Hands

My hands don’t keep quiet

The twitching started after the years I do not talk about

Always waiting to run away

Asking for forgiveness each time I tiptoe around the secrets I keep in a chest by my bed

The obituary my betrayed hands wrote my then dying body lying at the bottom

Waiting to resurface at the perfect moment to remind me where I came from

There is no easy way to cry in public

My legs often forget that the time to keep running has long passed

Itching to move every time I sit down long enough to tear my chest open wide enough to let me bleed for the world to see what they did to me

Blame has nowhere to settle down but on the scars left where no one knows to look but me, faded to white but still visible enough to know the graveyard remains

Tears no longer flow rivers from my eyes

Many days I feel evicted from my own body

I trusted them

The acid of their names drops my heart to my knees

My heartbeat keeps my leg bouncing – my heart had no road map back up to my chest

Maybe my hands were never meant to sit still

Only created for them to create in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane

Because only then did I pick up a pen and begin scratching my life story in poems

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Daily Prompt: Abide

I was born into a long line of artists – we create in many different means

You see years of hardship and worry worn into our frames

Our hands bear our love of colors and shapes that make this world

We document it in any means we can convey adequately

Many of us push it to the side because we have seen the lives of our flesh trying to live off what makes the world go round

Doing what we love in the free moments and publishing it to the world to consume in moments

Touching them in ways they could never be touched otherwise

We change lives but can only do so when no one is watching

Secrets held in pencil sketches and paint stained clothing

I paint, my mother photographs, her brother sculpts, my grandmother painted, her brother painted, they came from a long line of jewelers

My cousins set up a gallery in an art museum of their own work earning themselves a lifetime ban yet also earning spots on NYC’s most notable artists under 35

But we all have had to take day jobs to live by the standards of a society we shed light on

Our love is poured out not in what our daily pay defines but how we define everything else

We have to abide by rules set up by people who look down on creators like us

But we still find time for what our hands were designated to do

Being born into this family is being born into a line of the world’s movers and shakers doing it all unconventionally

I am honored to be one of them

via Daily Prompt: Abide

Where I’m From

We ran barefoot through the mud and marshes

Giggling ignoring the mosquitoes

Attempting to catch frogs in our hands

This is where I come from

Drugs are passed between generations

Joe comes to school high as his parents are busy getting high back home

The rest of us are still flying

Getting high in the woods, our cars, the bathrooms

This is where I come from

We swung to touch the sky

Bubbling over with laughter at stupid jokes

Capturing moments on film reels running in our memory, we knew it would always end too soon

Childhood’s forever was running out as our adolescence was coming to a close

This is where I come from

Sophomore year a boy the year below me shoots himself twice, clipping a promising future short

A year earlier it would have been me if they didn’t haul me to a psych ward the day I saw the light fade and everything ending

This is where I come from

We stayed up to hear the crickets sing in summer

Months later we tread through the haunting quiet of show reaching us

Surprised by her arrival even though she visits every winter

This is where I come from

Downpour

Standing in that downpour by your side, we were still worlds apart with our skin touching

I was watching the lightning dance across the pond to the beat the thunder laid out with childlike curiosity

Absent to your presence

Later that night I was asking myself if I was enough for you

I wasn’t

I wish I could go back and tell myself the date you would leave me cold

You looked at the world in rigid lines

Long ago you lost the curiosity I still harbored

Just because it was brief doesn’t mean it wasn’t exactly what I needed

We wanted what was best and it wasn’t each other

As you left I asked you to leave the door open

I kept it closed for so long before you

It was time to love freely through every downpour and every summer’s day

That warm rain encompassing my skin that night still lingers in my memory

Whispering to never question my own worth

Rain will still return to visit

 

Diaries

I’ve never been able to keep a diary

But I have notebooks full of poetry only known by my eyes and thee fingers that composed them

I didn’t learn to break on paper in English classes

My friends brought me to learn the art of breathing my story into candy to their hungry ears

