Neptunian

how deep can I go? I ask myself, wondering if there’s a bottom to my mind.

Maybe my brain is like the ocean

and the further I dive in,

the more fascinating creatures I get to see

until I get so far down in the sea floor

death becomes palpable

I can eat it for breakfast even

like a zombie worm I feed on

the carcasses of the old versions of me

in order to stay alive

in the dark.

 

yes, my mind is like the deep sea-

an extreme environment

where only the strong

survive.

Tonglen

He pulled her out into the street and with his arm around her waist, he started to sway both their bodies back and forth, a crooked smile on his face giving away his intentions.

Her feet fumbled to follow along, which made her feel grateful that their only audience then were the rows of bushes lit up in Christmas lights. It was 2 a.m. and they were drunk, but the thrill of sharing a silent dance in the middle of the street with a stranger  was far more intoxicating than all the alcohol ingested in the last couple of hours. And lucky for him, she had always been a sucker for magic and romance. For silent nights and all the possibilities in life that leads one to connect with a total stranger.

So she let him hold her small palms in his rough hands and inched herself closer to get high off his suffering, moving her body right along to his unbalanced feet as she breathed in his pain and breathed out comfort. Tonglen. A lion’s roar could’ve been heard coming from her heart then- it you had been around and were connected enough to listen.

She understood how darkness felt.

She knew he needed saving.

And as luck would have it, sometimes she liked to switch parts and become someone else’s savior for a change. Every now and then she needed to be the one who was seen as strong.

Playing Damsel in Distress was starting to get old.

my spirit animal is a cockroach

I was born good at building home inside a box.

I was born good at organizing my insides so they look nice and neat for others.

I was born good at fighting the fight and hiding the tears.

So I shouldn’t be judged too harshly when I resort to doing those things. But let’s talk about the weight of carrying the world on your shoulders.

Tell him you love your scars now that you have them, but it hurts knowing and remembering just how you got them. Tell him sometimes you wish you had just been one more privileged kid. Too. Tell him you just want to be happy. Too.

And so what if challenges gave you strength?

So what if the battles gave you character?

How far can those two traits get you these days anyways. Some of the strongest people are still having fights with God and praying for things to change.

You will survive because you have before.
Survival instinct isn’t asleep inside you any longer. I’m pretty sure that’s how these things go. But what do I really know. I don’t mind the idea of having a spirit animal I just wish mine wasn’t a cockroach.

Maybe I’ll keep the stories to myself. The pain locked tight inside.
Or maybe my heart is big enough to carry that, plus love.

For you

For the dark corners
you have learned to embrace
and the soft spaces
you still keep;
for the fragile strength
that has carried you through
and the bravery you’ve shown
when you stared death in the face
and chose instead
to live.
to love.

For the decision you make
day after day to keep hope
within reach
and let go of grief,
for the honest tears you’ve shed
so openly with yourself
and the mountains you climbed
on your way
to peace;
For your eyes and lips
and ears and fingertips
and hot breath in your lungs
for staying present
through it all;
For what was
what is
and what will be.
for growth.
For the voice you birthed from the pain
and for the courage you’ve found to walk away
and let the past
die for good.

For Spring after Winter.
For the light in the darkness.
For rebirth.
For you.

and if you forget, I’ll remind you

remind yourself that you are worthy

remind yourself every single day that

not everyone deserves to receive the

kind of love you have to give

remind yourself how hard you worked to

not feel lonely when you’re alone

and also how lonely you felt when

they gifted you hands instead of

an open heart,

when they inhaled you in

for only a moment

afraid of the responsibility of

holding your force in their lungs

remind yourself that you’re a beautiful storm

and those that don’t learn to dance in your love

will always be blown away

remind yourself of how many chances you’ve given

to the broken and afraid and of how

you being whole led them to run away-

they don’t feel needed when you’re complete

so remind yourself it’s good

when the weak ones leave

and remember, always:

you don’t need another half

just someone to match

the size of your heart and

the strength of your love.

after all

You would’ve liked the woman you saw if you had seen me last night- my skin sun kissed, hips swaying back and forth to the rhythm I learned in the only home I’ve known, to the songs I used to spend hours dancing to alone on the patio on days when the sun shone too hot and there was no one around to talk to.

You would’ve liked the way my mouth molded over the notes, my tongue dancing, vocal chords ringing, my spine standing strong and upright. You would’ve appreciated my small efforts at comedy and human connection sent to the crowd over the twisted microphone wires and afterwards I’m certain you would’ve declared that I had been born for the stage.

You were, after all, my biggest fan.

You would’ve sat right in the first row but you would’ve stood up to dance, even if your feet never did quite learn all the right steps to take.

That’s what you had me for, after all.

You would’ve liked what I have done with this life I realized I took for granted when you died.

Why have I wasted so much time?

I have learned to ask myself the hard questions even if I don’t have answers to so many of them.

Yet.

What I do know is that it isn’t enough to just breathe and pay the bills and kiss new lips every now and then. Not anymore.

You would be proud of the woman I’ve become.

If you could only see me now.