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i try real hard not to feel it. to always be three moves ahead. to fall asleep first. to come first. to lie to my cute face as i put my makeup on first. to become steel & bone first. to acquire a new lipstick & read poems aloud first. i have journals full of tricks just i don't have to feel it. but even my brown femme fortitude has limitations. & every now & then i find myself busted open at my seams.
tonight i teeter on that tender seam brink as i haul my not-so-small panda babe into the house, guiding them by their arm, hoping not to drop too many things. as i usher them into our depression-storm of a mess room, i urge them onto their side of the bed, "the corner, baby, scoot into your corner." i feel bad for not being tidier, & then i remind myself that we're alive, & that that counts. i think about writing these words down, & make myself a strawberry promise. i wonder if i will always strain to make a life outta shit circumstances, & tell myself, i hope not.
i count & recount the number of years i have been alone, & finally conclude that it really is nine. i think about how years ago i was simply giddy about being untethered, wanted nothing to do with it, was eager to brave being my own wild companion. but that was before all of the community fallouts & heart shatters, before the blood moon betrayals, back when i had a lover to fuck me so good i forgot my name, every wednesday morning, like clock work. i've since learned heartache makes the lonely years feel longer.
again & again, i try to find comfort in knowing that i'd rather be alone than with an asshole or someone who is harming me but calling it love. that i'd really rather cry myself to sleep & pray to the moon & talk to my grandmother's spirit than try to fall into slumber next to someone who can't see me or love me or let me in. though sometimes these comforts feel too small for my whale heart, & then i just wail. i cry & sob & bring down the house. i make sure to get the sorrow deep down in the guts & make sure all the gods & goddesses know that i am angry at being this alone. & then i curl up on my bed, sometimes holding myself sometimes not, & peel out that soft & lonely words, i still love you.
there are times when this is enough, & i can calm down enough to pick a show & binge on some episodes. or i call a friend & talk about these feels out loud. but there are also times when it isn't, & i'm afraid my heart will bleed out & i curse all the lovers who failed me, who cut me, who made me believe i was less than. i berate my tender heart for loving so many, for falling for so many, for being so goddamn open all the fucking time. i look at myself in the mirror & wonder what is wrong with me, then make myself mashed potatoes with lots of butter & listen to my sad playlists on relentless repeat. my only hope on these kinds of days is sleep. knock me out kinda sleep. fuck the world kind of sleep. thank god i don't have to stay in this world kinda sleep. the next morning i usually wake up with that glow that only comes from sobbing your face off, & the sensation of having no skin is thick. i make sure to hydrate more than usual, then go about my day. one breathe on front of the other.
i resent feeling lonely, that sometimes i have to say it, name it, grieve it, accept it. i also resent wanting the opposite of lonely, of wanting companionship, of wanting to be in some kinda --ship with someone who can love me in all the ways i do & in new ways i haven't yet. because i do, i want something more than this loneliness, to make love to something other than this loneliness, to feel something other than an echo in my body at night.
i'm not sure where this is going, if anywhere, or how to bring this to a close before i open a can of worms that requires me to cry all night my myself, but this is good enough. this fucking feels like one of the most vulnerable things i've ever written. this is who i am when no one is looking. who i am beneath the leo in venus charisma. who i am beneath the eyebrow that raises involuntarily. good night. & send me tender heart woo if you'd like to & can.
Author's Note: This piece is obvi unfinished, but has been sitting in my drafts box for a while. I want to share now because Full Moon in Scorpio feels like letting this story breathe because not only did I survive it, I am recognizing what I can take from it now. This is important because for the years that I've carried it, it has felt so fucking unbearable, so deeply painful. It no longer has the sting of taking from me. The tide has changed, & I welcome it.
as they cut your heart out seam by seam with their soft sighs, you come a little each time, without falter or blush. you both deny you’ve fallen in love, but continue to do the things lovers do: say i’m sorry, write love letters, & lie.
you sit in their kitchen, pretending your not allergic to the cat who recklessly flirts with your legs. you are there to read tarot cards, & in exchange, they are cooking you dinner. you remember this reading for too long a time, & your heart will break more because you thought you knew them. you are both wrong & not wrong.
this is the same dinner, they will later confess to you, they should have never cooked. everything was deliberate because this is the first time they admitted to themselves how much they wanted to be alone with you. the dish is so delicious you will ask for it again three months later when they throw a birthday party for you.
when they drop the pan fresh from the oven, they’ll curse & bashful & promise not to serve you sullied squash. you are smitten & keep your ass put & tell them its ok. before they drive you home later, they tell you they have a twin sister & they share a poem with you about their sweetie. this is the same sweetie that never likes you, never trusts you. nobody talks about this, except you with yourself.
these are words they use to describe you.
on your way to your crash & burn there are lots of sweet things. there’s an almost date thing where they pick you in their car & insist on paying with their groupon. you want to wear something short because they complimented your legs that one time, but utah springs are more like a sloppy winter, & if you showcase your lovely gams too soon, that might tip them off. your motto is always play it cool, so you wear pants that hug your ass instead. nobody says a word about how much this feels like a date, but you both feast with your eyes, have each other for dessert.
you say, nobody ever tells me when they fall in love with me, but i know. & then you smile.
they say, oh, how can that be, & smile back. this is when you begin to notice that look you come to call i am the center of everything good. sweetie & i are opening our relationship. i can kiss people now, everything but hands down pants.
the next night you both go to the club you no longer frequent & you kiss them. this is the second kiss the two of you share at the club you no longer frequent. this becomes the summer of self denial.
you write poems about the first time they say i love you, how they tried to cancel plans because of a migraine, but in the end texted, fuck it, i’m coming over. you hide how much it means to you when they show up with yellow flowers & the smile you can never get enough of. you love these flowers more than any other flowers in your whole life until this moment. the yellow flowers live longer than most in your purple vase. this is the night they tell you, i’m afraid i’m not gonna be at your table for forever because i am not good enough. you comfort them with promises neither one of you keep, but you still believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.
that night, in your living room with felt for carpet, you kiss them before they go home. it feels awkward, but you both want it so much you don’t care that your lips clench with overload of desire, or that they’re dry, making your lips stick together when your kiss is done. on their way out in your stairwell they, look back & say, i love you, & you echo it back back back.
you don’t wild make out like you want before shit gets bad, but you do snuggle & hold hands at the movies & sit in their car for hours as the moon yawns across the sky. you read them stories in bed until after midnight about finding home. you stay with their twin sister for a few days in the summer summer, & then the two of them throw you a birthday party, cooking that one dinner & buying the spendy carrot cake with nary a raisin to sully the sweetness.
as some king of birthday homage, they proclaim you poet laureate of their house. it is so sweetly obvious they adore you & your words. it’s probably shit like this that make your friends assume you’re fucking. they introduce you to Dear Sugar & come to your house on Sunday mornings where you two read it aloud & cry & bear witness to something that feels like healing. they call you chosen family. they text you things like, i miss the sound of your voice. you go along, follow their lead because they are the one with a sweetie who is now live-in.