They knew this would glue shards of me back together because I had forgotten where I left my smile behind

I was stripped of all that was mine and they gave me the art of reclaiming in increments with every notebook, every poem, every word

Soon enough they’d fall away with the leaves and all I had left of them was stitched into metaphors in poems no one would read but me

Unseen

A hint of a smile lives on my face, so no one asks

You haven’t set foot in the world I see

The now lily white relics of nights pouring myself out into drains I thought were listening no longer bother people

Once they were a screaming red, now just an asterisk not worth looking into

You ask why you’ve never seen inside the home of my memory

I spent years pouring rivers of myself out to people who didn’t bother staying

Teaching to lock the door behind me

Darkness should only be reimagined by the person in which all the lights decided to turn off for

Returning sunshine to the world that stripped them of it for moments you can’t even recollect the duration of

I will not offer you pieces of my darkness for that is not all of who I am anymore

I am the kindness I didn’t recieve

Keeping my arms open for your heart to rest from the storm of the world

If I unlock that door for you, then you’ll have a reason to leave me behind

Just like the rest

In Which the Sea is My Best Friend

Her salt stinging your face will make you lose track of how many tears you have shed

You’ll forget what’s yours or her comforting, foaming waves

She’s moody and there is never a place she isn’t storming

But somehow she still calms me

Assuring everything will fall into place

Every grain of sand was once part of something bigger, ending their journey here broken into smaller fragments

Almost as if they were once dreamers who dreamt too big

Their dreams shrunk with harsh realities, laid to rest here under my feet

Almost as haunting as the graveyards they emulate

Reminding you about the time you nearly ended beneath the earth

Whispering to you about how far you’ve come, she does, about how proud she is with the gentle cold tickling you

And when you cease to be

She will take you back in her arms

Because there, you are home

Old Habits

The darkness that became us was a test we weren’t prepared for

Sending out the distress signal but no one could speak that language

Demonized for picking up habits we knew we shouldn’t

We weren’t taught any other method to light up the world that became dull with us

I wasn’t suppose to make it

The past living beneath my skin is too terrifying to uncover

So many years not knowing happy left addictions no one wants to fix

My smile remembers all the years it spent lost

I was lucky enough to see today

Many of us still can’t see ourselves 5 years down the road but that doesn’t mean we won’t try to stay

Recovery doesn’t always mean a will to live

I still feel as though I am not meant to exist here

Addiction is one hell of a monster I have yet to conquer

Why do I still go back to what I know will hurt me in the end?

Stranger

I wish I had cracked myself open for someone else

Love is an invitation to see the depths of someone you care for

He wasn’t suppose to leave me hollow

He buried his words so deep as if I was given in a casket

Stone marked “Here lies someone who loved the wrong person too much”

Your body was a language I was fluent in

But you didn’t bother learning a word of mine

The best revenge is said to be living well without

But I also want the best for you

You spoke a honey I drank from your collarbones

Leaving love notes hidden on your neck

I knew when you folded yourself away from me

Capturing those green eyes and tousled blond hair of yours

To be filed away as the last moment before we became strangers again

An Open Letter to Suicide

Dear Suicide,

You almost stole my best friend before I could even call her that

You almost whisked me away before she could call me that

I know I have written about you behind your back for years

But how can you forget when thoughts of you struck so young

I spent my entire adolescence planning how we would meet

We broke up so long ago

Tell me how I fall asleep some nights still thinking of you

My family tortured with watching me carve pictures of you in my skin

Watching me kill myself over and over again in my dreams

Maybe sometimes they wish you took me along

But imaging my best friend stripped away from me by your hand

Puts me in greater pain than living with you camped out in the back of my mind

I beg of you never steal her away

Take me, but oh god not her

She will do so much more than I ever could

All I have is melancholy and a pen

My bones are a river you float yourself back into

You’re just scratches upon a map rather than places and faces I will visit one day

Please just let me live without you whispering promises in my ear

I know I’m just bad timing

Leave with the back door open so something better can wander in