Window Well

Sitting in a window well,

Rain drizzling down,

(not a pour, not a sprinkle)

headphones on,

looking busy.

Somehow I get more conversation

when sitting in a window well

than I do anywhere else in this school.

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Crazy

Light

pain, lots of pain

cold, wet

cold

cry, scream, wail, then-

warmth.

Food.

Comfort.

 

Soothing noises,

“mom” and “dad”

react to cries,

feed the strange feeling inside.

Content.

Warm.

Happy.

 

Mommy whispers to me,

I say back “ma-ma”

She coos, I giggle

Where did she go?

There she is!

Hugs and warmth.

Blankets and toys.

Daddy kisses my head.

 

Steps are hard,

bump goes the baby.

Step, step, fall.

Step, step, fall.

Smile at Mommy,

smile at Daddy.

Cry when it hurts

I cry, they give me things

smiles and warmth.

 

Now that I walk and talk,

they are busy more.

I drew some pictures,

but mommy was busy.

She is always busy.

Daddy came home-

he yells that I drew on the wall.

I thought it was paper.

 

School is too long-

it makes my feet itchy.

Mrs. Teacher tells me to sit,

but my feet don’t want to.

She tells me to count.

My mommy taught me 9-1-1

I told her that.

Mrs. Teacher said I need more numbers.

 

Mom and Dad aren’t home when I am.

The house is empty.

Too quiet.

I eat peanut butter and fluff for dinner,

unless they come home.

They usually don’t.

 

It makes me sad-

my friends can’t come over.

Their parents don’t like me,

don’t like my mommy and daddy.

I can’t go to their houses either.

At least one of them likes me.

He says he wants to kiss me

and get married.

I told him I liked him enough

but I’m too little.

He pushed me down.

I don’t know if he still likes me.

 

Quiet is normal here.

I talk to myself a lot.

No one answers back.

Sometimes my echo does.

Mom and Dad don’t talk much.

Usually they yell.

I hide.

 

Knowing things is hard.

When I raise my hand at school,

the teacher looks at me funny.

All I said was that I knew about beer

and cigarettes and fighting.

We were talking about families.

That’s what my family is.

She looked worried,

I don’t know why.

I love my family.

 

I like to hide in my room-

if Dad comes home early,

he gets mad at the TV instead of me.

Or Mom.

He gets mad at Mom a lot.

School would be great-

but those kids who know my parents,

they make jokes about it.

I have to be my own friend.

 

You learn the tricks as you age-

if you smell alcohol, run.

The bedroom door locks most of the time.

and something else will distract him.

Bruises fade-

cuts heal.

Concealer can hide the scars.

Eventually, I get to use 911.

Not the first time.

Maybe the last.

 

I can’t date,

my father set the rule.

Even when he isn’t there,

I can’t break it.

My mom worries.

I sneak out to kiss them under the stars.

Parked cars, lonely streets.

Someday they go too far.

I won’t date again.

 

He is gone forever now.

That’s what the judge said.

I don’t trust her.

I know my Dad better than she does.

How does she know about him?

What could she know?

They asked me too many questions-

like, “what did you do when your Dad came home?”

“did you make him mad?”

Why would I do that?

I told them they were stupid for asking.

They didn’t give me any cookies.

 

Driving should be fun.

But a mother who insists you aren’t safe?

She makes it difficult.

She screams, just like he did,

but without the beer.

The only safe place is in the mind,

a place where nobody hurts.

Everyone is kind.

If only it were real.

 

Independence is sweet,

so unbelievably sweet.

Obligations are a small price to pay.

The freedom to finally exist.

Air is sweeter now,

one can almost imagine one is normal.

At least I try.

Who cares if I seem upset.

Or angry.

Or anxious.

Nothing wrong with that.

 

This area is safe-

at least somewhat.

I know the people around,

but they don’t always come across as “safe”.

The man across the street only comes across at night.

He sits in his window.

So do I.

Classes distract me.

I watch them carefully anyway.

 

Sometimes I think I’m going crazy.

Why doesn’t anyone else hear that noise?

It hurts to listen to.

My professor seems mad when I write that,

maybe the course review was a bad idea.

But no one else reacts.

Not to the noise,

not to the black shadows that follow them,

and me…

 

Some of my friends tell me to calm down.

I AM CALM.

I AM CALM.

“You are too strung up, don’t know what you’re saying”

No, you are strung up.

I am right.

I am.

They are wrong, but I care about them anyway.

Because that’s what good people do.

 

Sometimes they tell me I should find “help”.

What is this help?

Some lady telling me my brain is wrong and shoving pills down my neck?

I don’t want that help.

I’m not crazy.

The world is crazy.

I am not crazy.

 

In my psych class, they talked about things.

I knew them.

Like, sometimes you hear things

things that nobody else can hear.

Those are the best things to listen to.

And the things no one else sees.

They talk like they are bad.

I know better.

They are glorious.

 

They took me there when I tried to fly out the window

The sky was just so blue

and I knew I could touch the clouds if I tried.

The doctor gave me some kind of meds-

it might actually be helping

but I can’t tell.

The way my head feels fuzzy just feels weird.

I think I like being clear better.

 

I got out.

Barely, but they don’t need to know that.

The doctor let me go.

My apartment is still waiting for me-

Mom likes to take care of me.

I wish she would leave me alone.

But I like the apartment.

I didn’t want to move.

 

I can’t do the meds anymore.

