Sermon

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.

Advertisements

Update!

I don’t know how many of you have tried to contact me over the past few months or so but it was just brought to my attention that I have not been answering any of my “Dear Lex” emails.

Unfortunately, in true Lex fashion, I forgot my password to my email account linked to that specific section of my blog and had no way of retrieving it SO, without further ado, for those of you who have contacted me or would like to contact me, please do so either through my very old, very temporary email account (redlipstick94@gmail.com) OR through my personal phone number (402.450.0023) and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kind words and continuous support- on good days and bad days- thank you thank you thank you. I think of you, all the time.
xo

In Tides

Water has always been a remedy.

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.

 

Until today.

 

Statistics

statistics

Today is a bad day and I think I write better when I’m drunk.

Last year was more like turning off my phone so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for the call that was probably never coming. Every morning was exhaustion and disappointment and heavy eyes until I turned it all off. I couldn’t feel sad about loneliness if loneliness was a choice.

And I chose it.

Everyday, I chose it – keeping my own hands empty so that no one could ever tell me how unholdable they were. Keeping my feet ungrounded so that no one could ever tell me how flighty I was.

This is not a triumph story.

This year, I hate that I have to write so much about violence.

My name is

Baby

as you lean out of your car and spit at my feet. It lands in a puddle in front of me and I am thirteen in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and I run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home.

My name is

Sweetie

and I am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block.

You name us.

We are

Honey

and

Darling

and

Why the fuck won’t you talk to me.

My name is

Nice ass

and it’s two in the afternoon and I still feel my heart slam against my ribs because I am under the earth with weak lungs and even weaker fists and while you stumble down the steps with the crumbs of someone still in the corners of your mouth, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my brother who is walking behind me shouts, “She’s seventeen, you dipshit!”.

I saw the error in humans that day.

My name is

Little lady.

My name is

Sugar baby.

My name is

Fuck you and fuck your friends.

My name is

Look me in the face!

My name is

Stop frowning.

My name is

Smile.

My name is

This is a compliment.

This is not a compliment.

It’s the beginning of November and I feel like I’ve been cold long before the leaves started falling.

My name takes nice words and turns them into bullet wounds.

My name is

Damn girl.

My name is

Drunk girl.

My name is

Just let me finish.

 

I did not give you permission to “fuck the shit outta me.”

 

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

 

My name is

I cannot breathe.

 

 

I am

Lock the door once,

Lock the door twice.

Leave the lights on.

 

Stop shaking.

 

I am

Is there someone downstairs?

There’s definitely someone downstairs.

Where the fuck did the phone go?!

 

There’s no one downstairs.

 

I am

tight-chested mornings.

I am

take a quick shower so that just in case someone breaks in, you have time to get prepared.

I am

don’t forget to look over your shoulder.

 

My name is

I still remember the way the carpet tasted pressed against the side of my face as you crushed me with your one hundred and ninety pounds of booze and daddy issues.

My name is

I can’t even get high anymore without thinking about the way you so easily emptied me without any intentions of ever filling me back up.

My name is

I scrubbed my hands twenty six times the next morning in an attempt you to rid you from beneath my fingernails but sometimes, I swear, I still taste shreds of you when I’m throwing up dinner.

 

Fuck you.

I did not ask for this.

 

Today is a bad day.

For Those Who Want to be Inspirational

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing. I remember spending hours after school hiding away rocks from my backyard I deemed too fragile for violent hands in cracks of Earth no one dared explore.

Half burnt candles,

Unraveling shoe laces,

Old prescription glasses that hardly even fit at the time of being prescribed; soda stained movie stubs, nights my mom took her time raking out yesterdays and weaving tomorrows into my hair-

my God, I wish I remembered to collect those too. I’d have entire dresser fulls if I could.

They say after heartbreak, a haircut is like a clean slate for every mistake one’s ever made but I remember in the fifth grade caulking my trust into the cracks of a criminal who had no intentions of ever being mended and,

my God, I’ve cut my hair four times every year since then.

Thirty six damn times now and some days it seems as if  I have no more hair left for cutting and even less soul to be erased.

I guess I’ve kind of always been afraid; hesitant. Even in photos of me when I was small and unworldly, I could see the resistance; almost like I could call it by my own name.

Almost like I was more of a semicolon and less of an exclamation point.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

Sometimes, I am morning black coffee. A carpenter, a preacher- a halfway house savior; breaker of dollar menu buns and boxed red wine seals.

I am not always stable.

Sometimes I am caught white-knuckled between the hands of my angry god gasping for air.

I am red-light running meter, pawn shops and barred windows; second-rate security system and neon district lights. I am fleeing.

Fleeting.

Freeing.

I am underground.

I will draw you into my nine-to-five traffic; oncoming, you jump in front of slow-moving cars. You are convinced you can paint streets, burst veins. Bumpers paint you purple, paint you blue,

Paint you black.

I will knock you down like recession.

I am plywood anchored windows; two-tap needle sans dope.

Some mornings, I feel like a menagerie of outcries. The acts of defiance published on my flesh will outnumber the words in every failed actor’s this-will-be-my-big-break manuscript.

Take time to read me.

Decode me.

Run hands across the braille that brands the back of my palms.

I am fragile.

Sometimes I find myself trembling for no real reason.

This does not make me less than.

With all that I am, I want to be a hurricane of unmatched force. I want to be a tidal wave hammering at the very epicenter of the earth. I’ve never been okay with being mediocre; with being a small breeze that pulls at hats and scarves and is more of an annoyance than anything else. I want to be a tornado.

A typhoon.

An earthquake.

I am made of blood and ashes and passion and I am not a force to be reckoned with.

However, some days, I am hide and seek.

I want to be kind and gentle even when I lose things I wish would stay. I want to be strong and the right kind of violent even when I need help rebuilding. I want to be innocent and pure no matter whose dirty hands I’ve held.

However, some days, I am bulletins with tear-away numbers.

Dialed payphones and spare change.

Warped paper and hot glue.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

But I suppose that’s okay. Because we don’t make impacts based on how triumphant our lives are but,

rather,

how triumphant our journeys were.

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing.

 

Consequence of Sound

It was my mom’s birthday yesterday.

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.

When she

never

fucking

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

a shape

could not survive without

a shift.

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 Letter To The Things in Which I Am Learning to Love

To my stomach, an anomaly of soft curves made from proudly eaten cupcakes and pizza,

To my feet, calloused with midnight adventures and every tree that I have ever climbed while trying to prove to my brothers that girls are strong too,

To my hair made of tangled forests and wild vines- the dominant trait from the blood of my ancestors comprised of beasts and lion-hearted girls- I hold my head high to balance this crown.

My hands can’t fix everything no matter how badly my soul wishes they would, my eyes are wide and naïve searching for a god- a beauty that scratches deeper and realer than any manicured hand ever could- and my skin is rough and weathered and tethered but it is made of earth and young civilizations so I will not apologize.

To my body, I will apologize for betraying you because American Apparel only makes size extra small and I thought that was better, I will apologize for making you believe that freedom comes only in the form of beauty that is silken and bears a straight nose, I will apologize for starving you and abusing you and shredding you into galaxies on nights it felt too dark and too lonely to be alive, however,

I will no longer apologize for

Owning you.

To my body, my body that no longer offers ribs in the sunlight but, instead, offers strength in all lights, you are not just my body;

You are potential.

Let’s grow old together,

My friend.

Selfies in a leather bodysuit after pizza. Yolo?