Hanging- stuck between ecstasy and trauma,
between hope and anguish,
not knowing how to stay grasping both.
Stuck- between desire and shadow,
between grit and pleasure,
between despair and deep meaning.
Dangling- between the convergence of below and above,
between daylight and the texture of ash.
There is terror and there is sacred song.
Between violation and sanctity- here is where my story stays. There is no theme to it- there is no rhyme.
There is only the experience of paradox: hopping from stone to stone, slipping into cold water.
I can make it to shore but I will be drenched.
CW: some ableist language
The most fundamental form of resistance we have is to stay alive. Despite it all. We survive, we trudge on, we stay us. It is the most basic way to fight our oppressors- but first and foremost, we must stay alive. And to stay alive, sometimes we have to let go. We have to laugh at the terror. We have to pretend the collapse is not inevitable. If we don’t forget these things sometimes, for some precious moments, we will go crazy. And we can’t allow them to drive us crazy. We can’t let this deep and heavy system of repression eat us away, or choke us into nothing. If we die, they win. We can’t let them kill us. We can’t let them destroy us. We can’t let them make the world forget we exist.
How do we stay alive in this world set on assimilating us? The only way is that sometimes we have to let go. Sometimes we have to let go of winning and just be alive. Sometimes we have to sink into the pleasure of our own bodies and not think about the world breaking down around us. We can’t let them drive us crazy. Crazy people shrivel away- isolated- withering- and then they die. And we can’t let them kill us.
We’ve suffered so much already. There are so many of us who have already died. There are so many of us who have sacrificed their lives so we might win. And yet still, we keep dying. We need to survive. We need to stay alive so the world will not forget we exist. We need to stay alive so we can pass on the stories that affirm our lives. We must be here to tell our truths. We must continue. We must survive. And to survive sometimes you have to let go- of the grief, of the rage, of the struggle. To survive sometimes means turning away from the dread- it means touching each other- it means smiling at the turmoil- it means lying quietly on our beds while the fire burns right outside our doors. Sometimes survival means taking a moment to not struggle- to let go and just be.
The feeling of hearts swelling together
Fog around street lights at night
Sunlight against closed eyelids
Unexpected moments of inspiration
Sweet sugary treats
Songs about love
Feeling my body move in dance
Glitter in my hair
The feeling of connection when my hand brushes another’s
That we see colors at all
Moments of intimacy that make my stomach drop and breath tremble
The smokey smell of campfires
Cozy sleep in warm blankets
Bare feet on mossy ground
Deliciously cold rivers on hot days
Seeing butterflies flitting through the forest
When cats brush their faces against mine
When dogs wag their tails at me
Seeing the splash of a million stars far away from city lights
At some point I have to recognize: you will never be able to love me enough. I crouch below you and I open my mouth wide. You pour your love into me from full buckets- you flood me with validation- you drown me in sweetness. But my mouth stays gaping open. My belly rumbles hungrily. It will never be enough. You will never fill me up.
I crave your touches. I ask to crawl into your lap. I rub my face against your leg like an anxious dog. I want to slide inside your mouth. You say the things I ache for: You love me forever. You want me always. You will take care of me all of my life.
I jump up and down- I stomp my feet: “Again! Again!” I want to hear it over and over. My ears are still empty. My hands grab your words out of your throat before you can say them.
Where does it go? Where does your love disappear to? There is a trapped door in my belly, and on it are nailed the scrolls of my broken trust, of my trembling attachment, of my terrified heart. You open it and it’s like screaming into a whirlwind. It’s like filling an ocean with your saliva.
At some point I have to tell you. I will never be full. It will never feel like enough. I will always cry at night in my own pool of hunger. I will always dance on the edge of disconnection. I will always wonder- are you really just pretending?
Nurture me. Love me. Stroke my hair. I will soak it up- gazing into your eyes, holding your cheeks in my fingertips. At some point I know I have asked for enough. I have to draw my hands away before my touch is poison. I have to retract my teeth from your lips before my bite becomes toxic. I have to take responsibility for my own emptiness. Eventually, I have to accept myself as I am. Eventually, I have to let go.