The End

When the ground began to shake, forming human size gaps in it’s core,

we knew this was the end.

When the trees began to fall and the sky began to rumble deep in it’s belly

we heard the cries.

Mothers reached for their children,

Fathers didn’t have arms big enough to hold everyone they wanted,

Doctors rushed to save any life they could,

Fire fighters tried in vain to stop the burning,

Police officers fought to regain control –

I held onto myself, watching as the world I complained about so often

fell in shambles around me and all I could think was

if only we could go back a few days

Maybe I could stop the burning before it began.

 

-CM

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Men Have It Easier

He seems like a nice guy

leaning against the outside wall of the apartment complex in a plaid top

and ripped jeans, there is nothing menacing about him

but still my body tingles and I turn right instead of left

taking the long way home to avoid passing by him alone.

Last night it happened again

the only fault this man had was being built a little too muscular

and standing in the dark when I only have my phone to protect me –

he even opened the door for me with a smile and still

my skin crawled and every alarm in my brain was ready to sound off.

“Men can’t do anything right”

“Men have it so hard”

“You always think the worst of us”

And sometimes I do feel guilty-

when I avoid a walk way specifically because a man is standing there and there are no lights to convince me he isn’t a threat –

but then I remember every time a seemingly innocent looking man

really was a threat

every time my friend tells me she was too scared to leave her apartment

or every news article about another sister being attacked in the safety of her own home

and my guilt washes away because

we live in a world where you can never be too safe

and if that man with the smile and the plaid shirt means me no harm

I will add him to my list of alliances but

this list is so much shorter than my list of enemies.

 

-CM

Stop Worrying

Image may contain: Chantelle Mathewson, eyeglasses, selfie and closeup

Dear me (whenever you may find this),

You are going to want to give up. If there is one thing I know for certain right now, as I sit here in my chicken pj’s in a tiny one bedroom apartment, waiting for our boyfriend to come home with some Halloween candy is this – you are going to feel like running. Not from anything, not to anything, just leaving – because that’s easier than staying and fighting. Because running is the easiest thing in the world to do. Giving up takes no effort, you don’t have to face anything – giving up is the quitters way out, and there are going to be so many times that you desperately want to take this route.

Don’t.

You are going to want a do over. There are going to be times when you’re sitting on your bathroom floor, a towel draped over your body, your hair drenched and soaking your skin, and you are going to want a way to travel back in time. You will be sobbing, slamming your fists into the tub until your knuckles bleed, begging whatever higher power there might be to just rip you away from here, because this pain hurts too much.

They won’t.

You are going to make it. There are going to be moments, after the crying, after the spacing in front of a computer screen, after the missing and the waiting, after the pain – moments that will make every wrong turn, every seemingly horrible mistake – so incredibly worth it. Moments, when even the things you thought you regretted the most, you would do all over again if it meant you got this moment – this moment right here – to do over again.

Cherish this.

Cherish this life. It doesn’t matter where you are right now. It doesn’t matter what part of you is hurting. It doesn’t matter how badly you think you screwed up, how badly you want a chance to change something – cherish this life, each breath, each moment, each and every second means something.

Cherish it.

Love,

Me (twenty one years old about to eat a shit ton of candy with my boyfriend in our one bedroom apartment four hours away from home in a chicken costume – struggling – but happy)

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

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

Ramblings to Myself

What? Did you think it was going to be easy? Did you think you’d just wave your hand and get everything that you ever wanted? I’m sorry that this isn’t some fairy tale in which everyone gets their happy ending. But that doesn’t mean you don’t get a happy ending. It just means that you might have to fight for it. Here, happy endings aren’t just handed out to the first willing recipient. So if you’ve come to me looking for someone to tell you it’s going to be okay, I’m not your girl. If you’re looking for someone to say it’s not your fault, that you did all that you could, that’s not me either. I only have one thing to tell you, and that is that I still believe in you. I still believe in you, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in yourself. You can still do it. You can still get everything you ever wanted, you can still have your happy ending, but you have to let go of something first. You have to let go of the past, of this fear that you aren’t enough. You are enough. You can do this. You can have it all. But only if you let go.

