Before I Move

 

I wonder how long
It will be
Till I get tired
Of sitting in hopes
And maybe’s
And if’s,
Looking at everyone else
Live
And wondering
How to do it myself

How long
Before I abandon
My efforts
Towards creating a plan
And simply
Move

With the feeling
That pushes me
The vibration
That pulls me

How long before I stop
Telling myself
That I can’t
Because I’m not strong
Or extraordinary

How long before I realise
That I don’t need to be
Either of the two

How long before I stop standing
Before I stop lying down
Before I stop sitting
In anxious impatience

How long before I move

15 Hours Before Now

Sometimes I remember again.

The thought enters my mind
and I hold on to it
instead of allowing it to pass.

For a second,
maybe three,
time speeds across my eyes.

My heart sinks.
It feels as if someone has tugged hard
on a string attached to it,
the way a truck driver would
sound his horn.

My body follows suit, quickly descending
as if it is being pulled into a well of water,
but just before my nostrils
go beneath the surface

I stop.

I mentally shake my head.
I throw the thought away.
I have to,
otherwise this paralysing fear
will spread through my being.

I release the breath
I had sucked in
three seconds before.

I sit upright.
I take another breath
and release it.

This is unproductive.
It will do me no good.
I will eventually die.
I don’t know when.
I cannot change this.
I will never be able to.

Continue to breathe.
Leave death alone.
It will come in due time.

Do not ask questions.
There is no one to tell you
why you were put here.

For now go home and sleep.
You have a long day tomorrow.

Anything But Strong

Maybe there isn’t anything to say,
But there’s way too much to feel
And it’s too bad there isn’t a dictionary
Embedded inside me
So I could put a name to it all

This conundrum, these convoluted thoughts
That are chasing each other
The way a dog chases after its tail
And the same way it never catches it,
They never reach a conclusion
A solution
Or build a firm resolve to action

It’s a roller coaster –
But a slow one –
Pushing its way through frozen time
And busying yourself
With moving images on screens
And sounds from speakers
Doesn’t make it stop moving
Doesn’t give you an answer

And then you revert
To that old question, thought, whatever:
Who brought you into this
So you could suffer this way?

And you hold your tears in
Because you’re in a public space
And you can’t let the world see you
Being anything but strong.

Messages Misunderstood

cranes

More messages. He calls me baby and I shake my head. He doesn’t know what the problem is. I say there isn’t one.

Things had tided over, sort of. I was trying not to think about it and move on, cuz it’s dumb really. I have a life I need to figure out. I don’t want to spend my time arguing over word choice that wasn’t bad or intentionally hurtful. I have mood swings. We both know this. No need to blow shit up.

“Sounds like you don’t want me to call you that.”

“Whatever you want. I’m window shopping cuz I have some time. I’m hungry though, but there isn’t anything I want to eat [the sad face emoji with the eyes squeezed shut]. ”

“Fine. So you actually have a problem with me and keep saying everything is OK?”

I don’t understand this association. I suppose it makes some sense, but that’s not what I meant.

“There’s no need for the ‘with me’. I just don’t like being called baby most of the time. The problem isn’t ‘with you’ it’s with what you said.”

He says he doesn’t get it.

More misunderstandings. More messages. I don’t get to tell him that going to grad school for sociology instead of social work is weighing on my mind. I’d prefer to talk about that instead.

According to him, he doesn’t mean anything to me and things are always fine until he opens up.

We misunderstand each other a few more times. I’ve grown used to this. I don’t get annoyed much anymore when he says something I can’t comprehend. I still get annoyed however, when he doesn’t understand me. Most times I just can’t be bothered. I can’t be bothered with a lot of things.

He says for this relationship to work he should lie to me, because that’s when I’m happy. I say “well that’s sad.”

telephonewires4

“How was your night?”

“Mm. It was alright. Better than staying home with nothing to do wondering what to do with my time.”

I forgot what he said here. Maybe he was alluding to something I had implied earlier.

I don’t remember exactly what my response was either, but it was a ramble and went something to the effect of

“I love you. I really do, I think I love you, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Like after this trip, I came back and I felt really positive about the relationship, but… Like the book I just finished reading is about ageing – the guy is telling the story over generations and you just see time going and you grow old and your body sags and I don’t even have the person I love with me so I can spend as much time with him as possible and cherish every moment I can. I just feel like in life there are always choices to make. There’s A and B and you have to choose one. Or maybe you say none of the above and you stay where you are, but either way time is going. It’s always going and you can’t get it back. So even if you choose A, you can’t come back and say let’s see how B is if A doesn’t work out. Or if you stay stuck where you are, time is still going no matter what you do. Like I’m 23 and other people my age are making steps. I don’t see what I’m doing with my life. I graduated with a degree, was happy when I graduated, but now what am I doing with it? I’m $40,000 in debt for a degree that I’m not using. Should I go to grad school? But I’m not sure I want to spend another $30,000+ or get that much in loans and then have it turn out to be something I don’t want. I just feel like my life is wasting and I don’t even have the person I love with me to hug and maybe just not think about it.”

“So what are you going to do about it?”

“I’m going to go to sleep cuz I have work in the morning.”

I wake up and see that the call has been disconnected. There is a message from him. I don’t read it. I had asked him if I was going to wake up to messages on my phone. I strongly dislike that; I don’t see the point when he could just speak to me. What is the point of being on the phone.

I get out of bed, strip and go to the bathroom. I brush my teeth in a rush while still trying to do a good job. After I shower and get back to my room, I try to remember what I had decided to wear. I change my mind, not wanting to wear heals two days in a row.

Maybe while eating my bowl of cereal, maybe afterwards, I read his message. I’m not in the mood, but I do it anyway.

It says something like if you wonder what I saw in you when we were friends and chose to be in a relationship with you even though you’re so far away, it’s “self-respect”. It caused me to trust you. …I know I have a woman of quality [three heart eyes and a heart kissing face].

My eyes run over the message quickly, trying to get the gist of it. I respond with “OK” and “gm” for good morning with a kissing face, but not the one with the heart and not the one with the blushing cheeks.

womanwater

Waves rush
To lap at my shores.
I run, wanting
Not to be eroded –
My hard shell
So long in the making.

I am overtaken;
My airways suddenly
Blocked with grief
And regret.

I search myself
For answers,
A way out;
There is nothing
But paralysing fear.

My feet kick,
My arms flail,
I lash my head
From side to side.
My locks weave around my face.

This is it,
I tell myself.
This is the end
I always knew would come.

My limbs grow tired.
They stop their resistance.
I try again
For one last breath –
There is nothing.
I focus my eyes
On the sun
Far above the surface.
I look
Until I can no longer see.

old-forest

there is no fire.
the brutal winds of winter
have long massacred the flames
that once allowed their light
to dance against our bruised faces.

our central place,
always adept at holding us together,
restoring worn spirits and
reigniting passion within our bones,
returned to its place
in the earth
where it waits for us to follow.

we move slowly in the forest,
aided by the faint light of the moon
which knows no discretion,
revealing our figures to our prey.

we fight against them
and ourselves,
trying to become more skillful hunters,
more enlightened men.

we dance in the open patches
of our field
and moan in the private spaces
of our tents
longing for fulfillment
and an end.

we gather
with painted faces
and hidden scars,
loud voices
and barren wombs.
we stomp the soil
and beg for it to take us,
to remove us from our apathy.
we love ourselves
and each other
yet kill
when our purposes are no longer served.

it is the way of our kind,
as witnessed by the sun,
as seen in our destitute souls.