Three

He cut me off, pretending I was nothing to him

He thought he could pretend he never knew me despite what he took

He whispered his secrets into my neck thinking that would make me open up to him

Thinking I would take that one last thing from him

Foolishly I thought he would be the one

Fantasizing about the shitty apartment we would own together because that is all our generation can afford

He was the one reason I would ever get in trouble

After his leaving, I thought nicotine would fill the gaping hole in my soul

He is living his life perfectly fine but I am going to spend lifetime recovering from him

The bruises his words left on my brain

The assault I didn’t know to call by its name until three years later

I wish I could say I wish him peace yet the amount of pain he left on my doorstep wants me to gift him with the devastating consequences of what he did

Three years ago I quit him, now how do I quit the nicotine I replaced him with?

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You once told me you had an alcohol problem

A new lover lies in the same bed you once laid with me in

His broad shoulders rival your long legs and dark eyes

I can’t untangle myself from you; your deception knots around me and wring my heart out of any love I could offer someone else

You said you grew up abused but in the same breath unloaded your own slew of manipulations onto me

I learned about abusive relationships in 8th grade health class and I thought I would be smart enough to recognize if it happened to me

Until it was four years later and came to me in the form of a beautifully broken man I thought I could fix

And four years later I am trying to fix myself

But how can I forget those brown eyes looking down at me like I was the only thing you needed in this damned world

For six months after your leaving I tried drinking myself into oblivion

I still haven’t forgotten all those letters you wrote, hidden in my dresser

No amount of alcohol or drugs has drowned them out of my memory

I hope you got the help you needed

I didn’t

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

 

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

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

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