when the ink leaves your fist

The worst part about anger is its end. When your blood has finished boiling, when your fists remember how to unclench, when you grow distant from the very reason why you were angry in the first place, you realize that you have opened up a valley gorge between what once was and what is now. We do crazy things when we’re mad. Leave a trail of ruin behind us. Spit poison like we mean to kill. Untack hate from the wall around our hearts and push it deep into the person whom we intended to hurt. In its end, anger does not spare you with forgiveness because even if you let your troubles go, the monster that you felt inside of you never disappears and you might have forgiven the others but it is harder to excuse yourself. You’ve got to live with your own worst enemy and the only way to hide from it is through anger. No wonder why apologies never come easily.
—  Forgiveness never felt so damning

his palms are warm because he fills them with
etchings of dates and numbers, like you, like the
way the world leaves grass stains on your laundry,
like words on paper, like scars on people

his dreams, he says, are bigger than yours
and you listen about the sugar plums and the stars and
about the girl he has loved since the seventh grade
his dreams are bigger than yours
but not bigger than you


his words have always been oil spills of color,
dimensions of the flesh ripped to open wounds,
leaving ink stains on your kitchen floor
you open your hands and he gets angry when
you only catch red


his heart is beating fuschia, contained by
his fists and what he thinks is the truth
so the next time he tells you he cares
watch the corners of his mouth rise, in attempt
to fit compassion into his mouth

—  he has always been who you thought he was

I’ve known blood before I have known breath
Dripping from fruits in between my mother’s legs
down to my wrist
Swinging from fists,
dripping from leaves
I have known what it means to leave
Before learning how to stay

How do you begin to forgive yourself for losing yourself in the reflection of abuse?
Where does the healing begin when demons are planted on the soles of your feet?
When you are always fleeing?

Looking for a home in between walls that scream your name and a love long gone
I am always long gone
Before I am ever anyone’s disappointment or fear

The blood has never stopped dripping from tear ducts, flowing through brittle bones, and empty rumbling bellies
I wait for the rebirth, for umbilical cords wrapped around throats,
wrapped around me,
wrapped around we,
set me free

I’ve known cages before I have tasted freedom, or the nectar of sweet lovers.
I have known loneliness before the smell of home, before the smell of you.

— lee j.