(I Wrote all of these last year)

“And if you love, if you really love,
our guns will wilt.”

Who stole me from the west?
I wondered after the first night
I layed down with your friend and said:
I used to feel split in two,
but suddenly I feel the like the two halves of me
are getting closer to completion.

He might not admit it,
but I said it.
I don’t understand it,
but something is definitely shifting.
I walked in,
looking for a fight
everywhere I’ve ever been.
I seek blood and a formidable opponent.
They all pretended to cater to the
noise and nonsense and they simply
lied about their magic.
They didn’t know me,
they couldn’t tame me,
save me.
They tried to tie me up,
but didn’t have the right rope to hang me.
Teach me all your spells,
particularly about the one I seem under
and the one that can’t
stop me from devoting my life
to something that I only tasted very briefly
but crave all the time.
Are you the baptism I was looking for?

I was born
unfinished
and the world,
knew how to rearrange me;
get me places.
It was always the men
they dangled,
so whenever one asked if I want to see a new home,
a new city,
a new trash pile or savior,
like a gun to the temple,
well God, that’s a no-brainer.
What was I after?
The something that was seeking me.
And I, black but devout,
put palms together,
complied.

Humility is not my strong suit,
and I keep asking the stars to oblige me
with a favor.
We know I have no real power.
Let me tell you how this all started:
I drank a bottle of whiskey and what I thought
was an epiphany, had the idea to
crash my car into a parked cement mixer so that I could finally
rest,
be buried,
make amends to the world for my harrowing
sorrow that ate every flower,
every finger,
everything that tried to soothe me,
I devoured.
I wanted to be ripped to a million tiny pieces
by all the fiending demons
I’ve been feeding with my malignance.
(you asked for it)
That’s the closest thing to real death I’ve ever experienced.
You know you broke a rib cage and maybe half your brain
but you enter a jail cell and they keep you breathing so you make
one very interesting five year plan
that sounds like a lot like
slow-cooked suicide.
You pray:
give me what I fucking deserve.

God also gives grace,
so other people can get what they deserve.
And the saints mastered sleight of hand,
french kissed me,
broke me out,
We wish you hell, Sarah!
released me back into the wild
with my sword and my notebook
and my heresy
and my broken, beating wings
that seem to only fly south so I could learn the art of
taming fire when I should have been bathing.
Insincere reverence doesn’t come without
payback.

Tell me,
what do you really see besides
right fucking through me?
When I say fucking I mean it lovingly.
I mean at night.
I mean in the morning.
I mean when my soul enters your chest at night
to stay warm and to feel the elusive jungle
that I have been chasing
eat her alive.
I mean right now and in your mind.
I mean, what does my soul feel like?
What does your future like?
I mean, what do those daydreams look like?
What do you think of all this?
I’ll never know
when some bus rolls by and you see
my name in big cursive letters
and you already know my next move
is usually to run or
to lie.
But I know what you feel like.
I know what you mean in silence.
And how could I leave?
Where would I even be?
I found you.
What do you deserve?

Tell me,
where do you keep your pocketknife?
Which part of me do you want to sink your
teeth into first?
It’s hard not to bite the thing
that haunts you.
Is it my throat that you’re after?
My wrists?
My heart?
My effusive tongue that just never quits
once it barks?
This year has been one assault
on my senses and I kept
surprisingly quiet about my descent,
for being so loquacious,
I hid.
I learned how to disappear completely.
I pulled out every stitch and painted it.
I tore my body apart.
I chased every shadow.
I visited every grave.
I summoned the night to take me,
pick out every blind spot
and skin me.
Accelerated plans:
the entire year long crisis and sudden flames,
sudden awakening,
sudden remembering every gift I’ve been given,
everything I ever loved did come back to me
and what I have done with it?

It didn’t start with a car crash,
but a question you asked:
do you think God brought you here for a special reason?

Tell me, what do your prayers sound like?

“near death”

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