The Gifts of Guilt

The midnight blush of forgotten sins

makes me sit up in bed,

sweat running like tears

as my ego turns my spine to wood,

then forces it to splinter

so I can’t turn my head

without the reminders,

always the stab of needless wreckage to my innards

so I never lose sight of the tar I’ve soaked in.

Remember, remember the words you said.

Remember what was spilt and broken.

The only remedy is to stop turning,

to reside in the stillness

and let the shards be taken

in softness,

let the waters drip over their sides,

again and again,

until my back is curved to the floor

and my hands are thrown open.

And through the mixture of water and salt,

splinters turn at last to driftwood,

and my palms are full of softened bark,

trinkets for jewelry or a child’s game

or simply an adornment for sand.

 

The Taste of Peace

It’s the empty bliss between heartbreaks.

The second your clinging fingers let it slip

over the cliff and in your lightened grasp

colour floods back to your hand,

red rivulets rushing to warm

your desperate flesh.

It’s the golden pulse around you

when at last you reach the surface

and seize your first grasp of air.

Where straining ceases,

the casement flies open

and all that’s ever been floods in

– more than you could ever dream –

till the tears run

at the kaleidoscopic freedom

that was waiting all along.

Fog Into Buckets

Love is buried under fear,

oceans of drops aching for

salt water –

how can I explain it to them?

even as my own mind refuses the truth.

I cast spells with my breath

that clear my sight for a movement,

but it’s like trying to shove fog into buckets,

or run water uphill:

all the forces I’ve been told are natural

course against my will.

Yet I keep hauling thickened air

and tipping it overboard,

sketching dams and dragging logs

to direct creeks,

and even as people shake their heads

and mutter its hopelessness,

I feel the strength in my arms

from lugging buckets and wood,

the quickness with which my brain

picks out alternate routes,

the thickness of hope I’ve built up.

I glance at the rivers

streaming wild and rapid,

and the grey forgiving wall of mist,

and smile at what the world has made of me –

wild and forgiving strength.

It was me that was built for change.

 

Day 11: Beyond Imagining

I’ve never been particularly comfortable around crowds. Especially as a teenager, at dances or house parties, I was overwhelmingly self-conscious, often ready to gnaw my own arm off if it would mean I could be home in my pajamas curled up with a book.

But there are a handful of¬†instances – a house party when I was 17, my first time at a club in years, traveling alone to a place I’d never been – the entire time I was filled with¬†a feeling like a big brother’s hand on my shoulder. I was nervous, way out of my comfort zone, but then I breathed deeply. And a glow swelled in my chest. Inexplicably, I knew I was fine. Everything would be okay. In the untraceable beat between inhale and exhale, I aligned with a sense of strength and guidance. For a moment I aligned with everything.

Underneath the stress about money, not having enough friends or ambition or success, not being pretty or smart or brave enough, hidden in my breath and sometimes the silence of 6 am, I know I’m okay. Someone has my back, and is guarding the most sacred part of me. I am loved beyond imagining. Continue reading “Day 11: Beyond Imagining”