A Story In the Air (102018)

i saw him on a Thursday

found out his story was tragic on Friday

knew why on Saturday

his birthday was Tuesday

i didn’t know then

he was beautiful

 

beautiful boy, what are you running from?

i don’t think he even knows the answer to that question

post-traumatic stress

and the things he can’t forget

 

i am so sorry

but i am sure they all miss you terribly

i, too, am mentally ill

and i know they’d miss me still

 

i’m four days older than you

but some things are more the same

we have two sons

we couldn’t make it work

running away doesn’t sound so bad

sometimes things don’t make sense

 

and i’m desperately trying

to handle your story with care

i am a story-catcher and

a storyteller

 

beautiful boy, you are not alone

beautiful boy, i wish i could see

you smile

 

please go home

they’re waiting for you

California will always remember you

but Ohio’s heart breaks

beautiful boy, go

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Stepping Stones, part 2

i am twenty years old. the year is two thousand and nine. i am wearing a white dress that i designed and sewed myself. i am not happy with the dress. i don’t like how it fits and i don’t like the way i look in it. i am frustrated and angry that one person is not at my wedding. instead of being glad about all the people who are here to celebrate my special day, i fixate on just one person. i should have had my eyes fixed on my groom. i do not notice the way he looks at me. for him i am the only person that exists today. later i will see it in photographs- the way he looked at me on that day. by the time i see it we are both beginning to believe it is too late.

 

i am twenty four years old. the year is two thousand and fourteen. i can’t breathe. i didn’t see this coming. i did not believe this would happen. R is breaking up with me. he has fallen in love with someone else. this can’t be real. this isn’t happening. i can’t breathe. please don’t leave me.

 

i am twenty four years old. the year is two thousand and fourteen. i am single for the first time in my adult life. i am trying to put the pieces of my life back together and move forward. i want to be someone who my sons can be proud of. i have decided that i want to be a teacher. i have enrolled in college classes for the first time in over three years. i believe i can do this. i will not fail this time, this is what i tell myself.

 

i am twenty seven years old. the year is two thousand and sixteen. R is single and has an extra bedroom. he has asked me if i would like to move in, as his roommate. we’ve started having sex again; we are friends with benefits. it sounds like a good plan.

 

i am twenty eight years old. the year is two thousand and seventeen. i have just gotten my first paying job of my adult life. it is at a yarn store. i am excited about the possibilities of this. it is a step in the right direction. a stepping stone.

Stepping Stones, part 1

i am fourteen years old. the year is two thousand and four. my mom is away visiting my grandpa. he has cancer. he will not live much longer. i am feeling so alone. i miss my mom. i have already decided not to return to public school this year. it is August. i am sitting alone on the porch. there are no walls; it has not become my bedroom yet. i see a small piece of broken plastic in the dirt. it is sharp. i am sharp; if anyone gets close to me my anger and sadness will cut them. i pick the plastic up. i press it into my flesh, near my knee. i drag it against my skin again and again. i am bleeding. i lie when asked what happened. scraped myself on something. it was an accident.

 

i am seventeen years old. the year is two thousand and seven. my parents drove me to Burbank. we carried my things up to my third floor dormitory. at some point my dad cries. he does not want me to leave home. he has held on too tightly and i’ve been afraid to leave because i don’t want to break his heart. but at the same time i am angry at him because i want to be allowed to spread my wings and fly. i want to stop being his emotional crutch.

 

i am eighteen years old. the year is two thousand and eight. i meet a boy. he is really sweet. i tell myself i do not want a boyfriend. i want to be just friends with this boy. in a week’s time he will be my boyfriend.

