Brave

You wake up to the sun high in the sky and you only wish to crawl back under the blankets because at least there it is dark

When you finally drag yourself out of bed and close the blinds to shut out the light you sit in the black morning and hang your head

Your mind has been screaming at you for months and you have finally given in to the echo telling you

that you are worthless, that this body is not enough for such a beautiful world, that everything you give will always be too little

but I think you are brave for waking up.

I think you are brave for closing the blinds. For huddling in the corner.

I think you are brave for living this day even when you don’t remember how.

I think you are brave because you could easily give up – but you haven’t – there is a strength in that.

I think you are brave for letting the voice in. You haven’t let it over power you as it so easily could.

I think you are brave for breathing. I think you are brave for choosing to wake up each day even if you never leave the house.

I think you are brave for trying – and that has to be enough.

 

-CM

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Conversations with Me

‘Sometimes he just gets on my nerves’ she said through quiet sobs

‘sometimes he does something so tiny but it makes me question everything –

you know?’

And in that moment I did know and I wanted to hold her because I knew

exactly what it was like to love somebody with your whole being but still

question if you are doing the right thing so instead I sat back and asked her the only

question I knew how to ask –

‘do you love him?’

with a shudder and a gasp in between her sobs she nodded her head and her voice

rose like a light from the darkness

‘with everything that I have’.

‘so you fight for him’ I told her and if everything else was a lie in this thing called life

I knew that to be a fact.

‘If you truly love something you are going to question it’, I further reasoned

‘our minds have a way of convincing us that we don’t deserve what we have

so we try to find a way to believe that it isn’t meant to be.

But you love him, so you fight for him.’

She didn’t seem convinced but her voice was a bit more steady when she spoke next.

‘I can’t lose him.’

‘Then you won’t,’ I answered her

and now I knew three things to be certain.

If you love someone you fight for them until you’ve given it all you can

and then you let go and if you let go and they stay

you have found someone worth fighting for

and I have found someone worth fighting for.

I turned from the mirror and my sobbing figure straightened.

‘Are we going to be okay?’ she asked

‘We will be.’

 

-CM

Hold On

When the boy in gym shorts and basketball jersey tells you he just isn’t ready

don’t ask him why you are a test that has to be studied for.

Let him know that it’s okay not to know the answers and then walk away

because the right one won’t need to be ready.

When the boy at prom in his rented suit and tie tells you he doesn’t want a relationship

don’t tell him your body is not just another prize to be won.

Let him know that he doesn’t need to apologize but know it’s okay to move on

because the right one will want a relationship the moment he sees you

even if he has never wanted a relationship in his life.

When the man with the nice watch and tattoos looks at you like you are his world but

you are just not ready for the commitment let him go.

If he was the right one, you wouldn’t have a question in your mind and when you

look at him, you wouldn’t doubt this love for a second.

When the man in the blue jeans and white t-shirt tells you that he loves you

and every fiber of your body pulsates with that same love

don’t run away.

Know that it is okay to be scared of this and tell him you are scared

but you are ready.

The right one will not leave – not when things are hard – not when things are easy

The right one will stay

The right one will love every broken piece of you the others didn’t.

The right one will fight for you.

The right one will never make you second guess his loyalty.

Fairy tale endings and happily ever afters may not be real.

But when you find the one that makes your world make sense

hold on and tell him

you aren’t going anywhere.

 

-CM

Rainy Days

If I were to take a pole, I’m ninety percent sure rainy days would be the least favorite kind of days for seventy five percent of people –

statistics I made up but could be true because

rain makes people sad.

When the clouds pull over the blue sky and water begins falling,

suddenly people are reminded of the day their lives began to fall apart.

It’s as if the sky is crying.

She is sobbing her loneliness into the soil but first her sadness hits our shoulders

and even if we aren’t outside to feel the drops, we still soak a little of it into our souls.

Our insides wilt just a little even as the flowers outside stand a little straighter

our branches bend against the wind

and that is the beauty of rainy days –

For those that fall in the fifteen percent of made up people that love the rain

there is something about the sound the drops make when they hit the ground

that remind us that we aren’t alone.

When the clouds begin to cover the sky my soul starts to shift

and my body begins to wake up.

Dancing in the rain is on the top of my favorite things to do list

and I think it’s sad how many people miss out on it’s beauty because

they are afraid of messing up their hair and drenching their clothes.

Hair can be brushed, clothes can be dried

but how many chances are you going to get to live this day again –

this moment, this life.

The next time it rains or pours or sprinkles

please step outside if only for a fraction of a second and instead of dreading

the feeling of the water hitting your skin

let it remind you that while the sun is beautiful and warmth is brilliant

rain has the pour to awaken even the most hopeless of hearts

and that’s pretty special.

 

-CM

you – MIND over MATTER

My mind has a way of convincing me that my thoughts are misguided.

I sit in silence with a voice that is only my own rattling around in my head

but I can’t even trust what she tells me.

A year ago I would have believed her when she told me I was crazy.

A year ago I would have taken her word for it when she mumbled

‘you are not enough’ and in the next sentence ‘you can trust him –

you have nothing to worry about -‘

Today I do not take her words on first listen

Instead I turn them over in my ears before

letting them roll into my brain and only then

do I decide which pile they get sorted into –

True or untrue.

True: I am enough.

Untrue: You can trust him.

True: You have nothing to worry about. You are still enough. Even if you’re not enough for him.  

