shine anyway

you can be who you are

or

you can be the one
everyone else
wants you to be

when people
get to know you
that’s it

that’s all you are
the person they
came to know

so
are you allowed
to change?

are you allowed to
be the person you
want to be

and still
be the person they
think they know?

no one knows

we are
who we are

for ourselves
for our loves
and lovers

we varnish over
our unbearable shine
to stay safe

to stay
understood
and loved

you know
if you’re too special
if your shine
is too bright

well, then
you’re too much

just gorge, it’s fine

forget the number associated
with the size of your pants
for a month

don’t worry about things like
calories or fat content or
for god fucking sakes
whether something contains gluten

it’s the holidays,
you perfect, pudgy
little motherfucker

gorge on the homemade
cookies and fudge and
yeah it’s okay to have
christmas dinner with
more than one family

if you’re lucky enough
to have plenty
or even
just one

You are not saintly

i see you
i have always seen you
from the day you were born

that white skin
those eyes that are not
like my own

i see you
white, glowing
like an angel

but you
are not saintly

the crown you wear
is just for show
it’s not made of thorns

you will be no martyr
for goodness
or even
the slightest
bit of authenticity

you go on and
keep glowing

i see you


 

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Tenterhooks

sometimes i think
about hanging
swinging from a rope or
something easier like
a leather belt
and a doorknob
and really leaning in

sometimes i think
about drowning
about being the girl
who walks into the water
with rocks in her pockets
because wouldn’t that
be easier for everyone
maybe almost beautiful

sometimes i think
about car accidents
fires
shootings
or the sweet bliss of
a terminal cancer diagnosis

or maybe just
one fucking good reason
besides being a mother
to stay alive

i wait on tenterhooks
and when they say
it gets better
when they say hang on
because they don’t see
these hooks in my back
holding me up
i must turn away and
tune them out
because
how can you not see
these hooks in my back

how can you not see
that hanging on is
the strongest
bravest
most selfless thing
i have ever done