And So the Vagabond Found A Home

When I was a little girl I always kept a suitcase packed and tucked away in my closet. 

I was always on the edge of running, not knowing where I planned on going- just trying to escape the crippling discomfort that lingered in that home. 

Home. 

I never understood the phrase, “home is where the heart is” because if that is the case my home was never obtainable in the first place. 

I remember feeling hollow at eleven years old. 

I stole my mother’s anatomy books trying to find how it was possible to be alive when that vital muscle was missing. 

Because I ripped my heart out the day I simultaneously picked up a razor blade. 

I continued to dismantle it every time I took a sip of alcohol. 

I thought I could repair it by shoving it into the feeble hands of others-

But my father never noticed it,

My sister was sickened by its contents, 

And that girl I clung to in high school just couldn’t handle it. 

I watched the innocence within me shrivel and dissolve like wet paper. 

At thirteen my safe space was overrun by a man’s selfish needs. 

The same man who tried to cram into my father’s shoes, promising to raise and protect me. 

My purity was punctured and I can still see the trauma oozing from every wound. 

I became a shell of a person. The life within me diminished into a puddle of mud like the ones in the front yard of that house I grew up in. 

Toxicity grew within the walls like black mold and I became immune to the sound of slamming doors. 

The clicking sound of a loaded gun never scared me, sometimes I was disappointed that it misfired in the first place. 

Stashed away in the crevices of unknown places lived the happiness I only saw in my lucid dreams. 

I set up my grave prematurely across the yard, past my mother’s craft shed just before the wooden gate that separated chaos from clarity. 

When my father kicked me out in 2017 I picked up the trash bags on the curb of my sisters college dorm and I told myself I’d find a forever home. One that didn’t reek of beer and regret. 

I found shelter in a girl named after a Disney movie, but she couldn’t keep me on my feet. The weight wasn’t hers to carry. 

The guy with ocean eyes opened his arms to me and for the first time I felt the warm embrace of serenity. 

I couldn’t stay still though, the constant pull between fight or flight kept me up at night. 

I got good at packing boxes and minimizing my baggage. 

But I never got good at accepting genuine love in its full capacity. 

Now two years later I lay in bed with him and our daughter, cradled in my arms. 

I stand upon the firm foundation of consistency, I dig my toes into the comfort he provides me. 

For too long I let my trauma dictate me, as if my heart was a playground where those feelings of uncertainty and insecurity played jump rope with my heartstrings. 

I finally look in mirrors I’ve been avoiding, because I thought my true form lied behind the reflection in the eyes of those who never saw me as anything other than an object. 

I measured my value in half empty vodka bottles and empty promises. 

I used to question if my suicide attempt actually worked back in 2016, and this was the hell I was faced with on the other side. 

But the pain subsided and the fog settled, or maybe this is just heaven- either way I’ve found my peace. 

I no longer feel the weight of my past crushing my windpipe. 

I can finally fucking breathe. 

Today I know I’m free.

I can’t say I’m one hundred percent but I’m nowhere near where I used to be.

Crank Calls

You had winter in your veins and at one point in time I lived for your frigid temperatures. 

I spent most of my childhood sinking in the quicksand just trying to follow in your footsteps. 

I became a martyr, bidding away my innocence all in exchange for a swig from your half-empty bottle. 

My toes are twisted to the past, curled into figure eight knots- like the ones you left in my stomach with your silver tongue. 

I find myself summoning old memories in black and white reruns, even though I’ve played the film over a million times. 

I know how it ends. Yet, I keep watching like a deer in headlights because I long for the familiarity even though it makes me sick. 

Till I’m dry heaving on fermented timeframes riddled with Xanax pills and vodka breath; the smell emitting from the passenger seat filling my body with your intoxicated screams. 

I got drunk off your promises for better days, I sipped from your cup of sweet nothings. As if your illusive reality could quench my thirst. 

I spent four long years tediously scrubbing red flags- convinced they were once pure white. 

I used to wake from an alcohol induced sleep and burn sage in every corner, just trying to cleanse my safe space. 

I tried to rebirth your adolescence but it was already decomposing in Earth’s womb. 

I wish we didn’t share DNA, I wish you never touched me at all, because my body has permanent bruises embedded deep within places even I cannot reach. 

I’m slowly distinguishing the pronunciation of comfort, and it doesn’t sound like your name. 

