Ode to the Woods

Kids giggling between trees, atop rocks, exploring, imagining

Parents indoctrinating the caution you need to take when you get home and check for ticks from birth

Running though swamps barefoot trying to catch that elusive frog

The woods, she knows all of my secrets

Inhaling her sweet smell with the exhale of the first tastes of nicotine

Feeling the rain on my skin while trying to forget the souls that will never meet your excellence

For they are too afraid of the bugs that the young embraced by you learn to ignore

Or they left this earth as quick as I wished to

Solitude left me planning at how you would embrace me when I executed the blueprints of my death

Imagining the moment my heart stopped beating and I would return to the depths of you

Taking the secrets only you knew with me

Returning to the place I emerged as my ancestors before me

 

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Stories for You

My eyes may betray me if you ask me if I had my heart broken and I reply with “no of course not”

Then I will have to tell you how once a man who now is merely a ghost warmed the other half of my twin bed

Or, more accurately, our bodies were tangled together in peaceful slumber because we were fine with not having nearly enough room

And I reveal that for a month after he left I would still feel his warmth next to me even though he was eons away

But you will have to know how I befriended loneliness

There will be stories you will never know for my breathing will betray me with the pain of remembering

Though you will have to know that my heart told me about you, oh how it told me to just wait and see how your eyes shine

 

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

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

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

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

Sleep

One night you wanted to sleep next to me to keep me warm but I was afraid I’d wake up screaming

I vividly dream when I’m down but I was overrun with anxiety and the buzz of mania, so there was just darkness preparing me for the grave

You cannot fully tell someone how it is living with what happened to you and its reprocussions

The best analogy I have is a locket bound around your neck with memories you do not wish to remember but you cannot take it off

No matter how much you scratch, tug, pull – it’s still there

I still have yet to explain to him how alone you are in addiction – the pain fading for a moment while you destroy some other part of you

And how you chose this because no one could hear you screaming

 

Tango With Death

Someone asked me “what if you go to hell?”

I had to refrain from saying I had already seen it in the illness that took me away from this realm

Coming back to earth was a feat I still haven’t totally accomplished

I could not tell you the exact moment I felt death’s breath on my neck but 6 years on he still reminds me he hasn’t left

There are years lost in translation, still in the dark because I didn’t know how to turn on the light

You cannot bring the dead back but you can revive those on the brink

And I cannot shake the survivor’s guilt

There are people whose hand betrayed them and stripped them from this world who had more to give than I

The ground still knows the soles of my feet but it has forgotten yours

Hell was seeing you fade in front of me

Hell was replanting my feet on the earth after the voices told me to leave it all behind

Some days I still think of taking up that offer

And some days that is hell

Windows

Poets write a lot about people having windows you can see into souls with

Often about how the morning sun glitters through, covering everything good in gold and leaving the bad in darkness

But we are more stained glass than perfectly clear

Refracting light color coating parts of us that we don’t want people to see

How I felt guilty that my friend died and how 3 years later I wished it was me instead of him – he was much kinder than I

I wish he was still around so I could see the man he would have become

How my heart still aches for her to come back but I know she never will

I still dream about her but she’s hundreds of miles away barely remembering my name

How I regret getting sick like this

Suicide still hangs at the back of my mind as an illuminated exit sign, never leaving but not as prominent anymore

How I learned happiness after the man who’s outside was pretty but inside left me a ruin of who I was before

If only he cared to see me now

Souls are dark twisted things shaped by who we were and who we are

The bad parts of us don’t hide in the corners

Body

We all live in these vessels that carry us to the grave

Souls occupying until it feels like the right time to leave and start over

Leaving behind mourning of who was once in this now shell

My body has endured me opening it up in attempts to let the unease fly free

The chemicals my brain has been known to produce are out of date

The boards of this ship creak and let water in – only replaced when I am but nearly drowned

My skin is decorated with tattoos for a love I can no longer whisper the name of

His name still feels like a house fire out of control in my chest

I no longer wish for him to recognize my soul as one he once so intimately knew

This vessel I own in this life is littered with stories told and those yet untold wait to emerge through the old, the weary, the hand-me-down

I have not sank yet but dear god I know people are waiting to see the day I no longer exist on the same plane

But this worn out body has not seen its last days yet