I fucked up. I made mistakes. I regret them. I am learning from them. I am losing from them. I am dying inside from them. Inside and inside out.
I thought I had figured out more about myself than I have. I thought I had figured out more about you than I have. All of you. But mostly you.
I look for the silver lining without getting carried away. There are shiny things to reach for and hold onto. Forgivenesses wrapped in all the things you don’t want done to you, all the things you don’t want to do to others.
I wade in the sludge of the black inside the silver lines. Before any changes can be made.
Coaster poetry for Michael Van Horn, who provided the inspirational word:
10, 11. They’re OK. What’s your name again? Your plastic limbs don’t fit in here. You’re cold and calculating. 9+3 = twelve. Twelve times I said I was done. with you. You and your 20 fingers. You and your 15 ‘little white lies’ to put me aside, and 13 ways to pretend you don’t love me. You said your favorite color was red. I should’ve known then. I should’ve known that our heads wouldn’t mend. Together.
Coaster poetry for Christi, who provided the inspirational word:
You say blue, I say gray. You see the sun, I see turbulence, vitriol, and mangled decay. You always wanted to live then. French Revolution. In your sodded petticoat and shaved matted hair, swept down cobblestone streets in this week’s ferment. Will you regret that you pushed me out the window? or do you just like the sound of “defenestration”, the way it rolls off your forked tongue? You use to scrub your eyeballs clean.
Coaster poetry for Rachel, who provided the inspirational word:
wait. yell my name in to the ceiling. I’ll do it too, with yours. but you have to look up. up up up up. they watch us through the rafters and let them go. the sounds. if. we push just perfectly. Do you hear them laugh when we pretend? Winks are echoed through eyelashes. eyelashes dance upon cheeks like trees on breezes. You are my favorite tree. I don’t give words to the truths I carry. They’re just for us. just for us and scream when I scream.
Coaster poem for Natasha Livesly, who provided the inspirational (and homegrown!) word:
place the stone. you place the stone. it balances. the way the tufts do to the core before you blow. they dance as newborns before they walk. they dance to words they don’t yet know. to be words or other things. a garbage truck. an ice cream truck. they smile anyway. pick your nose like you pick flowers. with care and calm. craft your moments. share your wishes. crawl to allow mute to speak. Frankenstein your life. freezer pop your lips. look at all this bliss. it’s an old country buffet. cake bits mixed in with everything. everything. go on. pick up a spoon.
Raspberry pie. That was her favorite.
She liked to sit on the edge of the porch. painting her toenails.
She kept a peeler in her front pocket.
“you never know when you’ll need to peel,” she said.
“See this beet?”
*peel, peel. peel*
Her fingers. wrapped around the side with skin still intact.
She smeared it on her cheeks.
Her cheeks. the color of beets.
Her toes. her blueberry toes.
Some days I wake with legs of a baby giraffe. still learning to balance my body with limbs. wobbly.
Some days my skin is a slight meniscus membrane. barely tearing
by the pointy parts of a softened skeleton.
each movement. unsteady.
Some days each step is made. with. such. intent.
learning to walk again.
Words are carefully thought. sentences strung and re-strung long before
they leave my lips. or.
not spoken. just heard. in my head, in my head.
in my head. goals are shelved.
The day is exhausted by my intrinsic linguistic pugilist. in cognitive combat with depression’s ventriloquist.