I’ve been hurt.
No, I’m not trying to compare.
Everyone has a right to honor their own wounds.
And everyone has a responsibility
to go to their pain
and heal it
because hurt is contagious.
It helps to talk about it a bit.
I don’t remember
I remember bad things
but I can’t find the memories that explain
I always feel like I need to apologize.
I’m a walking apology.
I feel like I need to apologize for being born
but no matter how much I apologize for it
I never feel forgiven
I’ve been hurt
somewhere deep where my mind isn’t allowed to go.
But I feel it
when I try to speak
or dare to try something that would require me to believe I have a right in this world.
I feel it
when it swells up
and spreads through my body and I
and clench and contract and shrink away
like I’m trying to protect myself from another blow
or just disappear.
I used to use anger to get big and strong
and push everything away
and get enough space to
But after just a few years
I burned through my lifetime supply of rage.
I used to use alcohol and drugs
for the soothing
and the cheap, fast illusion of power,
but each night’s step forward
cost me two steps back.
I finally found myself
but I was miles behind.
I stopped taking the edge off.
Now I want to leave it on.
I need it to cut this mystery open.
I’ve spent years trying to give myself permission to cry.
I can do it a little now.
It feels useless trying to squeeze a river
through a little crack.
But I remind myself that
one little crack is all it takes
to bring the dam crashing down
some magnificent day.
Water’s ease and assurance, effortless
in awesome weight and power,
And I will burst through that wall,
taking the spaces that are mine to fill,
with innocent confidence,
will continuously correct my course
as I flow freely into my life,
laughing at my silly self
for ever having been a river
who wanted permission
to join in our ocean.