Dig It Out

The universe gifted me a gorgeous poem from Amanda Lovelace.

Gifted is my attempt at levity and positivity.

And not being so much of a face-down mess.

I was trolling Instagram and drowning in the thick, dirty seas of jealousy and I saw her post.

I love this poet.

I love her work. And her truth. And her anger.

Mostly her anger.

This one reached out and grabbed me.

It speaks about the truth of knowing that no one else can dig out our sadness.

I was hit in the heart with the proverbial blade of that spade.

My vision of that is that no one can take away what another person left behind. That rancid trash has been heaped, and it’s staying. No new neighbor is going to help haul that away. Your mess now.

Another take, is that can the same person return to the site where they dropped hurt and heaviness and take it away.

One they’ve left it, they’ve left it. Roots are set.

Their removal tools will never be as sharp and quick as their planting rig. Your mess now.

You need to fire up your own chain saw to tear that fucker out.

Dig it out

The shit and sadness left

Let them lease the land

Tender and toiled

Turned over and

Spread with shit

To make the hardest thick.

And now I play farmer?

I kill things that depend on the ground.

I don’t cultivate them.

So what do I do with

This stony fill?

Mound it intro a gravestone,

Leave it for dead?

Play house and

Put up a foundation?

Lug it around for days

And days

And days

Until you forget

What it was like to walk around

Without the weight of a corpse

In your soul?

I can’t recommend that.

Too fucking hard.

I’m old and my joints

will not oblige.

They won’t haul it away.

And you can’t take it with you.

So leave it.

Dig it out.

Make a messy, gnarly pile.

Let the maggots and the beetles

Have their day.

Dig it out.

Leave it there.

Don’t look at it again.

But take the shovel.

Would Just

Thinking a lot about not fitting.

In place.

In arms.

In hearts.

How we say we’ll be happy if we “would just” …

We lose so much light in the cave of

would

just.

Would Just

You are

You would be

So perfect

If you would just

Adjust the smallest

Turn of your phrase

And the cut of your dress

Dress not for me

It’s for them

But so that I can see

See how much you could

Accomplish

Could if you would

Just attend

To the bends of

My will

Will you be available

Asking out of

Expectation

Not anticipation

Because the answer

Is no

Taking back you

For

I

Know already what I have to do

Who I need to be

Because that’s not on

Your list

Mind

So I persist

Me

And my heart

And my dreams

Fixed on our shelf

Because yourself

And your matter

Are what matters?

Time to scatter that

Shelf to the floor

Remind

I

Eyes to see and remember

The parts of me

that would

just

Make magic and

Absolution

Fulfill and

dissolution of fears

And defenses

Cause applause and

Reverence’s if you

I

Would just

Believe that

there isn’t perfect

If you would just

But there is beauty

And awe and

Spectacular love in

I

So if you

I

Would just

Trust

In me

That

Would

Just

Be

everything.

And I

I would just

Be

Perfect.

Grow

I see.

From my planting in the weeds,

Growing.

Before my sight,

Beyond my reach,

Behind my back.

Rows of pretty maids

Reaching and sucking in

And blooming.

I’m still entrenched

Roots held fast,

Gnarled,

Waiting,

Drying and dead

Petals in the dirt that I sacrificed.

Giving back

Ready to nourish

For the next cycle.

And around me,

I marvel

Stalks and stems

smiling for the sun,

Craned and warm

Impervious to

Pestilence and pain,

Daring the rain to stay away.

My storm already came.

I gave over my water so

That I could see vibrant color,

Not live within them

Or them in me.

The leaving

Unused puddle

Around my core,

Sucking, seeping

To the patent veins

Still open to expression.

My acceptance of

Growth is gone.

I’m parched and starving.

But I can still smell the water.

The flood didn’t take everything.

It’s there.

I don’t have to beg

The gods for rain.

They have given.

I look at the gift,

Offered while I decay,

Dis-entangle and

Disappear.

If I can stand the summer,

Pulls, stretch, reach,

The corner curl of

Any petal

Any jagger

Any persistent,

Stubborn,

Un-killable cell

That wants to

Unfurl from the mud

After winter,

If I can be selfish enough

To take a drop for me–

I can grow.

Stay warm in the light.

Offer breath in exchange

For toxicity.

