Mourning a Loss

Do you remember the first words that fell off your lips?
Or the first thing that caused joy to well up?
I don’t.
Funny, the things we remember.
So important, our first steps.
Yet we never get to see them.
Remember the rush of our chubby baby legs working how we wanted.
Or our first words.
I wonder what mine were?
Maybe it’s better not to know.

So silly, the way we see ourselves.
Lost in memories and thought loops
Experiences we label and poke at (from an unsafe distance).
Staring into mirrors that distort
And ask the wrong questions.
Peering into eyes that hide behind plastic masks,
Use paint to hoodwink reality.

What do you remember?
I get these flashes.
I don’t want them.
My chest breaks in half
Everything is frozen in blazing nausea
And the world goes dark
They color my sleep in muddy hues
Robbing intimate moments of safety.
I got so sick
Sick of paying for others’ sins.
Confused body, still paying with sickly health.

The only things I remember, hurt.
I wish it wasn’t that way.
Wish I could hold happy childhood memories in my thoughts
Like little flakes of gold, suspended
Always there to infuse me with heart swelling snapshots.
The foundation all the healthy people have
The people who don’t fall apart every day.

But protection came at a cost.
My mom bought me gold flakes at a field trip once
I think they’re in storage.

I wish I could remember
The day I was born.
Fresh.
New.
Untouched.

I wonder what it felt like.

But if I tell…
If I tell, you might look at me
Like I’m made of porcelain, so easily broken
Or smothered in slime I can never remove
(Even though I didn’t put it there)
It infuriates me.
Perhaps if I hurt you, you won’t see me as weak
But I’m not a bully, so I’ll wait for you to hurt me first.
Silly memories, telling me you will.

I wish I could remember what I felt the day I was born.
Would I be the same person?
Would there be something at the center of me, holding me up?
Convincing me that I am solid and here and…
I wish I could remember.
What emotions flooded my body, the day I was born?
Can you take me back to the beginning, before everything became broken?

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THYSELF, MYSELF

IM SITTING WITH A BUNCH

OF LITTLE PIECES

I RIPPED THEM UP

I PUT THEM THERE

THEY HURT AND THEY CRY

AND THEY KIND OF KNOW

WHY

THEY ALWAYS KNEW

THEY ALWAYS KEPT

KEPT QUIET

WATCHED

REMEMBERED

I ALWAYS KNEW

DIDN’T I?

 

I GUESS THEY’RE PEACE

EACH BROKEN SHRED

THEY’RE SITTING THERE

STARING AT ME

THEY’RE ALWAYS MINE

EVEN TORN

OKAY

OKAY

SO WHAT DO I DO WITH

THEM EACH PIECE?

BROKEN SMOTHERED

USED WORN

 

I GUESS I SUPPOSE MAYBE

THE POINT THE NEED

THE URGE THE

DESIRE

IS TO FEEL THEM

HURT

THAT’S WHAT THEY ARE

 

IM SITTING WITH A BUNCH OF

LITTLE PIECES

I RIPPED THEM UP

I PUT THEM THERE

 

THEY’RE CRYING

AND I DON’T WANT TO

THEY’RE CALLING LIKE AN ANIMAL

SHORN WITH PAIN

MADNESS AND SADNESS

CLAWING INTO EACH PIECE

THEY’RE MY WAY TO PEACE

ARENT THEY?

 

I’M ALL THESE LITTLE PIECES

I DON’T WANT TO BE

ALL THESE LITTLE PIECES

ARE MY WAY BACK

TO ME

 

 

by Daphne Shadows