The Spill

Torn between love and money, I watch as my hard won earnings bleed into the streets with each frivolous purchase made by my husband, who is indifferent to my suffering.

I panic and feel weak, disoriented and dizzy from shock and ongoing loss.

I fantasize about divorce, then gather myself and remind myself that I have survived worse, that I have more savings now than I’ve ever had before, as humble as my life is at present.

Ever industrious, I set to stitching my wounds.

I don’t want to be lonely and rich, but in my marriage I currently feel lonely and poor because my husband is not on my team and he embitters the fruits of my labor.

I’m not sure how I will ever clean up this spill.

Hard

I don’t know what to do so I won’t do anything

I don’t know what to say, so I’ll sing

How come you give it to me, but I never give it to you?

I’m waiting for permission that is only mine to grant

I don’t know why- yes I do- you were hurt by me, I was hurt by you

If I were to tell you how I feel, what would I say?

I think you’re less than perfect too

I’ve committed crimes, but so have you

I don’t give you a hard time, maybe you could try that too

I need you to love me gently, instead of hardly

We don’t speak the same love language and I’m talking to myself again

You start fires, I put them out

You get loud and I want to shout

I don’t know what to do, so I won’t do anything

You won’t hear me complain because I don’t

Maybe you could try a little introspection and I could try a little introspection

We could be each other’s reflection, like we are

We’re made of stars

Why is this so hard

Hunted

Do not make me feel afraid in my home, where I pay the bills with the earnings from my skills

Where I clean up the spills and cure the ills

Yet I still cannot prevent melt-downs

Despite my walking on eggshells, I set off landmines of drama from time to time

These very words have potential to cause damage, depending on whose eyes find them

My intolerance of conflict is impractical

The physiologic reaction that my body is under threat with every disagreement is not helpful anymore

I take my herbal sedatives and guide my body through relaxation yoga nidra style, yet the pounding in my chest won’t let me rest, even when I visualize it as a drumbeat of peace, rippling outward and keeping rhythm as I soften muscle away from bone, cell from cell and thought from thought

Still I feel hunted in my own home in my own bed in my own head

This is the time that if I had something stronger I’d take it for brief relief. I am curious to try the medications I prescribe for patients with ailments identical to my own.

Instead I write with a smile of gratitude for the fact that I don’t have a prescription because I’d miss out on the therapeutic bliss of this midnight poem if I did.

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.

Warfare Fetish

I hurt myself
I commit acts of violence toward myself
I take a loaded gun- a bare cock, lock it into place,
Point it at my bulls-eye cervix
And fire away

Blast boom bam
Bedazzling fireworks are followed by smoke and tears
I burned myself in the crossfire for too many years
My body is the battlefield
The dust settles and the smoke clears
I know what I must do- get rid of this unhealthy relationship, drop that atomic break-up bomb on this unsuspecting man’s heart

Though he will complain of the grenade-like explosion I throw at him,
I am the one who picks up the pieces
I am the one who deals with pregnancy and gets an abortion
I am the one who feels the pain of picking out the bullet and the shrapnel shards- the little life growing inside my uterus

I’m sorry, little one
I’m so sorry
You didn’t get a fighting chance
I was fighting myself all along

I want peace for you, me and all beings
Finally, the dear doctor who provided my most recent abortion agreed to give me an IUD

I let out a sigh of relief, feeling supported by this safety net
I finally have control over my body and my future
No more pregnancy scares

I want to practice safer sex
With condoms every time
With printed STI results
That my partner and I exchange
Before we come close to swapping bodily fluids
I never want to have an abortion again

The next time I get pregnant, it will be because I want to, because I am ready, because my partner and I are committed to each other, and are committed to care for another little life.

After warring against myself for many years,
At last my love for myself has come along
May I take a break from singing this sad song-
May I stop getting my rocks off on harming myself
May I put my masochism back on the shelf.

May I no longer explore my fetish of warfare against myself.