The Blind Stars In Our Sky

I can only start
by saying
that I just feel so sad for you.
I feel so sad myself.
Seeing you like this.
Having to see myself like this,
beneath my whispery fingers,
watching you through this life.

What has been expected of you;
as a friend,
as a lover,
as a woman;
I can’t fathom the very holes
you ripped nails trying to
climb out from.

The things you learn to shoulder
on a small, knotted back,
are usually things that have been created by others.
Everything you touch and
everything
you
voice,
with the intent to mend,
becomes the stake they know how to use
against you.
All because you’ve already explained how fragile,
your world has made you become.

Because of your feelings,
your thoughts, which do more
at making you the person
that you are,
rather than the combination of body parts you own.

That disease of your mind
they remind you of,
using it to hide their own faults,
own self-blames.
That foul blackening spot,
soiling your attempts at healing.

Whatever expectation you are expected
to stretch to become,
that requirement isn’t the problem in their eyes.
They make you the problem,
for getting so emotional, so sensitive
so easily vulnerable and so easily hurt.
I’m so sad that they are blind to see
how emotion gives way to sincerity
and
care.

And how rational and forthright you are at protecting
yourself and
acknowledging you actually matter,
that gets shoved deep
where sticking your bleeding hands in any further
doesn’t reach it at all.

I’m so sorry
for all the pessimism
you’ve been taught.
For all the weary treads of your feet and
the straightened hunch of your back.
The lessons you’ve learnt make you unique,
yet they are the easiest to be taken from you.

The world is losing its stars, one by one.
All the people trodden on,
like a blanket of human dirt,
and all the people afraid to pick themselves
back up after a fall.
All the people coerced,
for the sake of ‘appreciation’
for the sake of preventing abandonment
for the sake of keeping the peace,
preventing the punches, the fights, the rude words,
preventing the verbal snap of words thrown like sharp twigs.
preventing your lover from losing his desire for you,
his love,
because you can’t give your hand and your legs,
no –your heart matters less-
to a simple release.
Feeling warm, gushing fluid as you
learn to patch over wounds that finally start to sting.

Such is the lonely, inexpressibly sad, lesson you’ve built
as your walls:
Beware of the people you allow to see you.
Beware of the people you welcome, and the people
you learn to say goodbye to.
Beware of the people that spread false hopes, sow false whispers
and rough caresses through your hair.

You can’t be violated
anymore
by dirty fingers.
You can’t be used again for this.
My fingers can’t touch you, to pull you from these
places again.
You learnt your lessons, made your reasons,
built your beliefs and swore to yourself,
to not allow that base, instinctual animal
you attract,
To come near you again.

You’ve seen enough self-war, on yourself, within your own body.
Made it a cave for all the monsters that stole your heart,
breathed life into you,
called you beautiful and let you choke on your own tears
when they left.

We found a way of making an excuse
that we aren’t good enough
for one person, and another, and another…
An excuse that we aren’t good enough
to meet a loveless need.

My heart hurts unbearably to know people
people can hurt you like this.

Are you supposed to be vulnerable
to love like you are expected
to be vulnerable to selfish love?
Is it desire, or a base instinct?
What will they use it for?
What will they learn about you?
That you’re so soft inside?
That you part and bow and purr at ease?

Does it reflect you,
or does it only reflect a person you have to be
for someone?
I know what you feel.

It’s being asked to forgo what you are,
And to neglect the fact you care much more deeply,
and just provide a need;
provide bread when you are starving yourself,
provide a service before you can
even take care
of yourself.

Being asked to provide something so
inherently intimate, on such whims,
I’m afraid for you.
How much learning and unlearning do you
need to swap
and change
for so many people?

If you’re desired, asking so much
and so hard to expect something so unmistakably,
unworldly,
unrealistically large,
does that hurt you more or less?
Does that wound your self-confidence,
Would your self-assured gaze,
wound your pride and your value of yourself?
I ask you,
what do you believe from that?

I’m so sorry you keep having to fight.
Fight to find an exemption, not just
another example.
And when you find such a sweet and gorgeous exemption,
you build up the fears that have been lying around in your head.
And you risk closing up when you shouldn’t at all.

This is an ode to you all.
All of us who cry, who feel anger,
who lie down at night to feel betrayed.

Strong women made weaker and more open
to ambush
because you have a pleasure spot between your legs.
Strong people told their emotions are just fragilities,
like broken bones that keep you in bed.
The strong ones who have been trampled enough,
that preserving love for yourself, admiration of your abilities
and preserving your heart and mind and that which you value as
a human with feelings…
becomes harder with every person who makes you feel so small.

And the people who hurt you, without any intent to,
don’t realise they hold so much potential to harm you.
Please forgive them,
but make sure you speak out about the hurt.

I made mistakes,
allowing people to hurt me and being afraid to tell them
they did hurt me.
For fear of abandonment,
For fear of them not loving me,
For fear of me learning that I need someone to remind me I can be loved.
For fear of falling into a corner.

