01 September 2016

Compassion in the Face of Humiliation, or How I Saw an Uglier Side of Myself

I like the programme The West Wing. I like Aaron Sorkin's writing and his ideas, and the ridiculous (amazing) platonic ideal of dialogue presented. People don't talk like that, not really, but it's always fun to watch and hear. Like Shakespeare, only with more obvious snark and a highly liberal agenda.

Last night I was watching the episode, The Midterms (S.2, e.3), and there is a scene in it I have loved since the first time I saw it on YouTube. At a function for talk radio hosts, President Bartlett goes off script and disassembles a Dr Laura analogue down to the ground. It is a rapid-fire smackdown using chapter and verse of the Bible to counter her smug and superior justification for calling homosexuality an abomination ('I don't say so... The Bible says so.'); the President asks if he can sell his daughter into slavery, asks how his Chief of Staff, his brother, and his mother ought to be executed for working on the Sabbath, planting two different crops side by side, and wearing garments made of two different threads. He asks if football players can continue to play if they wear gloves (because they can't touch the skin of a dead pig lest they become unclean). Throughout this entire exchange, the part of me that loathes indoctrination, the part of me that rebels against the asinine justification for people to hate entire groups of people, while blithely ignoring anything they don't actually want to deal with, is always full of glee. However, this time, watching this scene, I felt different. I didn't feel joyful, or gleeful, or even my favourite glowing schadenfreude. Instead, what I felt was compassion. For the Dr Laura character.

The character herself is merely a vehicle -- a simple analogue for the writer to make a point. It is absolutely a rant against the religious right and their arbitrary adherence to a set of ancient rules based on preconceived and ignorant prejudices, and that is something I can appreciate both philosophically and intellectually. However, watching the look on the actress' face (and she was spot-on for having only a few lines) made me feel deep empathy for her. The President is not debating a topic here -- he is not trying to engage in a meeting of minds to win someone over to the side of (what he believes to be) righteousness. Instead, it is entirely an exercise in humiliation -- her humiliation. And on a human level, I empathised with her and wanted more than anything for the rant to stop, for her humiliation to be cut short. In the face of such an attack, I would not have been able to sit still and take it the way she does; I would have burst into tears and fled. Just the idea of such a public humiliation among an audience of strangers and colleagues, by a person of such immense power and influence, is unfathomable. The thought makes me sick.

This was not at all a comfortable experience for me. I like to think (mostly) well of myself. I like to think I have intelligent opinions based on facts in evidence and a morality that is inclusive rather than exclusive. I realised I had (until this point) always considered this scene as a one-sided affair to be lauded, and that the side I took was that of a person (a man) of power and influence using them like a club, as a bully, not to humble someone, not to engage as a human being, but simply to humiliate that person to make a point, was incredibly uncomfortable. Yes, the character and her real-world analogue are hatemongers and bullies themselves, but that doesn't make them inhuman -- it just makes them bad humans. But I'm the last person who should be making value judgements about humans -- I'm barely human myself these days. It also made me realise that while I like to think well of myself, I tend to isolate myself amongst like-minded individuals (a very human trait). I make judgements about the worth of a human rather than simply disagreeing with a point or an opinion or a stance on any particular topic. I stop seeing people and I only see politics -- and it allows me to make of them an Other. And once someone (or a group) is made the Other, they lose something, a part of their humanity, the right to basic dignity and respect simply for being another living, breathing creature, entitled to the same freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of choice that I expect as my rights, not just my civil rights, but my human rights. For being part of a larger community.

The other realisation I had is that this is why I feel social media can be so toxic -- why I think our 24/7 linked in hooked up wired global platform isn't necessarily a good thing. Or at least, a thing that isn't inherently good or bad, but is more often used for the latter than the former. We have 'unfollow,' 'unfriend,' 'block,' options for anyone whose opinion we don't want to hear. It is a feature I availed myself of greatly when I still engaged on Facebook. The sort of rants the president gives are equal in their tactical offensive as many of the political pages that are only ever used to make mischief and start arguments. Minds are not changed, dialogue doesn't exist, there is no coming together. There is no community. There are just vast echo chambers where we can surround ourselves with the yes-men of our choosing, constantly finding validation amongst a homogeneous group (homogeneous based on whatever common thread created the group in the first place), and not ever actually challenging ourselves as humans to the betterment of our kind, locally OR globally.

