Phase of the Fridays
Today was Friday, it was one unending chaos in my mind. I spent the whole day thinking it was Thursday, and I don’t know why it’s such an unsettling feeling to realize you have been living the wrong day, but it is.
I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch, and have been doing that for a while. Yet I feel sicker and look worse. Is it my eyes or my body that’s changed? But it’s a game, a competition, keeping it to myself.
You sit on the floor around my bathroom door between the carpet and tile, like edging on entering. Like preparing to escape when needed. I am putting on layers and layers of different obnoxious lipstick shades, because I own them and never wear them.
You tell me all the things I “must be feeling” in your condescending tone. when I answer with silence, you change strategies. “Well I can’t read your mind. Communicate”.
this feels like a bad dream, like I am being fed lines, and there is nothing else to say. Like I already know what happens and have to let it play out. So I say what I do every Friday to you.
“I am just making it through the day the best that I can.”
The lipsticks are bleeding into each other. I like to think this is a once in a lifetime color combination on my lips right now. I could be kissing someone and pressing this unique shade along their cheeks.
You are pulling open my drawer of pills. “What the hell. It’s like you’re a pill bottle hoarder. These are all empty, why?”
I look into my own eyes in the mirror. She doesn’t look real. What is our next line?
“Oh, I am keeping track of all the meds I‘ve taken. the dates are on the bottles. It’s just helpful for organizing.”
You don’t need to know that they are collecting in that drawer until I can string them on a rope and hang them like decor. It’ll make a real statement: “I’m in pain!”
You shut the drawer making a tsk sound with your mouth. And you run a finger across the surface of my baseboards. I hate when you do that, as if the dust is testament of my failure. in the mirror I give myself a resolute nod, and remind myself I am not a homemaker. I am not my mother. I don’t need to clean my baseboards. But the reminders aren’t helping.
As I am rolling the tubes of lipstick back in color order, I can feel you behind me standing up. Walking around my apartment to observe things. My dusty books, the half-written journals jotted with angry handwriting, empty crusted-over bottles. These socks I have worn for three days, the holes stretching in them. Me.
We are all under your scrutiny.
I feel like a slimy specimen between two panes of glass, under a microscope. I feel like a germ or a mold, something you watch with disgusted fascination as it rots. You make me feel this way, and you do it every Friday.
When I watch my smeared mouth in the mirror, I wonder if it will open of its own accord and tell you how much I hate Fridays and you. Your eyes are lingering behind my shoulder still, waiting for the first mistake to be uttered. But if I speak or remain silent, I’m already in the wrong. I have already failed you with my existence.
I'm not asking you to save me, but maybe just turn your eyes away.
kneeling behind the
hazy screen whispering my
darkest secrets to the blackness
late night sessions
of relapse and guilt, I am
crying to the open window
to the nothingness like a
father in an empty
church, a glass
in my hand- communion for
souls that cannot keep vows
to anyone but themselves
to the cratered face of the moon
glowing with secrets kept, I am
pouring my heart out
to the crickets crying
in the grass, I am begging for
a second chance to find whatever we lost.
to the sky like a canvas of
water soiled from black to grey
to some bleak color in between
I am confessing myself.
I wish I was a different kind of dog
On a strange impulse,
I wave a knife near my dog's face.
He doesn't flinch or even
acknowledge the knife. He only looks at me
with horrible, trusting eyes.
His tail wags and I am disgusted.
I am ashamed of myself
for being capable of great violence.
More so, I am ashamed
of this human capability
to even consider harming him.
Which is free- the gun or the hand that holds it?
they wanted to know what it was like to kill somebody-
to pierce a hole in the so-called soul that humanity has whispered about for eternity,
to watch the color fade from someone's flesh, to
watch a person change into a mere mass of atoms that would sink back into the earth. to stand
back, see the blood on your fingertips, and know what it feels like to take.
i did not expect the question, mostly because of the way they stared at me
over the bulletproof glass.
fall for you
tell me where you always wish you were, on the
empty days when every hour feels the same,
the dreams that give your life color.
tell me what you see, what you think about
right before you fall asleep.
where do you go when you feel trapped?