I realise I can love myself. I can be fine, with a hole learnt to be filled and
nurtured by myself.
Looking over your shoulder, I only wish I could point and remind you
of what you deserve to feel and say.
Don’t let anyone belittle your feelings.
And let them know exactly if they do.
Because those feelings, that is what shows more attention and love and devotion
and desire,
than any tangled physical position can communicate.

You keep safe,
I’ll always be here when you need to talk.
To cry, to rest, to scream, to fear, to grieve over something.
The grief over a partner lost to you, because you didn’t give them
their expectation.
May I protect you as much as I can.
And,
you are such a brilliant star.
We need more of you in these skies,
so make sure you remember that
ok? xx

bear

*Feature Artwork: “Scarlet Ribbons” by Jack Vettriano*
*Concluding Image: “Bear Catching Stars”, artist ‘Katie’ (unknown)
 

Float Atop An Iceberg With Me

Dearest;

 

I’ve been thinking and thinking

every day.

About the cold that seeps under the covers;

smiles and lit eyes,

devoted lips and breath,

yet I find you colluding with the shadows above my bed,

whispers rippling around walls with

your face buried in your hands.

 

I can smell a sudden whiff

of intimacy, laid bare,

sprawled before my uncovered legs.

But,

Dearest,

I’ll never forget your soft face,

a warm candle glow casting the

shadows of an infuriated

scowl

beneath your soft skin.

 

A flicker of light,

candle sputter,

a caught breath,

closed legs,

shivers,

tight jaw and stiff back,

dearest, you turned away from

my scared face.

I remained a scared slave

sleeping beside the man I love.

Feeling my chest give out, heaving

sour, soiled breaths,

panting at the fading ceiling for warmth.

 

My bones chilled;

preventing tears from meeting my skin;

skin roughening,

a captured bird shedding feathers

out of season.

Dearest,

the night was cold.

I had the night slashing,

searing scrapes and tattooed bruises

greeting me in the early hours.

Slipping silently to hide and hope and

rattle around my brain,

the nightmares of a distance growing larger,

of a hallway stretching a walk into decades;

of the sticky thorns embedding when I decide no

and the dirty fall I receive, fall from your grace,

fall from your respect, fall from your opinion,

fall from your favour.

 

You all leave when you

don’t feel the attention that you want.

And you speak iciness when you

pick up

your things and leave

saying softly it’s all

alright.

 

Be a soldier;

mind your tongue;

watch your movements;

slide your hand back there

and your lips over here.

Don’t pull away;

don’t pull off;

keep engaged;

keep your allure;

don’t say no, always say yes.

 

Feel the post-traumatic stress,

licking your legs and bashing your skull.

Walk away and feel the shame,

the bitterness, the disappointment.

Walk away greasy in guilt,

the guilt I can’t help but feel all over,

guilt you rest on my shoulders,

Dearest.

 

I want to see the horizon,

but I feel I never can.

I’m busy keeping my eyes from

going cloudy and falling into

the same holes.

Float atop an iceberg,

not drown beneath it.

 

Dearest,

the world is teaching me that saying no

can be a crime.

Punished when giving over a yes,

to the fatally wrong man;

equally punished when I’m confused,

and unintentionally ignore the right one.

Be a soldier;

mind your tongue;

watch your movements,

and maybe you aren’t entitled to speak a no,

maybe for the sake of saving you harsh wounds,

silent pains and endless fears,

maybe the only sound and symbol

you make with your naked limbs,

should be yes.

 

Dearest, you are

the man I’ll never have the

heart to disappoint,

I’ll never have the heart to ever

hurt you.

The man I love more than seeing stars;

Dearest,

and yet you like to show me that I do

those things;

I do disappoint you often.

 

And so I spend my night,

drawing ink into the only explanation

I can give.

 

Remember my sad lullabies?

Remember the yes-es of this world,

I gave so freely;

I can only say I’m sorry dearest,

for how petrified I am.

Of being screamed at that I

can make no sense;

that’s it’s just months of all the same;

If I’d played the soldier long ago,

learnt to watch my feet,

learnt to equally fight and yield,

maybe I wouldn’t have to

frenzy,

over doing wrong in your eyes.

If I’d said yes the times I whispered no,

I wouldn’t have to hang myself upon this peg.

 

I wouldn’t have to cry.

I wouldn’t have to lose you somewhere in the cold night,

when the shadows play across your mind;

where the ceiling fades.

I wouldn’t have to fear myself.

 

Dearest,

I wouldn’t have to fear you building regret or

resentment

towards loving me.

For all the times I weep and

all the times

I apologise for myself

and all the times

I make mountains as obstacles for us through anxiety.

 

Dearest,

goodnight,

sweet dreams.

I’ll be here in the morning when you wake,

but

will you? xxx

 

– Artwork by Elisa Bertaglia “Water and Swimmer”