This isn't to say that every single interaction on social media is essentially philosophical masturbation; just that the majority is and it's difficult to discern the valuable from the worthless. I have seen civil conversations (rarely, but it has happened) and perhaps minds have changed. But the minds that are changed are the ones who are open to hearing other ideas. And that usually is because they're already connected to Others in some way (even if it's once- or twice-removed). Human connexion is what we are missing. Looking someone in the eye, sharing physical space with them, acknowledging the commonality, the shared fragility, the need to come together rather than to be right about everything all the time.

Screaming at the top of my lungs, insisting that I am always in the right, tearing someone down to make a point... none of these are effective tactics to change minds or hearts. An offensive is met with a defensive response. Even if a person can see the logic behind the attack, the emotional element is very much a part of the equation, and emotions override reason more often than the other way around. Humiliating someone is not the way to change a mind. If anything it will only serve to galvanise the Other in opposition, and that way lies violence, the most irrational, emotional reaction of all.

28 July 2016

Should I Then Presume?

I cannot fight this battle alone, but the other soldiers have left the field. They have gone to fight other battles -- and not unimportant ones, because the downtrodden are always worth championing, and the cause will always be a siren song for those who seek justice and peace.

My own battle is for my heart and my mind. But my heart and my mind ache and bleed for others’. I want to cry and scream and make myself be seen as me -- only as myself, unique. But I want to hide, to bury myself in a cause, to bring others to the light, to save souls, and let the glory fall where it may.

I need comfort, but I want to give more than I take; my reserves are run dry, and I have nothing to offer the world. My perspective is skewed and my wit is dulled. My mind wanders and my heart wants too much. What have I to offer those who look to me for anything at all?

Nothingness. Both terror and solace, heaven and hell. To be one with the void -- but I fear the void. To rest, in dreamlessness, forever. But I fear to lose myself, the root of all that is me. Not my mind (that comes and goes) and not my heart (it beats too wildly for that which it cannot have), but something else, larger than the sum of parts, greater than a cohesive whole, without which, I will simply cease.

The cessation of the self, given up without a struggle, is both idyll and idle, something to contemplate, but not to achieve. I cannot enter that space which is nonspace, for I know that I cling too much to my corporeal, fragile existence.

Not to suggest violence, but simply letting myself go, dissolving and becoming part of a greater mystery.

And how should I begin?

25 July 2016

sum of the whole

I am afraid. I am tired.
(be bold, child.)
I am hurting. I am sad.
(heal. hope.)
I am broken. I am angry.
(be whole.)
I am aimless. I am restless.
(learn to be determined.)
I am timid. I am weak.
(time to be fierce.)
I am cold. I am drab.
(let the fire burn.)
I am mad. I am lost.
(find imagination.)

(let go of the weight of the world.)


Once upon a time, there was a jumping spider named Parallax.

Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Paraselene.

Once upon a time, there was an antique watch that never kept time right.

Once upon a time, there was a dog with white stripes on its tail.

Once upon a time, there was a cat with a secret name.

Once upon a time, there were stars in the sky.

Once upon a time, the oceans rose up and drowned a city.

Once upon a time, there was a ship with red sails and a silent crew.

Once upon a time, there was a river that ran through a haunted wood.

Once upon a time, rain fell on a cloudless day.

Once upon a time, the gargoyles spoke.

Once upon a time, the churchyard lay empty.

Once upon a time, there was a child without a name.

Once upon a time, there was a mystery...

14 July 2016

Why wish upon a star...

My lucky stars were all long dead
before ever I saw their light--
yet I prayed most every night
to those ghosts of flame.
What good can come of worshipping
gods who passed this world by
and departed before the mind formed,
before my eyes opened
and saw the expanse of sky?
There is naught left but the sundry
corporeal world, the toil and moil
of simply being that is this mortal coil,
the well of the soul long run dry.
My praying lips are parched
from too often drinking moonlight.

13 July 2016

I need a bigger box

I need a bigger box
for all the things I feel
all the time that crowd me,
hem me in, and indeed overwhelm.

I need a bigger box
to put away all the pains
that creep in on me
and rest upon my shoulders,
that curl up in my lap,
that drape themselves
around me like a shroud.

I need a bigger box
to fit all the miles of road
I have already put behind me,
and one for all the miles of road
I have still ahead.

I need a bigger box because
my current compartmentalisation
system is simply insufficient.

21 June 2016

My Valley of Unrest

How long has it been
since I left this place?
How many secrets have
come to rest here
since last my feet trod
this path,
how many more ways
of saying ‘no’ have
fallen from my lips?

