The Daily

Small fragments of myself

Here and there

Given freely without thought

I don’t mind being generous

With the scraps

After all

I’ve many pieces

Knit together into

Multiple layers

Shielding me

Protecting who I am

From exposure

Keeping those

Who would try to come close

At a respectably safe

Distance

Truth be told

The loneliness

Can be a bit

Chilly

Yet,

I’ve no complaints

The shell I’ve buried myself

Deep within

Keeps me warm enough.

Don’t Forget

"Don’t forget where you came from"
I haven’t
I won’t.
Every time my boys cry
I remember
My little brother 
Not even 7 
Quickly wiping away tears
Because he was being called a faggot
A sissy boy.
A “little girl”
Those last two words hurled with a sneer
Because we all knew, having feelings was relegated to the card carrying vagina members
And that was shameful
Pathetic.
Uncles and his own mother
MY mother
Drug addled and bitter
Insults as poisonous darts
Piercing my gentle younger sibling’s soul.
No.
I don’t forget where I came from
When I call them to me
My weeping children
Upset
Bothered
Sad
Angry
Feelings are everything and sometimes can only be expressed through tears.
I hold them close. 
I ask them to use their words.
Sometimes I am just as frustrated as they are.
But I’ll not shame them.
Ever.

"Don’t forget where you came from."
I fucking remember.
I learned how to swallow the torrents of pain which threatened to
Break through the dam of my lids
I’m tough
I’m untouchable
Crying is for the weak
You’ll never break me.
I am Stronger Than All Of You.
When my mother called me a whore after I had been raped at 12.
When my grandmother told me I “shouldn’t have been out that late” after being assaulted and almost gang raped at 16.
When anyone I had ever put trust in proved to be unworthy of that privilege.
Yes. I remember where I came from.

I came from The Vicious Cycle.
I came from the Women Who Accepted The Very Least And Counted It As The Best,
I came from the Long Line of Toxic Masculinity Disguised As The Norm
I came from the Over and Over and Over 
And Over AGAIN
Because That’s JUST HOW IT IS.

I remember where I came from.
My great-grandmother doing her best to shield me from the Bad Touch Uncles. Failing. Begging me to not anger my grandmother because she could not stand to hear her beat me. Shamed because it was a mirror of her past behaviors.
My grandmother crying in silence when she got the news her mother had passed. Becoming stoic in less than a second of being noticed. After all, she had to be “strong”. More guilt than grief for she hadn’t been kind to her ailing mother. 
My mother nursing wounds in private which occurred decades ago because trust wasn’t her strong suit. Self-medicating in the worst way; escapism was easier than the thorny shit reality left to face. Homeless, drug addict, write off.

I remember where I came from.
I came from a great great grandmother who was married to a 27 year old man at the age of 12. A woman who had her first living child of a dozen at the age of 14. A woman married to a man who liked his little girls a little too much, which did not exclude his own daughters. A woman who never knew an easy day the way we know easy days.
I came from a great grandmother who took her 3 little girls, left her husband and the boxcar they were living in to search for something better. A woman who started fresh in Chicago, working several jobs, never taking a husband until her girls had married on their own for fear of what they would suffer at the hands of a strange man. A woman who worked hard her entire life to leave something of substance for her girls. A woman who failed at being kind to her daughters, whose love and desire to protect became unyielding suffocation and unnecessarily harsh discipline.
I came from a grandmother dedicated to never being as cruel in punishment as her own mother was, yet failing because she unfortunately had her mother's temper. A woman who decided that after all the heartbreak, she would rather spend the rest of her days alone. No one could hurt her if she didn't allow them into her life. A woman who raised her grandchildren in hopes to fix the past mistakes she made with her own. A woman who was sorry, but had not any inkling on how to apologize.
I came from a mother with a heart so huge and compassionate, you’d never see it past her stony exterior. A woman with enough demons to stock a second hell. A woman who has not yet forgiven herself for things everyone else has already forgotten. A woman who could have been a good mother, had anyone ever given her the chance and  belief. 

"Don’t Forget Where You Came From."
People toss that around like it means money. Stature. Material Bullshit.
I remember where I came from.
A long line of women
Who could have been 
EVERYTHING.
Were they not women.
Women
Who were weak when they should have been strong, mistaking what it was to be either.
Women
Who loved and were never loved back
Women 
Who woke up every day… wondering… Is This Fucking It.
Women who tried. 
Who stopped trying because it just didn't seem worth it.
Women fierce and soft
kind and cruel
quiet and loud
Women who have taught me
albeit inadvertently
just how important it is
to live life with
compassion and forgiveness.
How important it is
to know my worth.


I carry a piece of each
In random memories of their grimaces, frown lines creasing foreheads.
Black & white photos of forced smiles.
Candid polaroids of true joy.
Spontaneous thoughts and ideas of how to be better.
Song lyrics out of the blue which they would hum during the 
few moments when they were happy
(a character trait of which I am happy has been passed down through the generations)

I'll never forget.
I am well aware 
of
Who I am.
Where I came from.

