Love Yourself Tenderly

“…good deeds should come from our natural instinct toward brotherhood, not from tribalism!” (or forced guilt) ~ The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

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A week or so ago, a relative messaged me to say that another relative was ill… and that the whole thing was my fault for refusing to interact with said relative.

I was quite shocked. I mean, I know I’m freaking fantastic, but I had no idea that my mere presence came with healing superpowers. Still… I felt like I should not give the message all that much importance, since it also included pronouncement of hellish suffering and smiting from a rather wrathful god if I didn’t change my wicked ways.

I do love my ways.

Anyhoo, because nonsense spreads like wildfire (or the stench of shit in a tiny room), the first message was followed by a second and third… from individuals with whom, I assume, the first relative discussed my refusal to share my secret superpowers. Those messages weren’t unkind (there was no mention of my sexy flesh and bones burning for eternity), but they did make it a point to remind me that “loving others first is the duty of every good person. And I know deep inside that you are a good person.”

No, my Wicked Luvs, I didn’t laugh madly at the poor manipulation attempt. Neither did I pretend to misunderstand what the person was saying—passive aggressiveness and I have never cared for each other. I don’t seem to have the right sort of teeth for it. So, I just told her, “Loving me first is my first duty. Everything else is a gift. I’m not in the habit of giving anything valuable—especially myself—to anyone who believes their happiness and peace of mind are more important than mine.”

There were other messages (some not nearly as kind as the blackmail). I deleted them unanswered. I took a shower, went for a walk, returned home to blackout poems, took another shower, ate some yummy ice cream… and told the brilliant woman who lives in my mirror that regardless of what the rest of the world might think and do, she will always be first on my list. She grinned at me, with exactly the right sort of teeth.

Glass Emptied of Clouds

My glass was half full, but
I was proud of its contents,
excited about possibilities…

“Oh, the life I can bring to fill
my empty half,” I used to say.

Then you came,
bringing your thoughts
into my days.

“Empty your glass,” you said,
“I have a fill of wonders.”

I allowed the emptying…

…and you filled my glass
with clouds
that looked like heavenly dreams
falling like cool expectations
against the flush of my cheeks.

I closed my eyes,
and waited for wonders…
that weren’t meant to be.

Now,
with eyes open
and opened again,
I see
huge nothings
filling the space that is you.
And I grin…
as I gather the pieces
of my glass emptied of clouds,

of clouds that seeped into dirt
and were boiled clean by the sun,
in promise of better rains…

Beaming
under a cloudless sky,
I am
fixing my glass,
prettying its cracks,
naming the breaks,
proud of my work,
excited about possibilities

I will build true…

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the wee notes…
– I wrote this poem a few years ago, after a break up. Some of my friends worried about me because I was “acting too calmed for comfort”. The poem was my way to appease their qualms. I wanted to let them know that getting out of the relationship I was in was a good thing, even a great thing. Breaking up is painful while it’s happening (endings hurt) but the future is always so good at the art of offering new possibilities to be taken.

I’m reposting it for a friend, whose relationship just ended. To her, I say, “Right now the world is all tears and screams and fury that whisper bloody fantasies that include smashing bones we used to love (or still love, even if they no longer deserve it), but this will pass. Time will help mend cracks… You will reclaim your Self.”

– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Tuesday Platform.

 

Of First Loves and High Heel Shoes

“First loves are high-heeled shoes,” he says. “They affect flesh and spirit—straighten spines, tighten thighs, make you walk like you own the galaxy. Your first changes you forever. No other will ever make you feel like I did.”

I watch him,

remember myself

wrapped in him.

“Once,” I tell him, “the sight of you pulled little moans out of my middle. The memory of us (skin-to-skin), your scent… made me want. But I don’t lust after the way I used to feel inside your body. First shoes are just shoes—perfect (once), but irrelevant after they no longer fit.”

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the wee notes…
– Linked to Friday Fictioneers. Visit Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog, to enjoy interesting tales. Then follow this LINK, to read what others have written about my old shoes.
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, where our sweetest Sanaa invites us to write about love, using a common everyday image.