I used to fear this place,
the place of denial,
the place of 'without.'
It hemmed me in,
when all around,
just out of reach,
was a lush and fertile plain
that stretched out to Beyond.

I said ‘yes’ here once,
and it almost unmade me.
How then can I say ‘yes’ again,
knowing, as I do, what
that one word can cost?

20 June 2016

puzzling pieces

Sometimes I wish I could take every feeling
and put them into an old-fashioned hat box
with a slot in the lid just wide enough to slip
them in. Then I could open the box and take
each feeling out, quietly, thoughtfully, one at
a time; examine its worth, assess its meaning,
ponder its implications, and figure exactly
where it fits in the jigsaw puzzle of my heart.

17 June 2016

Thank You

How do I thank someone
for doing something that
others find distasteful?
Or disrespectful? Monstrous,
even, in some ways? How do
I thank someone for finding
a boundary in my heart
(my body, my mind)
and pushing his hardest
against it, despite knowing
it could all end in disaster?
(It did not; there was rapture
and begging for more.)
How do I thank someone
for finding beauty in a part
of me that I always found
shameful or embarrassing?
How do I thank someone
for unlocking my heart
in a way I didn’t know
I needed until it cracked
wide open? How do I thank
someone for all these things,
when he himself rejected
everything we did together?
How do I tell him that I am alright?
More than alright--I am finally free.
How can he believe me when
all he sees is brokenness
and misery and dysfunction,
when what is really there
is openness and joy and synergy?
There is always give and take,
on every side of this equation,
and nothing would have happened
if consent had not been freely
(enthusiastically, joyfully) given.
So how do I say thank you, Sir,
when last we spoke,
you disavowed the heart
in you I loved so much?

16 June 2016

To F--- P---, on his birthday

Dear Sir,

I know I should not call you that anymore; I do not know if anyone else does these days. I miss you. It is as simple as that. I miss your smile, your laugh, your hugs, the warmth and happiness you brought into my life. I miss that sadistic gleam in your eye and the tell-tale giggle. That giggle was a harbinger of the most exquisite things. I shall not forgot that, ever, not the first night, not the last, not any of the ones in between.

I miss laughing with you. I laugh with others now, and I have found some of what I have sought in them, but you, Sir, you unlocked a part of me, helped find the beauty in the darkness, and held me through the tempest that our paths took us. Standing by your side, I was unafraid, unbound, and utterly undone. Even the time you made me cry was a beautiful and soulful experience. There was a willingness in me I had never acknowledged; a joy in my soul you loosed even as you broke me. Every fleeting sensation was pleasure and pain and starlight.

I am sorry, Sir, so very sorry, for any pain I caused you, any confusion, any contribution to your own personal crisis. I never thought, not for a minute--not for a second--it would end like it did. I always meant for you to shatter me; how it broke my heart to learn you were the one who was shattered instead.

I worry about you. I try not to--I want to trust you found what you sought. I want your life to be full of sunshine and beauty, comfort and truth, and that I may have taken you down a darker road, away from that light and life, worries me too. You deserve to be happy; we never really understood one another on that, I think. It was not a difference of opinion, I believe, so much as neither of us realising that we were seeking the same ends by different means.

My heart is ragged and frayed around the edges. It is held together with glue and hope and knotted bits of string. It is not new, nor has it been for a long time. But still you made it beat faster, just by being near me. You helped to suture wounds I did not realise were still gaping wide, and you salved hurts I couldn't see.

I will carry you with me wherever I go; my heart has been marked indelibly by your touch, both savage and tender. I chose to love you, despite how brief a time we had, despite the idea it was just for fun, just a lark, just a fling. I chose to open myself to the possibility of more, and though I did not get that more with you, my life is so much fuller for you having been in it. You have my thanks, forever, for that.

My hopes, my dreams, my love go with you, and starlight will follow in your wake. Happy birthday, dearheart.

Scars Linger

‘Memories fade but the scars still linger…’
-Tears for Fears

Once acid spilled, seeped
between my toes. Webbed
the flesh, melted it and
fused the pieces together.
Made knobbly bits of raised
burns that took ages to heal.
I remember how it felt
to walk when the skin
puckered and stretched,
tried to scab over
but needed to be cleaned
so often, scabs never formed.

Working a piece of soapstone
with the wrong tools
in art class at a public
school, and the wedge-shaped
carving knife slipped
and sliced the fleshy part
of my palm, extending
the heart line with a bright
red slash that bled into my
cupped hand, then washed away
in a splash of pink
in the stainless steel sink.
The skin tried to knit
back together right away
and kept pulling apart
whenever my hand moved.
Finally, all that was left was
a thin white line reaching
from the natural divot
in my palm all the way
to the side of my hand.

