Toxic Women I Have Loved

You are traumatized, woman.

Your whole self is one big string of survival mechanisms

And so you have become toxic

You reached out so many times and each time you were pushed away

And when you tried to run away and you were pulled back in

So now you are chaotic

And where ever you go this chaos follows

You manifest it

In each wound that is cut so deeply

And the world re opens them again and again

The world is what has stopped them from healing

Ripped apart endlessly

You sew them shut hastily before you could clean them out

And mold grows thick and black inside

You don’t make sense (On the surface)

But there is a reason for each lie, each manipulation, each outburst

You break yourself. You run away and stand your ground, but always at the wrong times.

So you stay so stuck

Your misery is the only thing you have left

When it’s all youve ever known

There’s a comfort in it- familiarity

And you are terrified to change

Of being not broken. Of being not yourself anymore

Because the only thing you’ve attached to is your own self hatred

So you make those who love you crazy

And you are so hurt- you are so alone.

There is a reason for everything you do.

There is a cause. There are people who caused this.

But you are toxic. You are dangerous.

And I can no longer love you like I did.

Love Devours

He knows me in a new way

Unfamiliar to me

How his eyes rest on my bones

And he wants me in a new way

I haven’t felt before

His fingertips sinking into my sternum

And he sees me in a new way

A new story unfolding

Ringing his heart out into my throat

In a way that makes me question

Who are you? Where have you been? How did you find me? Where did you come from? How long have I been waiting for you? How many times did I die before I found you?

His love was poised and waiting for me

And now I am devoured by him at last

Anchoring

I get swept up in my own life like dust in a pail- and when I sit in the future this way all my spirits are silent.

They are patient and silent as statues, waiting for my mind to come back, waiting for me to let go, snuffed out like a candle by my need to plan, to predict, to perform.

I come back to the daily choices. Recalling the things that reconnect me to spirit:

Licking my soil covered fingertips

Letting my body flow through familiar movements

Watching birds gather in their favorite dead tree.

Some things are constant: here I can anchor without having the think:

The cat leaves every morning and comes home every night.

Some plants will poison me. Some will gift me sweet medicine.

The clouds will contract and then spread wide again as they swim overhead.

The squirrels steal bites out of the garden squash every fall.

There will always be something new to learn- there will always be old knowledge to come back to.

So I re remember. My mind flies away. And I anchor it back to my body, to the earth. Over and over again.

I am a conduit

I let the wildflowers paint my eyes,

And anoint my face with moss and river water.

I know there are things happening around me, inside me, always,

Whether invisible or seen.

The universe has given us a sing a along to do together,

And I spread my fingers apart to hold loose my humility,

Letting it go as I open my palms in a stream of water,

And the water reads each wrinkle and line of my fingertips.

The river, the rocks, the otter, the strings of algae all know that I am here, that I am finally claiming my place.

My service is to be a conduit. A live wire.

A string of energy that runs from the deepest chasm to the highest star.

So that the earth may speak to itself through me.

So that the earth may speak to the sky.

Have you ever felt divine fingers pulling your skin apart to feel what is inside?

Have you ever felt the stroke of resonating strings covering against your spine like the piercing note of a violin?

I have felt the sand and stone orgasm when the rainfall splash against it in autumn.

I have heard it moan as it soaks up each drop of wetness.

The Revelation

A revelation: that I can feel this way again.

That the dullness and the fog could give way to something so shining with life.

I thought this part of me had died with my old life

I re emerged from the edge of death with a coldness in my bones

But what I needed was your words, and all the sounds that your mouth makes

The way your eyes track each movement of my limbs, the way you see each twitch and tremble until you catch the rhythm.

You cup my pulse in your hands and blow your sweet breath on it until the pace quickens

And I bloom out from within the container of your chest.

Somewhere I already knew how to blossom.

What I needed was a steady hand to hold my soil.

I am a herd animal

The restless herd animal inside me is always seeking the next pasture. The next mountain range. The next spring.

I tell my hurried brain to soften: there is nothing but now. Nothing but rocks and worms and clouds and sun.

