Posts Tagged ‘self injury’

That darker dawn is coming.
The light of remembered lies;
lies I was told, lies I told
to protect my innocence.

It’s gone anyway,
shattered in a hundred
different ways.

I hide in the shadowed warmth
of the old bathtub,
shower curtain half drawn
to keep out the light,
the eyes.

The lavender curtain
turns skin to bruised petals,
soft and wet,
as if from spring rain.

The faucet drips constantly,
accompanying pain.

Nothing will wash this away.

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Creature born,
fully grown;
not like a foal
on shaky legs:

invincible warrior,
claws honed
for tearing
truth
from the flesh
of unreason.

Innocent
need not fear
this spawn,
which grew,
undetected,
for years;

crawled at night
from my belly:

a force intent
on saving me.

From myself
when necessary.

It germinated
in the lush jungle
of secrets;

grew stronger
every day
until
it pulled itself
from me,
fully-formed.

Stroked
my face
with claws
like obsidian blades,

whispered
“We are one
in purpose.
I will be
your savior.”

And I believed.

I spend my time
trying
to fade
into nothing,
like stars do
at dawn.

Feel the edge
I’m dropping over.
Wonder if I care.

If I’ll miss anything
when I’m no longer here.

The brush of a hand
in passing,
warm breath
on my cheek.

Indistinct burr
of voices
through the wall
I press myself
against.
Rough stone
pushes back.

I listen,
hardly breathing,
but can’t make out
the words.

© Coin and Feather Press

Is it possible
to become
human,
after all this time
as a beast?

Learn to walk
upright,
speak
with crooked tongue.

Can I forgive
and forget,
move on
with my life;

learn
to stand tall
in ill-fitting shoes,
wearing the garb
of a traitor?

Or am I condemned
to run
barefoot
through grass so tall
it hides
what I really am;

makes me look
almost real?

Stand casual,
alert,
beside humans
sleepwalking.
Compare myself
to them.

I am full.
They are hollow.

We are different
species.

In the casual flick
of an ash,

bright gleam
of flame,

lie hate
and anger.

Violence
to my body
I’d do anyway
by other means.

Mesmerizing glow
defies
even my lifelong desire
to hurt myself:

mark permanently
into my skin,
all the feelings
I can’t express.

So I inhale
and exhale,
knowing each
breath
is a death sentence

for an asthmatic,
already struggling
to breathe –
to live life
like a human.

I no longer
staple my skin
leaving bloody marks
like fangs.

I don’t burn
or cut,
but I smoke
for the same reason.

The ash
I contemplate
today,
will be the drug
that kills me
tomorrow.

Photo credit, Brian Snelson

Eyes,
two.
I have them:
blue –

or grey
depending on
the day.

Grey hair
at my temples,
blends so well
with blonde,
few can tell
how old I am.

Two lips too,
do what lips do.
When they’re
not uncertain.

Other pieces,
fairly standard:
just one nose,
two arms and legs.
Things line up
correctly.
From an outsider’s
perspective.

Inside’s where things
get tricky.
There are more people
in here
than there should be,
and that’s not counting
me.

Who am I?
I’m one of many.
All sharing the same
crooked smile.

Same lips
have other
voices,
and these ears
hear singular things.

We all share
this body.
But we have different
friends;
unique habits,
age and gender.

Figure that out,
if you can,
and if you do,
tell me.

The whole thing
has me puzzled.

With so many
we’s in me,
I’m not even sure
who’s confused
anymore.

Is it only me?

Nowhere
is a good place to start
having nothing.

I am no longer yours.
Your problem,
your angst.

I never really was,
but you made
my problems yours.
My life became
all about
how it affected you.

Now there is nothing.

A good place
for something new

without you.

The color
of grape Kool-Aid;
purple with swirling blue.

Umbilical cord tight
around his neck,
he strangled
with every contraction.

Heart rate dropped
so perilously low,
a pediatrician was called
to be on hand…
Just-In-Case.

Pushing then swoosh
there he was,
my blue baby.

They removed
the cord from his neck,
and handed him to his father.
I stroked his face;
the same color as my nail polish.

Suction of fluid from lungs
then oxygen followed
until he grew pinker,
more human.
Still, a bloody little thing
always held by someone else.

