Although you are the one with the scars
I have been the one carrying them
Heavy pockets full of stones
And of your sorrows at home I keep entire jars

I became old by accident just trying to sort all of them
Til I made rituals of ink on my skin just to travel far

And I must undo to myself the evil received in the media of pop song

And I went around and around
Asking endlessly the same questions

The cargo jets growl and tempest and it is never far enough

And I ground my bones to a dust to make magic potions

Let me carry the child and grow plants in gardens that aren’t mine
And the promises to wait for your heart to go back to itself
Will only make sense on the day that I am gone

For your sorrows at home I keep an entire shrine
Where all sorts of demons are stored on a shelf
And I’ll never come back to them if I travel far

the song of your people

The first time we slept together you took me to the pond and said
“This is where the lovers say their vows”
And I said nothing in exchange
Because I know what vows are worth in your language
A year of misery, maybe two if we’re really unlucky

I let the frogs in the pond sing their answer instead of mine
And then I let you kiss me.
We fucked, although you’d prefer it if I said we made love
But calling it that won’t change the fact
That I have no more love to give than I have fucks

The next morning I woke up when the cooks turned on the kitchen lights
Turns out your bedroom’s only window was placed exactly between the refrigerator and the pantry
And the cooks at the window were sharpening their knives
And looking hungry.

And I said it’s always the fucking same isn’t it
Your kind can’t help themselves talking of vows and of wreaths
And how you’ve changed from the frog into prince with the movement of our hips

But once you’ve come in our hair you can’t help but make us feel like a piece of meat.

to look at, to wonder at

I am the flower in the mirror,
the moon on the surface of water

I am the shadow behind you,
the Mona Lisa

I am a mirage,
the beautiful dreams that are unattainable

I am the sun setting or rising,
the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

I am the beauty that you can only see,
but can’t touch

I am the beauty that you can only feel,
but can’t touch

the intervention

It’s not your decision whether someone falls in love with you or not.
And I agree for the most part.
But I struggle with it.
I struggle with all of it.

I sit in silence absorbing every word while you chat amongst yourselves.
I want to defend but I can’t argue what I can’t articulate.
It’s like white noise inside my head.
Instead I laugh. I shrug it off. It is what it is.

I’m not deflecting. I’m not being defensive.
Or at least I don’t mean to.
I’m an open book.
Or at least I thought I was.

Do you feel like you’re letting a barrier down if you openly talk about things?
Do you find it difficult to trust people?
Were you mistreated in an old relationship?
Why don’t you feel?

If I knew the answers I wouldn’t be the disaster that I am.
But trust me when I say that I’m doing you a favour.
You don’t want the toxicity.
You don’t need the burden.

Just ask those who tore down that wall.
I’m the parasite.
The gnat.
The switchblade.

There are never any positive adjectives.
Just a bitter after taste.
An off flavour.
A bad habit.

A beautiful mess
But a mess no less.

Detachment and why it is OK

I have struggled with the contradiction that is me quite a lot over the last few years. When I was a teenager, a doctor suggested I may have bipolar disorder or a borderline personality. She referred me to a psychiatrist but I never went any of the appointments. Instead, I took her suggestion as a diagnosis and then used it as an excuse for any shitty behaviour. A little later, a different doctor gave me a prescription for antidepressants and anxiety meds while he sat and ate digestive biscuits. Sure, I persevered for a few weeks until I realised that my ability to orgasm was more important than feeling numb. I decided that feeling sad sometimes and feeling EVERYTHING sometimes was more important than feeling nothing all. of. the. time.

Most recently, I went to see a counsellor. Self-loathing comes very easy to me, it has a home in me where it is never a stranger. She asked me if there was anything about myself that I liked and I replied “my detachment”. I never saw her again because she didn’t think that was a positive trait and I disagreed.

Detachment is not something that is “done”, in my mind, but something we arrive at when we really understand the nature of reality. Detachment is a lofty and beautiful esoteric goal. I wouldn’t be able to do my job if I didn’t have the ability to detach and cut off emotions and not invest my whole being into someone else, I would be unable to remain equanimous in the face of loss, change, and disappointment.

My most detached moments are most easily experienced when I am feeling incredibly grounded and convinced of my divine nature. When I am not in this awareness, when I am in my ego, steeped in humanity, detachment is much harder to embody. And that, I suppose is when the idea of wanting to “adhere” to it, or effort myself into detachment, is quite hard to do. In those times, I do my best not to run from what is emerging. To instead sit in that heat. This feeling what I am afraid to feel, all the way through, becomes my orientation. Seeing where it shows up in my body, my chest, my jaw, my muscles. Usually it is a feeling of fear, of sadness, and often despair, however brief, around the severing of a very human attachment. The aspiration to not be affected by relationships, and I can see why one might want that.

True detachment and aloofness and disassociation can look very similar. However I am learning to believe in relationships, to believe in kindness. It is one of the great gifts of being human, fostering and nurturing and allowing these relationships to affect us, to move us, to heal us, to challenge us open to our wholeness, our bigness, to shake us awake and out of our sleepwalking, to correct what needs correcting, through a move of merciful interaction.

Sometimes detachment is easy. And sometimes – when I am PMSing, when I am tired, when I am overwhelmed – it is very difficult. I attempt to inquire into any given experience. And provided that I have time to process and inquire, I can usually reach a place of detachment, or neutrality.

Other times, I can be only somewhat neutral, and that has to be OK for that moment.

she shone bright in the darkness, the subtle glare of red reflecting off the one streetlight beam peeking through the curtain. her darting eyes scanning the room and smiling in recognition.

i knelt beside the door as she approached me, dug my intestines out through my naval and stretched my heart down into my crotch. it felt fluttery and warm down there. i curled around the sensation and felt the solace radiate through my body.

her lips were full and gentle, her hands captivating and soft as she held my face side by side prompting me to my feet. i held her face and pressed my nose against hers as the cold fumbled around our bodies.

i knew she didn’t feel what i felt but i was happy that she let me kiss her and hold her like that for a minute.

she didn’t encourage my feelings but she was kind enough to let me indulge in them.

Let’s just have sex because love, love means one of us has to fall. I don’t want to fall and I don’t want you to either. So let’s choose not to. Let’s choose to stay afloat and be guided by the current, to grow and ebb with the tide. To contort our bodies into each other, to wrestle with the mania and to listen to that song which speaks the feelings we can’t articulate. Let’s take our detachment and fears and forget about them for the evening, to only know this reality. 

As lovers we are image makers and artists and unique. We’re story tellers and dream chasers. We’re the fingerprints and snow flakes and forgotten child memories, metaphors and desires out of the ordinary. The impulse is deep and old and persistent. A drug, chasing the highs but not naive enough to not anticipate the lows as consequence.

We can’t be in love because this is not how love is made. 

The only things binding are the shackles on wrists. The only things blinding are the scarfs and dust bags. The only thing warm is the melted wax from burning candles over skin. It’s concrete and viscera, it’s the wet and the hard and the dirt and the rope, it’s the only love I want to know.