All you ever did was visit. You never stayed. My comfort was a home you inconsistently inhabited whenever you felt weak. But you never cared enough to renew the lease. You let me sit, fully furnished with your bad intentions; all the weight you were tired of carrying was unloaded onto me. I reached my full capacity long ago but you were blind to the baggage bursting at the seams. 

I would rip out my lungs if it meant quieting my screams that keep you from sleep. 

I’ll bite my tongue because I know to you, my words mean nothing. 

I can’t keep rescuing, reckless you. 

When I walked away from you, I left behind a whole universe filled with emotional highs and lows. 

The day I cut you off is the same day my feet catapulted before me and I realized I had to pick myself up because you were never going to do it for me. 

You have to realize life doesn’t supply you with a first aid kit- and when bad things happen you determine if it breaks or bends you. 

I wonder why it is you never cared to pick up the phone for me, but you never hesitate to answer those crank calls. 

I guess you love being high more than the firm grounding I put you on time and time again.

You always found comfort in the chaos but I never stopped striving for serenity. And I guess that’s the difference between you and me. 

Portrait of Panic

She’s known pain. The kind that strips you from yourself and rebuilds you out of fragments of every person close enough to leave a scar.

How many floors have known the weight of her loneliness?

She’s immune to the sound of slamming doors dead bolted on her feeble hands.

Her lungs are full of contaminated air from past lovers stealing the breath from their mouths. All because she longed to be close to them- close enough to sink into their skin and breathe their polluted oxygen. She’s left with blackened lungs but she never touched a single cigarette.

She longs to shed the skin of yesterday, but is more fearful of what lingers within her DNA.

She’s spilled her guts on apartment floors. Blood and tissue seeping into the carpet grains as she begs for pick up her pieces and shove them back inside, he reminds her he never read a single book on anatomy. He knew nothing about love in any genuine capacity.

His eyes glide past the bruises riddled along her body like he’s blind to his own wrongdoings. He paints over every impurity with empty promises in hushed tones as if his voice wasn’t screaming in scarlet hues.

She began to hear every ‘i love you’ muffled.

She dismantled her body with her own bare hands. The cold metal blade tracing her thigh was the equivalent of his touch- painful and bleak.

She used toxic encounters as sandpaper- to smooth out her rough edges. She told herself if anyone was going to take advantage of her vulnerability- it would be on her terms.

Visions of impurities, hot skin on hot skin.

Her body is a temple but she saw it as something worthless to dissemble. Nobody taught her of the true potential she had stored within her veins just waiting to be used.

Some days it’s harder for her to fight against the waves spilling out of all four chambers, panic runs rampant through her bloodstream.

She longs for a sense of stability- some silver lining that this pain is temporary.

She stands on the perimeter of tomorrow as time shifts and shapes into a hopeful portrait of clarity.

She’s immune to the cold, but I promise winter doesn’t last forever.

With both feet on the ground, the firm foundation of recovery, she walks in harmony. No longer unbalanced by a thousand agonies. Counting the heel-to-toe clicking of descending footsteps. Walking away from things that only bring negativity.

And this is forward progress.

There’s beauty in the way the sunsets lean towards her, the way the ocean splits in two when she crosses the chaos.

She’s the most beautiful creature and I wish she knew it.

Because the whole world is rooting for her.

All she has to do is keep going.

She may feel like she’s stuck because her skeleton is shattered, but broken bones grow back stronger.

The sun will rise and she’ll try again.

Tug Of War

This jargon in my head is complex.

Like a puzzle with only corner pieces, and here I am cutting my hands on all the edges.

I’m immune to the sound of descending footsteps and empty corridors.

Sometimes the static in my head stops and I can find momentary clarity. But it isn’t long till the waves of insanity pull me under like an anchor tied to my ankles.

There’s emotional bruises self inflicted by my own delusion.

And I’m so tired of this ride, this perpetual car crash I’m stuck inside. I know I’m the one driving but sometimes this sickness straps me in the passenger seat.

I can see the intersection and the sunlight straight ahead, yet I choose to go down a dead end street riddled with abandoned houses. The only occupants are the ghosts from my past that flag me down and remind me of all the damage I’ve done.

There’s no way to purify the pain inflicted upon the fragile bodies of all the people I love. The people who fight tooth and nail against this alter-persona steering me away from them.

I was always told to associate myself with the word strong- but how can I when my backbone was replaced with bitterness and rage?

I long for a sense of peace that doesn’t fluctuate at alarming rates.

I am tired of these hands because they’re stained with all my efforts that never mastered the art of genuine consistency.