A round bulb of flesh
nestled against my sternum
just above my breasts
soft to touch, the evidence
of my stubbornness being
outdone by my body
rejecting a piercing
I kept forcing on it.

The part in my hair
on the left side,
brushing my pixie cut
forward from a cowlick
on the back of my head
exposes the thin cut
on my scalp where
my head collided
with a steel fence post
in a moment of
misperception. Hidden
by long, thick hair
for years, unremarked.

Three-quarters of an inch
of raised, pink flesh
a hand span from my pelvic
bone, just below the hairline
below the waistband of my
pants, where once I had
a mark distinctive to me,
that if someone saw just
my body, would know
was me instantly. Now it is just
a slash, and I had no say
in whether I wanted it removed.

Each scar on this pale and
fragile body, each cut made
in this thin skin, every hurt
that drew carmine drops,
and I can recall how I got
each one. The scars on
the inside of my right wrist,
on my left knee, right elbow,
chin, temple, collarbone,
at the nape of my neck.
I remember the needles,
the knives, the doctors,
the asphalt, the bicycle,
the bottle I dropped.
But somehow, I have
forgotten where
some of the scars
in my soul originated.

written 3 April 2016

Other Words (3/**)

I am not like you.
But we are alike
in our otherness,
aren’t we? You have
words that belong
to you; I have no words,
because I am not
other enough. I am
too much a part
of the sameness
of the ‘us,’ rather than
the ‘them.’ You exist
in a space separate.
I exist in a space in
between. But between
seems so far
from either place,
like a bubble outside
of time and space.
It is the void I fear.

written 8 April 2016
**third in a series, total number of parts unknown

Hidden Costs

The doctors told me
this was what was best
for me, and maybe they
were right. I can see
the benefits already, but
they did not tell me the costs--
not the true costs, anyway.
Six weeks of recovery, with
nothing but the demons
in my head to make
their unholy racket.
Six weeks of being unable
to silence their slander.
Huddled in my home, alone
and injured. Listening
to others discuss their successes--
or else their disappointment
at my choices. My body,
my pain, my parts, and now,
my scars. But like everything
else, it is always about how
my choices affect them.
Never about how
my choices affect me.

Written 19 April 2016

15 June 2016

My own private war

The thing about depression is that it is an agony without an externally visible cause. There is no scraped knee or spasming muscle or laceration of tissues to explain the pain of the existential crisis, and this is why it is so hard to believe it should be (and can be) acknowledged and parleyed with like any other hurt of the physical body.

I have this pain, you see,
(no, you cannot see--
there is nothing to see,
no broken bone,
nor grievous wound,
nor fever, nor spasming
muscle: not even a scratch)
this agony inside me.

No visible cause,
nothing to bind,
no obvious need
to splint or salve,
nothing to say,
‘This is why I hurt.’

And even when it lies
quiescent below
the surface of thought
it aches in the most
tender and secret
parts of my mind.

And I have no choice
in the matter: I must
rise each day to do
battle against
an unseen, unknowable,
intractable foe: crafty,
devious, cunning,
deceptive and deadly.

11 May 2016

Exorcism Pending

Hello ghost of my past -- I did not know
you haunt me still. I thought (foolishly)
you were banished -- laid to rest in a tomb
unknown to me; unmarked by memory;
worn by time; until the very bones that
held you up were ground to dust and ash
and blown away. But here you sit, perched
on my shoulder, filling me with the dread
that my past is not yet past enough, time
has not yet passed in its fullness for me
to be free of the chains you forged within
my heart of fire; how was I to know my very
soul would bind me up in you in ways
unforgivable; inescapable; incontrovertible;
incomprehensible? You shattered the forge;
you scattered its ashes. All that is left
in the dark, in the earth, is the ember of me
that must grow to a fury to set me free.

28 April 2016

Into the Woods

The woods are just trees,
The trees are just wood.

