They taught you how to feel :: song of the day

Kelly Haugh

Keep Art Alive :: Art by Kelly Haigh

(by me)

I feel a bit rough around the edges,
as if there are parts of me that have just been cut out,
molded, shaped,
but with scissors that are just a bit warped,
the kind with a little bend to the left,
so now I just hang a little crooked.

Nothing seems to fit around me anymore.
I am more comfortable naked and wrapped in a blanket.
I feel that too much of me is opening up to the world,
and I am not ready for all the scrutiny.
And yet, I am still running around with no clothes on.

It used to feel so alive inside.
It used to feel so okay to be not be okay, to not know.
Never counting on caring this much,
never anticipating the cold front drifting in,
nor the confusion of not knowing to cause this pin-prickle panic within me.
I can no longer hang my conflictions loose on my sleeve, dangling free.
My heart is too full of holes for that now.
I just pour out of it a little bit more each day,
leaking out of me in tears and shouts.
I do not want to sponge myself off the ground and bathe in all the mess,
not any longer.
I want to bleed instead, bleed until I am dry.
I want the desert to erupt inside me.
I want to feel sand cut my throat and burn my eyes;
I long to feel nothing.

Today I lined up fifty masks,
named them all,
gave them days of the week, months and years.
Sometimes the choices overwhelm me, though.
I do not know how to fit inside of them anymore.
I forget which one you prefer.
Which do I wear when I am alone?
Which one allows me to wear the red dress and the fuck-me heels?
Is this the one for the big promotion?
The two-drink minimum?
The wedding day?

I feel lost.
I feel faceless,

raw and exposed.

I carry too many titles around with me,
roles I have had with me for the all of my life.
I was a mother before I could even conceive,
a lover before I knew what love was,
a child for only a breath of time.
It is hard to balance being a woman,
and being me.
I sit here, looking in the mirror,
shout out my names,
make faces,
spit at the images I see.
I laugh until I cry, then start to sing,
rocking back and forth to an unheard rhythm.
Call out all my names:
Angel, devil,
innocent one.
Slut, liar,
Mother, daughter,
sister, friend.
Lover, hater,
Truster, betrayer.
Employee, negotiator.
Loser, succeeder.
Geek, tormentor,
woman, and a girl.
Bitch, blessed.
Educator, student.
Confused, conflicted.
Strong, weak,
dead and alive.

I run up the stairs now,
jumping two at a time,
in restless anticipation to reach the top.
I am naked still, unabashedly so,

I run the water hot in the bath,
dive in,
drown a little in my own juices, in all that I am.
I drink in the dirt and decay,
wipe all the days mistakes off;
watching them spin on down the drain.
I feel new now,
clean and ready to face the day>
Maybe I will wear the happy mask today,
the one meant for first days of school,
for auditions,
for parent-teacher conferences,
first dates,
For my mother,
and for you.

Avalanche  :: Ryan Adams

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