5am

Although I woke up

Before the night was finished sleeping

I caught her in the midst of dreaming.

She let me breathe with her.

Let her calm wash over me

As, for a quick moment, I gazed

In awe at the stars in her dark hair.

 

Oh moon, it’s been so long

Since I felt loved in such a way

So thank you

For letting me steal that morning kiss.

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October 17, 2018

There’s a kind of

Twinkle in the heaters

After being asleep

For so long.

They warm their voices

Stretch their brittle bones

And get ready for winter.

They start out the evening

With a quiet

And gentle

Song and dance to say

Hello.

Requiem

Trauma sticks onto muscles like tar.

After so long of being clean

From anyone who could

Fill my lungs with that same smoke

Why is it I still feel the burns

In my throat

Down my spine

And in every inch of my body.

 

I am afraid to love.

Your lies beat bruises against my lungs,

They swallowed me whole

Till I too became a lie.

Truth was a foreign language

And I knew only the drugged and drunken

Daydreams we called home.

 

Abused and manipulated.

My scars were not visible,

Because you toyed with my mind

With hands so strong

And a tongue so sharp

That my nightmares sometimes remember Just how hard they tried to

Convince me that I was wrong.

 

I still hear whispers every now and again.

Over and over in my head I hear only

The voices of those who blamed me

Because I convinced myself

I was not worthy of forgiveness

For the knives you drew

 

I still mourn the bodies left

From a battle I did not start.

Including my own.

But I have found someone beautiful

In the ashes of my own fire.

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Old Flame For New Fires

There is a past that lingers behind me.

There is and will always be

A dust trail of my mistakes,

A wisp of smoke left

From the cigarette I quit —

Squashed and burnt

Against cold pavement.

I will always apologize

For the woman I could not control,

The woman I needed to be

When the world asked questions

That I did not yet know the answers to.

But beside me, to silence

Every habitual apology

Is a stronger woman.

Beside me, is a new self

For every knee-jerk reflex that

I have not yet massaged out of my bones.

For every time I raise my arm

To beat down against the girl

Who ‘should have know better,’

This time I will hold myself back

And remember.

She shouldn’t have.

She couldn’t have.

The layers of women in me,

Continuously reflecting,

Listen with overactive ears,

They know they will never be able

To rewrite the history

They had no choice in creating

But they will do what they can

To set me up for a

Stronger

Happier

More loving

More supportive

More accepting

But always human

Future.

August 13, 2018

You get so used to being alone, with all of its beauties and frustrations. It grows comfortable like a second skin. Then as soon as someone disrupts that — breaks the silence of a narrative you’ve been building in your head over and over and over — it feels. Strange. They hold the body you have spent weeks, months, or however long building an armor around. They ask you to soften. It is both sweet and all at once heartbreaking. You’ve gotten used to the lies, the flowers we tell each other to uphold the preservation, the appearance, of love or admiration. When at the heart of it we are animals. We want sex. We want warmth. We are children who need to be held. So when the buzz wears off and you are quiet in each other’s arms, you hear only your heartbeats, your breath, and the boom of your own thoughts reminding you that it’s likely a lie — nothing special, a fantasy or momentary comfort — that you shouldn’t trust anyone, and go back to being alone.

July 31, 2018

I feel you underneath my skin.

The bits and pieces I knew about you

Fall out of my mouth

And I try to take them

And rebuild some semblance

Of a man I didn’t know.

 

It’s been 3 years since you died

Today I wondered how you and Grandma

Fell in love.

I questioned quietly to myself,

What she thought when she first saw you.

I knew your voice to be low and harsh,

But when you were young,

Was it ever gentle?

 

To me. Being Mexican.

Is letting you be a ghost inside me.

To me. Being Mexican

Is letting myself float through a history

I hope to one day understand.

To me. Being Mexican

Is being apart of your family at all.

 

I feel you underneath,

And in every inch

Of my skin.

And though I may not always see you

You are always there.