R: “It’s gonna be ok.”

I don’t usually click the “create new post” button on here and write what’s on my mind, I have done so occasionally, but it is much more common for me to flip thru the pages of one of my journals and pick a poem or other short written piece that I know I haven’t published yet and throw it up on here. But once in a while I need the feeling of my thumb flying across the screen of my smart phone, trying to tell as much as I can of whatever story literally just happened to me. Tonight there is one of those stories, but the words are getting stuck somewhere, maybe in my biceps, and aren’t making it to my thumbs. In the past 3 hours I’ve cried 4 times. I felt like a burden on the people who were being so generous and giving me a ride, I felt like a nuisance as I stated my opinion and my experience while surrounded by a group of women who are more mature than me both in physical years and in faith, I had an outburst when the topic of discussion hit close to home, I wanted to tell a story but there wasn’t time, and by defending my crazy I only made myself appear more crazy. I’m sure whatever I said tonight was incoherent and I can’t explain it away. And yesterday in an effort to just enjoy a conversation with a friend, I gave her all sorts of details that it seems she is collecting in order to pass judgement on my life choices and recommend all sorts of ways to fix my life. Well, the truth is lady, i just wanted to have another adult to talk to, I didn’t need for you to tell me that I need to be on meds for my mental illness and for you to claim youve seen my behavioral extremes, when really you’ve only ever seen me depressed, some days I just don’t let the depression crush my whole day and I am able to laugh and I don’t lock myself inside my house for weeks at a time, just because I put on clean clothes and earrings does not mean my depression is gone and just because I talk about something I am excited about does not mean I am having a manic episode. But this post is just more incoherent crazy person babble, reinforcing that I am in fact having some sort of episode related to my mental illness. Eff it, Im too tired to fix me right now, tomorrow has a chance and so do i.

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Reflecting on My Metaphor

i am a typewriter and someone else is pressing the keys

i am a match that won’t light

i am yarn, frayed and unraveling

i am glue that never dries

i am words written backwards

i am a stone that can’t skip

i am lukewarm coffee

i am a pen out of ink

i am an empty spool of thread

i am a threadbare sweater

i am a left sock without a right

i am a flower, always wilting

i am written in an unspoken language

i am all consonants and no vowels

i am a broken vase, not yet mended with gold

i am a butterfly with broken wings

i am an owl without voice

i am loaded scales with no counter weights

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struggling faith

lost and distant

please find me, Jesus

i’m searching

for You

 

where are you?

i know

this won’t last

“joy in the morning”

and all that

but still,

 

i’m reaching

just a lost sheep

little black sheep

with mud

on her face

 

i’ve been

here before

and found

my way again

following Your light

 

i know

You never give up

on those You call

Yours,

like me

 

look for me

until

i remember:

i am

Yours

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.

it’s a long story

is she your security blanket
or your government-issued ankle-bracelet,
or maybe you just love her
and you’re too fucking codependent?

I wrote the first verse
before you showed up tonight,
but when I saw the dust,
I knew you’d left her home.

she makes you drive lame,
like she’s precious cargo
and a bump might break her,
whereas I let you push 96

and in a Volvo too
back when it was just us.
the cop let you off easy
with just a speeding ticket for 90.

and so we stood in the driveway.
tonight I had time to stare,
to remember your face,
but not close enough to memorize

your eyes. More feet between us
than I would have liked,
but I think it was for safety
because our walls didn’t exist tonight.

I joked about being too clumsy
to be a stripper and you laughed.
A genuine laugh, probably because
you know it’s true. And now I’m taken

back to yesterday when J
“taught” me how to play guitar
and I showed him that my old acoustic
makes a pretty good drum too.

And then I remembered,
two years or so ago I wrote
“Learn to play (and sing) Sheridan
on guitar” on a list of random to-dos,

meant to help straighten
my life out and
make some sense of
a broken heart and uncertain future.

Tonight I’m looking up tab
and telling myself tomorrow
I’ll begin to learn Sheridan
and someday I’ll sing it for you.

I think this one could go on
for years because tonight
I ache to count the freckles
that color your yellow cheeks brown.

and every moment of our lives
is colliding with 30 minutes
we spent in my parents’ driveway,
encompassing fifty plus years-

our ages added together because
even our years together would be
seen different thru the other’s eyes,
@ six thirty pm on July 29th 20-16.

Catch 22

You read me so well.
Even after all this time,
you know what my words mean.
I used to be your favorite book,
but now you only leaf thru my pages once in a while.
New chapters have been written
since the last time you read me cover to cover.

So, whenever you get the courage,
pull me off the shelf,
commit the new lines to memory
and say the old ones out loud,
the ones you still know by heart.

Let every verb and every vowel
linger on your tongue.
Taste every adjective and apostrophe
of my life.

If you turn to page nine thousand nine hundred and two,
you’ll see where I first loved you.
To me that’s more important
than what happened on page eleven thousand three hundred twenty something.

I’ve written you into every chapter.
The R colored ink in my pen never runs out.