show me late-night you, dancing in a messy kitchen
to your favorite 3 am song.
laugh til you hurt over your favorite memory,
the one that you forget sometimes, but never fails to make you smile.
show me which sounds and smells take you
back to when you were five years old.
let me sit on the edge of your bed while you show off
your softest pajama pants, the ones that don’t reach your ankles anymore.
read me your favorite book, tell me why it’s a piece of you,
make inside jokes with me about the part that made you laugh.
let me run my fingers around the edges of your face, and tell me
what you don’t like about yourself, what you would fix.
stuff a pillow under the door, turn up the music,
and sing loud til your voice cracks.
tell me all of your favorite things, they will be mine too.
show me what makes you cry, what do you do with your tears?
and anger. what do you do in those heated moments
with closed fists or deep breaths?
i want to know your weapon of choice, words
or merely cold silence?
and when the sun sets, i want to watch your eyes get tired,
fall asleep with your hand pressing against mine.
if you take me with you to your dreams,
what will we see?
show me your worst dance moves, your terrible accent,
that movie that reminds you of someone in a bitter way,
let me watch what you’re like when you first wake up,
what song you hum under your breath.
i want to know which words make you melt,
to know if you’re the kind of person that isn’t afraid of getting old.
take me with you to the store, while you have a handful of cash
and a basket full of this-and-that snacks.
i want to notice your breath catch at whatever it is you find most beautiful,
the sunrise or the sunset? the stars or the rain?
i want to memorize you, stay awake
to listen to your heart beat so soft.
to be the first person to see the entire universe that is
hidden deep in who you really are.
show me the things that make you lose words;
what you live for, what you’d die for.
all of the sudden, your favorite color will be mine.
your eyes- your voice- your smile, will be my memories.
peel away the ‘i’m good, how are you?’ and show me
what wars are being fought in your mind.
when people ask who i am, what we are, call me
build a home for me in your heart
that doesn’t get replaced.
i'll be here to know you
when no one else does,
and i'll love what i see
between the lines of good and bad.
i will take the pieces of your heart
that you give me and love them well.
tell me how far you've fallen
this is how i
fall for you.
STOP writing me postcards
your postcards are a contradiction, a
confusion between love or like or in-between
when someone's fallen and mis-
interprets returned feelings
your postcards could say 'i love you, i
miss you, these are my hands writing
to you, touching you across this
distance, which is the only thing separating
me from you, we feel the same.'
your postcards only say 'i love you, just
not enough to be where you are. not
enough to be in your life, what i want
is far from you, far from your desires and
our feelings and hands do not meet,
so here is a postcard of polite i'm sorrys.'
you send a postcard and spend a moment
thinking of me like a duty to check off
and here i am holding the paper
reading to determine if it is an 'i love
you and' or an 'i love you but'.
when i already know your postcards
are made of paper, not the pulse your
hand pressed against it while writing, you
are not sending me your heart though i
do i would i will, the ink i imagine is your
voice in liquid, but if you wanted it that way
you would have called so i could feel you
breathe through the phone, feel alive when
you say hi and feel my stomach sink after
the phone clicks off. but here is a slice of
dead tree in my hands with your name signed
like a restaurant check, you are the type to
never leave tips
tip me off this then, when your body is
gone, where is your heart? with mine or
flying place to place? do you have one?
because a postcard says too many things to
interpret. there are always words in between
the ones people say. that is the difference between
hi, hey, hello. bye, later, goodbye.
what do you say when you send me a card
from the first door off the airplane, a card with
a picture of the places you see out your
hotel window? don't tell me 'i'm good, work is
good'. tell me what you feel when you're alone
with that pen and paper. does the hotel bed
feel like home. who do you imagine filling
the empty space?
if the only thing filling the empty space
between you and i is a postcard, send me
themed shot glasses too. and landmark
tshirts and plastic keychains and airplane peanuts.
will you waste your money in gift shops until you think
of me at all?
no let me show you what i mean.
bring me the shirt you slept in, the
coffee cup your mouth touched, the pillow your arms held
the phone on your cheek, the rain that ran through your hair
the light that falls on your face in the morning.
send those in the postcard
i want to ask them what it's like.