Break Out

Another volcano appears on my skin; painful and angry.

God only knows how many have surfaced and eventually healed.

I’d say that my acne appears out of nowhere, but I have a strong suspicion that my unbalanced lifestyle is at the root.

My fingers trace the latest eruption like braille, decoding the message my body is trying to tell me, has been trying to tell me since the first zit appeared on my face 27 years ago.

I hear, see, and feel you, body

You are my friend and not my enemy

You taught me to see symptoms as symbols, like how my shiny face embodies the way I mirror whoever is in front of me.

You quietly protest that I stop convincing myself of the lie that I don’t have time to take care of myself or to nourish myself adequately, that I am unworthy of love.

‘Break free from outdated beliefs that are no longer serving you’ you whisper nearly imperceptibly.

Your sage wisdom is getting harder to ignore.

Sleep Talking

Long ago and far away
On a bus grinding through the night
The air thick with sweat and grime
All we had was time
Beer and ice cream on my lips
Bitterness and liquor on his
The man next to me said that I was afraid of talking in my sleep
He overstepped the boundary that I failed to establish between us
Sometimes when I wake up alone, I wonder if my lover heard me sleep-talking and left me to wallow in my past
I want to tell him the truth about my life, but I fear that he would stop loving me,
or worse- rehash it endless times and tell his religious family who would judge me as a hell-bound, lying, baby-killing whore
They’d be right, in a sense
I have exchanged sex for money and I’ve had 3 abortions, each one horrible in its own way, but not as bad as being stuck in an abusive, disempowering situation
Judge not, motherfuckers
I don’t want any man to judge the decisions I’ve made about my body
Least of all a man who is financially dependent on my career: a profession which swallowed my fetuses whole
My past is nobody’s business┬ábut my own
I don’t want to be given a hard time for the hard times I’ve already been through
I’m trying to heal and move on
I’m trying to meet myself with compassion for the trauma I’ve endured
I am strong and tough and vulnerable and delicate
My dark secrets are at once more innocent and scandalous than my jealous partners imagine
I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore so I stopped being pregnant
You weren’t supporting me by being broke and leaving me shamefully unmarried
I didn’t want to spend the weekend with you so I didn’t
I regret the weekend away because the other men treated me both better and worse than you, but I love you- painfully clear now that the hormonal storm of pregnancy has simmered down
Why do I set myself up for drama and disaster? I’m trying to heal but your rehashing of the past dredges up emotional detritus, dragging me back
My old stress addiction dies hard
I clamp my jaw
My teeth grind like a bus in the night
I pray that I didn’t sleep talk last night