But my heart can

Guilt of a Survivor

Someone’s rugged hands translated to the scars on my hips

His words were the poison drowning my lungs

I befriended addiction and thought I had no one else to blame but myself

The thorns at my side didn’t kill me but they sure as hell tried

Spiraling down to a rock bottom lower than I thought I could go

Watching someone I love also struggle, thinking if she was making it out then so could I

She never made it out but I am still surviving with ailments shared between us

The weight of her loss carried with me now, wishing I succumb and she survived

How could someone who once brought light into my dim world have her shine turn to darkness

Every day my heart breaks knowing I will never get to see her recover alongside me

I wanted to take all her pain away and I failed

I failed her