Giving Up

I am never like this. The snake wraps around and squeezes my chest, but I feel pensive. I shake and shiver as my fingers carry out their duty, squeezing its own victim that fools itself into productivity: the pencil is a ghost, and I am its God.

I remember where I am, how I stand.

The sunrise is agonizing, slow, molasses. Maybe I am just a child trapped inside, tracing the window with my finger into nonsensical pictures. Only the sun can see beyond the horizon, and I am forced to watch it despite myself.

I watch a plane pass overhead and I wonder if I will ever be one of them. The snake squeezes harder, and I gasp for breath again.

Maybe this just isn’t meant to be.

I put my pencil down.

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Artwork by Masha Lifenova
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Bits and Pieces

The little bits and pieces of my body should be inconcievably insignificant. Consider the hundred million billion trillion little intricacies of my being and the curvature of my facial structure is laughably irrelevant. The way my fat sticks to my muscle is nothing compared to what makes it that way in the first place.

All the flesh or bone or fat that does or doesn’t occupy space is nothing. My body is reaching out away from its orbit of gravity to touch others. My eyes lead me to lily pads, my legs launch me to the stars. The scuffs here and there make me lived in. My body is used and exploited by myself for every inch of life it can give me.

Who am I to judge it for how it glimmers in someone else’s eyes? Their eyes are only throwing a glance anyway, as they search for the next breath, the next satisfaction, the next inspiration.

I am a whole, for all my hits and bits and glitz and pieces. I am mine.

And you are yours.

A Letter of Resentment for My Future

This is a letter to my Future.

This might sound bitter, but I just need to be real. I can’t bear the thought of a sour ending anymore. I need my happy ending, because I’d die without it.

To be frank, Future, there was a time I didn’t even care if you’d exist. I didn’t want you to exist because I had given up on you completely. Then, I accepted you’d exist but I didn’t care if it was in poverty. I didn’t care if you became dirty, bruised, cracked, or replaceable. I figured the universe doesn’t care about me, or you, my Future. I figured no one is going to remember me anyway, so why on earth should I even try?

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite.

Future, I met people who have changed my mind. I’ve been guided towards the universe like a child with her hand outstretched. I touched it for the first time. The fabric was there, it was material, and all the time I lost fretting seemed to replace itself with a new kind of power. I can’t say I don’t care, because I do. I care so much, and that’s the universe’s fault. The universe took me in her arms, so now I have to face you again. She made me promise. So here we are.

Future, I wish I could tell you to leave me alone like everything else in my life. I wish I could tell you how scared I am of you without my voice quavering. “Do me a favor. Go on a bender. Just leave me alone.” I can’t say that to you, not again. I was kidding myself when I did.

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Artwork by Masha Lifenova

Future, I want to take care of you, I just don’t know how. I’m trying, slowly. I’m picking up the pieces you left behind when you ran away, like a trail leading to your hiding place. Pick up the phone, call me back. I need you, even though I was too stupid to realize it before.

It went to my head, okay? I thought not caring about you would give me a resolve to carry on, but it did the opposite. Then I cared too much, I got too clingy, and you left me behind in a cloud of dust. Please, take me back. I promise to take care of you this time. I promise to protect you. I made that promise to the universe, and now I’m making it to you.

Future, I love you. As much as I hate it, I do. I want you to beam, to gleam, to glitter. I want you to be shiny and new. I want you to live fully, completely, healthy.

Come back, Future. Let’s make it work. I’m a different person now, and I think we can do it, together.

Hey, Future. I’m sorry shit turned out this way. I hope we can work it out.

Love,

My Past.

 

 

A Letter of Forgiveness to My Demons

First, shout out to my inability to keep a straight face. Whether I’m happy, sad, or mad, my face always gives me away. You are a sneak, you like to snitch on me, but that’s alright. Sometimes it makes for awkwardness, but other times you can make others laugh. I forgive you, lack of straight face, for making me completely transparent to both my friends and my enemies. It’s for the better, sometimes.

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Artwork by Masha Lifanova

Next on the list is my lack of focus. I can never get anything done with at least a little pressure, and I totally blame you. The irony of your existence is that I am eager to perfect every detail, but how can I if you are distracting me? Nonetheless, I have spit diamonds out when I am under pressure, even if the diamonds do end up a little bloody. You are what puts me under pressure, for better or worse, and I guess I can forgive you for that.

Third is my self doubt. I could find a cure to cancer, you would make me worry about the color of the bottle. Placing one word out of place feels like my undoing, and sometimes it can be so crippling I give up before I try. It’s not okay, definitely not, but perhaps, self-doubt, you just want me to the shoot for the stars. I forgive you for taking the wind out of my sails, because maybe I need to appreciate my journey more, not the destination.

Next is my mental illness. Continue reading “A Letter of Forgiveness to My Demons”

Thank You Letter To My Body

First, I want to thank my lungs. My lungs are small, kind of feminine. They are vindictive pranksters who take things too far. My lungs are Siamese twins, unsevered, heavenly. My lungs are sneaky. Thank you, lungs, for giving me strength.

Second, I want to thank my feet. My feet are brutes, but they like to jump high, and trek far with determination that might not be for the better. Delicate, blistered, skirmish. My feet are scared easily. Thank you, feet, for expanding my horizons.

