Choose to See

I’m breathing like a zombie, sitting on an empty fee. I think its pretty funny how you don’t see me. Certainly giving me all your advice for free. Sitting there shaking your heads, judging me. Basing all your hate on things you don’t see.

This will pass, you see. Gotta make it what you want it to be. That’s what they keep saying to me.

But I’m empty, scarecrow wondering who I want to be. Things holding me down, rocks in my pockets, underwater struggle to break out of the sea.

Yup, that was a cockroach crawling on my skin. Yes, living room lights dying, going dim. Can’t pay my bills and my patience is growing thin.

Work harder and smarter. Keep pushing farther and farther. Halfway through with a little baby starter. Everybody telling me to hold on longer.

Easy for you to say when food doesn’t hurt you. You want me to believe accepting your table scraps is a virtue. But I bet you can sleep and receive successes for your hard work, too.

Some of just hurt and hurt no matter how healthy we choose to be. We have to learn to trust in what we can’t see. Cuz our elbow grease and overtime leaves our energy stolen and our souls empty. Our experience shows we’ll never get to where we need to be.

Telling me I need to believe better. Telling me I must need to try harder. If I’m still not in my right mind, if I’m still falling behind, if I’m still running blind, I’ll never have anything to offer.

Fact of the matter is you don’t have to try that hard to get what you need. I used to run until my demons started to bleed. But my body decided I couldn’t even have that and I had to concede.

You brag about your bootstraps and all your achievements. While I’m out here fighting to get out of bed, my own mind, and bereavements.

I’m sinking but keep swimming. You’re throwing insults and demeaning. Some of us out here fighting fire in our skin, ducking and swinging.

Gotta run a marathon before we can step to our dreams. Cuz the giants are in our blood, pulling us apart at the seems.

We have to play doctor for ourselves. Pick up the pieces of our own egg shells. Take a gun to our personal Hells.

All of this before we get out of our beds. Because our hangman lives inside each our heads. All the while people advising us to start popping meds.

This is where you want us to break. Crying about how there’s only so much we can take. Don’t mind my creepy smile but this is where you made your mistake.

Didn’t you hear what I said? We’re out here working to silence the voices in our head. And that’s before we’re working on paying for our bread.

Yeah I’m gonna have days where I complain. Hello – no matter what I do, I’m in pain! But all this extra work isn’t in vain.

But listen up, pull out a chair, be a good kid and sit there. You don’t have to tell me, I already know life isn’t fair. But if we go a few rounds I’ll forever be there!

Oh yeah you’ll knock me down and I guarantee you’ll mess me up. But if there’s one thing we’re pretty good at, it’s getting back up.

You can fight me all day long but I’m a beast in the ring. You don’t understand the kind of pain my own issues can bring. But if you’ll notice, every day I’m the one winning. So if you think I’m weak or easy, you haven’t been listening. I’ll keep falling down but I’ll get back up and swing.

I’m breathing like a zombie, sitting on an empty fee. I think its pretty funny how you don’t see me. Certainly giving me all your advice for free. Sitting there shaking your heads, judging me. Basing all your hate on things you don’t see.

I think I’m going to mix it up and stay out of bed. Ignore all the ugliness swarming in my head. Do something different just like my heart said.

If I had to give advice, I’d say be careful what you’re fed.

 

by Daphne Shadows

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I’m Not Waiting Any Longer

And I sit there on the floor

Legs not crossed like a lady

But crossed like I’m four again

Sitting at school on the carpet

Waiting for the teacher to explain.

 

Okay, I’m ready.

For you to let down your wisdom

Breathe the secret into my ear

Pull back the curtain

Ignite the barren emptiness

Of not knowing

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Waiting

Rubbernecking like nobody’s business

Wholeheartedly believing

Now I’ll understand

Now it’ll all make sense

I’ll get it

Understand

I’ll know what this life is all about

What I’ve been missing

 

I’ve lived into my how-to manual

People will come rushing through the terminals

Hard earned years of enlightenment

They’ll bustle in their hurried fever

Of needing to get on with their lives

Because they have so much to live

What, with all that understanding

Due to age…

 

Only

I sit there, on the floor

Realizing the room is empty

It’s a stage with polished floors

And vaulted ceilings

Rows and rows of chairs

The nice cushy ones you might’ve fought your grandpa for

When you were four years old

 

I look around and see

The lights are off

I’m the only one on the stage

The crowd is empty

Those nice soft seats, void of any life

Any know-how to impart

 

That’s the first lesson I really learned

About everyone else,

Outside of my skin.

