Candor

I woke up with a song about loving yourself stuck in my head and,

still humming it,

cut four gentle lines into my calf.

Without tears, 

without words,

I dressed the tiny wounds,

neosporin, bandaid,

careful not to crinkle the paper too loud 

and wake up my two sleeping roommates

in the beds across from mine,

ignorant bystanders to my acts.

The song is still stuck in my head.

I love myself the best that I can.

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It’s Very Easy to Forget What Little Things Used to Make You Happy

Today the air smelled like pine trees and my head sang “Pulaski at Night”. The medication makes it hard to sleep so I take more medication. When I do I don’t wake up feeling any more rested than I would, but I do have the most satisfying, spine-tingling stretches, the kind cats take after a nap. Those have to come naturally, reverberating out from your core to your entire body, and they haven’t in a long time. 

I don’t know if the medication is working. They say it’s too soon to tell. But today the air smelled like pine trees and my head sang “Pulaski at Night”, and that, at least, is something.

Mary

I think the reason I hang out with boys so much is that I’m just not smart enough to keep up with other girls.

Boys do lie, but they lie in what they don’t tell you – lies of omission – or they lie about things that are obviously untrue: feelings, libido, boasting. And they speak in words. They ask questions, answer questions.

Girls speak in glances that I never quite catch, in harmonious laughter at a joke I don’t get. They don’t ask the questions that mean anything and don’t answer the ones that mean everything. They love deep, difficult conversations, but only when they’re standing at the podium delivering verdicts or wearing objective, unattached safety-orange and directing emotional traffic. It’s harder to get guys to talk about the things that matter, yes, but when they talk they really do. Hidden behind a thin veil of candy floss and amorphous sisterhood, girls can lie to you with a warm smile, a cold stare or honest tears in their eyes. At least, the ones I’ve known can. 

And this is fine. This is a survival mechanism women have picked up after centuries of silenced voices, injustice and fear. Our subtleties and secrecies protect us. And they provide a language, a lingua franca for women from all walks. There is no feeling greater than noticing the tilt of a stranger’s head and sharing for a moment that magical, near-telepathic sameness of thought and instinct. I have felt this a rare few times and they were the only rare, few times I have understood that vague, amorphous Sisterhood. 

And I am not free of subtlety or secrecy. If I was, I’d be dead. I wouldn’t have survived without neglecting to answer the questions that meant everything. 

But as smart as I am to know when I’m being lied to, to feel the hidden intentions behind a smile or a laugh and taste the energy in the air when a question is asked or answered, I’m not smart enough to play along. Like the Mary’s Room Thought Experiment. I have studied color my entire life, I know the science and significance of every shade, but my world is black and white. I’ve learned all the steps to the dance but I was born with two left feet.

Inside, outside. Boys, girls. There’s no difference really. I sit, untouched, pristine. My world is black and white.

Jolt

I don’t scare easy, except when I do.

I sleep in a rickety bunk bed. It’s beams whine threateningly every time I throw myself onto my mattress – and I do throw myself. I walk the streets of Manhattan at one, two, three in the morning, just to feel the cold air on my face. I moved thirteen hundred miles away from home to a state where I knew no one and no thing without blinking. I watch horror movies for the giggles. I do not scare easy.

Except when I do.

I jump at the sound of slammed doors. If tapped on the shoulder from behind, I give off a terrified, high-pitched squeak. If you suddenly raise your voice at me, I’ll cry.

It’s fear not in the unknown, but the unexpected, the sudden, the violent. Not in the epic, astronomical tectonic changing of the world, but the unpredictable, seismometer-defying earthquake. A warm front into a cold front becomes a tornado. Peace is never broken slowly. It shatters.

– via the Daily Prompt

Murmuration

I do not stand in an oubliette. A blank white oubliette with barely enough room to move, each of its four walls a breath away from my skin, so tall the sky seems a million miles away. I do not hear whispers pour from the trapdoor in the ceiling and reverberate against those four white walls again and again like flies bouncing and circling around a bug-zapper. I do not shut my eyes against the whispers as if I can shut my ears along with them and I do not scream, begging for release as the murmurs breed and multiply and funnel into my head, wicked laughter dripping from every half-heard word.

I do not do these things. I am in a classroom. I have performed a scene for my teacher and classmates. The room is deathly quiet. I do not hear them whispering.

Yet.

via Daily Prompt: Murmuration

Main Course

Chew me up and spit me out, fuckboy, my bones are made of diamonds and my heart pumps acid green

Watch your teeth splinter like toothpicks, lips quiver and shake, melt, dissolve

Scream, fuckboy, scream! 

You have power over me? YOU have power over ME? My fingertips are eagle feathers and I fly above your bullshit, I’ll do a fucking barrel roll, that’s two ways I’ll be flipping you the bird.

I’ll admit, you had me for a second there, you owned me for a second there, for a second there I let you. But we are Hera and Zeus; I am a bad bitch and you think with your dick, and the only universe in which I let you temper my holy flame is pure mythology, baby!

So eat me. Fucking eat me, if you can. If you can stomach my talons and fangs and if you can bear to rip the leathery skin from my thighs, eat me. I’m ten pounds of righteous fury in a one pound bag and I taste fucking terrific.

First

I am not the first to want you and I won’t be the last,
I don’t believe in things that are permanent but right now
I am your Alpha and Omega.
We are the starting gun and the finish line
and the burst of adrenaline at the two-thirds mark
once your will crawls over the wall.

I know what it means now when people say your heart can race,
they don’t just mean the heartbeat,
they mean the chase.

I am not the first to want you, I doubt I’m even the only one today
And fuck, I’ve watched you kiss other women,
laughed as you ran your hands up her chest
and she knotted her fingers into your hair.
I don’t believe in things built on faith but right now
I am your savior and simultaneously your supplicant sinner
Pray at my altar and I will drip golden ambrosia onto your lips,
pulling you up to me with my fingers knotted in that fucking hair.
And I will pray at yours, begging for your sweetness,
There is no one so high as not to beg for salvation.

That chase.
It’s the same chase of a hunting hound after a fox,
Or a weak, desperate man after an idea.
You want to want something almost as much as you actually want it.
To have something to chase is to have a finish line, the harder the catch,
the greater the high.

I am not the first to anything to you, I am not the first in any sense of the word.
Women have fucked you, women have loved you, you have loved women,
women have been fuck-buddies with you, people have cared about you
more than you’ve cared about them and vice-versa.
The world isn’t fair.
I don’t believe in innocences or purities. Or in fairness.
No “buts” this time.

I don’t have to be your first, I just want to be your something.