I can be

i can be strong.
or not.
i can be tired
i can be
nothing
laying on my back
in the grass
on a day filled with sadness
or sun
or not.
but,
i can be strong.

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Hers

pushed into a corner of history

where expectations

were born unto her

before she took her first breath

notions were dragged along her skin

in permanent ink

a map of where her life would go

respect was hers

as long as she stayed within the lines.

Holes

I wonder if I am just finding myself in the same cycles of life. Each chapter feels new and different – but as things ramp up, it all starts to feel too familiar. When repetition faces us, we wish we could identify the underlying theme; our instinct being of course to go straight to the source – the commonality being ourselves. I must be the problem, the reason things go down the same path. The dirt under my feet remains the same – even if the scenery around me changes. Here I am again, lost in my emotions, unsure if I am doing what is truly best for me for the long haul, or just appeasing myself in the right now. Is this what people mean when they tell you ‘live in the moment’? I feel like I am doing it wrong. I feel like I know what I should want but can never quite get my hands on it.
There is this hole inside of me that nothing will ever be able to fill. I think I was born with it. I think it is meant to be there forever. I think it has become a part of me, a recognizable feature, something I would feel empty without.

My hole makes me whole.

It keeps me searching, asking questions, my eyes inward rather than focused on the chaos around me that I cannot change.

I used to wonder if other people had holes like mine. My concern used to be with if I was alone in feeling this way. I don’t wonder that anymore. I could not care less if I am alone, because I have grown comfortable with feeling that way.

My alone. My hole. My wholeness.

It has nothing to do with anyone else. There is nothing anyone can do – no matter how deeply they love me (or think that they love me) – that part of me is out of reach to anyone, everyone, all others that cannot see me. It makes me wonder if I am ever meant to be truly seen. We all just want to be understood by someone else in this world. Some might even say they want to be accepted. I don’t think I care so much for others accepting me – but being understood…that is something I think we would all like very much to experience.

The After

Someday –

I will find you here, in the place where
you now stay and will remain forever.

The after, and the before.
the accessible and the invisible.
You appear to me
and I am reminded that you
are a figment of my heart
willing your presence to be
as tangible as you always were.

This is the after.
I’ve yet to become acquainted with it,
still feeling the vacancy
of the before.
The place I can never again visit.
I will not find you there
no matter how desperately I long to.

I would like to stay awhile in
the memory of you.
So that I might take with me
all we once were able to see
in that place.
You’re here now,
but I think I choose not to see you.

My heart breaks a thousand times
in just one moment spent
here – in the after.
You have moved on.
I am struggling to join you.
You have departed this world,
and yet it is me who feels like a ghost
unable to embrace
the reality
of a life that goes on
after you.

To Know You

Your eyes sweep impatiently
across my face,
as if you are searching
for me in my features –
hoping that the curve
of my cheek will open a
door into the past, telling
of pain I have endured.
The pink in my lips may
betray me, showing you
all the words I dare not
speak, but wish to hear
out loud. Studying shadows
that linger beneath my
eyes – eyes that are
staring straight back to
you, working tirelessly to
not be found out, by a
swift blink or downward
glance.
I feel you not speaking –
fearful, perhaps, of
missing a moment when
the light may fall upon
my lashes, communicating
all the ways the world
has left them damp or
rubbed raw.
I do not ask you what
you are thinking
I too am searching –
waiting. For any sign
that you want me to
know you,
the way you are endeavoring
to know me.
Faces turned inward,
cascades of silence
flow through gazes
speaking volumes of love;
deafeningly loud and impossibly
clear.