This Is Not Morning

It’s four something in the morning and I’ve started my day. No one needs for me to be awake at this hour. My oldest son will wake at seven to get ready for school. My youngest, will get up about then too or he might sleep an extra hour or so. Their dad does not have to leave for work at any set time. I do not have any place that demands my presence today. So why stay awake at four a.m. with only four hours of sleep under my eyelids? I do not trust myself to go back to sleep. I’ve been having nightmares, awful bloody intense nightmares. And I’ve been longing to be wrapped up in arms that love me. But, no arms like that live here. So if the nightmares return, I can pretend like he chose me, like he’s here for me, and let him hold me when he says, “come here” or I can be honest with myself and believe I am just a whore he keeps on the side because he knows I’ll never leave while I’ve still got no place to go. Maybe I shouldn’t write blog posts at four something in the morning, but isn’t this the time I’m most honest, the time where I’m not afraid to say the things that rip me apart? It’s almost five now, and the honesty is fading and I’m running out of words, which happens when I realize there aren’t enough words in me to heal all the wounds created by every other hour of the day but four a.m.

 

Daily Prompt: Wonder/030918

Do you ever wonder what would have happened

if we could have made it work?

If we really had tried everything?

We gave up too soon, I know that.

And I still wonder if it will be me and you

again.

I have hope.

And I’ll always carry that hope,

in my backpack full of bricks,

that I’ll save because they’re ours

to build on.

I’m strong enough to carry more,

more than these bricks and more than my hope;

tell me everything and I’ll carry your tears

next to your joy.

I hope you wonder about me,

I hope you carry hope.

 

In reponse to

Wonder

Formerly Known As Anony

Hi! It’s been a while. In case you didn’t know, my name is Bree, but previously I have kept that mostly hidden on here. I started this blog in 2013 and published two posts that year, neither of which exist anymore. Then I didn’t post again until I don’t remember when exactly, but that post doesn’t exist anymore either. But in January 2016, blogging here became kind of a regular thing and I published something between a hundred and a billion posts over the span of thirteen-ish months, only to drop off the radar again in February of 2017. I definitely didn’t stop writing, I just stopped sharing. I’m not gonna fill you in on my life, at least not right now, but I am gonna post my favorite poems from the blog hiatus. And I use the word poems lightly here, almost none of them have forms and some of them are so far out in left field I doubt anyone will catch them, but imma share anyways. So, hold on, this ride might get a bit crazy.

Untitled/021917

Tell me about him.
He was sixteen once,
but then again, maybe he’s only ever been
sixteen.
He loves motorcycles.
And women,
three women.
One me.
Ink under skin, all over.
Vaguely remember owls,
screech owls.
Cigarettes,
the taste of tobacco on his lips.
The scent of bourbon
as he exhales into my hair.
Rough hands rest gently
on me.
A motorcycle accident,
I lived it a thousand times
before it ever happened.
“You hungry?” and “How are you?”
Whispers in the middle of the night
between arms
that keep holding on.
Promises to our children
that we’ll do the best we can
and then try to do better,
and those same promises
are for me too.
He’s twenty-five, a good man.

Motorcycle Reflections/021217

It’s like running in the wind and the cool night air.
And I can feel your body-heat between my thighs;
that’s how I know I could never ride with someone who didn’t love me.
The city lights look so beautiful,
and I’ve seen them before.
I’ve seen them before,
but not like this.
Every stop sign, the warmth of the engine escapes into my jacket.
Not everyone who rides dies.
And I guess that’s why
it’s not “ride and die,”
but “ride or die”
because could we ever really live
if motor oil didn’t flow thru our veins?
I wish there was a tape recorder
in my brain so I could capture every thought,
every line of this poem
written on the back of your bike,
terrified, safe, home
on the back of your bike,
bought on accident, bought on credit.
Contrast: the wind rips into me
uninvited, unwelcome, unwanted.
But who ever really wanted the wind?
Maybe the wind is the world’s breath,
reminding us we’re alive,
on the back of everything we’ve ever hated.
And I’m not in love with motorcycles,
just in love with a different part of you.

*NOTE: I wrote this poem sometime around midnight or 1 a.m., 15-ish hours later I was in a motorcycle accident, my very first accident. Do I still feel the same about motorcycles as I did as I wrote this poem? Of course.