Last night the ghosts tried putting out the flames that kindled everything I stand for.

I don’t want to watch everything burn- I just want to keep it warm.

Everyone close to me has blisters on their feet from walking on blood stained eggshells.

I wish my brain didn’t go from zero to one hundred every time I have a conversation.

Sometimes I forget that I’m the one in control because I watch this chemical imbalance swallow me whole.

I have to keep reminding myself I no longer have to fight the enemy and not everyone is out to get me. I’m not the victim in everything.

I can’t keep putting bandaids over bullet holes.

I’m constantly fighting a part of me that destroys everything.

But I’m still hoping I can manifest something within me worth loving.

Butchery

Butcher my name with your silver tongue. Step back with disgust, purge all the memories of me like bad liquor- as if my name never felt good on your lips. Act like your taste buds never craved any of it. And here I am left lapsed in your absence, dressed in black in our wake. I can hear our decomposing flesh screaming in baby blue tones as the casket is lowered into earth’s womb. Maybe you just didn’t suffocate me good enough, or maybe a part of my soul will always scream for the truth.

I was prepared for the shifting of tectonic plates, whirling winds and tidal waves- but the probability of you severing ties was too difficult to anticipate. There you sit, scissors in hand, across the force field – the sea of resentment you have against me. You’re drowning, and oh how I long to be your lifeline – to pull you to the shore and bring you back to life. But I can already see you falling through my fingers like sand.

When the memories of me seem to come on too strong, when its claws extend and climb down your throat- I hope you choke on that curtain of pride you hide behind. I have become a martyr, ready to bid away my heart in exchange to see yours contracting and pulsing properly again.

You were always good at threading your words together like a crown made up of daisies upon my head. That’s why my boundaries never stood significantly. Or maybe what I brought to the table was not enough for you to pull up a chair and stay. But you held on long enough to feast off my quivering body, dismantling my soul and using my own hands to wipe your mouth clean of all the blood and tissue.

Do you really miss my presence that much that you’ve created a version of me within your lies? Fix your posture, you may have no backbone but I am the one left with phantom limbs.Your absence it’s like a roller coaster, but the memories are the restraints, holding me, keeping me buckled away – unhinged from you. While you’re plummeting in the contaminated abyss, I choose kindness. I choose to remember us for how we were and not what you made us out to be.

And maybe that’s the difference between us – you let it consume you at all costs, but in every capacity I refuse to fall.

untitled ?

The stars paint your smile in the sky every night, and I’m reminded of you and all your potential stored up inside a wooden casket.

I was reminded of just how difficult the human skin is to live in by the way it stretches and scars over every impurity.

Some days I look for you in every drivers seat.

But every inch of you was dispersed in all different directions, yet your woven words were left sewn into my entrails.

You dug your mask out of the box of things you promised to leave behind when you left that guy, and slowly I watched you crumble in avalanches- choking on the disbelief that you would sink into the blood pouring out of all four chambers.

You locked yourself behind someone else’s eyes because you were enchanted by the shivers that ventured up your thighs.

I didn’t die with you, but I’m in that limbo state.

Just when I feel myself dissolving into the air- the sky spits me out all over again.

You had so much sunlight living in your eyes, and since you’ve been gone the only fluorescence left is the memory of your heartfelt laughter.

Some days I can still see the blood coiled around my knuckles, and you on the other end- bandage in hand.

But suddenly I’m followed by the reminder that you never needed me in the direction you were going, down a dead end street.

I feel as though I’m still drowning in sorrow, maybe if I blink fast enough the salt will leave my eyes.

But I’m constantly coughing up water lodged within my windpipe.

Maybe you were smart enough to tie the rope around my ankles as you simultaneously let go of the anchor.

You watched me sink below the ripples, but I promise you can hear my cries carried over every tidal wave.

My feet are blistered from walking on broken eggshells, afraid of every step I take.

Wondering if it is guiding me farther away from you.

The Silence In Loneliness

I tell my therapist to pull back the layers of my skin to see the residue of pain lingering within my tendons.

I used to feel as though I was obsolete, like no matter what I poured inside me- something was constantly pouring out of all the cracks.

I stand at the perimeter- on the edge of tomorrow’s, tortured by hope.

I’ve got vines of sorrow wrapped around my ribcage.

I take all 5 foot 7 inches of myself and try to make myself smaller in an effort to never be too much.

I am scared that my arms will unintentionally slam doors, I sit on my hands to stop them from shaking.

