I drank myself drunk on honey-soaked hibiscus tea.
Rubbed my own shoulders to the sounds of Sade.
Swallowed my shame.
Sung my reflection sonnets of love poems long left unsaid.
washed your words off my skin
watched them sink
to the shower tile scrubbed clean with bleach and positive affirmations.
“Not enough” and “too much” screaming one last rebuttal from beneath the drain.
I placed a rose behind each ear-
placed my palms together in prayer.
Fell onto my knees
Men walk on water, when a woman loves-
turn it into wine,
as she labors under star light.
The earth tilts on its axis,
to gaze upon the moon,
and I do too.
Reflect on forty days and forty nights of loving you.
that deserts will be crossed, when a woman loves.
The sun’ll hug this world’s skin and tides kiss the salt of the shore.
Your smile will flash through her mind like meteor, when a woman loves.
But this woman will love you more.
I didn’t second guess when
you promised me-
That I’d never find you flirting with the hands on the wall.
Minutes would go untouched.
And no amount of days or hours could make that untrue.
but I can tell by the heaviness with which you speak my name.
-time has had its way with you.
You killed your mother.
And now you have no home to lay waste to.
Red rot and dust.
You reach out and touch her flesh burned bronze under the metallic rays of AI.
Open up your pretty blue eyes and see what this world has come to.
The orange hand of potus patronizing pussy power, predilection for prejudice, playing pawns out of “we the people”.
You claim you don’t subscribe to alternative facts.
These original lies.
Original sin, when did the madness begin?
Don’t tell me it was her offering the fruit of her womb.
Standing in gardens, waiting for her Adam to come home smelling of other flowers.
So she gave you red flesh to devour.
But hey, the choice was yours.
And in return, you ruined her world.
Swapped soul for snaps, emotion for emojis.
Tucked a text under her sleeping cheek when you left.
Pillaged the brown roots that grow under her hometown looking for gold.
You found it-
robbed her riches and left her desolate.
And at the very least, you could say thank you.
After you waged this war against mother.
I am Woman.
Woman doesn’t tear.
I bend backward, bend forward, bend universes.
my scars are lingerie, worn beautifully.
I am pretty.
pretty has no tears to streak her pretty face.
will you sing this pretty woman love songs?
trace them into my back.
I won’t complain of pain.
because I am Woman.
I carry loads,
yours and my own.
the grit of my teeth.
my hands wrung.
let go. let go.
pretty women have to be happy.
Do lies hurt?
yes, I think they do.
But what if I lied that I loved you?
what if my hands lied to your face, my lips to your ear, my eyes to your soul?
if a lie wrapped you in its arms and lulled you to sleep when you didn’t want to feel alone?
when the truth would wrestle you to the ground, punch you in the gut and run before you could ask it “why”?
when the truth would belittle you, steal your pride and cause you to stay up at night and cry.
The lie, oh the lie…
a lie steals the lesson.
Stunts your growth.
Never can stay hidden from you.
So I find that there could be no response more true:
“Do lies hurt?”
-well yes, I think they do.
You know that place.
The one we are all terrified to go to.
A place between barefoot renegades, water gun hands, ice cream smeared mouths and your body laying next to mine.
A place caught between time.
Red ribboned braids stretching down skinny backs, offering roots to anchor your adolescent whimsies- because even at that age, you learned the world isn’t fair.
For far too long, you’ve felt stuck between kiddish dreams and grown-up nightmare.
Gone from finding swirling universes in the puddles that form after rainstorms, to trying to conceal the universe of emotions swirling inside yourself.
Painted a jaded mask with the trembling hands you used to tie up your Mary Janes.
You aged beyond your tender years.
Still… You should go to that place.
To the place where you and I rough house, play house, make love, make war, make walls.
Walls made to keep out the past.
Walls to throw people behind- people who have seen too much.
Walls of our own prisons.
We are paying bills in one motion and paying for our childhoods in the next.
We resort back to fetal position, back to your hand across my face.
Go back to where we were waving goodbye to overalls, saying so-long to captaining a ship on the rocks in your backyard.
Goodbye to dreams of one day being a princess.
Or of ever being your wife.
Because no man who barely loves himself has enough love left over for anyone else.
This place, where we left the ghost of a broken child, where we learned how to love, or that we never wanted to love again…
a place so raw, it strips away at your defenses and leaves only vulnerability.
I know it’s hard.
I know more than anyone.
But, go there.
To the place between angry words, and insults breaking backbones.
To the place where a memory can send the skyscraper that is your ego plummeting to the ground, sprinkling dust and demons amidst the debris.
This place is an abyss, and you’ve left it open.
We all leave it.
Go there to close the wounds for good.
Newport, Rhode Island:
Have you heard of it? It’s a beautiful coastline city in the smallest state, filled with so many breathtaking and historical sites to visit. Taylor Swift lives nearby in Watch Hill, RI. I say “nearby” because everything is nearby in this itty bitty state. Also, JF Kennedy and Jackie Onassis wed in Newport. Did you know that? And the seafood here is to die for. Literally, to die. I will die by overdosing on lobster one day.
Anywho… When I lived in Rhode Island, I had crazy wanderlust. I felt like I had to get out of this tiny state and see what else was out there. But now that I’m gone, I find myself missing its true blue waters, its umm-mah-Gah amazzzzinggggg seafood (fresh off the boats most of the time), and all of its quirky, artistic flavor. Providence, RI is the creative capital of the US according to Snapchat. (So it must be true.) I recommend everyone check out this small place packed full of culture, local hospitality and great eats.
Back to Newport…
On this particular trip back home, my mother, sister and I decided to visit one of the famous Newport Mansions. These homes are astounding- huge, detailed replicas of French chateaus, and Italian Renaissance-style manors that cost millions of dollars to erect (in the 1800s- early 1900s mind you), and only served as “summer cottages” for some of the wealthiest families in the United States during the gilded age. We didn’t want to spend a long day exploring all of the mansions (there are 11 in total). So, we just decided to check out “The Elms”.
The house was modeled after a French chateau. Gold details lined the breakfast room, and huge hand-painted pictures adorned many of the walls and ceilings. We received a guided audio tour of the mansion, and opted to do an additional tour that showcased the life of the servants at The Elms. Highly recommend it. Learning about the life of the servants who lived in these massive homes was eye-opening and unexpected. Their accommodations rivaled most NYC apartments =/!
The grounds of The Elms were equally as gorgeous as the interior, with weeping birch trees and wisteria offering shade and enjoyment. All in all, the short day trip was a well needed break from the hectic streets of NYC, and only a few hours away by train, bus or car!