Serendipity

Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: slam poetry

170

this time last year
i was your lover’s ghost
it wasn’t long till your hands slipped
and when you threw me against the wall
my head cracked open
blood splattered on the musty plaster
unveiling all our flaws

this time last year
you had me down on my knees
confessing to a life of sin and tragedy
you picked me up and dusted me clean
held my hand and watched me scream
i woke up to your smiling face
and loved you an eternity

this time last year
you taught me a brilliant lie
if you want someone to stay
whisper i love you in the most sincere voice
promise to heal and make sure you take
steal their heart then cast it away
keep her in her place

169

I’ll wait for you, but I won’t call you, I don’t wish to burden you, I don’t need any more empty promises. You’ll move on just like all the others, you won’t look back, you won’t see my hand prints in the sand and as I’m crawling back with blood on my hands, you’ll tell her you’ve forgotten my name.

I’ll be in the mirror when you’re kissing her neck and her lipstick stains will show up as bruises on my skin. I’ll find your late night whispers when you’re not really missing me, you’ll be too busy memorizing her curves. I’ll hide these tears of goodbyes because there’s no need for you to know just how much it hurts. We were never meant for do or die; we are too strong for apologies.

We’ve been going backwards darling, you’ve known it all along. You said yes too quickly and you’ve been wanting to move on. You’ve been dreaming of freedom and I was only weighing you down. You wanted to kiss my scars away, but you don’t love them the way that I do. They are not surface marks, they are deeper than flesh and bone, they are the skeletons of my wounded soul, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I wouldn’t be anything without them. I’d be so lost without my sadness and the joy that you promised me would only lead to a new broken home.

164

When you left me, did it feel like dying or did you feel alive for the first time? You wiped tears off my face and told me you hated seeing me cry, but I caught your smile when you thought I wasn’t looking. A part of you liked to see me suffer, didn’t you?

When you said you didn’t love me, I was sure that you were lying, or something had clouded your judgment and all I had to do was remind you what made you fall in the first place. I teased and taunted, bribed and begged, but you weren’t just leaving, you had already left.

When you called me a monster, was it like looking in a mirror or was it like seeing me for the very first time? I never took you for a fool but I didn’t want to call you a liar. I still catch myself defending you at times when there’s clearly nothing left to salvage. You cleaned me up only to find you didn’t like me sober.

When you said my name, it felt like coming home for the first time since he passed away. Something in your voice made me feel safe, the same way he always did, and I have not heard it anywhere since. But it didn’t take long for you to replace it with shorter versions like ‘babe’ and I should have noticed I was the only one you didn’t have time for. When you called me darling I should have remembered that only boys meant that sweetly, and you were a man. I was not going to quietly close the curtains to our play, I was going to break your world even if it took the last breath out of me. It’s been a while since someone fought back, hasn’t it? I refused to destroy my life for you, I did not lay down and worship your mistakes. I will not make excuses for your actions or romanticise your cruelty as the innocent acts of a lost boy. I will stand my ground. I will right your wrongs. This ship will not go down easy.

153

i am creating a revolution
with skin and bones
still unbroken, untainted by scars that threatened to win

i am cleaning the residue
stained memories
silent evidence of who we could have been

i am drawing a picture
frames of disjointed past
seeking redemption for mistakes you pushed me to make

i am living a life
with no shoulders to lean on
tired of the blind leading the blind

i am hoarding sins
no one is here to save me
from the masochist who craves destruction

i am composing melodies
lullabies don’t lull me to sleep
the way your voice did

i am fighting fire
with fire
tearing down walls of insincere apologies

i am cheating death
leaving only ashes
to deal with unanswered questions 

i am luring loneliness
carved from leftover heartache
it will take more than a lifetime to forget me

152

Remember his soft blonde curls, the way his lips opened to steal the breath from yours. How he always smiled like he knew a secret, and the way he understood the value of people but never their worth.

Remember the nights because they were the hardest, with no distractions to protect you from dangerous thoughts. The way his hands knew exactly how to please you, but every word that he spoke turned into a curse.

Remember the days when the sun was bright but your home was covered in clouds of his anger and nothing could tame the nature of his violent spirit. How the children’s laughter never amused him and nothing you did ever made him less bitter.

Remember the vows you repeated after one another, when love seemed stronger than your doubts and he had promised you a future. The wine had tasted sweet but the hangover was torture, the veil had been lifted and it was too late to leave the monster.

Remember the lies, the women, the drinking and the pills. The phone calls, the chases, the diamonds and the will. When it stopped mattering whether you left or stayed, when right and wrong rested on who he chose to blame.

So sign the papers and leave the past behind. Shut the doors and open a new chapter of your life. Remember how to smile without the taste of blood in your mouth, and teach your children how to love without leaving destruction in their wake.

149

Tell me what’s the best thing that happened to you today, even if it’s not that great, tell me anyway. Tell me the name of the song you listen to when no one is around to judge you. Tell me about the last time you danced like no one was watching, and sang outside the shower.

Tell me about the girl who loved to cook for you, and even though it was hard to chew, you pretended it wasn’t terrible because her smile made it easier to swallow. Tell me about your first kiss, did you use your tongue or were you too shy to taste her chapstick. Tell me about the girl who moved mountains for you so you could walk quicker only to end up leaving her quickly. 