For once I’d like to know what it’s like to be the window pane, not the brick.

I’ve been painted black for so long, I’ve beginning to believe there’s no yellow left under all those layers- like if you chisel away at the surface there’ll be nothing good underneath.

I take the jar ,filled to the brim, with empty promises and hold it up to the light.

Shadows of yesterday’s plastered on the ceiling and I think of maybe and what if’s in their entirety.

Sometimes I stand in all the quiet and watch nicotine seep into the walls.

I write things hoping someone else would feel them so I don’t have to.

There are people I couldn’t touch without ruining them, so I didn’t touch them at all.

And as light as that may seem it’s all so heavy.

I taste the blood in my esophagus, suffocating in copper tinted tones—

Which is funny in a sense because my lungs are full of dead air.

Maybe people don’t see what I see because they’re colorblind

But when I look in the mirror I see a Monet like masterpiece— ugly from far away yet beautiful up close.

I’ve got so much potential stored up in these veins, bursting through my bloodstream just begging to be set free.

There’s unspoken words lodged in my windpipe but I’d rather choke on the ambiguity then bear my soul to all the ugly people who dig up skeletons that are better left buried deep in the earths core.

I’ve learned that when someone slams the door on your face, it’s better to leave that mother fucker closed. Locked and dead-bolted.

Put a chain around it for fucks sake just don’t beg.

Don’t beg.

Don’t beg for anyone who doesn’t see the pads of your fingers and the arch in your feet as the most beautiful and extraordinary thing.

I’m still shining even when dim.

Thanks for checking in.

the aftermath of agony

I’ve lived through a thousand agonies.

I’ve felt time shift and dissolve into nothingness.

I’ve watched calloused hands reach into my throat and wrench loose my lungs.

I’ve tasted blood.

I’ve felt like a victim in my own body.

The wounds scab then scar over and sometimes the skin breaks by even the most gentle touch.

Sometimes I think in run on sentences.

I firmly believe we’re meant to die a few times before we really live.

I’ve never been anywhere other than where I am.

There are times I am swept away by the currents of your smile.

When the corners of your mouth rise, my heart falls deeper into the immense admiration.

You’re a soft reminder that there’s clarity.

Someone once told me time was fake, but you- you remind me that at times it’s the only thing that’s real.

Because through all these years when I was waiting for a rainbow to break through the clouds— you were the moon shining in my darkest nights.

I’m always set on tomorrow’s, as long as they’re spent with you.

That, that my love is what I look forward to.

Art Thief

You take my breath away, like it belongs to you.

You’ve set my soul on fire, I dream in a yellow hue.

And I don’t get scared when the tides are high, when the darkness covers my eyes- because I know when the fog is lifted it is always you and I on the otherside.

If you could see yourself through my eyes, you’d find the pure admiration running rampant through my bloodline.

I warned you about the uninhabitable home inside my chest, but you shimmied your way in through the destruction and made it feel like home again.

What we have is uncomparable,and undeniable.

I tell everyone to dig into my bones and find you lingering within.

You are the sun inside this blackened chest, shining through the cracks and crevices, reminding me there’s always beauty in the ugliest of things.

I never thought I was capable of love- giving or receiving, but you opened my eyes to a world of oppurtunity.

Your calloused hands touch me like I’m porcelian.

But i’s no secret that you’re the masterpiece and I’m the art theif.

It’s like some twisted version shock therapy stimulating my brain, slowly erasing all evidence of your existence.

I don’t want to forget you, but at the same time I do.

Because every time you cross the surface space of my mind- there’s a sharp knife jabbing my insides.

I want to remember you for who you were but it’s all a blur.

You changed and I just couldn’t keep up the pace.

I want to smother my sorrow, I want to wrap my hands around its throat and crush its windpipe.

I want to take the breath from its lungs.

I don’t want to feel this pain, but I don’t want your death to be in vain.

The poets cry for more, the audience does not wish to hear an encore because it’s dark and twisted and maybe we should just keep our pain to ourselves.

But pain demands to be felt.

I will write till my fingers go numb, till I have completely purged all of this ugliness lingering inside of me.

I lost my best friend, how do you recover from such a massive blow to the chest?

I don’t see any recovery from this.

But I know it’s the grief fogging my glasses.

I’m just not ready to take them off.

I deserve to feel this.

Because you didn’t just kill yourself, you killed me too.

The only difference is I didn’t sign the DNR papers.