Row your boat, lost man. Row your boat and flail the oars. Flock to me to find deeper shores.
I ebb with the waves and don’t fight the currents. I’m made from this salt, from these depths.
But they flock in droves to waters unknown, they want something but they don’t quite know.
They hunt like novices with paddles and poles. They aren’t pirates but fishermen who are used to fishing in prestocked holes.
I was never the answer you hoped for. I know you want me to fit the mold. You don’t want to learn to sail alone.
But sirens don’t get caught. They swim in and out of your dreams. They are myths, they are lies, they are only meant to be unobtainable things.
I won’t forget him. I won’t forget his name. I never met him. I just see his name on your bracelet.
I just see the only time I’ve ever seen you cry on that pier. You saw his name on that wall alongside thousands of brothers. I just see that intake of breath like you couldn’t believe his name would appear anywhere but your bracelet.
I won’t forget his name because you won’t forget. I won’t forget when it broke in half and you looked lost until you could custom order another one. I won’t forget him, for you. I won’t forget him because he is the only person I’ve seen twang your heart strings.
I won’t forget that he died for me. For us. That you don’t forget to wear that bracelet every day. I won’t forget, for you.
I won’t forget Jamal Rhett.
I’m “advised” on how I’m allowed to act. That I can feel whatever, but if it’s not happiness I must hold the rest back.
Its suggested that he can do no wrong. He’s tired of talking and it’s the same old song.
I was told “it’s not okay to come over in a bad mood” and I laugh because I can do whatever the fuck I want to.
I think sometimes men forget that it’s not a man’s world anymore. That we can slam all the same doors. We can be misogynistic, too. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.
I’m sorry you’re tired of pretending to care. I didn’t know I exhausted you with all my annoying feelings that are too much to bear.
I’ll just stay home and bottle them up while I sew. I’ll hem his work pants and find some plants to help grow.
Or I’ll feel however I want. I’ll act however I please. Who asks for anyone to bottle up how they feel? Who truly deserves the apology?
I was made wild by more than the thick drips from the sun. I was made lovely by the thin light the moon through the trees made.
Made to make you come undone while you watched me made from new. Made wily in case I came unglued.
He made me howl feverishly at the moon. Me howling made him make his calls, too.
He reminded me how horrible tangles could become while whipping through back roads.
He made me love the subleties of a tip toe.
Quiet in the halls so little boys could sleep. Softness that I sometimes I struggle keep.
I am made from that faded paint that so comfortably illuminates my room. Made from barefoot romps, barely clothed with you.
Kitchen sink sitting and sandy bodied “maybe”s. Rain soaked tongues and hair gripped “baby”s.
Most of me is made up without the yous. Most of me is made up of the smell of damp earth and dreams tried to dream into true.
I’m still deciding what pieces best reflect me without the yous.
She’s beautiful paint splattered all along the floors and walls. She’s brightly colored blood smattering the doors and halls.
You want to dance and spread the colors. The thick acrylic lust. You want to dip your fingers and paint like you’ve never been hurt by anyone else’s chaos.
She bleeds out an entire universe that sets in the summer sunlight. She has colors you’ve never heard of that you only discover in the haze of twilight.
You want to cover your soul in that color. You want to feel it coat your skin. You want her colors to heal you and forget that the those colors let her live.
Dazzled by the sky scape she bleeds along the ground. They scoop and claw to get some paint to spread around.
They wonder where the colors go. Paint smeared faces and fingers in the mirror. Where did all her colors go? They use up all the paint too quickly and are left in a colorless world blanketed in their blackened fears.
Ruin litters the hardwood floors. The things I’ve said deepen the already made cracks. Debris gathers in between and now we aren’t clean.
I thought I trained my tongue to be better than me but I suppose she often gets the better and poorly articulates what I mean.
I had hoped he knew my inside my heart by now. Messy, kind, honest and sometimes loud. I hoped I wouldn’t spit more dust onto the cracked floors. But here we are and now I’m sure he’s tired of mopping up my words because there are always more.
How do you change who you are? How do you manipulate your insides to match the dust free mouth he needs me to be? How do you become more clean?
I’ve always walked barefoot on these floors…now I feel like I’m not supposed to. Now I feel like I need to find shoes.
How do I change the way that I am? How do I swallow words before I ruin another man? Too honest or just too dumb? How do I fix the monster I’ve become?
He asked me if he could kiss me. I don’t remember ever being asked. I don’t remember someone doing such a sincere thing.
I am a little girl who got a sparkly new dress. Spinning around and around to see how the light catches it best.
He asked if he could kiss me and that moment replays. It repeats like my mother’s record that I obsessively learned. The sound of how he says my name is one of the prettiest lyrics I’ve heard.
He asked if he could kiss me. I’m a little girl in her brand new dress. He makes me shine. He makes me spin. He doesn’t seem to mind my mess.
When I was young I didn’t think your heart could want for different things or different men. I didn’t know your heart can be stretched so thin.
I never knew I could have different snakes stir inside of me. Different beasts awakened. But I was young; I was mistaken.
I never knew the tugs of men on beasts locked in cages. That some can tame while some coax out passionate rages.
I never knew my heart could be split in two or three or more. I always knew my Beasts were fickle things. I had to keep me safe by keeping them behind locked doors.
When I was young I never thought there was more than one kind of love. I didn’t know you could have beasts snarling inside of you. I never thought not choosing love was something people sometimes do.
I never knew that loving the captors and breakers was something hearts could do. I didn’t know that different men stir different beasts. Or that beasts sometimes don’t have the instinct to choose.
Somehow we fall into roles that our mirrors only let us see. Somehow we accept the roles and don’t allow ourselves anything else but to be.
You fell into lazy love. You became a man who pretends it is enough. You allowed yourself to make choices based on lonely. You grew into too lazy to try. You blossomed into not fighting for anyone worth a fight.
I fell into a cyclone of charging white horses. Into shields and tension stricken bows. Into fixing them all as if I am the only one who knows. I grew into my role they shoved me in. I tangled and grew back within. I became the girl who refused to stop loving him.
Sometimes gray skies can be freer than the blue from the inside of a cage. Your wings can still stretch among an overcast haze.
We let ourselves be bent into the perfect mold. You just don’t care and I always do what I’m told.