GUYS I MADE IT
*ATTENTION TO ALL OF MY LOVELY FOLLOWERS*
For those of you who couldn’t tell already, I am a writer and I am creating a zine that will be composed of stories, poetry, and artwork about rape, sexual assault, self-esteem, abuse and mental illnesses such as eating disorders, anxiety, depression, etc. If you would like to submit your work, you can do so by clicking on the “Submissions” link in the menu bar of my newest blog “Milk”. I’m incredibly excited about this project and I hope your are too! The deadline for all submissions is November 1st.
*All submissions chosen for the zine will be announced the following week on November 8th*
Here is the link: https://morningmiilk.wordpress.com/
Last night, I went to sleep feeling like my life were beads of a rosary I no longer knew how to pray over and the night before last before last before last, you took my body like a priest takes the body of Christ during a twelve o’clock mass he forgets the sermon to.
You were never something holy.
Flesh turns to smoke, smoke turns to wine, wine turns to 808’s and I’m still trying to figure out why I thought saying your name would sound like some sort of confession my god could absolve.
This morning, I felt crucified.
But I guess this is not about how you left me bound by a crown of thorns or how you painted me in swatches of cerulean and cheap purple I’m still learning how to cover up or how pain and pane sound like saving graces when I’m drunk.
This is about how it’s 11:11 in the morning and I wish I remembered how to spill without crumbling.
This is about how I no longer know how to make “I’m still hurting” sound like hymns you want to sift your toes through or how to light my cigarettes like signal flares instead of like matchsticks to lighter fluid.
This morning, I stood over the toilet bowl wishing fingers into arms, arms into bodies, bodies into embraces; wishing that my ribs would emerge from my chest like the branches of my favorite tree but this is not supposed to sound like a metaphor.
This morning, I woke up christened in the oceans of apologies you made me feel like I was obligated to say but this is not supposed to be poetry.
Like oil spill to body of water, what you did to me was not something I could skim off and call myself a hero for.
I woke up to a medicine cabinet of pills lined up like piano keys and I don’t remember how to cry without weeping.
I wonder if Jesus knew God was going to save him.
I wonder if Hemmingway raised the handgun like a holy hand to a sinner.
This is not supposed to be poetry.
None of this is.
I said no.
I said no.
Oh god, I said no.
And I hope, one day, your confessional is not as painful as the Amens I cried out after I realized that holy doesn’t always mean whole.
Showering with the lights off.
Holding your breath beneath miles of ocean.
Crying until you can no longer breathe.
Swimming your muscles numb.
April 20th. 2010. Oil spill. Football fields of black and debris.
We made headlines.
I guess I forgot to think of humans as chemical reactions until I was reminded of the first time unholy things sparked from your mouth, knowing that you must be the conductor and, I, the charge.
When I learned about combustion in science class, I thought of the death of entire planets and the day we forgot how to say each other’s names like bible verses.
All carbon dioxide and water.
We seemed to fall apart.
Last night, I forgot what it meant to be held together by my own gravity; to be minuscule and massive, simple and complex beyond knowledge.
What it meant to have radiating energy, to come near exploding; to spend life changing, rotating, and moving.
Suddenly, I was sent hurdling.
This morning, I found sea salt caked on my wrists; a sign that the sky was darkening once more.
Talk into the sea shells. Ask the tops of my thighs, my crushed collar bones; ask my teeth cracked, acid eroded knuckles.
Ask the people who utter my name with pure rage.
They will tell you: I used to be apologetic, once.
I self-destruct in miniature ways each day.
I was never afraid of the idea of collapse.
Trigger Warning: I don’t think I’d really ever consider myself a perfectionist however, even as I type this, I find myself clicking spell-check five
Trigger Warning: Cliche people with cliche names and cliche motives don’t come with trigger warnings.
They don’t put trigger warnings on jaded men with receding hairlines just because they remind you of how light refuses to cease receding into nights, every night, or how we’re all thunderstorms and, eventually, there will come a time when we will have to part ways and recede back into the parts of sky from which we came.
They don’t put trigger warnings on the moments you realize you and the dirty laundry that has been laying on your floor for weeks now have both been wrinkled by the time spent, there,
on dirty floors.
They don’t put trigger warnings on middles.
There will always be befores. Before love. Before life. Before losing a hundred and two pounds. Before the material world invades your mind with rules about tampons and riot signs.
There will always be afters. After finding your other half. After death. Aftermath.
But there will never be trigger warnings on the gray matter; never any caution tape around the fleeting moments between the binge and the purge, the time you take hovering above the toilet seat wondering if your fingers will taste any different than the last time.
In moments of awkward silence, there will be no trigger warnings to help fillintheblanks.
There will never be construction cones surrounding the time you remember the instant you forgot pain could also be a verb.
For me, it was always a noun- always an object that burrowed between my bones like a lost little rabbit. But it had teeth and they always threatened to break my limbs. That, that was when I forgot pain was also a verb and instead remembered that I was a hyphen, a person in between feeling fine and feeling good and feeling great- a sort of
s e p a r a tion-
and I wanted to learn to join the joy and the sad, but my mouth was always a comma in which mild catastrophes and dew kissed breakfasts were always pausing to spill out.
One day, when you wake up remembering how this time, last year, you began fading into a much quieter version of yourself at the same time the leaves of early autumn did the exact opposite, remembering how your body, for a brief moment, felt like a foreign country without anyone willing to occupy it; one day when you wake up remembering how you used to let your dog off the leash so maybe it’d run into the street giving you a reason to run too, you’ll realize that there will never be an adequate amount of warnings to prepare you for this.