But my nerves buzz incessantly: what else- what else- what else. The answers come only in the form of soil shifting, of gravel and pebbles, of worms and rot.

November clouds. February sun. The seasons keep cycling no matter what.

Calm feels like a crime, but the busy days devastate me.

I want the wide sky stretching out ahead. I yearn for water, for rolling hills, for tree lines opening into unexpected meadows.

What could I be, if I spent my days doing nothing but living? I would watch the trees. Dig my fingers into dirt. Cook my food. Clean my pan. See the wind moving. Feel the temperature shift over the day.

There is nothing more I want. There is nothing more I need. But my mind always turns to something else. The next thing. Tomorrow.

So again I pull myself back. To the rocks. To the worms. To the clouds. To the procession of bees in summer and the dark birds in winter.

Alone

Alone sitting in the cafe- high on a steep trail- swept along in a crowd.

It’s like everyone else has become just a little more. Distant. Than they were before.

The world has gone quiet. The edges have softened.

I am lonely. But I am peaceful.

I watch people move around me like I’m seeing a movie from the back row. Not sure if I even still belong here. But knowing there is no where else to go.

There are the signs of it everywhere: they all point to how I did it: how I broke the cycle of my old lives.

And I have emerged enlightened. But lost.

My soul walks unfamiliar ground.

I’m teaching myself again how to be human. How to find my place here again.

I’m teaching myself how to bow low, how to stand tall, how to be humble, how to be proud, how to reach out, how to clasp close, how to love another.

Relearning it all again.

But I feel no distress at my ignorance. I have no doubts.

Each piece of my time here unfolds into the next in a way that takes no work but a deep discipline.

And the lessons come flowing into me like big gulps of water.

Diligence

I am tired of everything the universe asks of me

I am tired of patience, or diligence, of seeing the higher purpose

Of opening my arms to catch the bricks of every falling tower

Only to have them crumble in my hands and return to the earth, covering my toes in dust

I am spread across the ground like this leftover rubble

Dirty with regret

My best years are gone

And my future is hidden behind giant clouds and lightning

Yet the universe asks for more patience. More gratitude. More discipline.

I have nothing left and there is another leap to take. So I must tumble myself into the next phase.

I am told: this is greater than the individual course of your fate. But there is so much I don’t understand.

How do I know what to do next if I have never lived this before?

And over and over the answer comes:

Patience. Diligence. You must wait. You must continue.

The last brick falls. The earth swallows every last crumbling stone.

I stand in a bare field, and the universe asks me for faith. She asks me for trust.

I am as angry as a bare root. I am as hardy as a seedling. I am as grieved as a stump. I am as small as a twig.

But in the emptiness I plant my feet

And root

My New Life

This is how it feels to come back to myself

Finally

A valley away from where I started out

And I have found home within myself

At last

My soul flickered tenuously, life time to life time

Uncomfortable in my body, carrying a deep knowing of what was to come

Living was like walking a terrible tightrope

But when I finally fell

Somehow I landed on my hands and feet

Hips square to the ground, my nose to the dirt

And I found my place in it all

No more circling

No more agonizing

No more waiting to hear the terrible ending

The only way out of this cycle was through

How in this lifetime did I finally learn discipline and surrender?

How did all the lessons line up this way?

The way my feet press down into the ground is different now

The pattern has ended

I can return to myself

It is over

At last

The Distance

You love me from a distance

Like there are whole fields and twisting roads between us

Like we set out to meet, but walked right by going opposite ways.

We missed each other by minutes.

I waited alone in the dark.

You sat patiently under the trees.

I orbit wide. I carried asteroids on my shoulders.

And when I finally made it back to earth

You turn away from me like you don’t know who I am, or where I’ve been.

We reach for each other, grasping in syncopated rhythm;

And once in a lifetime the tips of our fingers brush and lock together.

There is something we cannot forget:

The potential that we lost-

That slipped away as we turned apart-

Interrupted by our own journeys.

There is a way it could have been different:

In another world, on another timeline,

When maybe we did not sever or snap with the fierceness of bone.