 

-CM

Life Jacket

To fall in love easily is both a blessing and a curse – one I carry like a life jacket strapped to my chest in case the ship sinks –

I fall in love with the sky at sunset every night when the colors paint another unique work of art made of pinks and oranges –

I fall in love with strangers who hold open the door when you are still several steps away and with strangers who give the last dollar in their wallet to the poor woman begging at the cafe’s door –

I fall in love with the dogs tied outside waiting for their owners that lick your hand and ask for nothing but your attention for just one moment –

I fall in love with my sisters when they call just to ask how I am and my parents when they give expecting nothing in return –

I fall in love with my best friend when she laughs, really laughs, a deep laugh that shows not only in her face but in her whole body –

I fall in love with him when he gets me coffee without me even asking and shows up wanting only a kiss –

I fall in love with you when you look at me with your sad eyes, your lonely eyes, asking for only a glimpse of hope that maybe I can offer –

I fall in love with the woman on TV crying over the loss of her husband –

I fall in love with the man on the radio seeking help for Hurricane relief –

I fall in love over and over again and my heart is always aching with this burden that I would never give up for the world – Feeling so alive yet so heavy all of the time weighs heavily on my shoulders

this life jacket will keep me afloat

this love for the world

falling in love with the world

will keep me afloat.

 

-CM

Love Yourself

It’s easy to love yourself on your good days.

When your hair is falling just right, your bones are strong –

you feel on top of the world, these days are easy.

It’s easy to love yourself when others love you, when you are doing everything right,

when your heart is full and every word you speak rolls of your tongue with ease.

You have to love yourself on the bad days.

You have to love yourself on the days when you feel like a fuck up.

On the days your soul aches and every choice you make is the wrong one,

you must still look in the mirror and say – I love you –

you must hold your limbs and promise them safety. You must tell your aching bones you are sorry. Tell your mind it can rest.

Love yourself when you don’t feel like it.

Love yourself when no on else does.

Love yourself when loving yourself is the very last thing you want to do.

Love yourself. Love yourself. Love yourself.

 

-CM

A poem dedicated to my father

The First Man I ever Loved – Dedicated to my father 

The first man I ever loved is the strongest man I know. When he speaks everyone in the room stops to listen. His voice is like a lullaby when the world is too loud and his chest is the softest pillow I have ever felt.

The first man I ever loved could once scoop me up and carry me around, his arms the safest place to hide, his heart the safest place to land. Too big now to be cradled, he still carries me when I’m at my weakest.

The first man I ever loved wears work boots battered and worn and pants in desperate need of patches, shirts with holes the size of your thumb but he would gladly take that very shirt off of his back and hand it to anyone in need.

The first man I ever loved is always the hardest worker in the room, the last one to leave, and when I feel alone, he’s always standing in my corner, often silent, but always there. When I stumble, it’s his arm that I feel holding me up first, and when I feel like I am going to fall on my face, it’s his embrace that keeps me from hitting the ground.

The first man I ever loved has a laugh that can shake the sadness out of you and a smile that convinces you the world may not be so bad.

The first man I ever loved is as stubborn as they come. He has the biggest heart that’s his best kept secret. There isn’t a thing he wouldn’t do for his family, forgetting whatever they may have done to him. He loves his wife and his daughters more than himself, and you can see it whenever you get a good look at him. Get a good look at him.

The first man I ever loved was not the last. But he was the one that taught me to love. Because of him I know how I should be loved. Fully, completely, as if I am their whole world because when he looks at you, you are his whole world.

-CM

Coming soon – The First Woman I Ever Loved (Dedicated to my mother)

No Different Than the Last

My body is a museum for your eyes to explore

and there was a time I thought you might open the doors

and walk down the hallway.

Turn on the lights and dust off the shelves

I thought you might stick around to see

the show

when strangers dress up and use my limbs

to dance around in bright colored dresses

each move a part of me I had concealed

from prying eyes that only wanted the free show

only wanted to see the way my body twists

hear the screams my throat can create

I thought you were different.

There is a shame in the way I opened myself

to you and only you

A shame in the way I trusted your words

trusted you when you told me you would not break the artifacts displayed here

Now I must board up my windows

close and lock the doors

throwing away the key

so that no man may tread through these pathways again

so that no man may dare try and break these precious things I guard

again.

You thought you had ruined me for good

but what you don’t know is

you never had that power.

 

-CM

Spoken Word – The Right Love

When Summer rolls into Autumn and September

allows the leaves to fall from their branches

I come alive as if

something in my bones was sleeping for a season only to be tapped on the shoulder

and gently shaken back to reality.

My joints stiff, my muscles weakened, my heart beats faster

the chilly, crisp air breathing a new life into me

and I can’t imagine a world in which I did not love this season

yet there are people crawling into the shadows as I am waking up,

people who get their energy from the intense heat of Summer

or the snowflakes falling onto their skin in the Winter

or the muddy puddles that come with Spring.

I will never love Summer the way I love Autumn

or snow the way I love pumpkins

and maybe that explains why you will never love me

the way you love her.

As beautiful as my leaves may be,

they can never be snowflakes.

My skin will never be her skin,

I will never sound, feel, or smell the way she does,

I will always lack something that you need,

and I am trying to come to terms with that.

I would never force someone to love my favorite season

So why would I force you to love me,

when even if it worked,

you’d never love me the way I want to be loved –

completely, fully, like when you look at me

your world suddenly makes sense.

If she is what you need,

I am learning to accept that as beautiful as I am,

I will never be her.

I have to be okay with that.

 

-CM