The Timer’s Gone Off Part II

I worry that I’ve betrayed my child by bringing him into this world without his consent. 

“I hold an atlas in my lap

Run my fingers across the expanse and whisper,

Where does it hurt? 

And it answers 

Everywhere

Everywhere

Everywhere.”

And I stare at my beautiful child and hope that I didn’t bring him here just to be broken and to break others. That I didn’t bring him here just to watch every beautiful thing fade or burn or shatter. 

That I didn’t bring him here to shatter. 

I’m scared of so much. 

But I know, I know there are so many ways to grow up brave and kind and bursting at the seams with beauty, because I get to live in this room with all of you. 

You are part of the reason my arms crave another child.

Part of the reason a graveyard of negative pregnancy tests hurt so deeply 

Part of the reason I kept trying despite the pain, kept trying despite parts of me wanting to detach from hope.

And you are part of the reason I couldn’t stop smiling on May 1st when two stripes appeared. 

Because you have reminded me that on January 2nd, when I get to hold my 2nd child in my arms, he or she or they will be entering a world more brave and beautiful because of you. 

They’ll exist. And despite the bone-deep fear, the “what kind of world are they entering” late-night worries, they’ll exist. And when I think of you, that doesn’t feel so scary. 

You are an altar upon which I lay my thank yous and my hope. 

An altar upon which I hope you lay your thank yous and your hope. 

You are beautiful and you are brave. 

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you.

*Lines 2-8 are borrowed from Warsan Shire

4.15 Open Mic Recap

The pee goblin demanded I pee/ head growing faint/ gods among the stars/ love is a coffin/ unlocked you choose to stay/ grasp my hand in yours/ I can feel myself on the ledge/ hero was the villain all along/ sell your soul/ write in blood while I sweep up broken glass/ the crowded room pushes the breath out of my lungs/ signs of another episode/ only a ghost remains/ to wash down the pills/ careful not to mix them together/ all I see is the spilled cups/ you taught my eyes to see/ after promising, you leaned on her shoulder/ the problem with warning signs is that I’m only one person/ and I want to return to the home I made at rock bottom/ bones begin to crack/ the relentless tempest of pain/ without shadows on the other side/ if time is infinite/ please tell my story/ knees pressed into the wooden floors/ in this desolate world/ I never want to feel weak/ but of course I don’t get to decide/ I have to believe as well/ the sting has become addicting/ all the colors of a sunset crushed into a mushroom cloud/ until all you can hear has gone with a heartbeat/ a hopeless romantic/ crippling existentialism/ window open even when it snows/ my mother married a bully/ nothing is as accurate as a child’s instincts/ I’m photoshopped into this neurotypical world/ they tapped fingers in time with my tears/ only friends with the moon/ love doesn’t last/ love isn’t fun/ but I want to sew myself into your heart/ my anxiety whispers into my ears/ snipping people away like petals/ maybe just maybe something beautiful is underneath/ but I’m utterly powerless/ white wash the canvas/ don’t cling on for too long/ dead hands on ice/ distant stars flicker above/ until eyes close once again/ why doesn’t he fade more easily/ I’m supposed to be happy now/ because guess what/ you’ll be okay one day/ a butterfly effect/ not simply repeating the thoughts of others/ into the abyss

OPEN MIC WEEEEEEEEK

You better believe we got an open mic this Friday! April 15th, 6-8 pm, Skyridge, room C242. There will be good words, good vibes, and good treats (and you may get to match faces to pen names). Be there or be…somewhere else, I guess.

(But like, you should come because we love you and want to hear your words)

3.11.22

rainbows that cleanse/here comes the motherfreaking sun/ we should get to be happy if we want to be/ intervention of some divine manipulator/ anyway back to the haiku/ weep undercover/ when the rivers run dry/ time in a jar/ knowing the ink gets me/ our names side by side/ all those times set up to fail/ my thoughts are locked/ not getting that much traction/ hollow shadows/ and I don’t really know who I am/ died the same day/ in your tender hands/ did I say that already/ scrolling through our camera rolls/ I hate growing up, growing apart/ just stuck/ crawl on your knees/ duplicate yourself/ something dark is going down/ human just like me/ you belong here/ the prevailing pain of passion/ haven’t learned my lesson/ how do I find the words/ don’t question, just laugh/ rebound for the heartbroken/ into the flames/ your love is legal so long as it doesn’t leave a mark/ a blank canvas is worthless/ I decide to paint instead/ we had joy before, big and bold/ when did we decide to pretend/ your unnecessary god complex/ but like, but like, I just forgot to put on mascara today/ like, um, whatever, I hope that made sense/ hail mary full of grace, I’ve watched the bright sun burn/ but by night/ the distance between you and me is a shoelace and candy wrapper/ blanket of hesitation/ I bleed, a reminder/ I want to believe I’m different/ I’m afraid no one listens/ find a match, don’t play with fire/ call her a healer/ miss liar/ damage she cannot heal/ you make me feel alive/ all through the night/ I’d like to think I was born whole/ in hopes to find the magic/ a message from god/ the delusion of things being more beautiful/ maybe I’m delusional/ these tiny things I collect/ clarinets, band emporiums/ life has become angel numbers on number off/ 1112/ 2224/ my vibrations are so high/ I love like you/ the kind of love you understand/ don’t leave me/ I’m more like you than you think/ roll call/ nameless/ oh that’s me/ lying to myself/ through the night

-open mic recap

The Timer’s Gone Off

“I want you, I love you, I want you, I love you.”

I keep digging through the trash, hoping my pregnancy tests will change their minds and one stripe will become two. The box said to wait three minutes, but maybe my tests, like my body, need more time.

This morning I sat at my desk, started seeping my tea, and then grabbed my keys and drove to Smith’s. I wandered unfamiliar aisles until I found a three-pack of life forecasts. Driving back, I memorized the sky color, the temperature, the way the sun glinted off windows. I felt so lucky to be aware that a big moment was happening.

I felt so alive.

Back at the school, I took a test, set my timer for three minutes, and whispered, “I want you, I love you, I want you, I love you” until the timer went off and the single stripe told me there was no you.

I took another test.

Until today, I was only pre-sad, but not actually sad. I was preparing myself for the possibility of sadness, but I wasn’t sad.

And now I am.

It’s like my womb has grown hands and can’t stop reaching for the sky.

My skin wants to stretch.

My heart is done being this size.

“I want you, I love you, I want you, I love you, I want you, I love you, I want you, I love you-“

The timer’s gone off.

I’ll keep waiting.

Written After Sitting in a Dusty Closet with You for Two Hours During the Super Bowl

You’ve been holding onto life with white knuckles

Embarrassed by the shaking effort

But the shaking effort is the bravest kind

-it’s what’s kept you here

I will sit with you in the dark

I will sit with you in the dust

Until you see that you’re no longer breaking up, but breaking open

Your sorrow an anthem of living

An unwillingness to give in

Every tear falling on a body that is still here, despite it all

You’re here

You’re here

You’re still here

Brave and breaking

Not up, but open

Hands shaking with the beautiful, brave effort of living