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.

Norma

“Do you want to see me become her?”

The question had an inevitable answer. It was instinctual.

Men prefer blondes. Maybe it’s the whiff of peroxide that makes their ears perk and sniff the air. Like babies that fall asleep to heartbeats, men follow the rhythm of her hips when she walks. Hollywood follows not far from behind.

Hollywood scares Norma.

She is in disguise – or rather, out of disguise. The woman Hollywood drools over is non existent, she’s a fake out, she’s an imposter – The woman who carries Marilyn on her shoulder is Norma.

Norma is being haunted. She’s being haunted by something much more sinister than herself, bigger and darker. Once upon a time it was a hole in her chest, one that made her feel hollow, hungry, powerless. Now it takes the form of Hollywood. She was no songbird, not much to look at, but maybe it was that shattered quality that followed her through life was what drew the cameras.

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Norma shed her skin and became Marilyn, the woman with a name that rolls off the tongue like cigarette smoke. Norma exposes the sheen of her bones and the hypnotic contrast of blood on flab to call Hollywood to her heels. Hollywood likes to bite and that’s what terrifies her. Marilyn isn’t afraid at all, and that’s the point.

Marilyn follows Norma around. She looms over her, hides in the closet like a bogeyman. She possesses her body and turns her into something immaterial, “romantic”, sultry. Tap, tap, tap, her heels blend in with the sound of the city that never sleeps. Norma’s steps are even, paced. Marilyn floats behind her.

Norma can’t figure out if Marilyn is meant to protect her from Hollywood, or if she uses Norma as bait. Norma, Marilyn, and Hollywood are in a fighting ring. Is Marilyn the referee, the coach, or a third opponent? Norma never knows.

“Do you want to see me become her?”

Continue reading “Norma”

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 –