One day, when you wake up remembering the times you thought of windows like collections of tiny shards of glass finally understanding why pain and pane were homophones, you’ll wonder if a body unconscious is a body still. On the nights when the moon is more a word on the tip of your tongue than a saving grace positioned at such an angle in the sky that, for a little while, it almost seems believable that holy light is alive and well, you’ll wonder if living and breathing are really as intertwined as we are lead to believe.
To my mom and dad,
From now on, I will try to love the way the left brain loves the right brain if there even is such a thing. I will love like all my gray matter really does matter, like it’s more than just a scientific term, like my brain is capable of more than the grey it shades itself into every day.
I’m sorry you could never understand why I, like rainfall, wished to elope with the ground on days my brain felt like hurricanes but there are bees and yellow jackets that sting to know they’re alive and there are bees and yellow jackets that sting to inflict pain and I can’t promise you I won’t be both but I can tell you that even on days I can feel the storms rage inside me, I will wish to live twice as many times as I wish to die.
To my brothers and sisters,
I will not always be kind. I will not always be able to bite my tongue and hold back the fire living inside my mouth that threatens to turn every word into a burning building but every individual cell will still do its best to put out the flames until this body is not hot but warm.
Until this body understands that, sometimes, spitting fire is worse than swallowing flames.
Trigger Warning: May I always see my own beauty without having to break any bones.
Trigger Warning: May I always be a series of riptides that never learn how to flow in the same direction.
Trigger Warning: May I always be full of opposites; may I never be perfect.
Trigger Warning: May I be flawed and flowing in the wrong direction if it will only teach me which one is the right one. May I always be riptides and never tsunamis. I may be monstrous and aching but I never want to tear myself apart.
Sometimes I will be unforgivable. Sometimes I will be one stumbling, heaping spoonful of an apology that no one will know how to swallow and I can’t promise you there won’t be bruises. I will always be bruises. I will be full of holes that others will do their best to fill, but the truth is that maybe I can’t be saved.
But that doesn’t mean I ever have to stop trying.
Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.
I am worth stupid silly laughter, sunburns, embarrassing pictures. I am worth inner thighs. I am worth the pulp at the bottom of the orange juice carton although I was never pulp.
I will never be the last thing left at the bottom of anything. I don’t deserve rock bottom. I am not leftovers. I am not disposable.
Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.
Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.
I am worth trying.
Not my white mom’s; my black mom’s.
Well, “African-American” if you want to get technical but who wants to get technical with someone who pronounces your name wrong every goddamn time she calls,
when she calls,
if she calls.
I’m not bitter.
I guess the problem with us, as people, is that we think we are gifted with eternal time; that we can spend entire lifetimes fucking up without any repercussions. Without any consequences.
In second grade I got my first pair of glasses;
In fourth grade I got sent to the office.
In eighth grade I won my first spelling bee and, in tenth grade, I learned that words only help
when you speak them.
I spent my entire childhood wishing I could bottle thunderstorms. Heavy thunderclouds and lightning bolts fastened beneath glass, electric wind swirling like frenzied lightning bugs in mason jars – I wanted it all. I wished ink into words and words into mouths and mouths into outstretched arms and that mothers could not both arrive and depart in the same sentence.
I wished to be reckless. I wished that even when I could talk about darkness no longer, even when there were no more instruments to adequately express my anguish; even when there was nothing left to tarnish, I wished to be fearless.
You see, there will come a day when there will be plenty of time to be cobwebs, plenty of time to be bronze medals, or snail shells, or lupine seeds, or fragments of exoskeletons examined and pinned, rustling at the past, but there will never be enough time to live if you spend it wishing fantasies into realities.
Did you know that a mother bird regurgitates her food into the mouths of her children to make sure they eat?
Sometimes I wish I knew who the fuck I’ve been trying to feed by emptying myself.
I spent every shitty high school lunch period wishing my cut apple could return to itself without help, without reassurance; that its sections might remember each other. I was devastated the day I discovered that
could not survive without
I wish I had learned how to speak with words long before I learned how to speak with my body.
I wish my black mom would call me.
I wish I didn’t spend so many years trying to convince myself that fixing pain with more pain would, somehow, teach me how to survive; how to be okay.
A man with green woven eyes that each started out with a train of thought that went on and on and on ending in tangled messes pooled in his pupils took advantage of me last night. It was dark and our blood seemed to be mostly comprised of Pinnacle bullshit and chain-smoked memories; we cut off what we could but somewhere, along the line, I forgot things.
Little interwoven fibers.
There was no needle to pull the thread along.
And I forgot a few more inches of his eye string until all I had was a tiny little piece and I couldn’t quite remember just where we had started off.
I suppose I’d never seen the end of the world before last night; where salty air grips your throat violently.
Where the sea meets the sky in a dull blue line before you.
It’s where the wind caresses the tiger lilies in big ceramic vases, where the street glimmers with diamonds and emeralds of broken glass; where children’s thundering, heartbeat footsteps pound as they race for the rides in bright and foamy sandals.
Where the garbage and mystery flirt lazily with murder, where the seagulls converge on plump, glossy trash bags; where the flies hum their own ode to the stench amplified in July’s humidity.
Where tiny diners stand as they implode from within; where nothing ever changes.
It’s the immortality that lurks in the peeling, stained wallpaper, and the sticky linoleum floors and the cigarette-tainted voices of the waitresses.
I saw that last night. I saw it in the way his bottom lip missed a step when I murmured something about trust; I saw it in the way he swallowed me whole.
And maybe I’m insane for making someone so violent sound like a masterpiece but
Maybe that’s how I allow myself to forgive.
And maybe I can’t quote biblical verses or remember the story of Adam and Eve but maybe we’re all just misguided sinners in the hands of angry gods and maybe this is why 1:24 in the morning feels so goddamn beautiful even after men with heavy eyes ruin your favorite pair of underwear and
Crush your universe.