When I’m Told I’m Beautiful I Think of My Insides

When I’m Told I’m Beautiful I Think of My Insides

“beauty doesn’t come in a box”
reads the bumper sticker straight ahead
everything we’ve been shown are lies,
as I check the rear-view, mascara intact,
hair in place, face like silk,
my heart bigger than exaggerated eyes

box me in, contain all the
beauty, to showcase the features outside
a heart and mind aren’t needed-
doesn’t play well with others when
in the plastic box, she fights,
come watch her white gnashing teeth

come, look closely as I suffocate,
box painted lips and forced smile,
in defeat I resign myself to
beauty standards you’ve set in matte,
doesn’t my heart matter at all
a treasure for appreciative, attentive hands

a light in the darkness below
come find hope, kindness, and love
doesn’t the moon bring out its shine,
box it away, nothing is real
beauty is always the real prize
in a frame of breakable bones

in this world we are told
a lesser value to save face,
beauty is merely attractive genes, they
come with the package, a heart-
a gift for you to give
doesn’t come easy if it’s true

doesn’t eveyone see behind the scenes
in spite of blackened outlines, this
box will be burned, ashes remain,
a start to burning, it will
come if we light the matches,
beauty redefined as coming from inside

beauty doesn’t just exist in form
come see this heart hidden away
a prettier sight without the box

———–

The gauntlet was thrown down by @purplemonkeysexgod69. I was challenged to write a sestina. Man, was it hard, and to be honest, I’m not even sure if I did it right. I’m used to free verse, so the challenge of having a structure was an awesome experience. Thanks, it really took me out of my comfort zone and made my brain tick. So can I pass the gauntlet and get a taco?

Mascara and Blood Stains

Mascara and Blood Stains

pillar of rock,
ash and salt,
razor sharp corners
meet wet walls-
lulled to a hard softness

I could peel them back,
show these layers, wedge my true self
between the remaining embers
and the calcification this core
has endured

but I ask myself
where in these hands
can I place the ache
when they are full
of a centum of moments,
sentimental and not easily cast aside?

I cut a hole in each palm
place the ache there
then sing, with my hands clasped,
praying I will sleep.

Highlights of My Week

Highlights of My Week

*Seeing the clouds and the land from a plane window. It was so beautiful and inspiring.

*Learning different skills that will make me a better trainer, but will also help me in my personal life. It taught me how to better confrontation (which I avoid in my personal life if at all possible and is unhealthy for myself). It taught me how to think about the framing of how I say things and how to be more effective when having conversations with people, and not just difficult ones.

*Matt imitating what getting slapped in the face with a horse’s dick would look like. I laughed so hard I was crying. Just so you know, he has never been slapped in the face with a horse’s dick, but it was a fun joke throughout the week.

*Going shopping with Jami, buying myself a new dress that was expensive (to me), and not feeling guilty about it. I love buying presents for others, but always feel bad when I buy something for myself. I always think the money could have been put to better use. I’m not sure why I feel that way, but I didn’t this time, which was nice. I also bought souveniors for my little guy and Nelson.

*Having quiet time. At first I hated it, but as the week went on I grew to appreciate it.

*Swimming.

*Realizing I am going to be facing a lot of challenges this tax season l, management has several things planned for me, and they will all help me grow as an employee and as a person.

*Meeting a ton of people I’ve worked with for years face to face.

*Meeting new people.

*Having the best steak I’ve ever had in my life.

*Getting one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten. I didn’t get to interact much with this person, but I spoke out in class, cracked jokes, and laughed a lot. He said that I am the most authetic person he has ever met. I’m open, honest, and not afraid of someone not liking who I am, which only makes people like me more. He said he would take that and be himself while training people. Just by being myself was helpful to someone else. I love helping people, I’m very passionate about it, so it made me feel good that I had helped someone.

*Getting to spend time with my co-workers. We aren’t just co-workers though. We are more like a family. It was great spending time with them.

*Landing in Richmond, knowing I would be home soon.

*Walking through the front door of my house.

*Seeing Nelson and giving him the boots I bought him. Watching his face light up, seeing him in awe, and his smile always knocks me out.

*Seeing my dog, Rusty.

*Sleeping better than I have all week. I slept until 10:30. I slept in again today until 10:30 too.

*Activities followed by a wonderful nap. It was two hours, I must have needed the extra sleep.

*Playing Minecraft with Nelson.

*Watching a documentary about boxing. I really enjoyed it, learned a lot about the sport itself, and a big life lesson. For those of you who have Netflix, it’s called The Champs, check it out.

*Watching The Walking Dead. I have yet to finish season 6 (silly, I know). I still have the season finale to watch and I’m looking forward to it, as well as, the new season coming up.

*Having several deep conversations with Nelson. The one we had about God this morning was extremely enlightening. I struggle with my faith, as I’m sure everyone does at some point, but that conversation really put things into perspective. It made me think of so much I hadn’t thought of before.

*Tomorrow I get to see my kiddo. I’ve missed him.

Those were the highlights of my week. What were yours? Feel free to comment on this post, send me a message, or post your own. If you do post your own either tag me in it or let me know. I’ll read each and every one of them. I’d love to see what your highlights were!

