One Second Here

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one second here

then gone in a flash

as strangers take one more breath than you will ever get to make

~

the television plug is pulled

right in the middle of some throwaway line

the light dimming

to the deepest black

~

it is a shade only seen once

at the end of walking

and talking

and breathless smiles

empty-full kisses

times of gratitude

and times of self pity

~

complicated to the final second

still trying to make meaning

where meaning can never be made

~

you walk on days like air walks on water

one second here

then gone in a flash

 

 

 

 

River of Wind

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I walk down the river of wind

expecting to drown

and yet

I find myself being carried by the day

like an angel made from clouds

holding my hand

guiding me down the stream

I stop and rest

at the bed of the river

smelling flowers and weeds

beautiful and indistinguishable

and so I start to arrange them

into new forms

new combinations for the world to see

 

 

The Fixer Upper

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When I was very young the world made me afraid of mirrors. That world had many names: Magazine, Television, Mother, Sister, Friend, Enemy…Men.

Like many, I grew up in a world that made my face a priority above all else. At twenty-seven years old I still struggle to see past the lines and the shape. Every curve is too curved or perhaps not curvy enough. Things are never in the right place. People are always too pretty, too smart, so much more of everything and so much better than the girl my parents made.

Does she sound familiar?

She has to. I’m not alone. I’ve never been alone. So many came before me. So many will remain after me. I am just another picture on a wall. Another girl starring at her portrait with confusion in her eyes. She’ll ask herself who lingers in the frame because it can’t be her. It can’t possibly be her.

I was twenty-seven years old when I self-diagnosed myself with body dysmorphia. I’d heard the word thrown around for years, but I’ve never liked labels. I’m the quiet type. The good daughter. I’m the one who is ok. The one people talk to when something is wrong. And if I’m that person then I can never be diagnosed with anything.

It’s amazing what we do to ourselves when we are sleeping. I’m not talking about the kind of sleep that happens when you rest your head and close your eyes. I’m talking about the waking sleep. The nightmare we carry around and call our dreams.

I dreamed of being skinny. I dreamed of perfect skin. I dreamed of nothing else for more than ten years. Now I wonder about the moments I lost when dreaming was my waking state and sleep was the relief.

There’s an old song I listened to recently. The lyrics claimed that ‘time is on our side’. It’s a beautiful song but I don’t for a minute believe this statement. Time has no voice, no name, no particular preference for anyone. Time takes no sides.

A moment, however.

A moment can always be on your side. It takes a single moment to shift your thinking from mirrors to trees. Lately I’ve been thinking about grass and the way it feels beneath my feet. What a relief it is, to be free from my face; the lines, the shape and all the comments people make.

Change is a slow monster, however. It growls and seeks sustenance but can never quite find it’s fill quick enough. When I call myself a constant fixer upper I truly mean it. The ‘house’ so-to-speak, never has the right paint or the precise furniture I need. Everything is shuffled around in circular fashion, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards and at times, sideways as well. When ‘fixing’ becomes your default state one thing tends to happen: life becomes a marathon and you never seem to leave the starting line.

I was eleven years old when I first became vividly aware of my body. Before that day I was certain I knew it well. I was certain it was me. I didn’t hate it because I didn’t really think too much about it. I was never removed from it. I never thought of it as clay to be prodded and moulded. Like all things in this world, that idea did not last very long.

Sitting on the front porch were my parents, smoking cigarettes. This is one of those memories that’ll probably stay with me till I die. It’s one of those memories that no longer exists for them, but somehow managed to claw its way into the front of my brain. I can recall wanting to impress them with my reading ability. My mother had recently purchased a book of poetry and I was so delighted by my ability to read it. I’ve always had a love of words and I desperately wanted to show them all the wonderful words that I could pronounce.

I read a poem and they watched. God knows if they were listening. When I finished I was proud. I expected them to be proud as well. I think that they were. I think they thought I was probably pretty smart. If only that was enough though.

I’ll never be rid of the moment when my father turned to my mother and said, “don’t you think she needs to lose some weight?”. I was standing right there, and I might has well have been invisible. I can recall my eyes glancing down across my body. It was the first time I had ever scanned it for flaws. And to think, all I wanted to know was what they thought of the poem.

The title of the book: Poems of Forgiveness. I’m not even kidding.

Kiss my ass Irony.

 

 

 

Down she goes

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Who are you really

in the surface of your mind?

For your depths remain a secret

sprinkled into the night

like fragments 

from another world

You have inherited time my friend

as tired stars do rest upon

your bed of endless woe

You wear the face of a fading comet

seeking out the villagers below

And like a magnet meeting the Earth’s core

your smile bleeds 

towards the black 

beneath the trees

Plummeting 

reaching desperately for the sun

Long gone it is

from your hands

and so far from a time

in which you called it friend 

 

I’ll Remember

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I’ll remember how I wanted to tell you everything

rummaging around in my head

I’ll remember the crumbs I gave you

and the tears that threatened to shed

I’ll remember how I locked it all away

and let you speak instead

 

-Mother & Daughter in the café

Midnight Sea

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I track sand into my bed

creating an ocean in my dreams

turning salt water to silk

and waves into window curtains

~

They toss back and forth

with the midnight tide

sending me through the horizon

and a veil of closing eyes

~

I sink into the clouds

and fall through the breeze

becoming a multitude of waves

washing the shore away