Dear Mom,

I wonder when was the last time that someone said to you outloud “I love you”, and that you truly believed it?

I’m not sure what your definition of love is, because I know that it differs from mine. I was able to understand what the words trust, loyalty, and unconditional meant only after several years of defining them for myself. I had to pry them out of the hands of the dark things like struggle, grief, betrayal, and lonliness.

If you were like me once, than I understand why you feel the need to medicate with alcohol. I have never indulged in its effects, but from what I understand, it helps to numb out all of the overwhelming thoughts and feelings. And to be quite frank, there are days, and especially nights when I wish to do that myself. I wish that I could escape.

Its not all about escape, I know, Mom. Especially not for you. Part of the reason I had to pull away from you was because of how the demons would let loose when you drank. Even through the phone lines, they would settle their weight on my heart and my shoulders.

..I was too young then, to comprehend holding up under my own weight, much less bear yours, or anyone else for that matter.

I’m writing to let you know I never left you in anything but love. I just needed to figure out how to love myself first. I would have sunken my own ship if I had remained tethered.

So I left you, I left everything and everyone I had in New York. And it took me years still to understand that I could love myself, and still never leave behind those pieces of myself. I still miss you, and wish things were different.

I still hope that they will be different, someday. Even though I understand now how heavy and solidly swing the hands of time. How hard it is to change. And how we can only do our best to keep going.

With love,

Karalee

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Routinely Out of Order

When I put one foot in front of the other

And end up tripping myself

I laugh through the stumble

Not believing I could purposefully do

such a thing.

But when I leave five minutes

After I should have,

Everytime,

All the time,

I drive white knuckled and swear,

Upset at anyone who delays me.

When I stare at a pile of clothes,

An unkempt mixture of laundered and worn,

I dread how I will have to carve

Out

a big chunk

of time to fix it,

But tuck the morsels of not doing it

Right then and there,

into my “Im too busy”s,

As they catch up on Netflix.

Oh yes, I always envied the houses

Where drawers had one purpose,

Someone calling out to you

“It should be in there!”

Knowing it would be,

Whilst I prayed in my own house

“It Should be in there!

(Please be in there.

Please. Its gotta be right in there. I swear I put it there. Where else would I have put it?)”

Yes, life has handed me chaos,

But I’m the one paying her decoratoring

Expenses.

I should probably look into doing something

about that.

Next week.

 

 

A Witness to Defeat

She says

“You seem defeated lately.”

And primarily,

the only response to offer

Is a lift of the chin,

feeling caught.

 

Quietly..

“What?”

A placeholder,

Time to chew,

Surprise.

 

Again,

 

“ You seem defeated lately.”

Eyes are gentle around the edges.

Calm.

 

Weight shifts back

in reflection

Blood pauses at hips

In contemplation;

And thats when

 

Struggle meets realization:

Steps out of the dark

Mornings

it has wanted to

Lay in forever.

 

Begins to fold

The unwashed laundry

On the bed.

Tries to tidy the creases.

And realizes,

 

It has

been seen.  

 

My Fuck You’s sound a lot like Have a Great Times

When you’ve dug yourself deep

In the wounds of my mind.

 

You see, I’m no good at Monopoly,

Chess is where I excel,

And if you refuse to show vulnerability,

Then you lose mine as well.

Continuously Passing Storms

The sun was hot, and the air was mild compared to the heaviness of the conversation that she just had with her girlfriend who lay beside her. Lifting her face from the damp towel below, she opened her eyes, squinting away the brightness of the sun as she looked over and took in her girlfriends face. It always seemed so serene that it was hard to guess what was going on within her.

Looking away, she closed her eyes once more, having memorized the slope of her lovers eyebrows, and the fullness of her lips as she had done a thousand times, perpetually mesmerized.

It wasn’t the first time that she had entered the realm of catalyst, the push for a significant other to re-examine their time and energy. But she hoped that this time wouldn’t be like the others, who were not ready for that shift, and thus, met their downfall under the waterfall of her belief. Unfortunately, there was only one way to find out.

 

Was it possible to get comfortable in discomfort? She had more or less adjusted to this state over the years. It was impossible she was unique, but it was more probable that others cherished the consistency of that space less than she.

She opened her eyes again, finding the freckles that had become so kindred to her over the last year, and tapped back into the present. There was another woman inhabiting their sacred space, an omnipresent potential for the both of them. The potential for her lover was that this woman would become whole, and give back the effort that she had poured into her over several years. The potential for her, was that her lover would find ease in this previous lovers arms and cycles of comfortable discord, and shift her commitment away from their current infatuation.

 

The Buddhists say that non-attachment is one of the highest forms of spiritual awakeness. The idea that anything can belong to us, or remain constant, is just an illusion, and much of our suffering is due to it. The truth was, that she hadn’t tapped into such a removed and detached space of examination with her lover since their first months of courtship. Was this progress or regression? She found it hard to tell, and thus decided that maybe it was both. The fact of the matter was that a paradox existed, and throwing feelings into it would only deepen the hole. Only curiosity, questions, and space could coax the truth from the situation.

She began to think about it deeper.. I believe that of the most passionate loves we find in life, one is the first person to declare us lovable and desirable. They give us the confidence to see ourselves as a being who is sexual and romantic, which separates us from the familiar roles of daughter, sister, and friend. The second great love is the one whom we try to return the gift too, and to whom we can never fully achieve this. They leave us thirsting. And they leave us longing for resolution.

 

She closed her eyes briefly, blocking out the glistening sand in her gaze. Then she pressed the lids of her eyes together in the effort of holding onto the analytical side of her; as though the pressure she used could push out any feelings that might dilute or conflict these valuable insights.

This other woman.. she was one of those great loves. And she wasn’t ready to go away, just as her lover wasn’t ready to give up the key that she held onto. That key might as well be a metaphor for their connection, the concept art of the longing that fueled them..that tether of intimacy that could be opened at aytime given the word.

The clouds rolled by, and her lover asked her what she wanted to do next? Was it time to get up and go find sustenance? Or did she want to stay a while longer?

Later, the same question of whether being uncomfortable could become the most comfortable default would come back up as she spread aloe over the sun burn that painted her back red.

Pacing (free write)

Her feet pace

the tile floor

like the steps

of a Lioness

waiting

for her prey.

How many times

have these feet

traveled

back

and forth

over these years

Retracing things

lost

contemplating things gained

There is a sameness

to it

all .

Humbling.

Forgetting.

to pace herself

She wears thin

the soles

of her sneakers,

and of her energy.

Waiting to pounce

always.

Survival

Marked by

deterioration.

How do you live

if you’re not alive?

How does one

learn a different way ?

Pacing.

Electronic signals

creating background

symphony.

Being watched.

Keep moving.

Don’t let them see

knees buckle

from the hardness

of the foundation.

Pacing

Stalking

Surviving.

Rest

In your dreams.

 

Such a damned thing. (freewrite)

Gorging on the sanctity of exhaustion

“happy” chemicals moving through limbs

tongues, fingers, eyes

free falling from reality

letting cares trespass outside

no longer penned up for close observation

their florescent desertion feels right.

The only way to feel calm

under course skin of palms

is to claim complete exhaustion

and sought after solitude

and understand how cliche it is

to be grateful

for such a damned thing.