Sometimes the only pain I can carry is the one that burns, that draws blood, because beating myself up is the only bearable unbearable way I know to bruise. Shallow breaths don’t support screaming, starving turns dark thoughts lightweight and lightheaded means less space to care. Wait till you see my bones and how the hurt just falls off me when it has nothing to hang on to, wait till you hear my heart rupture and rush red through my ribcage like it was running for its life. Then watch how love pours out my arteries and leaves when it believes I’m better off empty. You touch this frozen, unfeeling skin but all this shrinking means I shall slip through your fingers. Taste me on the breeze, somewhere not here.
You can take my time, tie it to the bed. Spread apart the seconds and divide the minutes into drawn out mouths and slow talk.
You can have me because here I am free. I can flower or I can plant myself in dirt but you always leave out a teaspoon of sugar water. Like a glass of milk and a mince pie for Father Christmas and never forgetting the carrot for Rudolph. You always believe in me.
You brought me pancakes in bed and it meant something.
I read you like a slow digestion, savoured and not greedy, burning off the excess punctuation.
(I don’t care about bad spellings, just give me the words.)
Your devotion on my black tar days; the non-linear nature of all things when done right.
What we expect is only adventure.
Start with a warm up, stretch out the stiff muscles and weary heart. It’s been a long week. It’s always been a long week and I move with this extra weight carried across my neck. Find a space and plan on staying there, stuck to the solid ground where comfort festers in a steady sway.
The music shifts up a pace and Aretha Franklin plays. She speaks to me, sings into my ear in sisterly love. “Give yourself a little respect”, she says, “try just a little bit.” I take a small step, so used to clumsy connection to the source, but step after step and soles of the feet slowly change into palms, finding how it feels to be open to the floor, to flow, passing through the body’s forgotten places, forging paths for them to take part, sense their being alive.
Called to partner with another awakened soul, I follow their footing and think that I’ll figure the rest out later.
We learn to accept ourselves with the light touch of piano keys, each note a kiss on the lips and I learn to linger with kindness in the parting lullaby. A pattern emerges of being lost and found and then lost again and again, the dance of pleasure that folds into pain then folds into passion. Stamping a mark on the surface of the earth with a scream of ‘I am here’. Welcome body, welcome breath; let me love you into abundance.
The lioness sits down with the coward and asks him what the rush is. The heart is not a supermarket where you come to grab your essentials with a shopping list of expectations and presume you can stick it on a tab. You could have got it all for free if you had just stopped trying to make a meal out of me. Searching for the perfect recipe for something you’ve never tasted. Tell me I’m too much meat on the bone but complain that you’re still hungry and alone. Just the right amount of chilli but not enough kneading and god forbid that you leave me to prove that I could get through a bad day without you, that you might have to follow instructions when I could not have been clearer that I taste better with a touch of patience, not cranking up the heat till I evaporate in a cloud of steam.
Forgive me for speaking out of my vacuumed packet but I don’t see the magic in the trick of how you made me disappear.