i don’t know how to be with you yet.
so i’m letting you go.
please, take my offering.

you are an intense vibration of all the good things lost.
scattered in the ashes.
long arms of tenderness.
i quiver every time you look at me with kindness.

love is a forgotten language.
a vague recollection of how broken things are fixed.

i don’t know how to be with you yet.
or how to be.
a self.
bone and flesh and breath and laughter.
be something.
someone that can be recognized.
so if someday you wish to hold me again,
i’m not just an imagination.
an elusive vision at the edge of your dreams.

take my offering.
all’s not lost. i hold the memory of your brief staying.
my fingers ache with the remembering of words.
ink on paper.
memories that should not be memories yet.

©Tsion B., 2017


things i should stop doing #2

saying sorry for things i shouldn’t be.

i’m sorry but i don’t agree with you.
i’m sorry but i’m not like you at all;
and for that matter, i don’t like you either.

sorry, but i don’t want you to touch me;
not now. not tomorrow. not after tomorrow. forever.

i’m sorry; i know i shouldn’t be crying. i swear i’m not trying to emotionally blackmail you. it’s just that i…
…does it even matter?

i’m sorry for the flare of acne on my face. my hormones go wacky sometimes and i can’t really control them.

sorry, i’m on my period and i have to make 20 bathroom trips in an hour so i can’t really see you today unless you come to my house.

sorry for the mess my children made in the house because that’s what children do.
oh and sorry i’m having a bad hair day because i had a lot of things to worry about today and i couldn’t care less about my hair.

i’m sorry, but i’m tired and i don’t feel like cooking for your lazy arse today.
and also, i’m going to lock myself up in my room for the next few hours and pretend that i do not exist.

i’m sorry, but i have to say no.
no. and i’m sorry i don’t feel like justifying every no that comes out of my mouth.

i’m sorry.
for wanting.
for not wanting.
for feeling too strongly about certain things.
for being emotional.
for not being good at some things like holding pointless conversations with strangers at a bar and not being polite enough to laugh at crappy jokes.
or make crappy jokes.
for thinking angles actually exist and my dead relatives appear in my dreams because they’re trying to tell me something.
for refusing to believe that you start to take angels and dead people seriously when all else fails and you’re desperate.
so desperate you run into the first random open arms mistaking them for a sign.

the sorry list is inexhaustible.
sometimes, i feel my sorries are like the rain apologizing for getting you wet.
or your nightmares appearing in the morning to ask forgiveness for the headaches and the bags under your eyes.
they don’t make sense at all.

©Tsion B., 2017


i told you i have a million insecurities i learned in a little less than a decade
that’s why i hold my body so close to me
so tight i’m afraid it will break.
i told you i have a million insecurities.

i told you i have more baggage than your house and my house together can hold.
so much baggage my therapist slyly asks, how was your relationship with your father like when you were a child?
i might have a few things to say about that, but oh hell if she only knew that’s the least of my worries.
i told you i have a million insecurities.

i warned you to steer clear.
to stay far, far away.
i’m not an easy fix.
i’m not a month old love.
i don’t go with the flow.
i cry when i mean to laugh and laugh when i mean to cry.
not one of my bones are made out of easy acceptance.
but you, you found that hard to believe.
but i told you i have a million insecurities.

when you came along i was building my armor layer by layer by layer.
thinking strong means indifferent.
thinking strong means untouchable.
thinking strong means becoming a red shrieking siren that goes off with every attempted love.
when you came along, i told you we were wrong for each other but you said no two people have ever been so right.
when you came along, i told you i’m a recovering everything and you said you’d like to hold my hands.
when you came along, i told you sometimes i cry unbidden without a reason and you said you’ll kiss away my tears.
when you came along, i told you i’m getting to know myself again after being lost for so long and you said let’s do that together.
when you came along, i told you i was heart-constricting extremes and you said you’d rise to the challenge.
when you came along, i told you most times it’s hard for me to know what i want and i ask inappropriate questions that might sting at the heart.
such as-
do you think we are wrong?
do you think we are wrong for each other?
do you think i am wrong for you?
do you want to run?
do you want to run now?

