Saturday, April 2, 2011

NaPo 2 - (Thinking of a title, it used to be 'Whore')

This poem is partially from the perspective of a slightly younger me, and partially from the perspective of me now.

Most of all, this poem is fictional.


I wish I could count lovers with notches on my inner thighs
for every new hand that finds me, carve so many lines
that my body becomes an oak tree with an age
that can’t be fathomed. I wish I could be so full of
meaningless that no one could cut through me,
couldn’t find that heartwood, the remnants
of the child I used to be, and any name someone
tried to carve into my bark would be too marred
by the many nameless, placeless, faceless lines
that my body would be unreadable. Then, if only then,
it would be so easy -

but I’m all sapling, all small quivering
aspen tree, my bark blooms open in a dark array
around every, so few, names left in my body -

I am so thin-skinned. Throughout my life
I’ve only grown taller and reached my arms up
just to pray a storm wouldn’t blow though, been
too scared to plant my roots too deep because
I’ve always encountered a day where I need to
move, pluck myself from the Earth and run, run
from the names and the places and the faces
I can’t forget no matter how hard I try, but I’m
getting sick and tired of having to leave bits
of me behind, having to shed the leaves
from my limbs and run naked past other trees -
there are things I can’t erase from my body
cut as deep into me as names
a darling should never say but God, there
they are, so legible in the powdery flesh
I can’t cover them up with any amount of
stupid bitch
fucking idiot
‘woman’ spat so deep into me I can’t
shake it free, some days I wonder
if that is all I can really be, ‘woman’
thrown right into my lips that now
it sounds exactly like ‘whore’ to me -

there are days I can’t sleep
because the names are burning
in my sides, days the wires cross -
and Jesus Fucking Christ, who the Fuck
is touching me? Days like that even I
can’t find my way in to myself,
feel so detached from my hands
I want to cut them free, want to cut
the names free, but please God
make the memories leave me, I’ll pray
if you can just leave me be, God,
just cut out my eyes
so I can’t see their faces staring down
at me, God
tell me there are other things I can be, God,
if you’ve ever answered a prayer answer it here -
I can feel their roots tugging in
places, some days I feel nothing ever should,
God, I’ve been reaching up so high but
all I ever find is silence -

I can feel my roots torn loose again
prematurely pulled because they’ve
never learned to just be, can’t stare
straight into the eyes of those around me -

who would have ever thought
pain could be so holy -

so full of holes, and cracks
where a smile couldn’t
get through, and God

I have every reason
to have stopped believing in you,

but for once in my life, this
isn’t about you

this is about me, sick of
running, so sick of my leaves
leaving me because of you,
God, this is about me, no longer
reaching higher to you, no longer seeking
what I could never find, no, I’m planting my
roots here, grounding myself in whoever the
Hell I may be, whatever the Hell I may do,
whoever the Hell I may fuck, and God
I may never be able to cross out every name
but if there is one I’ll be sure to cover with
another, it will be the one
you’ve carved in me.

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