orphan

it still hits me like deep chills,

wind that flows in my bones, without any right to frost my skin

yet it does, it does

the tantalizing taste of life, the lightning-bolt-belief of light

i feel as though no one has lived before me,

how could any exist in this same place

without crumbling into dust?

I swear my intensity is unmatched

i promise the iron that crystallizes in my blood is unmet by predecessors

who are you to challenge me? i can’t even breathe

your air

this place is foreign and i will blink until the sun sets on

all these wasted words.

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Gone

Do you ever think about me?

Do you wonder how I am?

Since you left, since you left

Do you fight off what reminds you of me

Cast it out and then

Pretend we never met?

I know I touched your heart, I know

I hit some vein

If you ever come this way

Will you let the light back in?

I don’t know all your darkness, I

Don’t know all your pain

I’m sure whatever trauma stalks you

Ripped you from this place

But if the stars speak softly to you

Of love and easy grace,

Remember all the words I sent you

Remember then my face.

Medical trauma and the ghost hands

I was just watching a tv show when I saw it. Somebody being lifted from a gurney onto a hospital bed. And suddenly I could feel it. So strongly. The memory of being lifted, just like that, onto an operating table. I think maybe I was supposed to already be asleep. I can feel the many pairs of hands; I felt weightless. I should’ve been asleep. It had been a while since the anesthesia slid into my veins, I think. My specific genetic mix means not all that stuff works the way it’s supposed to. Now I can’t stop feeling those hands. The light in my face. The mask over my mouth. The dim, sleepy feeling coupled with knowing I was completely helpless and at the mercy of strangers. I can feel it like it was yesterday, but it was almost a decade ago.

Where did I go? And did I come back all the way? Part of me was missing when I woke up… or was that a different surgery? They start to blend together. They’ve cut parts of me away many times. The hands have come for me more than once. I wonder if I dream of them, the way I dream of bodies in the road. I wonder if the death that stalks me in my sleep is because my body will not heal and so my mind is eternally fractured. Do you have nightmares? Do you dream of vomiting blood, because some of your earliest memories are of capillaries bursting throughout your body? Can you still taste it in your mouth? Do you confuse the taste of salt, steel, blood, and spinal fluid sometimes?

What have I done with the time I’ve been given? I sleep and relive the nightmares I survived. I revisit the blank rooms, the unknown hands lifting me effortlessly. I dream of death waiting for everyone I love. Because I fear for them after I am gone? Because I know that to live must eventually mean to die?

I feel alone. Does anybody understand this prison in my mind? It was constructed to protect me from all the stunning blows that used to knock me off my feet. But no, they can’t knock me down anymore, because I never take my hands off the rails. I cannot love or live because I am always braced to be struck, hands clenched firmly around the guard-rails… waiting for the next earthquake to come. Is this who I am now? The waiter? The expectant-of-more-pain? Why am I in this fog of nothing? Where do I belong?

It is not in the blank room with the effortless hands lifting me away. No, it is in the sunlight and the stars. The wind and waves. I belong in the day time, under the skies, with the breeze chasing my hair. I belong to the day, one day at a time, each day, not the eternal wait. I do not belong to the shadow-dreams that try to convince me I am not real, my pain is not real. I do not belong to the eyes that see only youth and forget all that I have endured. I do not belong to the shiver of cold that licks down my spine whenever some facet of reality suggests more lifting hands in my future.

I do not belong to the hospital bed, or on the operating table. The sleep-givers do not belong in my veins, and the quiet places of the ward do not own me. I am real. I am real. My past is real. My future is far more solid than the phantom hands that keep dragging at my skin. I shake them off and continue to breathe. Nothing can own me but the Star-keeper, whose hands do not need any assistance to lift me.

I am free.

Leveled

We are all strong in our memories, coiled up within us

Dreams of daylight, power bleeding from the scratches in our vanity.

We are all certain of our humanity, cutting corners at the table

Wreathed in flame and laurel

Dismissing every weakling that would grovel for a meeting

Drunk on power until

We are stumbling in the dark, screaming for the light

Tripping from the pursuer, frightened by the sight of truth

We are powerful until the dark strips us of everything and we weep, broken, in the shadows; children

in

the night.

Do you recall the times

You called out in the night

And your voice bounced off the walls,

And all around, in spite?

 

And you weren’t careful with your words

Because you thought

the darkness

swallowed them.

 

I was there for every wish

Every lost thought and brokenness;

i stalked your breath and kept your kiss

your secrets enslaved to my shudder and fist

 

you wanted relief but you sold the release

and now

you are known by unknown entities;

LIKE ME.