~Stephen Sondheim

What happened here? Did I take a wrong turn?
I fear I cannot see the path that led me this far.
I see the trees of the wood; who fears trees?
But the light is not good here in this wood,
And I fear I may have lost my way.
I fear the dark, for the night hides in its depths
the things that lurk out of sight, preying
on those unaware, or of lesser might.
I am small and fragile and not at all strong.
I long to be away from here, from this place
where, no matter where I turn, I cannot see
whence I have come or whither I go.
If one is not predator, then must needs one be prey?
I cannot go on and on and on, along paths
unmarked to destinations unclear, but
neither can I stay here for the night, fearing
what waits for me to sit a while, takes its time
to stalk closer, muffled in the murky shadows,
padding softly closer on clawed paws, teeth
long and sharp, ready to rend my tender
flesh when I stop to rest for just a moment.
No, I shall find no safe quarter in this wood,
nor can I find my way out again, for the way
in is not the way out; through is the only way
and the journey is a long and treacherous trek,
but they say the rewards will be beyond
anything imagined or imaginable.

21 April 2016


I drink too much on occasion;
I smoke too much sometimes,
too; I take drugs every day; no
it’s not you it’s me. Really. Inhibitions?
I don’t have them. I know how
to say, I want this. I fancy you.
Please kiss me. But still,
I don’t let you see me sober.
Sobriety is a curse -- it is me
stripped bare and saying, See
how damaged I am? See the pain?
The fear? The insecurity and doubt?
See where I come unravelled, where
I am frayed and worn, where you
can see the light shine through
because I have no substance left,
at all. See where I come undone.
I fill myself with cloudy smoke
to obscure what I truly am -- to hide.
It is putting on a mask, or perhaps,
wrapping myself in a shroud. It is
comforting, calming, centring.
You don’t believe me; that’s okay.
Or maybe you’re not sure. I still
won’t let you see me sober.
Because, let me tell you, me sober?
I’m not what you think I am. I am
not who you think I am. I am not
the inquisitive, intelligent creature,
with an open smile or an easy laugh.
I am a darkling thing. Furtive.
Irrational. And sober, I do not have
my voice. Sober, I -- me -- myself--,
am not the strongest; I’m not the one
that is heard. This body, sober, isn’t me.
Someone else comes in
when the drugs wear off.
She walks like me, she talks like me --
but she isn’t me. I don’t want
you to meet her. Not yet. But someday,
you will look into her eyes. Will you
see me there, deep inside, standing
in her shadow? Will you see me
scream in silence? Will you see that
when I go mad, I do not go anywhere at all?
Will you see her and think she is me?
My sobriety is where she lives -- where
she rules -- where she is in control. So,
I don’t want you to see me sober.
Because I fear you won’t see me.
You will see her -- and she’s a fucking monster.
Let me keep her under lock and key.
Just a little longer. So maybe --
by the time you meet her --
maybe you’ll fight to keep me instead.

20 April 2016

Scott Expedition, 100 Years Later

What hubris was it
that grabbed hold
of his brain--
what madness seized
him, and said: Here,
where others failed
and died, here
I shall succeed;

In that remotest
part of the world
where there is no
night for months,
no horizon, no markers
by which to navigate.
Just the punishing
expanse of glacial
landscape in every
direction; no sea
and no sky, just
bare white desert
stretching infinite.

The bright yellow
sledges and red
rucksacks and blue
parkas were the only
colours to bend the eye.

And then, with
a headwind the whole
way for the first
nine hundred miles,
the two-man team
ran out of food.
Grit and determination
failed, gave way
to hypothermia
and malnutrition,
and there were times
he wanted to give up,
to die in the desert
of endless white noon.

Starving, ready
to lie down
in the snow,
'utterly pathetic,'
he radioed for supplies.

Sitting, eating
the smoked salmon
and cream cheese
on crackers before
resuming their journey
in the fabled footsteps
of the ill-fated Capt.
R. F. Scott (buried
under the ice),
he contemplated
his own failure
to complete this journey
unassisted, with only
what he could carry.

But surely the man
who died alone a century
past in the cold
on that shelf of ice
at the very edge
of the known world
would not begrudge
his successors' success.

written 17-02-2016


Take the fragments
of this clay pot
(broken into pieces
against the wooden table,
fallen to the floor)
and paint the seams with gold.
Fit them back together
and fire them in the kiln;
Life exists after death,
and light shines bright
in darkest spaces.
My body is the clay
vessel, made of the earth,
and of the sea, hardened
by the sun, and shattered by
the world; paint my scars
with gold dust and make
my brokenness beautiful.

