Censorship was something I learned.
When I was a child, I bathed in the same tub as my cousins and sometimes went into the bathroom with relatives when they had to go. For us, bodies were bodies, regardless of gender, regardless of age.
Now I cover myself even before my own mother, the woman of whose flesh I am made, and my sister, who I used to bathe with, is embarrassed to change in front of me.

Why do we teach ourselves a shame that we aren’t born with? Why is it so difficult for me to get out from under this stigma?

When did it become rude to be honest with people?

Why should I pretend I care about something you’re telling me, when I don’t?

Yes, I see the pictures and I’ve heard you tell your stories a hundred times.

But right now, I’m not really interested and I don’t see how that makes me the bad guy.

Why should I lie to make you happy?

I wasn’t a very remarkable human today.

I will try again tomorrow.

Leave me here with the darkness and the doubt. We’ll meet, face to face and hand to hand as we test each other’s mettle.
It will beat me, undoubtedly, but that is alright for now.
A victory here would leave far too many days uncounted for, flattened and dulled with their simplicity.
Give me this challenge and let me face it, let me lose, let my bones be broken and scars criss cross my skin. Let the red blood well from between my lips and stain the back of my hand.
I will rise, tomorrow, I will rise and fight again but now I will rest, beaten, wounded, and shivering. And that is alright.
What glory lies there in a life full of victory? Sting my tongue with the bitterness of defeat, and one day I will not feel it. I will know myself as I stand to face the darkness and the doubt,
And we will meet face to face and hand in hand,
And we will test each other’s mettle.

I don’t see worlds in blank pages anymore. Just white space I’m too intimidated to fill.

Something something self pity something something comfort me
Something something I’m a struggling artist
Something something me.

Remember when this blog had actual poetry?
I’ve made a lot of promises.

Everyone has a skin they sit in to meet someone new. Maybe it talks more, maybe it’s got a lower cut shirt and a skirt raked up far beyond the knees. Maybe it tells more jokes and states facts of which you’ve only heard. It’s an expert on specific literature from a particular island on that archipelago on the equator, assuming you can remember enough of that Facebook post from yesterday.

It’s a false you but it’s a false you constructed by you as something you hope others see you to be. Brash and uncaring, the toughest of the lot; don’t mess with me, I’m black and yellow, I’ll lay a man out flat on his back. But peel the layers away and it’s soft underneath, the poison is just a lie to sweep others off their feet.

Don’t mess with me I’m black and yellow, rip off the skin and meet me.

Tonight my thoughts are alternating between smokey jazz bars in the 1920s and the long, curving roads that snake between rivers and mossy trees through the mountain pass leading to Portland, Oregon. I see those tall, drooping trunks, hunched comfortably around the water, and my heart aches for them. I remember the sheer cliff face on one side and the enchanted forest on the other, imaginary horses stampeded through the shallow portions of the river and became dragons or great birds when the way became too deep and treacherous.
I am the singer in the smokey bar, done up in proper 20’s attire, voice low and rich and honest and everyone is paying close attention because that’s how it was in those days. Those lush mountain trees drip from my lips as I tell someone I love that we’ll make it through together, and I tell my aching heart to stand fast because this ride is far from over - these roads become dangerous when it snows.
I want to go back there. To that place of just around the bend in the road and those tall, leaning trees, dipping their branches into little waterfalls. They cascade down the cliff face like personal miracles, a cleansing deluge, just for me.
The smell of smoke and rain mingle in my head as I shape a melody, a slower version of something vaguely Latin and upbeat, something that better suits me in this place. I’m singing to you as I traverse winding roads through the mountains in the night, the leaves falling from my tongue and sticking to the asphalt, that you might follow closely enough to hear, and come with me on this journey of unknown destination.

Thank you.

Almost 5 years and you still make me blush with happiness and hide under my blanket for a second like I’m 14 and my crush just told me they thought I was pretty.