stir-crazy

my fingers twitch
an itching under the tips
a nervous searching
for the smooth feel
of the skin
across your cheekbone

they tap
impatient and out of sync
a restless dance of
digits
unable to sit
still

my mouth
a continuous
phantom tingle
tickling
my lips
so i keep them
pressed tight
to dismiss
them missing you
because
they are not kissing you

the memory
of that
the faint brush
tender touch
of lips
lingering soft
but urgent
against yours
sharply inhaling
the exhale
of
your breath

wistful
the days
slowly yawn on
while
i yearn
for that
blessed moment
when
we were one

nonsense

after all this time
have you ever known me
the answer is saddening
but not surprising
for it is
unequivocally
no

but how could you
even if
i am whom i’ve always been
a quick scribble
the key half broken in the lock
soft drizzle through sunlit clouds against the blur of blue
a platypus

i speak
words tumble out faster than thoughts can catch
confusion
misinterpretation
a picture taken in the dark
without flash

i have attempted conformity
normalcy
complacency
rigidity
resigned myself to abnormality

(what a misnomer)

unapologetically and with zero malice

i am who i am
whom i’ve always been
fine wine and cheeto dust covered fingertips
technicolor costumes
against grayscale scenery
loud, unafraid
quiet, guarded
polka dots on plaid
silk sheets
sandpaper

mostly nonsense

and you’ll not be the one
to make heads or tails
of me

the rain

it’s raining and i miss you.
i wish you knew how extraordinary a thing that is.

the rain talks to me
softest pit-pat of drops against the glass pane
like
a gang of cats jogging across hot summer pavement
too quick to count
slightly silent
save for the rhythm
a staccato in unison
what a paradox

but it’s singing to me
and i think of you
your voice
(sweet songs kissing my ears)
your words
(drowsy mumbled love notes late at night)
and echos of
your laughter
(the happiest of dreams)

it’s raining and my arms feel empty
(where are you)
my hands restless
(i need to touch you)
the gnawing ache in my stomach
(i am empty)

my body is in a frenzied disparate hunger
one which cannot be easily sated
appeased
quelled

so

alone
i listen to the wind
whipping water
at my window
imagining
it’s you next to me
speaking to me
singing to me
whispering to me
instead of
the rain

Damned

I didn’t want to talk to you.
Receiving your messages before, I shrugged them off.
Curtly. Succinctly.
And I owed you nothing. Not a damn thing. I didn’t have to call you back.

But I’m not built that way.
I’ve spent far too many nights reaching out to empty bottles and lonely walls echoing my wretched breathing and the staggering pace of a sickened heartbeat.
I’ve played the part of functioning human while all were none the wiser to the inner cataclysm that just seemed to be on a never ending loop of emotional implosion.

No. I didn’t want to talk to you.
But I didn’t want you to be lost in that all too familiar gaping void of isolated solitude, either.

Begrudgingly, I did what I had promised myself I would never do again.

I let you back in.

Gods curse my caring heart.

Imprisoned

Pouring regrets,
mistakes,
guilt,
into this
rocks glass

*neat please*

it’s the way…
the road
to perdition

a constant
hell
of one’s own making

exoneration
is a
pipe dream

as lucidity fades
culpability
becomes
a
faint tendril
disintegrating into
the dawn

forgiveness
teasing
with the
rising
of the sun

self-delusion

as it
diminishes

returns
to the
blurred
and sloppy
self-loathing
as the
exhaustion
of BEING
becomes a dense,
thickened, hairy
weight
on the
soul

all that is left
for respite
is sleep

only to
repeat
on the morrow

Dominoes

The ones I loved
The ones I wanted
The ones I lusted

All could give a
flying fig
for me

a history of

chasing men
who had been
nothing but
back alley
beggar boys
sneakily dressed
in much
fancier clothing
just
(faintly squint)
a tiny bit
too large
for their
diminutive
frames

all whilst
my woman’s heart,
devotion,
and
hunger
had remained
far more feeling,
staunch,
and ravenous

And like dominoes

I kept queuing
them up

Each had
been
placed
and
balanced,
precariously
forming that tenuous line
of repeated
fowls and
heartaches.

the fickleness
of the foolish

a test of my
patience

Until I
came to realize
this was
far more trouble
than it
was worth

weary sigh
head tilted
my finger gave
the smallest
poke
to the very first
pip

and

The quiet rhythmic
clacking

soothed

the
*click
*click
*click
of each
falling into the
other

closure,

leaving
a flawless
mess…
a pile
of ivory rectangles
pieces
with no
discernible match

Gingerly,
with care
and reverence

I placed each tenderly
within the case

This was a game
I no longer
cared to play.

Final Vice

I rebuilt myself
I kept the good
Dropped
*an anvil thud*
everything else

Almost.

I gave up dairy
and the smokes
the bourbon
at late night dives
the wine
while vacantly
watching
the telly
pisssssing
away
time

No more sweets
snacks
mid-afternoon donuts
as breakfast
and lunch
sometimes dinner

stopped talking
to the sociopathic
ex
listening
to their
false promises
drenched in
candy covered
shit

The Fair weather
friends
Whom I’ve bled for
While they never
broke a sweat
for
me

I let go
of my past
the mistakes
the self-loathing
the doubts
the hammering anxiety
at the weakening
bark
of my being

I did all of this.

*improvement*
*progress*
*growth*

But there’s still you.

lightly
Heavily
subtly
Obviously

Tearing it all apart.

Time Stops For No One

I write to you…

“I am falling apart
My skin
is running loose
Can you see this?
I am getting old and it
is
showing

the lines around my eyes
they are so thin
and fine

the assassins of the
passing years
no longer
hiding
they have
been
adept
bastards

I have been running
running
running

Yet no amount of diversion
is keeping
time’s
patient
and skilled
murderous
taskmasters
at bay”

You read my letter
chuckle lightly
for
my vanity
is amusing

“We All Age”

There is no one
to hear my
whimpering pleas

I wither and wisp away
dust settling
on the
eaves