When I Look in the Mirror

When I look in the mirror, I can’t tell which bruises I gave myself
And which bruises came from life.
I started beating myself whenever my head started feeling like it was exploding.
If someone would have asked me a year ago what an explosion sounded like I would have said BOOM
But now I know there is no boom there is only pressure that rings in your ears
And thoughts that shout at you begging you for release
But the release you know they are begging for, you also know is too permanent so
You wave your hands to make it stop
And somehow it only stops
When hands turn into fists that make contact with skin you know is your own
Because the thoughts of self-hate only trickle away when you act on them
Or when you write poems.
But both offer limited relief to the cycle that seems to never end and it’s weird because it started with acceptance
I accepted myself and then the little minions in my brain decided to
Open boxes I had never seen before
And bring out memories that were just dusty volumes to look through on deathbeds
But now my brain must think I’m on my deathbed
Because it is unleashing everything
Things that were better left under the rug
Except maybe they weren’t
Because everyone knows that only big monsters are under the rug
Buried deep but nothing keeps them from creeping up in the shadows.
I guess I turned a light on and instead of a little mouse with a big shadow
These memories are GIANT MAMMOTHS with mouse shadows.
But I think it is better to light up the shadows and reveal the monsters
Even when you don’t know how to tame them
Because then you have to fight for your deathbed instead of just finding yourself on it
You may leave bruises from the fights with parts of yourself
That seem determined to leave the deathbed but only if they leave your body behind.
I must fight for my right to climb out of my bed so that the mouse doesn’t scare me away
And even though the fight leaves me at times speechless and other times full of speeches but not any that make sense to those who ask for them
I must keep fighting the mammoth butterflies stuck inside
It’s a pity I can not reach inside to fight them like men
But they are not men they are memories
Made by men well mostly women
Who have abandoned them to me
These orphan mammoth memories need me to see them home.
For they only fight because they have been stuffed under rugs and pushed to the back of the closets that make up my mind
But maybe someday we can team up and be mammoth mouse mind fighters who fight the men who leave memories abandoned inside because we are all so strong
Instead of leaving bruises to see in the mirror.

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