I can’t say “can’t”
Somewhere between brushing my teeth and pulling on my boots, I try to wash my hair of this
Every morning, I chip away at a bit of the dirt and the grime and the misplaced love
That’s bird’s nested up in there
Somehow, by the next morning, more sogginess to wade through accumulates
Every morning, I make no progress
I thought asking for help would be more of a relief —
The proverbial weight lifted off my shoulders.
Instead, it seems like the hardest part is yet to come,
And asking for help was no easy feat.
I should feel proud, I should feel safe
I’ve taken the first step toward a certain lightness of being.
But what if I’m too far gone for saving?
It doesn’t matter how many times you remind yourself
It’s all only chemical.
It still feels really fucking real.
Everything can change in the pause between accepting the call and saying hello, the brief blackness of a blink, the in between of an inhale and exhale.
Between waking up and saying good morning we said so much with so few words and found ourselves on a whole new planet. Between flipping the switch and the lights going out, we gave in and gave up and decided and knew.
I have this sinking feeling that we are not enough—
That the electric sparks that fly from your fingertips
And the bubble gum taste of your lips
Are not sustainable — fleeting fun — figments of my imagination…
What we thought was a new beginning
Is just more of the same old you and me?
What if I’m not worthy of your love? What if I’m not the
You’re imagining me to be, but a Pandora’s Box of
What if you’re good to the Me you want me to be while
I spit in the face of your gentle touch?
I might never be good enough.
You could push you could punch
You could slap you could stab
You could burn you could bomb
And my skin would redden and blister and bubble
My eyes would tear in admission and submission
I couldn’t help but cry out.
But none of that would hurt
As much as it hurts to feel nothing
In the places where your hands—just days ago—
Held and hugged and caressed and embraced.
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There are two versions of every life.
In the first one, you get a mother, a father,
your very own room.
You learn to walk, which is only done by walking.
You learn the past tense of have, which is hunger.
You learn to ask almost anything
is to ask it to be over,
as when the lover asks the other
“Are you sleeping? Are you beginning
to go away?”
(And whether or not you learn it, life does not penetrate
more than five miles above the earth
or reach more than three miles beneath the sea.
Life is eight miles long.
You could walk it, and be there before sundown.
Or swim it, or fall it, or crawl it.)
The second is told from the point
of view of the sky.
-By Christina Davis
After the music stops, the lights fall,
The moon rises. And wanes and falls and rises again.
It’s like we’ve been in this moment for days, the dew drops
Then dries under my toes.
All I can hear is the beating of your heart—
Echoing the rhythm of mine, speeding up and slowing and fluttering
As the pink pads of your fingers tug at knots in my hair.
My knees sizzle in the cool of the grass, slivers of moonlight reflecting in your eyes.
Sometimes I wonder if you can tell I’ve given up on you, or if you still think everything’s just fine
I admire her ability to be her own strongest advocate
To always, without fail, do what she wants to do
But close up, that strength
That loyalty to the self
Looks more like a refusal to meet me halfway
And if she can’t bend to meet me
Something is going to break.
I wish the people who love me as much as I love New York loved New York as much as I love them.
A rare moment of clarity —
We were at the brink, teetering on the edge of the cliff,
“Slow dancing in a burning room” — but I couldn’t see the flames.
I waltzed circles around you, pulling you close when you needed space, pushing you away when you needed comfort, thinking of only of the darkness threatening to swallow me whole.
The way you pried my fingers from the ledge, allowing me to tumble, all the while keeping your feet firmly planted on solid ground, watching me make my bumpy, tangled way from your high-and-mighty perch.
But what else could you have done? What other option had I given you but to set me free?
You’re going to think I’m silly for telling you this.
I grew up expecting love to be how Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio depicted it in Titanic. No, I’m not kidding.
Wouldn’t I, too, find someone for whom I felt so strongly that, should he be in harm’s way, or should my own death be impending, I would need to take his last name?
I’m not sure I even believe in the practice, were I to be married under normal sunsetonthebeach backyardinspringtime winterwonderland settings. But I imagine I’m strapped into my seat on a crashing plane and have time to make one last phone call. It would be to Him, to say how much I always knew I would be His, begging Him to make it so upon my tombstone. Or, I rush to His hospital bedside, tears streaming down my face onto the crisp, white sheets, screaming “I do” through my sobs.
To believe that I am unfinished without a part of You that will become Me (when You won’t ever be asked to similarly embody an equal part of Me) goes against everything, everything I stand for as a Woman. And yet I’m not sure I’ll ever be convinced We are real until Then.