Be beautiful,

Not for what I do,

Or contribute over

Other cuttings,

But simply because

I am beautiful.

After Three

Stare.

Stare.

Stare.

Blink.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Drink.

Hot.

Hot.

Hot.

Sweat.

Cold.

Cold.

Cold.

Regret.

Tight.

Tight.

Tight.

Release.

Fight.

Fight.

Fight.

Peace.

Rise.

Rise.

Rise.

Admit.

Sink.

Sink.

Sink.

Forfeit.

Ache.

Ache.

Ache.

Sustain.

Love.

Love.

Love.

Refrain.

Step.

Step.

Step.

Collapse.

Crawl.

Crawl.

Crawl.

MIshaps.

Want.

Want.

Want.

Escape.

Skin.

Skin.

Skin.

Scrape.

Hold.

Hold.

Hold.

Hurt.

Hope.

Hope.

Hope.

Divert.

Look.

Look.

Look.

Away.

Wait.

Wait.

Wait.

Stay.

Know Best

Know Best

No.

Do we know?

Heart screaming

Head calming nodding

Let the tantrum pass

If you give into her

She’ll never learn

No best

There are choices

Some better

Others dead

Paths

Different monster

At each end

Better if you know

Know best

Mother

Until you know

She doesn’t

Seen the dried tears

Painted smiles

Nothing’s wrong baby.

I’m just tired.

But you know.

Like she does.

Yes is not knowing

No stops the battles

Even if it starts the dying.

When you’re dead

Surely you know

What’s best

To keep living.

Until you know.

Heart will love.

Head will say no.

Keep knowing

That the hurt will pass

If the choice was right

Or not.

Another day to listen

Not know.

Know not

about tomorrow

Heart and brain

can manage

Not best.

But better.

Or

another day

To know another

Best.

So Proud of You

So proud of you

So…

Should I wait for…

You…

Almost done

Not my turn

Not my

Fundamental

Victory

Those come

In the

Parlor maids door

Serving drinks

For the quality

To celebrate

The quality of

Everything you do

You

Meant to be about you

Sorry

Forgot my choices

Again

Before

You

You won again.

So proud of you.

Not a sin

Not a single

day

Without

A confession

Leaving through

The absolvent’s curtain

Forgiving again

From both sides

Of the kneeler

Proud of the thief

Empathizing of the covetous

Stroking the vanity

Cloaking

The smile

The tears

Already masters

Of self defense

Of you.

For you

To you

This moment.

Harder to give away

When a moment

Is all you want.

And all I want

Is for the moment

To choke

On it.

When I breathed

Remembered

There weren’t hands around my neck

They were

There

And I didn’t have to prove,

I did.

I didn’t have to

But if I want to

There’s more to being proud.

Her Light

She is

not your spotlight

Focusing attention in the darkness

calling everyone to look

So you see

What it is you can do.

Not your search light

To guide you into harbor

when you’ve sailed your ships

Against warning

Into black and chopped waves.

Not to blame for

Being the siren who lured you back.

She was singing for herself

Not the mirror you held up

So she could see the faults

Not her hand that

Turned and burned you instead

The silence of your fury

Louder than the

Sighs of your disinterest.

Not your torch,

to frighten back creatures

You don’t understand.

She has her own monsters

creeping to her doors

and learning her language.

Carrying torches

Only grinds down

arthritic arms.

She put hers down.

She can’t do it

Too heavy.

The lights are too bright.

headaches are

far too dug in and planted

Photosynthesis the

Power line to

Migration.

Her own screwed in

Halogen

Fluorescent

Mixed white and blue and

Orange

Not matching when seen back

in her balanced eyes.

Her palms aren’t

Scarred and fibrous

As as her heart

to hold the light bulb

In place with bare hands.

It’s low watt but

Still

her fingers blister

fluid leaking

slipping

And she doesn’t have the grip

To twist

Your glass fragile

Illumination

In place.

She is candles and

altars with incense.

Low glow and quiet alone

With her disciple.

One you whispers,

knowing a harsh breath

kills the flame.

Happy in the room

She left dark.

The sun rises tomorrow

Isn’t it pretty to think

So dawn soft

Smoothed hair

Hazy unfocused

hands

Touched in shadows.

Chasing away the light

For just a little longer

Not needing to be

The brightness

But wanted to be

the still silhouette

Casting her own

Direction.

From her light.