Unseen

Get up, get up.
The cacophonous cry beckons incessantly from the external world
but it’s never translated.
So you sit on the edge
of your bed and don’t belong.

When you do get up, it takes multiple attempts
because your head feels heavy and your mind is clouded
with thoughts that aren’t your own.
Your feet aren’t your own.
They don’t move the way you want them to.

It’s cold, it’s cold.
You feel it, but you don’t process it.
The wind splinters your face and freezes your tears
but you don’t care.

Your sense of self and surrounding is strangely altered.
Everything is too close and yet too
far away.
That car almost hit you. You’re sure of it.
But you don’t stop to consider the consequences because, well,
it didn’t hit you, did it?

Why did you emerge from your room?
What are you doing away from the comfort
of wallowing in your own self despair?

You have to be nice to the lady who swipes your card.
She had no part in making you depressed. She just happens
to lie in the path of this wave.
You force a smile and say ‘thank you,’
wondering if she notices.
wanting her to notice.
You don’t want her to notice.

Even though you know you shouldn’t,
you pour yourself a cup of caffeine, that monster
that makes your anxiety worse.
But at this point it doesn’t matter. You’re already here.

The walk to your table stretches endlessly
into the wilderness.
You see them staring.
Why are they staring?
Why won’t they stop staring?

There’s nothing to see.
Just a girl in a dream–
stuck in another world
and she can’t get out.

Her eyes are unseeing because she’s
detached from herself.
If you call her, she won’t hear you.
If you nudge her, she won’t flinch.
Understand this.

Maybe she’ll cry.

I’m this close.

You take another sip and wish the numbness away.
You cut the chicken and the knife slips against
the chipped ceramic bowl.
Both ways are the wrong way.
It’s turkey. It tastes like fish.

You can’t trust your senses anymore. You don’t.

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the distance

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week Six: The city you live in

I breathe you in,
you grow and expand within me,
and your towers meld together before my eyes.

I turn away.

I cry the tears you never cried,
you cower and crumble behind me,
and your glass windows supply my sad reflection.

I keep walking.

I exhale the chilly air,
you rise up stronger and fill my lungs,
and your stark silhouette remains with me

even when I blink
and we arrive at the beginning again.

in your arms

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week Five: Something someone gave me

 

the silver kettle hums softly to herself in the old ranch house

a wordless lullaby that gently rocks and cradles the mind

spinning with baby over the warm woolly red rugs

and where once there stood an old evergreen throne

memories are burned, slowly, and scattered to mingle with the pines

rain drops skitter over the roof of her memory and wobble in the corner

of a comfortably shared umbrella and linger there to contemplate

what it might be like to never feel cold again and always be warm

there in your arms the candle winks at the world and all is well

Starting Over

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week Three: Family

so-tightly-knit-if-one

f

a

l

l

s

the   whole   breaks   as
one

the ribbons f r a y
and loops unravel themselves
undone

it’s all so inconsistent
like uncertain lines
brake for no apparent reason

perhaps, in the end, they had to break
to breakthrough

Stories from 2JJ5: Let’s Do This Together

A conversation. A realization. A future and a hope.

“I believe in you. I can do this; you can do this. Take my hand. Let’s do this together.”

The night before, it was suddenly all too much. There was too much waiting, too much uncertainty. The present time felt incredibly pointless. There was no reason to get out of bed, no reason to finish any work. It was like walking into a blurry cloud and being expected to somehow hold it all together.

Perhaps there was a reason to be broken down. But where would the tearing down end and the rebuilding begin? Where was the restoration so anxiously sought after?

Stagnant. Stuck. Waiting. Again.

“I believe in you.”

That morning, getting out of bed wasn’t so hard. It took ten minutes, at most. Wash your face, brush your hair, and dress warmly, child. It’ll be okay.

“I can do this; you can do this.”

Identity was not an isolating facial feature. Identity sprung from the heart and from something, Someone, bigger and more glorious than the self. Identity was inherited. By grace and grace alone, strength was somehow found. A leader to follow. The humility to follow in the first place.

“Take my hand.”

I understand it’s hard, child. I know. I’m aware of the mirages that seek to draw you out only to let you down. I’m aware of the anger and fears boiling in your heart. I’m aware of your heart’s tendency to get dry and dusty in this wilderness. But I ask you to walk. But you won’t go alone. I’m right here, holding you. As long as you hold onto Me you will not fall. You will make it through. I promise.

“Let’s do this together.”

to Love.

52 Weeks of Gratitude, Week Two: What is love?

spinning metal doors, marking
rows and rows of tinted bottles
containing qualifications

making out to buy one, masquerading
across the floor, hurting you and–
hurting other customers

this is not Love.

torn plastic bags, shopping
hearts bleeding in waves
from the ocean’s eyes

aching with longing, sighing
to hold back what cannot follow
into a future still unclear

this is rearranging Love.

sacrificing and guarding, emotional
hearts, honor, and respect
for that which is not yet

humbling the self, elevating
another before one’s own
desperation, it’s okay to cry

this is almost Love.

waiting in winter, frozen
in time and preparing to bloom
reborn, emerging into fullness

knowing it’ll be worth it, fight
for patience, not ease and comfort
in life, it’s His story not mine

this is Love.