How Can You Tell a Furrow From a Grave?

How Can You Tell a Furrow From a Grave?

even with my eyes closed I can see it
and if I think about it too much
my head swims and I swear
I can hear the ocean
if I stop my chest from rising

at least then I can’t hear my thoughts
and I’m grateful no one else can

I don’t know how to bring out the best in some
without showing the worst
in myself at times

but the point is,

I’m trying here, God am I,
and I’ve realized
the only thing I have control over is myself,
but that doesn’t mean
there will be healing involved

some days I feel the hurt
nestled under my tounge
but I kept quiet, eyes looking down
to avoid any traps
planted under my feet

all of them placed
with my own hands

if I find one I always manage to get out,
turn my back to the sun,
hands steady at the plow

keep pushing, I say

what I’ve sown will be enough,
the failures I’ve had
won’t matter as much later
as they do now.

Gallery

The Needle of Fear

During take off I watched as everything became smaller. Cars scurrying around on roads that looked like ribbon. Buildings becoming flat surfaces, no longer towering over everything, but blending in, adding a different color to the various greens and browns of the land. The clouds were so beautiful, so white and perfect, they look soft. I wanted so badly to reach out of my window and touch one for just a moment. Even if I could have, it would be just another beautiful thing I have touched and watched disappear in my hand. I spend most of the flight staring out of the window, wondering what state we are in, when the time zone will change. I check the clock on my phone every fifteen minutes but miss it. I wonder how far away I am from home, how many miles separate me from the things I love and care about most in this world. And I’m homesick before I’ve even landed. 

I think about how pointless it all seems up here. All that running about, going to work, doing laundry, sweeping the floor, cursing at the car in front of you for not going fast enough. Up here none of that matters. I long to be on the ground again, but to keep that mindset. Keep it, so that I don’t forget about the big picture I see now. Pieces of my heart scattered in different states. Some of it in Pennsylvania, some in Virginia, some in Arizona where my father still lives, though we haven’t talked in years. I have a half sister I’ve never met that lives there. I need to meet her, it’s important, more so now that I’m up here getting ready to touch down outside of Dallas. I must do that as soon as I possibly can.

As we descend I see the cars and buildings getting bigger, my heart skips a beat when the pilot announces that we will be landing in twenty minutes. I hold my breath until I feel dizzy, take a half of a tranquilizer, then lean back in my seat, preparing for the worst to happen. I’ve made it this far, surely, something will. I think about the ribbons of roads I saw, the shift of focus I experienced in the air, and I hold that in my mind while I watch out the window. I hold onto the feeling that this will pass and I’ll be among people again, all wrapped up in the things they carry. The next soccer practice, the next presentation at work, the next car to pull through the drive through. Each of us stuck in this never ending cycle of work to live, distracting ourselves with tasks and errands. Some caught in living to work. I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to work, rinse, repeat. I want to see more of the sky, see more of the world around me, spend time with the people that matter the most to me in my life.

We land, drive another twenty minutes to the hotel. The room is nice but the bed is too big when you are used to sharing one with someone else. We all go out to eat at this burger place. Everyone is laughing and all I want is five minutes to myself. To gather the spinning thoughts in my head, write them down so I can own them. I laugh when expected, talk when addressed, say the appropriate comments when needed, but my head is still in the clouds. The food is great, but I don’t enjoy it as much as I would a meal at home. 

We get back to the hotel and finally I have thirty minutes alone. I can’t stand the empty room, my ears start throbbing from the silence. I go downstairs, talk to my son for a moment, send him pictures of the clouds and of my room. I talk to Nelson, I cry. “I’m homesick already”, I say, and he knows exactly what to say to calm me down and make me feel better. 

I go swimming with my co-workers for a little while. It’s fun and I don’t realize just how much I missed being in the water until I feel it glide over my skin. It’s warm, but still cool enough to strip the heat and muscle ache out of my back. I race Jami and Ashley in the pool, legs only, feeling more comfortable with my body in the water than anywhere else. In the water the weight on my bones lightens. I move with a grace I do not have on land, a confidence I haven’t found while standing on my awkward feet. I am a warrior in the water, but fight with elegance and mercy. Splitting the water in half while caressing it lovingly.

I say goodnight to the others, then come back to my room. This time I turn on the television for background noise. I write this while In a strange town, in a strange bed, and I’m anxious. I took the extra pillows in the drawer and laid them next to me. A placebo effect, but I’m hoping it will work. I’ll feel better tomorrow, but I don’t want to forget how I felt up there. This week will go by so fast and I’ll be back home before I know it. Back in my own bed, without the need of pillows, without the deafening silence I expect to hear when I turn the television off tonight.

I’m getting sleepy and I realize what it is that has me feeling so anxious. It’s my greatest fear in life. It’s something I do not tell many about. I feel it now, as I get ready to shut this thing down for the night, turn out the light, and try to sleep. Pushing down on me, until I feel confined, trapped. I reach out for a hand to hold, there’s no one there to hold it. 

Lights out.

____

Prompt: Secrets. Provided by Prose Riot.