There came a point in which my shame outweighed my courage, vulnerability
some mythical tranquility, an arrow searching for direction.
The self-depreciation came out in laughter, but like you say,
there is a grain of truth in every joke,
so I built a castle out of my own self-worth.
It was hardly a castle, more like four high walls, but I liked the way
the tide washed around them and held me, the way
the water broke me down until I belonged with everything else, the way
I thought I had a home in some high tower when really I was dying to just touch the sand beneath,
because it was like me,
it was me,
except it knew how to live without walls.
Thank you's rolled off the tongue like apologies, like sweat beads,
a necklace that sounds so sweet, the pearls reflect nothing but skin deep philosophy,
and yet they hold me the way his hand did,
a reminder not to breathe too loudly, don’t let them know that you exist.
Thank you and I’m sorry still mean the same thing
but the latter is lightning in my veins
because every time I hear myself say it my heart still knows what it means,
laced with guilt like salt in the sugar,
good for tequila or tea,
they look so similar on your lips, but I know my own weight the way
it finds the end of wits like a flame to a fuse,
once it’s lit there will be an explosion,
sometimes so quiet you don’t notice but it’s there,
a quick snap she says, “I wish you would have told me earlier”
in the same words of my father, like honesty in the first moment my mind started spiraling
trying to find how deep the rabbit hole went
only to find that I was the rabbit and
you were the flame and smoke at the front door of my home,
chasing me out because the need for us to know is the same as the need to be in control -
I want to be surrounded in that smoke,
each particle another joke about how I could simply disappear,
and you’d be the magician wondering why the hat was empty
only to find that it always was,
I am the shame that I couldn’t run fast enough from your fire,
I missed the sun sinking and even though it was never within reach
when its rays burst through the clouds I still believe in angels,
and when the horizon disappears
I still believe I could be one.
I know sometimes our conversations are like taking the same route to work,
the same way we laugh when one of us is hurting,
and I need you to know that
'I appreciate you listening' means 'I’m sorry for complaining,'
the same way
'thank you for being there' is 'I’m sorry I take up space'
the same way,
'you’re such a great friend' means 'I will miss you when I’m gone'
the same way,
'thank you for everything' means 'goodbye'.
Because after all I’m still sand,
and the ocean is pulling me into it’s arms.