“It’s an immense honor to have the body that I do. She keeps me alive, and the least I can do is appreciate her, cherish her, and love her for all her parts.”

Next, I want to thank my jaw line. My jaw line is a descendant of a dark ancestry, but she cuts like a knife. My jaw line likes to brood, because she sinks into the shadow of my profile. My jawline is a bad secret keeper. Thank you, jawline, for giving me an attitude.

Now I want to thank my pancreas. My pancreas has a sweet tooth. She likes to play with emotions, sometimes a little too cruelly, but always with misplaced passion. My pancreas is picky. Thank you, pancreas, for keeping me on my toes.

Fifth, I want to thank my nose. My nose is an attention seeker. My nose also hates mirrors. She is an heirloom, but her “unique” appearance makes her more of a warrior. My nose is controversial. Thank you, nose, for making me interesting to look at.

Who else to thank? My eyes. My eyes are curious. They like to stray a little too far from home and get lost. They play games with other eyes, and sometimes I wish they didn’t. My eyes are shameless flirts, but they are also incredibly sad. Thank you, eyes, for keeping me humble.

Finally, I want to thank my brain. My brain is a mysterious figure. I haven’t met her yet. I am told she can be fickle, but I’ve also heard rumors that she is incredibly powerful. I try to understand her, but I’m told that brains borrow atoms from stars. I don’t know who my brain is, but I’m sure she is breath taking. Thank you, brain, for taking care of me, even when I didn’t know it. I hope I can do the same for you, one day.

It’s an immense honor to have the body that I do. She keeps me alive, and the least I can do is appreciate her, cherish her, and love her for all her parts. This may sound dramatic, but I don’t think I would be alive if it wasn’t for my body. I am immensely grateful for the chance to have one.

Thank you, body, for carrying me. The least I can do is love you, and that’s what I endeavor to do.

Nemesis

One eye is enough, two eyes satisfy. When I catch you, rest assured it’ll be classy. I won’t cause your hurt, but I will definitely make it a point to be there and put pressure on the wound. I just have to step back and watch you unravel, then clap and smile like the belle of the hero, in a chagrined manner, with a stunning smile. I’ll make eye contact with you, but I won’t dare say a word. Good girls don’t get their feet wet. I don’t need to, anyway.

Nemesis, by Alfred Rethal (1837)

I put on a sequined dress so I can catch the light just right. I want to be glaring. Look at me, darling. Look at me sparkle. Watch me blow smoke. Inhale it so you can have one more taste of me. I know you love to hate it. Remember when you hated to love me? Remember when I coughed up blood because you were thirsty?

Now you’re shaking. You desecrated me, remember? You disrespected my girlhood, sneered at my ideas of justice, purity. You put me on a pedestal so that you could rip it from underneath me. You forgot I have wings though. You forgot they are dirtier than you. I may be fair, but my heart is blacker than you could imagine.

Kneel, criminal. Beg, vagrant. This is what you asked for, of course. I’m shining too brightly, now. The chaos overtook me, ravaged me, ripped me apart, and now I am steel. My fury is Hellenistic. You couldn’t have possibly foreseen this, but that is the white hot anger of justice you have awakened in me.

My blade is steel, cool, chilling on your sallow cheek. Feel the relief of that sensation before I make a cut, and brand you. The traitor. My traitor. My ickle baby daddy. Stain on the cloth of humanity. Vermin.

I am immaculate, I have taken the crown of thorns and placed it on my head. I’m telling you this because it’s a secret that will bind you to my throne forever.

Wink, wink, hubby. Welcome to the final act.

Hint: it’s a tragedy.

Stars, Hide Your Fires; Let Not Light See My Black And Deep Desires

Maybe it’s just us. The way we interact. The poisoned lips that speak magic, emit smoke. Perhaps I am just foolish, or incredibly ahead of the curve, but I think I know who you are, now.

I think you are someone who is hurt.

I see myself in you and I think it’s the reason why we are like this. Like that. Rash, backwards, sneering. I want to save my reflection before the ripples mar its beauty. Nothing lasts forever. It’s what I tell myself as I replay our conversations before I fall asleep thinking about the angles that make up your silhouette.

The moon has a dark side, but you are dark matter. I am supposed to be the illumination, the bright side, the play. You are the mass around it, the dark that weighs heavy on shoulders late at night, the kind that swallows people whole as they remember their own insignificance. Maybe you were brought here to remind people of that. I sure as hell know it when I look at you, and your eyes pass over mine.

I don’t think I’m gonna be able to keep my head above the water. I am supposed to be the lighthouse but I’ve become the jagged rocks underneath, hiding, snarling in the dark, washed in black. I feel stained, as if with blood I can’t wash off my hands over and over and over. The knife that set the tone of you and I, that cut into our skin to mark the beginning of our lives on the trampled grass of a battle ground. This is the same knife that separates us.

You’ve turned your back on me. I am alone, when I had only ever meant to draw you close. Now you follow the glistening apparition glittering before you instead of the cracked sound of my voice. My voice is curdled now.

I look down at the jagged rocks, and I know I am one of them. Taking a deep breath, I imagine you lurking in the castle we built together, one that is now crumpling from the inside.

I take a deep breath –