Sometimes I let my emotions drip all over me
As I’m baptized in an ocean
Where a new person emerges, born of choices made in haste
And a future that’s drawn out
To the tempo of these thoughts
And for a while I had you
You were my shot of whiskey,
You were my NyQuil,
You were my novel to dream about,
You were the person to press against until sweet sleep washed over me.
And now I just have myself to beckon the sandman.
Yet if I was able to beguile him before, I know I can tonight.
But you weren’t just my remedy for insomnia
Call It a Poem, I guess.
A few years ago she exploded.
And found shards of herself scattered in places she used to know and even masses upon people...
Staring at some in fascinating dismay, a piece so disfigured it took a moment to recognize it.
Some pieces were studied so closely she was amazed that it was even once a part of her, as it was so foreign in the present.
Other pieces she tried to insert back into the web of holes inside, to no avail.
She took other people's abandoned parts, they fit better than her own.
She was a kaleidoscope of human shrapnel, the people who were also torn; stitching their way into her new person.
And then, she exited the cellar of her mind.
Past the den, where the library of memories sits, some books scattered on the desk; still opened.
She walked past the kitchen, where she created and consumed.
She left the house entirely, and began a conversation with the person next to her.
Collecting more pieces as she goes.
Springtime in the Capitol
I feel like a tulip in the snow
Mourning something that is ending
Yet simultaneously excited for new life
A perfect dichotomy
The flash of bright, vibrant, electric color
Against the devoid, blistering, piercing absence of it
Both run deep
And yet amongst the finale
Comes a beginning
A circle that never ends
As the beginning and the end blur
I feel like
Between the unique crystallizations of snowflakes
And the chlorophyll of petals
10 Years Without a Name
The first time my name was taken from me, I was eight years old. It was second grade, and my peers were perfecting the stage of cognitive development to make comparisons and contrasts, yet could not overcome the difficulty in telling me apart from my twin.
“Pair up with one of the twins.” the teacher would say, when someone needed a partner and my sister and I were still waiting to be picked.
“Hey twin.” A classmate would say, to get my attention. I tried to assert myself, ask why they couldn’t call me by my real name. They defended their actions — they couldn’t tell us apart. Three years into grade school, at third grade now, and they could not decipher us? I was a twin….not a classmate. I was not a peer. Not one of them. Not human. Some other thing. Not Natalie, not me. I was not known for me. I did not have defining characteristics to be enjoyed by others in friendship. I was just a unit.
The second time my name was taken, was at home.
“Come here dipsit!” my father would yell at me, trying to get my attention to clean something or watch him teach me a process.
“Whatever, dork.” He’d reply to most of my pleas for kindness.
“Quit pissing around, idiot.” - was a common phrase I heard when I was bored at home, with parents who didn’t put my sisters and I in some sort of sport or program so we wouldn’t be “pissing” around.
Living under that roof was as humiliating as walking through the hallways, mute and shy to everyone chattering to each other in their free time around me. “Twin” soon became replaced with the characteristics they did see in me, such as “midget”, in celebration of my short stature. I did not stray from the limits assigned to me.
My classmates needed a female to be at the bottom rung. They needed me.
The third time I had my name taken from me, was the last time. I was eighteen, and I was leaving my parent’s home for college. Whatever pet name that slipped out that day has been long forgotten by now.
I would come around in the summers, but it was different this time. The distance helped lessen any tension and blame I placed on them for my lack of cultivated talent or connections I could bring to campus, and shifted the paradigm in that I was more of a guest in their home. I was no longer physically reprimanded for a mistake I made — mistakes that are better learned from with discussion and explanation than the way that they were handled. I was not sure if I was respected, but I was no longer treated like an animal. I was human. I wanted to learn all I could about the world; about others. I wanted to learn a skill - to dance, to write, to volunteer, to succeed.
I was Natalie.
The Noble Elements
He told me it was okay if I did not love him yet
I asked him if he remembered chemistry
Elements - they can change what they are
An element is made
Of electrons and neutrons and protons -
But the number of electrons that orbit the nucleus
Determine what type of element it is
The noble elements are stable
As they have chemically bonded to a point
That no other electrons are needed - it is whole.
If there is an atom with three electrons
Floating near a pair with five electrons,
Immediately the electrons will 'jump' to meet the other
They form an entirely new element of eight.
It is scientifically called 'excited'
My soul is not necessarily looking for that perfection
But I am floating through life
Looking for things to 'excite' me
To change me, elementally
To make my essence more complex as I age
To challenge my current structure
To be more refined, sophisticated, noble
That is what it is called after all,
Once they reach that magic number of eight
That noble element
That’s what I mean when I say
I don’t sense the chemistry between us
Retroactive Love Letter
I remember a time someone asked when I knew that I liked him - assuming that I did
He admitted that for him it was at some event
I said the same
But the truth was
I didn’t really notice him at all
I remember the first time someone asked me that same question
He admitted that when I walked past his desk at work
Donning a new black skirt with ruffles
That was the Spring that I would wake up every morning
Asking my roommate of her opinion of my outfit
For him, I said the same
He’d wear this black button down
Smile in a way that reminded me of a vacation
I meant it the first time
In a city of so many people,
Men and women seem to have lost sight of thier value in each other
Back in antiquity
Seeing a beauty was a sheer blessing
The impetus of an epic romance
But in a modern day metropolis of cosmetically attractive beings
We collect each other, almost
A connection with someone
Is just another tally on one's ability to socialize
We view each other’s lives as silent spectators
Our only outreach to others lies in the double tap on our phone screen
Helen of Troy is gone
He’ll never know who I am
That man who asked me when I first started liking him
But if he knew who I was years ago,
Would he have even felt the same way that he did back then?
What causes me to see myself scattered across this glass pane
Beholder witnessing its own begotten thoughts
Fleeting in this state
I reflect on my own experience
How my parents would look away
When we began to water ourselves with each blink
Who wants to look into the mirror of your own mistakes
I was a hostage of my blunders
As my tears write a story down my cheek
The words, the description,
Is there a way I can say this -
To feel the tight grip of anguish so strong
That you feel the lash whip across your chest,
Your mind swirls with the strong gust of anger, rage
Is it simply a self-victimization on a dreary day,
That my soul evokes
As a cruel way to comfort myself?
Is it a way to manifest a company to my solitude,
Conjure a feeling so intense
That it could be another presence in the room?
My younger days beseech a navigator for this life
The world’s current is too strong
And I was never a good swimmer
So I go with the flow
Else I’ll drown in these thoughts
Instead of fighting life’s waves
I ride them
At first all the turbulence and changes
In the once calm and visible for miles water,
It was so dizzying it made me sick
The waves obstructed my path
My nature was to go against the current
But things got easier
When I let the current take me
Accept that I would zig and zag
This was a storm after all
It won’t be an easy current
But in the end
I start to enjoy all the turns
It made the journey more exciting
I no longer fear change
I no longer look over my shoulder
At the calm water behind my waves
I make my own waves now