The Stages (a series).

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poetry / The stages (a series).

I.

I opened the door; I did. It wasn’t something I did on purpose. It was something that happened. It wasn’t done purposefully. I didn’t rub my palms together conspiratorially. I didn’t say “open chests and willing body and bright eyes.” I didn’t. I also didn’t do these things by myself. I didn’t. I think you’d say I did but that’s not true. If you weren’t lying to yourself you’d see. But you are lying. You are a liar. You’d have me sit up here and believe some
other version of events but I was there too.
Did you see that I was there, or did you see someone else?

II.

Even if
every other
thing
was
perfect
would it be?

Even if u loved me
gave me the gift i been askin 4
for months

Would it
really
mean anything?

Would it
be a salve

It shouldn’t be
this relationship shouldn’t be a balm

I am my own damn balm

If i am
my own salvation
then
the love i’m askin of u
isn’t actually necessary then

But I want it anyway

What
does that mean?

Am I healthy or not?

Is it
okay to want somebody and want yourself?

Or does wanting yourself
necessarily preclude

Longing?

III.

I think that I am healthy. I thought that I was healthy.
I hadn’t thought about you in that way in a while,
so I thought that I was done hoping against hope.
I thought that I was really done.

How long before this project of loving myself is over? When will the touch of my own palm warming my own thigh feel as good, or better, than yours or anybody else’s?

What I’m asking is, “will I always want you?”

IV.

I am leaving everything on the cutting room floor. Blood. Fingernails. Hair. I cut it all. Cut you out. Cut down to the bone; cut down to a nub. When I cut, I cut you off. I cut you out. Down. Away. Cutting feels good–unfortunately, once I start cutting there’s nothing that I won’t cut. I accidentally cut me. I cut me trying to cut you. I read that short hair girls avoid deep feeling. Well that can’t be true cuz all I have are feelings. Inconvenient, persistent, vast and clawing damn feelings. That’s all I have. It grows so wild. Hence…

V.

It is probably not enough
To pull away
I will probably always feel like I owe him something.

My resolve will probably always crumble when he makes a request of me.

But
That’s not love
Slavish devotion is not bein in love.

Accepting anything and everything from him because you think that that will make him stay is not bein in love

Makin yourself smaller is not bein in love.
Fitting your body inside the palm of his hand is not love.

U cannot hollow out your heart to make a space for his

Asking him to tell u who u are is not love
Instead,
That is a plastic romance

It is okay to heal with someone but you cannot show up
An open wound
And
Use him as a salve

VI.

Because it is not my job to make you love me. Because I am lovable.

Because it is not my job to fix you. Because you are your own person.
Because I am not alone; I have me.

Because you are not the only one. Because there are so many others.
Because you are a lesson. Because I am learning.

Because today is different from yesterday. Because life goes on.
Because I love you. Because I love myself.

Because love is not always how you want it to be. Because the universe funny like that.
Because I am here. Because I am supposed to be.

(2016)

© losethepaper, 2015-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and losethepaper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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