If the moon smiled, she would resemble you.
You leave the same impression
Of something beautiful, but annihilating.
Both of you are great light borrowers.
Her O-mouth grieves at the world; yours is unaffected,
And your first gift is making stone out of everything.
I wake to a mausoleum; you are here,
Ticking your fingers on the marble table, looking for cigarettes,
Spiteful as a woman, but not so nervous,
And dying to say something unanswerable.
The moon, too, abuses her subjects,
But in the daytime she is ridiculous.
Your dissatisfactions, on the other hand,
Arrive through the mailslot with loving regularity,
White and blank, expansive as carbon monoxide.
No day is safe from news of you,
Walking about in Africa maybe, but thinking of me.
‘Do you like me?’
I asked the blue blazer.
Silence bounced out of his books.
Silence fell off his tongue
and sat between us
and clogged my throat.
It slaughtered my trust.
It tore cigarettes out of my mouth.
We exchanged blind words,
and I did not cry,
and I did not beg,
blackness lunged in my heart,
and something that had been good,
a sort of kindly oxygen,
turned into a gas oven.
Do you like me?
What’s a question like that?
What’s a silence like that?
And what am I hanging around for,
riddled with what his silence said?
—Lessons in Hunger, Anne Sexton
the dead mother,
the blunt lover,
shadows of what has been lost.
i remember begging for air,
i remember asking for help
I feel the lips of my face
shatter like a bone,
chips fluttering to the grass like snow.
I feel the blackness
spring from my pores,
‘Dead and Done’
is what my sign will read,
‘I Am Closed’.
holding my shiny prizes out of sight,
I hide my love away in a black purse,
I hoard it.
like heirloom jewels, my love is sewn into my dress,
I don’t wear it around my neck for fear
of having it stolen.
it is safe,
stowed away from prying hands,
safe in its tight tin box.
I howl like an unruly child, batting away imaginary friends,
clutching it against my chest,
backed into a corner—
no, no, I will not let you have it!
no, no, you will break it! I know you will break it!
You have broken it before.
I spend a solid 75% of my day drenched in worry. The kind of worry that you can’t even wrestle with, reason with. The kind of worry that takes up residence in your gut for months on end, an unwelcome bitch on the couch who refuses to find a job and somebody else to fuck—who threatens you with knives and loneliness and acid reflux when you ask her to leave.
This worry is so deep seated, has become so tightly integrated into my identity, that i don’t know who I’d become without it.
My worry is that I am just as profoundly inadequate as I think I am.
And it sucks at me all day long. Every second of every twenty four hours, I hear it roaring. I hear it calling in the night, scratching up my sides, whoring itself into my sleep.
I dream of rejection. Every dream is the same dream. Every night I run from warm body to warm body begging for tenderness, for acknowledgement, for fulfillment. Every night, I am swatted away.
During the day, I am plagued with crippling insecurities. You’re not good enough to have parents, you’re not good enough to have friends, you’re not good enough to leave the house, you’re not good enough to find a partner, you’re not good enough to have an orgasm, to be healthy, to have fun, to be seen in public, to laugh outside, to be held—you’re simply not enough. Its become the rhythm I live by.
I look for other women for the man I love to be with. I am in a category separate from them, I am the one who is not like the others. I convince myself that I am not, and will never be the first choice. Nor should I be. Who is deserving of me? Nobody. Why should I burden them? I shouldn’t.
I’ve spent my life grasping at straws, feeling like I have to beg on my knees for kindness and love. I have never been good enough for anyone, and the saddest part is that I honestly believe that I will never be good enough for anyone. I will always be the first, the one before the one, the orphan before the real child, the adequate lover before the incredible one, the average one before the knockout. Do you know how much that hurts? How deeply embedded the hooks of that sadness are? I loathe it. Every inch of it.
So what do I do? How do I learn that I’m enough, when I have no example to learn by? When I’ve never felt it before? When I’ve never even come close to it? How do I find out if I actually am enough? Who is my teacher? Who is my re-programmer? Who can lead me to the edges of enough-ness and help me build a house? Where is the map? I don’t know how anybody loves themselves. I don’t understand how people survive.
I often dream of my boat capsizing.
of being trapped beneath
the wooden hull
through the still grey water
falling through a tangled mess
of dead women and seaweed
to the bottom
where my ankles are
and I’m left alive
but unable to reach for life.
I’m all, “I KNOW - Thank you!”
Then later like,
and then you realize…..O YA THATZ RITE