©Tsion B., 2017

after you

after you
my body has become a field of wild flowers
sacred soil that gives the herbs i keep in my kitchen their fragrance
i don’t know how my body knew when to give in
but your touch is my deliverance
the answer to every desperate plea, every faltering prayer i never knew will be returned.

after you
every stretch mark, every birth mark and birthing mark
every scar, every flaw, every bump and dip on my body
feel like newly discovered land.
when at first you asked me, do you know how beautiful you are?
i was at a loss and wanted to say, can’t you see i am anything but?

after you
i see myself and i no longer see splinters.
shards, ashes, broken, breaking, shattered.
damaged. unfixable.
i don’t know how my body found itself suddenly upright
after being bent for so long.

after you
i no longer feel like a touch is a break-in
a look, an invasion
silence is no more a death threat
every door shall not be locked for fear of someone barging in
and slowly, i’m learning not to turn my head every two steps to check if someone is following me
scheming my exit route even before entering.

after you
i still have fears that keep me awake at night
that i’ll be punished for loving you so much
the echoes of a distant nightmare still ring in my ears
‘I will kill him. I will kill him. I will kill him.
Whore, you will never set eyes on him again’.

but after you
there is only now.
and sometimes, the dream of tomorrow.
although i know all too well this too might end in some painful goodbye
my heart dances with victory that you are a demarcation in my life
and there will only be after-
after you.

©Tsion B., 2017

you are

since the day i could sit alone with my thoughts
i knew my life would be anything but ordinary.
with twists and spirals of magic
wafts of remembrance from another life.
and you my darling,
you are the potion that melts my resistance and holds together all the fallen pieces for me to build a different kind of resistance
the kind that knows what’s worth fighting for.

you are the quiet in my angry sobs.
you are the balm on my open wounds.
the defiance in my brokenness
the silent dare that makes me want to run toward my fears.
you are a pilgrimage my sore and tired feet still want to walk
toward freedom and uncertainty.
you are the tomorrow on the hem of today.

my love,
you are the heat between my legs.
my forgotten desire
my forsaken dreams
you are the reunion of all the selves i’ve lost.
a fight. a reconciliation.
you are my indifference turned acute feeling.
my ice broken to warmth.

you are my ugly truth.
a mirror unto reality
an anchor holding me tight and steady
my madness
my shock
my utter disbelief
my calm tolerance of myself and you.

you are a dream.
you are time passing slow, then fast, then slow.
you are my minute at a time.
my day at a time
my thought at a time
my hope at a time
you are my now that stretches to eternity.
with you i know home is not a place but a safe passage
an unhurried resting.

darling you,
you are the stuff my poetry is made out of.
you are my words, my ink, the strikethroughs in my script.
you are the mystery in the plot of my life.
you are my unforeseen turn that should have got me lost but instead
brought me here.

[OneRepublic’s Let’s Hurt Tonight was playing over and over in my mind when I wrote this poem]

©Tsion B., 2017


my body is not a gift i can wrap up
in generous boxes and flimsy paper that reads ‘I LOVE YOU’
tie it down with a ribbon into a bow
and wait for it to be torn by prying hands
on a birthday.

my body is not an offering.
i cannot give it to you. you cannot take it from me.
i can’t make it open; it’s not a hinged door.
i can’t make it behave agreeably
lay down silently to be worked by your plundering limbs.

my body is not a field you need to crop to satisfy your hunger.
you cannot dig it, or weed it, or harvest it.
you can’t half-heartedly fumble with your careless hands
and blame it for being dry, unyielding, unforgiving
like it’s a patch of dust that needs to be watered.

my body is not a road you can travel;
nor a tunnel or a two way street.
you cannot walk on it.
you cannot pass through it.
you cannot pound on it endlessly
and expect to return on it.

my body bruises.
my body bleeds.
my body breaks.
my body grows poison.
my body leaves.
my body opens.
my body closes.
my body goes incognito.
my body’s ice.
my body’s fire.
my body births.
my body feeds.
my body’s star and moon and sun and earth.
my body is a galaxy you’ll need a body map to read it.

my body does not want your body.
my body is not up for possession, or negotiation, or persuasion, or permission.
my body does not want your body.
how is that not clear enough?

©Tsion B., 2017