It didn’t knock off any innocence

I wasn’t shiny or brand new by then

That got rubbed off before I could speak

But I’d kept some silly hope that when you said

“When you’re older you’ll understand”

…that you spoke the truth.

 

You did not.

The truth is

No one knows.

 

I found this out, sitting cross-legged

Like a child

Vibrating with enthusiasm

And excitement

Ready to warm my hands

At the fire of everyone’s experience

 

With the heat of age

That’d crept into my body

That everyone told me, made me

Better, somehow

Like numbers of lived life

Ups your worth in some cosmic game

And so you earn more lives

And redeemable information to trade

For a bunch of useless tasks, you performed…because….

 

Still sitting on an empty floor

Holding a ticket that leads nowhere.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Photo is property of Daphne Shadows

I Know Better

And yes, I remember you.

Slinking through the corridors at night while no one was watching.

I saw you.

I knew you.

 

I remember the air in your veins breathing past my lips.

Filling every heartbeat until my teeth burned.

They didn’t know you had a secret.

Or where you went.

I knew you.

 

They say you don’t exist.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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Empty Tongues

Hushed footsteps
Is there such a thing?
The carpet could be screaming for all we know.
Our socks could be praying for mercy.

We act like everything is trying to silence us
We blame doors, padding, muzzles
Why bother?

It’s not like many are trying to speak up
Any longer
We have families, you see
People to hurt
Dreams to set ablaze

They have us quite choked on fear
Our volume turned to mute
Our choices turned to disregard
Don’t they?

They’ve taken our vocal cords
Buried them in the cellar
While they feast on Just Corpses

No one behind the curtain
No one soundproofing our eyes

But I bet that’s the carpet’s fault
Hushing our footsteps.

 

By Daphne Shadows

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They Follow Me

There are these
Stilted Scarecrows
Jolting about
On corpse legs

Forcing their way
Into my line of
Vision
Throwing blood about
Beating on a drum

Funny
They choose not to notice
My silence

The past
Cannot be
Re-done
Re-spoken

Some wounds
Cannot heal
Until the
Scar tissue
Is erased
In another life

So desperate
For me to be
Sitting around
The fire
With you

But I remember
What those embers
Can do

I’ve collected
These Scarecrows
Though I’m really
Not certain how
Or why
They shamble around
In the dark
Just out of sight
Waiting to pounce
To stitch their bony joints
Into my hair

I’ve befriended
Murders of crows
I’ve decorated
My home
With them
Etched them
Into my bones

And yet
These Burning Eyed
Scarecrows
They find me

Clothed in dead skins
Sickles in their hands
Carved faces
Straw innards
They haunt
Ghoulish calls
Carrying clappers
And stones

They are my funeral march
Hurling perilously
Into the fires they create
Pinning me the patsy

I’ve collected
These Scarecrows
They keep hiding behind
Death masks

I do not belong
To them
But they claw
At my skin

Their past presence
Scarring my Sight

I belong to the ravens
I side with the crows

 

By Daphne shadows

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Ode to the Roaches

On the first day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
A cockroach in a spare key.

On the second day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the third day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Seven types of roach spray,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the eight day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Eight boxes roach traps,
Seven types of roach spray,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Nine hours of no sleep,
Eight boxes roach traps,
Seven types of roach spray,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the tenth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Ten thoughts of arson,
Nine hours of no sleep,
Eight boxes roach traps,
Seven types of roach spray,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
Eleven new pairs rubber gloves,
Ten thoughts of arson,
Nine hours of no sleep,
Eight boxes roach traps,
Seven types of roach spray,
Six bushels of bay leaves,
Five new roach generations,
Four exterminators,
Three hours internet searching,
Two crawling bedrooms,
And a cockroach in a spare key.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my new town gave to me,
A bag of diatomaceous earth
And the roaches died
Finally!

 

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