Villain

Surely every villain

is a victim in their own eyes,

Perhaps even the hero

of the story in their mind.

 

What if their good intentions

all get twisted in the telling?

What if their honest efforts

are remembered as repelling?

 

Yet the villains are still villains,

even if misunderstood.

For intentions cannot help you

if they do not lead to good.

 

Are they persons to be pitied

when they’re blind to all their flaws?

Or are they simply that much viler,

lacking introspective pause?

 

When I’m the woman with the pen,

I’m struggling through this mess.

But when you read the story,

maybe I’m the villainess?

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Know Thyself

“Know thyself,” the Ancients said
as if it could be done
I lie here in a stranger’s bed
and dream within a stranger’s head
The battle’s just begun

And as I dream, it seems to me
It would be just as well
To know the bottom of the sea
Know all of every mystery,
Heaven’s heights, the depths of Hell

I look into the mirror’s glass
And see a stranger’s eyes
Where doubts and dreams and shadows pass
Too swift to count, too full, too fast
Each blazes as it dies

Impossible to know my way
When I change constantly
Her mouth speaks words I’d never say
Her heart is quick to go astray
She is so strange to me

NPWM Day 11: Tomorrow is Yesterday

I thought love

would help me not to break

but now I know

that’s my mistake.

I beat myself

against your walls

until I’m battered

close to shattered

I never thought I’d be like this

Said I wouldn’t be this way

But here I am

right in the middle of

who I don’t want to be

Every detail memorized

Played on repeat in my restless mind

Unable to unravel

where I went wrong

again

Always afraid

that tomorrow

will be yesterday

and I’ll never get past it

Never get further

Because tomorrow is yesterday

and I’m defeated before I’ve begun

And yet the sun

will rise, despite me

And I can’t help but

feel a feeble flutter of hope

from this broken-winged bird of a heart

that tomorrow can be different

and so can I

and so can you

 

NPWM Day 7: Silence

I used to love silence.

I used to savor that quiet stillness

because it felt almost holy.

I could be silent on my own

or silent with a friend

and it didn’t bother me.

It was good and full and rich and deep.

It spoke to me of comfort,

of contentment,

of simply being and not striving.

 

But that’s not our silence, is it?

Our silence is dangerous,

a razor edge.

Our silence is filled with

the crushing weight of words

we cannot find.

It presses down on our shoulders

and leaves us staggered.

It sits on our chests until we cannot breathe.

It grips its fist around our throats

and squeezes. Hard.

This is not the sacred silence

of fellowship or solitude.

This is a silent scream

and we are utterly defeated by its noise.

 

I sit here begging you to speak,

knowing you have no words,

knowing I am spent and broken,

and wondering how the hell

to reach you

through the paralyzing silence,

so different from the one

I used to love.

NPWM Day 2: Dynamite

Why is it that

Our conversations

Are laced with dynamite?

And we strike matches with our words

And hope they don’t ignite?

 

What happens to us

In those brittle moments

To make us take up arms

And grit our teeth

And throw ourselves into

A battle we don’t want?

 

And when we retreat,

Bloodied and bruised,

To lick our wounds,

How is it that I turn to you

And look into your eyes

For some reassurance,

Some glint of forgiveness,

Even so soon?

 

And how is it possible

That I find what I’m looking for

There in your gaze,

Nestled amidst the hurt and

hesitation?

How do you keep forgiving,

Keep loving,

Keep needing,

Even as we stand there bleeding?

 

This is our miracle.

This slow lowering of guards,

This tentative trust,

This tenacious hope

That tomorrow we will start again,

And again, and again,

Until we learn that

Words are not weapons

And we are not at odds.

A Child No More

I’ve always wanted to be brave

To face my demons unafraid

And yet I’ve always waited on

Someone, something, far beyond

But there are wolves outside my door

And I’m a child no more

 

Throw open wide this shuttered heart

Let in the light till shadows part

Gaze straight into the the truth of me

Embrace the facts unflinchingly

Unlock the gate, unbar the door

For I’m a child no more

 

I swell beyond these strict confines

Overflow my precious lines

Past the margins, I am free

Expand to the periphery

Plummet down or rise to soar

Either way, a child no more