Who will give us permission to ask for the things we believe we are unworthy of?
A narcissist will make you question if you are worthy of love. They will almost make you hate yourself because they can turn your natural need for their attention against you, making it a shameful thing, making you ashamed of yourself for being so weak and pitiful. You start hating being inside your own mind, inside your own skin. You start becoming intimate with loathing.
I search for you in my blackest
my drunken, misguided North Star.
Born of cunning and velvet
and the spaces between stars,
you were clothed by your maker in all the ways I yearned for you.
Were you a fever dream I restlessly brought forth
or were you sent to torment me
for all my wanton sins?
I’ve repented of each one a thousand times
if only to remove the scent of you from every layer of my skin.
Between pleas flung into the inky night,
are you come as my salvation or my ruin?
If longing were a mountain
You are the one on which I die
With every word I free, I tear
pieces of my soul
from your double fisted grip that
caressed me and
acquainted me with bitter loss.
You, who stood silhouetted
against everything I wantonly desired.
Dark, Machiavellian symphony
with lilting melodies of aching tenderness.
With blood red lips
I whisper desperate
The depth of my longing for you
How do you kill so beautifully?
have you lit inside my veins, etching
my walls and stars with ruin?
I am become the ages
filled with echoes of unfulfilled
If I could write to you of sorrow, if I could explain this devastation,
I’d use words like utterly, and calamity, and grief.
But the words refuse my bidding, choosing to cloak themselves in darkness and half formed thoughts instead.
They shuffle off their course like drunken sailors, lose their way somewhere between half-hearted and dejected.
With quivering chins and sagging limbs, I’ve not the strength to make them dance
to fool a broken heart into being
prettier than it ever is.
One of the most beautiful and relevant poems I have read.
For the woman gangraped by the tribe of Benjamin.
Silent you were. You were
silenced. Not a word given you
in the whole merciless narrative.
Not a movement credited you
except one: prelude to the tale,
you returned to your father’s house
for four months. And one more
movement: footnote at the end,
you reach forward a hand.
Between that you are moved
as a pawn by primary players.
Nameless you are. You were
unnamed, called “concubine” and
“slave-woman” . Your “master”
was honoured as a “son-in-law”
yet you were no wife.
The whole story you travel between and with
the men meant to protect you. Father. Master (husband). Host.
They brutally betray you.
Father and son-in-law dine nightly
feast again and again, the two of them
then he takes you and “his other servant”
departs. Arrive in Gibeah.
Dialogue between master and servant.
Dialogue between master…
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A trellis of verdant roses
up the knobby ridges of my spine
Clinging fast to empty spaces
where the heart’s grandeur, like brilliant stars, would shine
Every night I traverse this Rorschach devastation
To die of grief in the light of day
Leaving fodder for the wild roses
plucked at will by all who pass this way
*One of my favorite poets is Robert Frost, and to this day I still love to recite his Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening poem every time we get the first snow of the winter. I was reading his Desert Places poem and was inspired to write something similar to his style of poetry (even though I actually dislike rhyming poems if they’re written by anyone other than Robert Frost.) I drew on my own experiences for this poem, as I’m sure Robert drew on his for his poems.
Is this who we are, then,
choreographed echoes of moments
long since faded,
like the photographs in the stack of
albums hidden in the bottom drawer
of the china cupboard,
where we still remembered how to smile
in the way only a child can.
Before disappointment came and
leached the glittering hues of innocence
from the years wrought with failing
and flying, and the terrible sepia
that stole in with the loss of childhood.
A chorus of repetition greets the day,
where mimicry is mistaken for flattery
and empty words fall like spent
bullet casings. I string them together
and loop them around my neck,
try to remember how it felt to embrace
a kaleidoscope of living color.