Marriage

Behind the curtain of marriage I treasure the single men I know, each one a potential gem who would surely treat me better than my husband does.

I imagine how they would listen to me as we engage in stimulating conversations over a meal they provided, how respectful and grateful they would act, how passionate as lovers, how giving and attentive.

I fantasize about men who balance their check books and clean up after themselves, men who are calm and communicate maturely, who do the damn dishes, who save money or at least spend it on their family, who let go of past hurts, evolve and hold space for me to do the same.

I try to make myself at home within the sound-proof confines of my marriage, though the walls threaten to close in and crush me; both execution device and tomb.

Within the secret tortures of my marriage, my husband and I fight fervently leading up to the moment that we arrive out our friends’ houses, quickly plastering smiles on our faces as we ring the doorbell.

My veins are scalded by resentment for all the ways my husband takes miles without giving an inch.

I scan the horizon for a silver lining, a way to improve my situation: so far marriage counseling, life coaching and me doing the work on myself have all fallen short.

Yet deep below the cracks in our relationship, I sense a fertile humus.

We share more than our sordid history together; we make a home and a family.

We are united in our love for our baby, though we often disagree bitterly on how to raise her.

We share a commitment to our life together and a vision of our future, though we put different amounts of effort and resources towards both: in our relationship, I do all the earning and handle all the responsibilities for our household.

He drags down my energy and my finances, invoking a slow and destitute death.

Perhaps I’m not in a position to judge him: maybe he is the better one and I am the bitter one.

For now, I remain hidden behind the curtain of marriage, bound to my husband and yet alone.

Off My Chest

I need to get you off my chest

I’ve never felt relaxed in my life because you raised me in the war zone of your wrath
Bombs of panic explode in my mind all day every day
Choking me with your smoke and mirrors even though you are far away
My ears ring with your shouting
You were the biggest little tyrant
Not even two years my senior
Yet always more needy
Mandating, yet begging
I didn’t realize the power I had over you, and still do
You were the one dependent on me for affirmation, not the other way around
I didn’t have a choice then, but I do now-
To live a life without your storms brewing on my horizon
I’ve never slept well in my life because I thought you were going to murder me in my sleep throughout our childhood and adolescence
I used lie in bed wearing a cross around my neck with a note attached to it asking you to think before acting, waiting for dawn to break, dreading another day with you, feeling trapped and hopeless with no end in sight
I never felt protected, respected, seen or heard by our parents
In moments of desperation, I wish you had killed me
Instead you continue to torture me passive aggressively, and I am passive passive aggressive
Silenced, as if buried alive
I toss and turn, tormented between insomnia and nightmares
I’m trying to think before I act
I am upset that I’m even thinking about you now
I am upset about how you get upset ‘at’ me: you throw your rage at me and have me clean up the mess, time and time again, left to calm your ass down as if your reactions were justifiable or somehow my fault
It was never my fault
I am not responsible for how you feel
Leave me alone you evil bitch
I want to scream at you with the force of 35 years of repressed anger and tears
At the same time, I am trying to let go of the hot coal which burns my palm
I am trying to let the rippling waters of my pond be still
I am trying to not be irritated, for only then will you no longer be irritating
I am trying to take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings
I am tired of trying so damn hard
I am ready for ease
I am ready for peace
I am ready to breathe
Please, get off my chest
I don’t need to ask- I am responsible for how I feel
I’m not sure what to do next
I’ll probably meditate and self-medicate with raw emo poetry
Like the note pinned to my cross-necklace, you will probably never read this
But maybe those who matter will
Those who feel they are suffering alone
May find healing in this onion peel
And breathe just one breath more freely
For this I humbly pray
Namaste

Sex, Money, Dishes

Tell me you’ve never fought with your partner about sex, money, or dishes.
Sex
I used to fight endlessly about sex, mainly because I didn’t want to have it but my partners did, so we’d fight and fuck, then I’d cry and be blinded by images of destroying my body or their body just to stop the rape and the torture of not feeling safe in my skin. Amazingly, we all survived and now I have a loving partner with whom I have gold-medal sex; you have to experience it to believe it, it’s like I’m cashing in on some sex fund which I invested in long ago. Happily I don’t fight about sex anymore- I’ve got a man I’m attracted to inside and out, and he loves me the way I want to be loved.
Money
I used to exchange sex for money. It seemed like there was always too much sex and not enough money in those transactions, or transgressions. Even those back-alley deals were more straight forward than my relationships in which sex was exchanged for the illusion of not being alone, for food, housing or ‘safety’, though I learned that the cost to my physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing which false relationships exacted was not worth the dinners, drinks, gifts of lingerie, attention or the roof over my head. You might get raped if you travel alone, but if you travel with a man you are guaranteed to get raped. Live within your means because fine dining won’t taste good if you are eating with a strange man, believe me I know. If you have to learn on your own I understand, however if my years of pain can help prevent a moment of your suffering, it will have been worth it.
Dishes
Rare is the man who finishes the dishes. Common are the men who stack the dishes artfully in the sink until there is barely room to turn on the faucet. I have noticed this pattern during my co-habitations with men. I’ve done too many dishes. It especially irks me when men drown sponges in the rinsed yet still not washed dish pile, unperturbed as the sponge decomposes into a musty mess. Men seem deaf to the silent cries of the forgotten dish sponge. Day after day, I rescue the sponge, wringing it out and restoring it to its rightful place safe on dry land, in sight. My man shows his love for me not only through our award-winning sex, but also through money (ie, responsibility for personal  finances to contribute to our future together) and dishes: ladies and gentlemen, my man did the dishes tonight, thus allowing me time to write the words you read. If a man loves you he will want to learn your love language, which you must teach him with patience, positive reinforcement, and more patience.
I grew up doing the dishes, in poverty, and sexually molested by family and friends. My sister would beat me when she got in trouble for not doing the dishes with me after we were told to do them, but the alternative would have been getting beaten by my parents for not doing the dishes, so I was going to get beat no matter what I did. I wished that someone would do the fucking dishes with me. A girl can get lonely amidst the dissolving suds.