I can’t be fuzzy and fat.

I want that clarity.

It was so freeing

I could see/do/experience

EVERYTHING.

They don’t understand how glorious it is

The freedom.

The bad parts are hard-

I don’t like being so scared,

but I know everything when I’m clear.

 

The college let me go-

I was gone too long.

Screw them.

I don’t care anymore

I just want out of this controlling stupid place in this controlling stupid city

I think Ill hitchhike to another one.

I can go anywhere.

I can be anywhere.

I can do anything.

I can see everything.

 

I went on the public bus today.

It was dirty and clean and connected in the cosmos

and no one looked at me like I was crazy.

I pretended to look out the window,

but I was actually looking at the lights.

They flickered on the glass.

No one else seemed to see them.

I’ve been chosen to understand it

the mysteries of the universe.

All of them.

All of the connections.

I can see it all.

 

It’s a new city, a new place.

I have a new home.

Mom left me money when she died.

They said suicide.

I know better.

But I’ll take the money they give me.

Until I can prove they are tracking me.

Because I am smarter than them.

I am always smarter than them.

 

It followed me home today, I know it did. I know because I saw it follow me- what was that sound?

It was a creek, a crack, a bending of the board that tells me a person is here in the apartment.

I need to stay awake today, I need to be up to fight them off whoever they are.

I have a gun. And a stick. Ill use the stick first. Not the gun. Because I am a pacifist.

But they are here, I know that for sure the door is unlocked. The door was locked when I left.

I know they are here I know it all I know it all I know they want to get me I know I know I know

 

I know it was there

The blue dragon. Im supposed

To slay it.

Milky white skin on red backgrounds of cherries

The dog woke me up again

I told the neighbors I would shoot it and they

Tried to say they didn’t have a dog

But I know they lie they are spies of the

Overarching government. I know it they all want

Me to die I told them all.

 

It’s the hospital again I know

They just want to inject me

Make me like them nonononono

I wont do it scratch and tair

Thair milk is yukky probably because of the cows

That were abducted help I don’t like them and

I don’t want to be there.

 

They call me crazy.

They think I’m sick.

I’m not sick.

I’m not

I’m.

I

What Would I Say?

What would I want the world to know

if I knew the world will listen?

Your world is not exclusive- others live in it too.

You do discriminate/judge/cast others down-

just because everyone does,

does not make it right.

Pushing others down/away is only momentary relief.

And life is short but long too-

make sure you like what you do.

This world is broken,

and while I believe another world is coming,

that doesn’t mean we can abuse it (or others)

Belief doesn’t mean “everyone NEEDS to follow only me”.

Faith doesn’t mean “cram it down your throat”.

Just because I have both doesn’t make me intolerant (or ignorant).

I am paradoxical at heart,

overly trusting and compassionate.

I can be swayed by the wrong people.

Art is beautiful and should be appreciated.

 

What would I say if the world would listen?

In the end, I would say:

Please, just listen. Understand. Empathize.

Open hearts and minds can help, I promise.

Just please, learn to care.

About the world around, and the things in your life.

Care, so we can love without fear.

Paradox

Has anyone ever noticed,

that I am a paradox on legs?

Somehow holding so many ideas?

I believe in love and peace, kindness and goodness.

And yet- I know the world.

It is not a place with these.

I know in my head that people are bad,

but trust that people are good.

I think the best of everyone else,

but of myself, the worst.

I can sometimes play the game.

I am smart, oh so book smart.

I can understand philosophical thoughts and hold their beliefs-

but I can hold ones from both sides.

When you can understand each argument

from both sides, no matter the issue,

you seem like a flake. (at least in a way)

But you have strong beliefs and are stubborn.

It takes a lot to move me,

but very little at the same time.

I am a hopeless romantic, who is also a realist.

I am a walking paradox,

and sometimes its great.

An optimistic cynic,

a mess of understanding and belief.

But sometimes, I just want to make sense.

Especially to myself.

Before We Start

WARNING: This is a poem that references rape and sexual assault. If this is something that you are not comfortable reading, please skip this poem.

 

Before we start-

I have a question.

What were you wearing?

Was it tight? Short?

Did it make you look desirable?

Were you drinking? Dancing?

Did you dance with him?

Did you say yes?

To anything?

Were you high?

Were you willing?

If you answer yes to any of these,

go away.

You aren’t a victim.

He couldn’t control himself.

You temptress, seductress,

slut.

Your rape doesn’t count,

your struggle,

your fight.

Consent is consent,

spoken or not.

 

Really?

That’s it?

What was I wearing?

Why does that matter?

How do clothes make this right?

Consent is consent?

If I can’t drive when drunk,

how can I consent?

If I can’t function when high,

how can I consent?

What if I was pressured,

what if I said no over and over?

Why does one yes weigh more than every no?

This doesn’t make sense.

Why am I in the wrong?

Why can’t he “control himself”?

Isn’t it bad to lose control?

Is that really your excuse?

How do I consent without speaking?

How is this my fault?

Instead of giving me help,

you push me aside.

You tell me I’m worthless,

a liar, a fake,

a slut.

You refuse to help me.

Why?

Because he “has a future”.

Because he “matters more”.

Because I “brought it on myself”.

Not true.

I am a victim.

I was raped.

Regardless of what I was wearing,

regardless of what I drank,

regardless of when I said “no”.

So when will you take my side-

protect me when I am hurt?

Do the job you are supposed to do?

When?