I felt no sense of attachment.
Just crushing weight of responsibility;
knowing he was mine
completely,
at for least 18 years.

I didn’t want to get too close,
terrified by my year-old nephew’s
repeated clinical deaths.
I spent the night awake,
trying to devise ways
to make a break for it –
despite the pain.

Morning came
I was still there,
unable to figure out
how to flee into the darkness;
leave him to his father,
my mother…anyone
but me.

Then,
around the corner;
a clear acrylic bin.
I looked in –
my fatal error.
I never looked back again.

He was mine.
My child.
The one I’d waited for.
I loved his little turtle face,
strange mewling sounds,
his smell.

Through the years,
there were problems.
Bad lungs kept me afraid
that I’d lose
the only thing that mattered.

A sweet child,
beautiful, charming.
He always had that gift.

Then pre-teen,
cocky, sullen
but sometimes mine
again, at night.
I would read to him
or sing
and he would forget
that he was not a mama’s boy;
nestle into the crook of my arm.

Teenage years
spent learning how
to kill with his bare hands:
martial arts
obsessed.

Now he’s an adult.
I look back
on years
that went too fast.

All the changes
all the chances
I had to make a difference.
I messed up
most of them.

He has no need,
now, for a mother.
He wants me far away.
He’s just a cold stranger
but I love him, anyway.

If you were to ask me
what he wanted
where he lived,
or how he felt,
I could give you general answers,
gleaned from other sources.

My own son
is as alien to me
as any stranger on the street.

Looking at his baby books,
I pause at this page,
and that. Remember favorite pastimes.
They’re all past time, now.

All I have is memory
of the son I brought to earth.
Cherished as well as I was able
then let go, at his request.

People say
he loves me.
But I know it isn’t true.
He wants me to disappear
as much as I want to.

Embarrassed
by me; my scars,
my insanity;
by that fact that I exist

I am embarrassed too,
for loving him as much as I do
when I’m simply a source
of shame for him,
my former Little Boy Blue.

“Never again.”
Words of someone
with far more faith
in themselves
or circumstance
than I have.

I am unable to say
“never” or “always”,
with any degree
of certainty.

I don’t know
how tomorrow
will approach.

It might be a stealth
attack, when
I must remain alert,
attentive and hyper-vigilant
to avoid destruction.

It could
just as easily be
laid back…warm.
The sort of day
that softens my brain
like melting wax.
So relaxed,
it might run out of my ears
if I tip my head
to the side.

Most often
I tiptoe around life,
claws half out,
scared
of what it can do.

Of what I can do
to myself.
No one
is more aware than I,
of danger’s
constant presence.

A menace
to myself and others.

A half-cocked gun,
a hand grenade
pin out, lever held
with hands that tremble.

Extreme caution
is always advised.
I am never
a safe proposition.

I suspect
when you were young,
you liked to play God;
withering insects
with a magnifying glass,
under hot summer sun.
Watch them writhe
and curl.

I think it made you feel
powerful
to hurt other living things.

I am willing to bet
that you nailed live frogs
to trees;
watched them squirm
in mute agony.

I think it made you feel
less alone;
less a lonely little pawn.

Your turn to be the sadist.

It seems not
much has changed
in the last five decades.

You still amuse yourself
impaling fragile things:
beings incapable
of sound.

You suffered abuse
in silence too.

You had the choice
to tell someone.
Animals lack that option.

A childhood
littered with dead things,
slowly killed by you.
Your soul
was dying too.

First, mauled by abuse
that left deep, hidden scars;
later, by a programmed choice
to trade yourself for gain;
be it drugs, cash, or property.

You still long to repay
the indignities suffered
at other hands –
Your own self-betrayal
of accepting a life
you abhorred.

Too old, now,
to burn insects
with magnified heat,
or nail frogs to trees.
Laugh while they struggle
against the spike
in their guts.

You satisfy
the urge to torment
with emotional cruelty –
physical too, if a hapless
victim wanders by.

Spider can’t resist
a fly.
Inject just enough venom
to paralyze.

Take your time.
Extract all hope,
potential –
any sense of self-worth.
Savor the power
to annihilate.

Turn them into
the same empty shell
you are:

Hollow, Heartless Echo.