Untrue/True

if you believe the stories
i am the breaker of hearts
the stealer of souls
the crusher of the dreams
carefully crafted in their deluded minds

i am the cruel
cold
indifferent
heartless
lilith
draining all livelihood
and joy
leaving a trail of
emotionally annihilated husks
in my wake

if they ever took a minute
to examine their reflection
perhaps they would see the truth of things

but i suppose
one cannot
look into a mirror
when they spend their time
sitting in the dark

i am not the one
to illuminate their surroundings

my light is my own

Speculating Cost

i met someone
with a quiet intensity
so very
excellent at small talk
with dry
hidden humor
much loved
by the neighborhood locals

no fault
could seemingly be found

so
much like a discriminating buyer
at a curio shop
i have been inspecting
dissecting
in the hopes of
protecting
any investment
i decide to put forth

i do not like
being this way
but i have
been subject to
so many instances of
Buyer’s Remorse

my heart’s wallet
cannot afford
another loss.

Solitude

when the damage has been done
and the tears
simply stop
words of remorse
fall flat
scattered atop the debris
of the aftermath
always sorry
always making promises
with no ability
to follow through

forgiveness
loses all meaning

i find
being alone
saves me the time
the energy
the wrenching
anxiety ridden
emotional
and mental upheavals
of having to absolve
or be absolved

it is suitable

the Universe speaking – a true short story

there’s a lot of people who come through the corner bar. the neighborhood middle class regulars needing a break from the kids. labor guys covered in dirt and dust, always ordering domestic. the ones who NEED the drink, hands jittery, searching for the crumpled up twenty borrowed from a friend.
and then there’s the one offs.
the ones who stop in and you never see again.
the random passers-by who had a good day, a bad day, need to pass some time for an hour or so – i am always amicable and of service, but reticent. it’s my nature.
such is the way of the local watering hole…
i think as i clock in for my shift.
another slow night. more of the same banal small talk, random chit chat with the same people, repeating the same stories, retelling the same jokes.
and…
he walks in. a one off. older, 60’s maybe, quiet at first. kind eyes. i can always see the truest intent of someone in their eyes. i am comfortably friendly.
the night goes on.
he talks.
he likes to talk, he explains to me that he’s a first generation italian and an extrovert. i respond that i am neither.
“well, that’s a shame aaaand you’re in the wrong business, hon.”
don’t i know it.
i am tired.
the constant conversations with the crowd are draining me.
even the one off.
though we’re keeping it to a basic back and forth.
nothing too personal.
hobbies, dislikes, pet peeves…
and now the bar is emptying.
he asks to close out.
i hand him his check, he signs the slip, but before he goes – he grabs my hand.
“listen. i’m an empath.”
i am visibly cynical. there is no hiding the defenses going up.
he laughs.
“oh you.” he pats my hand with the other not holding it.
“listen, i’m an empath and i’m not telling you this for any other reason that i’ve known this about myself since i was a kid. and i can feel your hesitancy right now, but hear me out. as an empath, we can always tell when there’s another one of us. you, my dear, are an empath.”
i begin to disagree, but i am cut short.
“you can call it highly intuitive if you want. i get the feeling you don’t like labels. but i bet you probably know what someone is feeling before THEY even do.”
i am silent. he’s not wrong.
“the only reason i’m bringing any of this up is because i can tell you been through some things yet still remain a KIND soul. you have a good heart. and i just want to say that i think it’s wonderful that you haven’t let those things make you hard. your kindness, your goodness – are beautiful qualities to have. and to have kept them this long… *pause*… just be careful. there are people who will take advantage of that. know when to walk away.”
i think i mumbled thank you. i was a bit taken aback.
he stood up, fit his winter hat about his head, gave the smallest smile tinged with the tiniest speck of rue, and left.
were it not for the credit card slip, i’d say he wasn’t even real.
but.
he was. and his words landed.

lately, i’ve been second guessing decisions i’ve made… this was a needed jolt to the senses.
and i know i don’t always listen to the Universe. 90% never.

so.
okay, love. i hear you. loud and clear.

*paying attention… paying attention to the Universe when it is talking to me.*

Shadows

It hit especially hard this morning.
The Melancholy.
It’s been a a good long while since it has happened. The weight of the past crushing me while I sat in my car waiting for the light to change to green. All because I took a minute to examine my surroundings. The neighborhood hit with gentrification. All the old replaced with new.
The burger place was now a bank. The corner pharmacy now empty, a For Lease sign clinging to the storefront, dusty and tattered. I knew this area once. Long ago, another life, a homeless teen sharing a basket of fries with the other delinquents. Lifting bags of chips and hygiene products from across the street.
I drove past the alley I slept in.
Before I learned that my body was a commodity that could be exchanged for a night out of the cold.
All the independent coffee shops with the bottomless cups keeping me/us warm during the long days…gone.
I felt my eyes welling.
I tried to shake the shadows off.

I kept driving. Taking deep breaths. Fighting against the rising tide of panicked sadness. And then I saw the greasy spoon I took my first child to when he was still in diapers. Yet another version of myself that I couldn’t bear to be reminded of. A young mother who knew nothing of receiving unconditional love but poured herself into loving a child she could barely care for and knowing it. Letting him reside with his father because she didn’t have her shit together enough to provide for him the way he deserved.
Drinking until the guilt faded into the next sick hungover morning.
The guilt turning into feelings of being unworthy.
Being unworthy turning to multiple attempts of suicide.

I always failed.
Because at my core, I was a coward. I didn’t want to live. But I was afraid of dying.

The pall was enveloping me quick.

My cheeks were wet with tears. This city, which I had tried to run from before, was bombarding me with all the things I had tucked away so neatly. Or so I thought. My mistakes, failings, friendships, loves, heartbreaks – my heart was flooded, drowning. No use now. So I succumbed to the tide pulling me under.

Sobbing, I thought of you.
How we were going to “make new memories to replace the old”.
There is no such thing.
The old will always resurface. Intertwined, reminding of us of who we were. What we have been through. We can be grateful that we have progressed. We have transcended the previous models. I am Me, Model 273. Maybe. I don’t know, I’ve lost track of the many skins I’ve shed. I just know that I will continue to evolve and that soon, the places and time we shared together will eventually join the rest.

Another shadow following me until I stop moving.

Splinters

How do we miss
and continue to love
the ones who have hurt us
irrevocably

is it the moments
though brief
full of promises
promises

never kept
always broken

(breadcrumbs for
emaciated birds)

shards of
good intentions
scattered
slicing
through stubborn
normally thick
skin
with ease

(tis but a flesh wound…)

like tiny splinters
hidden deep under fingernails

there throbs
a constant pain
of remembering
what was
what could have been
what will never be