Dance with the Devil

I’ve met the Devil plenty of times
He’s a man with a drink in his hand, asking for mine
He’ll buy me a drink and drop a few dimes
But in the end, he’s just another waste of my time

I’ve seen the Devil at close range
I feel his eyes on me; he looks at me strange
When I hesitate to perform his every wish
(Whether or not I know what his wish is)

At first I make him happier than he’s ever felt before
Until I leave his heart panting on the floor
I survive with him til I remember how much I’d thrive without him

Like anesthesia, my amnesia wears off eventually

And when it does it’s like I wake up in the middle of surgery

Open heart in a bloody mess, I struggle to pick myself up and get dressed

Headed for the horizon, under duress, yet determined and strong, I sing my single song

Until I meet my sacred Devil again

And he gives me another chance to burn, another opportunity to learn

How many times must I learn how to get out of a toxic relationship?

Please, let this be the last time

The key lies in prevention, so I laid down a one simple rule:

Never be alone with a man behind closed doors, especially when alcohol is involved

The Devil likes to dance naked with me
His dick points at me like a compass needle
And I’m due-North, though I’d like to head South
His dick feels like a poison mushroom in my mouth
I want to spit it out, and shout:

Devil be gone- we’ve been dancing too long!
My feet hurt and they’re caked with dirt
Haven’t we made each other suffer enough?
Surely, your attachment to me feels rough
When I rip myself away

I’ve ripped myself away from the Devil
Plenty and plenty of times
I hope that I can quit him for life
You are my witness by reading this rhyme

Ask Why

Ask why
And eventually you may find
That the universe
Holds mirrors up to itself
Is it lonely, vain, or just curious?
Regardless, a seemingly complex image is actually very simple
Once you realize it is all one, rather than countless separate points

When I ask why
It reveals much about my life
Like ‘Why don’t I remember a lot of my childhood?’
‘That’s your first clue!’ my father replied with stern intensity when I first pondered the question out loud
Leaving the mystery to be solved by me
To figure out what happened to me when I was very small
Why must I go it alone? Such a long, hard road                                                                     Paved with spiritual gem stones

Asking why
Revealed that the motivating factors                                                                                              Behind my human interactions
Were either fear or love
Perhaps that is why the universe seems divided
By so much space

Upon closer inspection
Fear and Love
Are one and the same
Although to see that
May melt your eyes into the sun

I find that it is worth it                                                                                                                             To ask why                                                                                                                                   Though the answer is blinding                                                                                                  From asking why                                                                                                                                   I see clearly for the first time

Worse Things

Sometimes when I drink alone-
One cold beer on a hot summer’s night,
At the end of a long day,
to wash lingering anxiety away
I wonder if I am an alcoholic
But then I think
There are worse things to be

Like those who destroy the earth
To feed their insatiable greed

Like pedophiles and rapists
Serial killers
Users and abusers of women and children

The dramatic and manipulative
Who are unnecessarily cruel to their loved ones

Those who blame everyone but themselves for their own egregious behavior
Instead of looking within

The judgemental and cold-hearted
Who raise their voice when they should be listening

Waking Up

Last night I had two dreams
In the first
I dreamt that I was sleeping
My mom came into my bedroom and molested me
The way she did
As usual I felt horrified, humiliated, furious, violated, suffocated
I tried to shake her off but she was still bigger than me
Even after all these years

In my struggle to escape
I woke up
In my own house at last
At least I didn’t wake up to the living nightmare
Of my childhood

Eventually I fell back asleep
And dreamt of an angry man
He thought that I was the cause of his anger
Though I knew that his anger went far beyond me
I tried to hide
To make myself smaller and more silent than I already am

But I was not small or silent enough
He found me and shot me with a gun
Many times in my body and my head
But I kept right on breathing
And felt once again relieved
To wake up alone                                                                                                                           Instead of wake up to the living nightmare                                                                                         Of my adult relationships with men

When I wake up alone                                                                                                                          I wake up to peace                                                                                                                                 I wake up to infinite potential                                                                                                                  I wake up free to be myself                                                                                                                  I am just now learning                                                                                                                  Who I am