19 April 2016


i am falling -- falling
falling in(to the void)
falling out (of love
with the world)
falling on (my knees)
falling up falling down
all around and back
again -- just constant
(constant constant)
constantly falling through
(space and time)
((place and purpose))
plummeting plunging
lunging lifting
and out and over
up begets down
and out chases in
(round and round)
and through
(through -- through)
falling through (him)
and (her) and (me)
and (we) and (they)
and (you) falling into
us and them
same and other
others fall with
fall against fall
fall back to down
fall down to out
twice and thrice
and once again
there is all and
naught and in
between the fallen
sacred spaces
(falling into ruin)
((falling in the dust))

18 April 2016


Take your fingers, my love,
and trace the scars. Here,
down the curve and underneath
the skin is hard, bubbled up
where the knife cut,
where the flesh parted,
where a piece of me came away.
Touch me where I am now
less than I was, with this
smooth, shiny reminder
of being more. I will close
my eyes as your hands explore
the new story my body
has to tell.

09 April 2016

Means and Ends 2

How it must feel
to shed all that density
that life-preserving fat
to feel the body split.
Is it transformation
or simply emergence?
Thin and fragile and cold
having only the fur enough,
stretched out like a rug,
on which to lie.

Means and Ends

The mermaid splits her
fin and gives up her voice
in the old story yet, the
pain beyond imagining, her
desire is stronger than
the knife that fillets her,
spreads her legs. Why
must it be a man who
gives her her own soul?

23 March 2016

in a state

Anxiety drips
tickles as it
trickles down,
pools at the
base of my
spine. Cold
spreads through
the muscles,
freezes them.
The tension--
suspension of
reality blurs,
burrows deep
inside: hides.
confounds reason.
Treasonous lies
blanket my
brain, the pain
of belief,
without relief
from the tangled,
mangled perception
of reception
of input, not
because no
worth can
the awful state
of the cracked
view from inside
looking out.

24 February 2016

Untold Tale

Sitting in silence
in the empty space
between words, I want
to form the links
between you and me--
not with gossamer
thread that may
tangle and tear,
but bonds forged
true, like steel:
no give, no take,
only spaces held
just so--definable,
and impossible
to break by accident.
I want to know
you whole--crawl
inside your head,
hear your hurts,
your fears, and
sometime wishes;
know each pinprick
of pain, each spot
of blood that
escaped the trappings
of your frail,
human body;
see, taste, touch
your soul. I
would stitch myself
into your side
with spider's silk,
become a part of
you, know your
mind, know what
the silences
mean in your own
language. I cannot
think there is an us
until I hear you
speak. There is no
us, just you and me
and the spaces that exist
unbound in silence.
I crave your native
tongue, want to
taste the words
that form to shape
a story that
is not mine.

20 January 2016


I want love.
I want pain.
I want space and I want closeness.
I want intimacy and I want mystery.
I want Romantic ideals and Gothic aesthetics.
I want colours.
I want freedom and I want restraint.
I want clean air.
I want to breathe.
I want to lose myself and I want to find myself.
I want stability and I want spontaneity.
I want discovery and I want wonder.
I want beauty.
I want silence.
I want sound and I want movement.
I want stillness.
I want complexity and I want simplicity.
I want misty rain and wet city streets at night.
I want the living and I want the dead.
I want memory and I want oblivion.
I want to create and I want to destroy.
I want heartbreak and I want healing.
I want fragility and I want resilience.
I want sleep.
I want dreams.
I want good things and bad things, joyous things and sad things.
I want to slip away
I want not to want.

But what I need is time.
And hope.

19 January 2016

A forgetting room

I want to forget you.
I want to forget the way I wanted you.
I want to forget how you turned my head inside out.
I want to forget the way you cut me down and bled me dry but left no visible wounds.
I want to forget waking up afraid.
I want to forget not daring to speak my mind.
I want to forget rescuing you constantly.
I want to forget how many friends I lost.
I want to forget how you fuelled my insecurities.
I want to forget how unworthy I felt, how worthless.
I want to forget how my problems were always framed in the context of how they affected you.
I want to forget your selfishness.
I want to forget how you tore me down because you could not lift yourself up any other way.
I want to forget my broken heart.
I want to forget the futures planned now forever out of reach.
I want to forget your false compassion.
I want to forget my foolishness in believing you were different.
I want to forget that I felt you were worth being honest.
I want to forget that you swore you would not judge me, only to do just that.
I want to forget that I thought you were my friend.

I want to let you go, because you have weighed me down for far too long.
This is the end.
This is the last thing you will ever get from me.

I will forge an oubliette just for you.
I will banish you there and take back all the power you took from me, claimed from me when I was too weak to claim it for myself.
I will seize what is mine and damn the rest of you to obscurity.