-CM

Stay Alive

You say he was your only reason to be happy but there are infinite more reasons to stay alive than because of him – remember

your happiness does not reside in the heart of another.

Stay alive for belly laughs that leave you out of breath

for sunsets so brilliant you almost forget how dark the sky gets when it rains

but also live for the rain because it can bring rainbows and

live for the smiles of children so innocent and pure and for

puppies that just want a bit of your attention and love.

Stay alive for your favorite book that will probably be made into a TV show

and then stay alive to binge watch that TV show.

Live for hugs so tight you can feel the pain easing for just a moment,

for late night talks with your best friend.

He may not love you anymore leading you to question if he ever did so

stop basing your right to exist off of another human being.

Exist because tomorrow has the potential to be so beautiful but

who will know if your not around to see it.

 

-CM

Every Girl

The girl sitting on the bench across from me at the mall has long black hair

her ears are plugged with the noise of music and she is silently nodding along

her lips moving ever so slightly to a sound only she can hear.

Across from her is a woman with curves wearing a crop top

and high rise jeans strutting with a confidence beyond her years

she knows she is beautiful and dares every wandering eye to challenge that.

I used to work with a girl with electric blue locks and tattoos along her arms

she spoke her mind and lived fearlessly even while

the shadows danced behind her eyes she never asked for permission to exist.

There was a girl in my school with braids down her back wearing

skirts that dropped to her feet her body always a secret

she kept to herself like a promise.

The smartest girl I know has blonde hair and wears bright red lipstick

on her mostly silent lips

when she speaks you always learn something new –

she is years younger than me.

The mirror shows a girl I will never see as the world does but

her blue eyes glisten and I know she means well when she leans close and whispers

‘you are enough’

I want her to scream those words so that every woman may hear her

you are enough

shouted from the roof tops of every building in every city

each girl sitting straight and standing tall

knowing her body is her body and her mind is her mind

and she is and always will be

enough.

 

– 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

Trying Something New!

What Depression Feels Like – A Poem

Today, as I explain briefly in the video, I thought I would try something new for me. I’ve always liked the idea of reciting my poems rather than just typing them out for you all to read. I thought I would start off here. I didn’t have this poem memorized, so I am reading it off the screen, which explains why my eyes are moving so much. And the camera quality isn’t great. But those things aside, I hope you enjoy this, and let me know which you prefer!

I love spoken word poetry, and most of my poems are written with the intent of being read out loud. If you all like this, I would be interested in playing around with better camera quality and lighting, and reciting poems that I do have memorized, in a bit of a more practiced, and not so relaxed setting. Let me know what you think!

 

I’ll also leave the poem below in case you would rather read it.


The first time somebody asked me what depression feels like

My tongue ballooned inside my mouth

They asked me

“Are you just…sad all of the time?”

And I nodded

Instead of screaming No!

If I was merely sad all of the time

Why would my face twist into this upside down frown

Why would I tell you I am

Fine when you ask me how I’ve been lately

If I was merely just sad all of the time why

Would I push them all away

The hands that reach out to help me

Why would I touch their fingertips for a brief moment

Before closing my eyes and forgetting how good it feels to be needed.

I don’t blame you.

You unknowing examiner simply curious

What does depression feel like

I lived in the same house for most of my childhood

I could tell you where each coffee table and arm rest sat

I could trace for you a map of each safe walkway from door to door

But when the lights are shut off and the darkness swallows

I stumble into corners

I know that if I turn right now I will find a lightswitch on that wall

But I turn a second too soon and my hand finds a jagged edge

Of a picture frame inside of the light switch

This is what depression feels like

I have lived inside this body my whole life

But sometimes

When the lights go dim

I can’t seem to find the light switch.

 

-CM