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I learned young
To build a confidence
Maybe even a swagger
In how I carry myself amongst others
A survival mechanism
Created out of necessity

You see
I was raised around dominant men
And I realized early
If I wanted a voice
I had to stand toe to toe
And make them listen

It’s been a part of me for so long
That I don’t even realize it’s on

It’s hard to juggle that
And meet people
It deters and intimidates most
And those it doesn’t are attracted
To the idea of a confident woman
But not the reality of it

I think I scare people when I do drop that guard
I’ve discovered I have no half way
Just on or off with no dimmer switch
And that level of wide open vulnerability
Is uncomfortable to them

I’ve yet to find someone
Who can handle both versions of me
And pretending to be something else
Has never been one of my talents

soul home

many people have crossed my paths
I’m sure for many reasons
some i realize now and some i still wonder why
but regardless
i learned from them all
my god have i learned

to let go of those who poison you
no matter how hard you love them

that walking away isn’t quitting
but simple self-preservation
and there’s no shame in that

sometimes you never really know a person
until it’s 3am and they hate the world
and everyone in it

and then there are other ones
ones where my path didn’t cross
but intertwined
every day I’m around them
those ones teach me to love hard
but laugh harder
especially at yourself
to chase your dreams
even when the thought of failure terrifies you
they understand that fear
because deep down your souls speak the same language
a language of fire and ice – hate and love
dreams and fears – adventures and roots
hope and sadness – balance and overreaching
and an endless need to just be the undefinable wild hearts we are
and when I’m around them
it feels like home
no matter where we are or why

finding those people
that is the best lesson of all
I’m not an optimist
but their presence in my life makes me
dream harder – smile more – and love better

 

 

live, die, repeat

we crossed blades with a sibilant hiss
i knew
in that first lover’s touch of edge on edge
he had the memories too
his hawk eyes stared
stricken
every movement we made
was a memory flooding back
of the same movement made before
time and time again

we hadn’t just met in some other life
we had met in every other life
as lovers
as opponents
as friends
as enemies
and in that first moment of seeing
of our eyes meeting
every second raged back
a thousand years of love and hate and despair and hope

what had we done
to earn such a fate
such a curse
for even as i loved him
the person i was in this life
would either kill him or be killed by him

we wept as we fought
we smiled as we died
and leagues away
we were born again
destined but unknowing

Love

Bad Willie grinned hugely.  “You’re in love with her man. Big cold ass Nolan is in love with Ciara.”

Swede pulled Nolan back as he lunged for Bad Willie.  Swede’s beefy arms planted him on the barstool as Bad Willie cackled. “No fights in my bar.”

Nolan looked pleadingly at Swede, “For god’s sake man shut him up. I’m not in love with Ciara. I’m not.  I just…”

Swede studied him. “You lose sleep over her.” He held up a hand to stop Nolan. “Not done. You want to be with her yes? Not just sex.  But just be with her? You do small things. Cook dinner? Steal daffodils from my wife’s garden maybe.”

Nolan rapped his head repeatedly against the oak bar.  “Oh god what have I done.”

Bad Willie’s cackles grew in volume until Swede cut him off with a look. “You see someday young Willie.  Love not so funny when it’s you.” He shook a thick finger at Willie. “You ask him,” he gestured at Nolan who had just taken a shot of whiskey straight from the bottle.  “You ask him, young Willie, how love feels.”

Nolan took another shot. “It feels like I just shook hands with the devil.” He groaned and bounced his head off the bar again.