Apparently, I should love my body.

It’s preached by every large, powerful woman

intended to capture the vulnerable adolescent.

“Girl, love yourself or no one else will.”

In high school. Turning myself

Inside out. Just searching

for love, like he was searching

his denim jacket for a dime bag.

Twisting my temple into,

ungodly contortions, to fit into

this self-love,

his pocket.

 

I am neither the crescendo of a big band

nor the curtain dancing with the wind

revealing your bed in the morning.

I am the sound of a broken lover.

 

You are absorbed by the threat of thinning hair and

I am still content to tuck mine behind my ears.

 

Together, we sought wisdom and self-possession,

but our ideals seemed trite once they escaped us.

We were caught cold in a furtive affair.

 

Now that you’re back, I shouldn’t touch you, but I want to;

your forehead in my lap, longing like I used to.

 

Now that you’re seeking me, I’m not surprised;

you’re partial to the afflicted, and now

that is me.

I was too young to ask for angry music

My peers had pop—but I longed for daggers masked

by piano and guitar. I wondered if your fingers

could feel my words, if you would also bleed.

I pictured the nub on your left hand, where your wedding band

should have been, and wonder if you could have been protected.

 

Now, I’m sure I’m the one the absence protected.

Not just the ring, but you, your bad taste in music

surely would have rubbed off, and my bands

played songs that weren’t so easily masked.

I could cry if I wanted, but I wasn’t so tender to bleed,

I only wanted that song to pour from my fingers.

 

Now, I look at my much older fingers,

and they look like yours, only protected

from the hard work and lies you weave—they bleed

only when provoked, my blood pours like music.

But I don’t provoke them, and if they’re masked

it’s only by a band

 

aid. When I was younger, I dated guys in bands

because whenever I looked at their fingers

they were swollen, their calluses masked

any feeling, my legs were protected

from their sensation, and they loved their music

more than me, so they didn’t notice when I would bleed.

 

When you left, mom earned a living making others bleed.

She no longer had time to mourn her missing band.

She worked until 7am then woke me for school with music,

made sure my teeth were brushed and washed between my fingers

she could see the things children try to mask,

and she kept me clean and protected.

 

Now I’m too old to need to be protected.

and for years, unprovoked, I would bleed.

For so long, I wore that mask,

whether a man, a body or a band,

I hid behind love and bulimia and music.

I was so concealed I didn’t recognize my own fingers.

 

Music is painful art, tape masks

fingers to prevent bleeding.

Bands were what I needed, in songs I was veiled, protected.

 

Remembering the days sweet blackberry juice

was worth the pricks in my fingers.

Thorns, needles—invading my flesh—

making memories?

The check on my index, my finger

got caught in the briar, I didn’t notice

until I licked my purple hand

and tasted blood.

Quickly, always anxious about returning.

No dessert—I always ate more

than I collected.

My mother’s voice, a cloud over me.

At least it’s not candy—

she gave me a band-aid

and sent me to the store

for pie.

I want to pull the

ungodly black and blonde

away from your eyes, then–

the purple from your mouth, and

show you how lovely

your palate is.

 

I wish that I could prove how

serious smoking is

and  that brains

may not look good in bikinis,

still, they get you farther

than any man’s boat.

 

Life is larger than

554 lakes,

especially ones you can’t

swim in.

I remember wanting to

make those laps alone.

In five years, it will only

be a memory for you too.

 

I want to

pull you from the toxic lapping of

melodious first sins, alas

my heart is hardly a lifeboat.

 

Lifeguard training taught me

how to practice rescue breathing

if you drowned,

but there were never any lessons

to prevent your

drifting away.

 

Hey guys. Opinions are needed. If it’s ok, I’m going to post some poems for your reading pleasure (or displeasure). I’d LOVE some feedback!

I’ll post each poem at an individual post, so that you can leave your thoughts in the comments, anonymously if you’d like. Thanks! Love you!

(Missing you)

The title is a lie. I HAVE been missing you, in fact.

Life has been nuts. We have a big announcement to make, but still can’t make it quite yet… Bear with me. I haven’t been able to blog, because I haven’t been able to talk completely publicly about what’s going on in our wooooorrrrrld. This week, though. Blogging commences. Promise.