Tell me about the time your mother yelled at you and made you feel worthless, but years later you realised you’d already forgiven her. Tell me about the last time you hugged your father, and the first time you became taller than him. Tell me about the last time you looked at the stars and who you wished you were standing next to. Tell me the colour of the ocean the last time you really paid attention, and tell me if you’ve ever felt like you were drowning under someone else’s skin. Tell me about your best friends from school, why you stopped talking, and how much you’ve missed those innocent friendships.

Tell me about the girl you loved, the way the room would shrink around her, and how your world almost disappeared when she walked out of your life. Tell me about the time you finally ran the blade across your wrists just to see what it was like, only to have it hurt more than you expected, and wonder how she ever got addicted. Tell me if you’ve lost count of the times you almost called her, wanting to hear her voice again, but stopped because you knew it was indecent.  Tell me you won’t touch another body until you’ve held their soul and felt the weight of how heavy love can be. 

 

145

I find love everywhere, I see it in every corner, I seize it at every chance. I find it in your eyes, when you stare at me with such stunning intensity that I almost believed it meant something. There was hardly enough time for us to get to know one another, but when I woke up next to you that morning and didn’t miss him anymore, I knew you were my bliss.

I find it in your lips, when you kissed me so sweetly I had to remind myself the softer it was, the stronger the poison. I never intended for you to be different but somehow I felt protected for those precious moments when you weren’t afraid to touch me. I let myself drift to sleep with a smile on my face, dreaming about happier times.

I find it in your arms, when you held me so lightly I wanted you to grab my throat so I could feel my survival instincts kick in. I wanted you to leave bruises so I could remember each time you pretended I mattered. I wanted it to hurt and I needed the pain to have substance. I wanted you to erase my past and teach me how to start over again. 

I find it in your words, even though you treasure them and utter so few, I try so hard to listen, terrified I’ll miss something important. I look for hints and chances that maybe this could lead to more faith in some twisted way because that’s how I live; I rely on wishful thinking.

I find it in the air, when everything else feels unimportant, when the bare essentials that allow us to trudge through the drudgery flow with sincerity and your smile reminds me to keep breathing. I don’t know how to live with being lonely, but lying in the wrong arms feels worse than being alone.

I find it in your presence, the calm, the serenity, everything you bring me so effortlessly, everything that makes you one of a kind. I want to learn how to be that peaceful, how to be less hateful, how to return to the basics and empathise with the pointlessness of it all, how we’re all suffering equally in a way because it all ends the same. We try, we fail, we die, we rot. All is not fair in love and war, but all is fair in life and death.

I find it in this empty bed, as I wonder how good it would feel to be lying next to you again. I rested my head on your chest and my mind escaped. I wrapped my legs around yours, indulging myself in all the small ways I still have left.

I find it in every lit cigarette, in every tar filled breath, because deep down I’ve always been a little dirty. Sometimes the things that destroy us attract us the most, sometimes we aren’t very smart about who or what we love, but sometimes that’s okay.

I find it in the way you played with my hair, when you considered pulling it but decided not to, because we didn’t know each other that well yet.  I find it in the goosebumps that rise when I feel your hot breath against my neck and I pretend my breathing is even so you’ll think I’m sleeping. I found it in our last kiss, maybe our last kiss ever, and I just wanted to thank you for taking a chance on me.

141

let me tell you about the time
he passed a cigarette and accidentally burnt my skin
but instead of saying sorry he laughed
at my clumsiness and
told me to be more careful next time

let me tell you about the time
he made me coffee and never asked if i took milk or sugar
and I drank it black with a grimace
too grateful to complain
but I knew he noticed anyway

let me tell you about the time
when I leaned in then regretted my sin
because he was still too far to kiss
but it was too late to leave with nothing
so i hugged him awkwardly

let me tell you about the time
i caught him staring at the scar on my leg
but never stopped to ask me what happened
I suppose he simply didn’t care
maybe that’s the worst injury

136

When the girl stumbles into your life with eyes that glitter and blood stained lips that demand to be kissed, do not love her; look past the sparkles and shades, the cashmere scarves and stilettos sharp as needlepoint. Do not fall for her innocent smile and demure demeanor, she is not an open book that is safe for you to read. She will trap you with her words and steal the breath from your lungs for comic relief. She will smell like a poisonous flower, sickeningly sweet, and the scent will linger long after she leaves you for another. She will leave them too.

Do not mistake her for your happy ending, do not seek to understand what you cannot begin to comprehend. Do not follow her footsteps when she remembers how to run. You will trip and bones will break, and she won’t have the patience to stay by your side while they mend. Do not call her baby, or sweetheart, or darling. She will laugh at your amateur attempts to lure her into intimacy, and the taste of betrayal from old lovers will cut like ice and you will freeze.

You’re not the one she wants, not even the one she needs. Do not give her the chance to break your heart in her lonely quest for vengeance.

But when the girl comes to you, hiding tears behind her lashes, grant her mercy and show her the path that leads to forgiveness. A monster stole her happiness and left her with a rotting body and a decaying heart; but she is a survivor, she will find peace.

133

I had fallen a long way
To tell you not to come after me
Softly slowly silently you stole what you never intended to keep
Left it on the kitchen counter
I have looked under all the knives
Trying to find old demons to hunt you down with
But all I found were petty mistakes
Our first kiss
My only pleasant memory
He accused me of smiling too much
With such sincerity you should have been a witness so you could learn
It’s impolite to put out cigarettes on fresh wounds
Still bleeding, I told my therapist and he called you selfish
I called your mother and she told me she loves you no matter what you did
I have not been able to lie in bed without feeling my bones ache and kicking invisible enemies
I have been seeing death in every mirror, every window
Telling me it’s time to leave