self-portrait with bandaged heart

self-portrait with bandaged ear

it seems i am unable
to not
fuck things up
sabotage
is my secret weapon
against myself
do you laugh
or do you cringe?
silly stupid
crazy hostile
me
do you laugh or do you
cringe?
when you left
you left
a hole in me
for 22 years
i have worked to
deny it
fill it
fix it
mourn it
claim it was never there
& cry my heart out
over it
but i imagine
when you left
all that remained of me
was an
echo
maybe i am cursed
maybe i am
silly stupid
crazy hostile me
if anything
if everything
i am
ridiculous
i am ridiculous
who does this?
who holds on like this?
& why?
what will become of me?
another 22 years
limping along
living despite
this hole
this missing part?
i guess that is it
others have hurt me
but no one else
has left me
feeling
split in two.

if i were a van gogh…or a bronte sister…or adele, maybe this would be more romantic & less disturbed.
am i disturbed? or is it just that my heart knows what it wants
despite my best efforts to make it shut up and grow up and get over it already.

but i carry my cut out heart in a stained handkerchief to hand to the one i love.
figuratively speaking.

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never fall again

never fall again

the last time we had sex
i could feel how much
you hated me
it oozed out of you
spat out of you
& froze my skin
burning me
the last time we had sex
i knew that you couldn’t
stop wanting me
but that you had forced yourself
to stop loving me
…needing me
the last time we had sex
you couldn’t get away
from me
fast enough
your touch was hostile
your eyes
empty.

never fall again. never feel that pain. that’s where my thoughts are these days. does he even remember me every valentine’s day? probably the fuck not. but here i am. broken-hearted.
always
broken-hearted.

maybe when i’m dead i will stop obsessing over him. or i will just go looking for him in my next life.

ack!
that’s one tattoo i leave out of every self-portrait. the tattoo i got for him…with him. the tattoo that hurt the most. and still hurts.
i think about getting it covered up…turned into something else.
maybe i would if i had some money.
so y’all should buy the book i illustrated so i have money to cover-up a tattoo that won’t let me forget where i left my heart.

fuck me.
we all know i’m never getting rid of this tattoo.

valentine’s heart

my heart
turned black
again
it waxes & wanes
the moon inside me
today it is a dark dark place
where neither
man nor beast
is welcome
it is heavy & cold
but also burning like
a demon’s fire
a storm no one will
survive.

yay! valentine’s day. shiny happy people and all that.
in my high school you used to be able to buy tissue paper flowers to be given to people you cared about. the color reflected the sentiment.
every year i thought, sure, i might get a flower this year.
nevery year did i get a flower. nevery.

but i still had hope.
i still waited for a valentine.
fucking charlie brown i was.

in my twenties i would make valentines and take them to the bar and hand them out to people i loved.
in my twenties my heart was broken into a million pieces…shortly after valentine’s day. broken in a way that a person like me doesn’t recover from.
it took me years
years
to realize how damaged i was
how damaged i had been
how much damage there was in my heart…
i am still learning about the damage that is me. twenty-two years later. twenty-two valentine’s days later.
figuring it out.

fuck.

casting my spell

i mixed the wax
melted it fast
yellow for communication
(i just wanted to hear his voice)
blue for protection
(i’m not sure this is a good idea)
red for love
passionate love
(maybe i should have skipped the red?)
& white for purity
in my intentions
(i just wanted to hear his voice)
in the end though
the candle
is a muddy color
an earth color
“same as my heart,” i think
as i cast my spell
i dip the wick
& dip it again
the needle intertwined within
& the candle that forms
from the muddy wax
looks like a potato
a sad potato
“same as my love,” i think
as i cast
my spell.

i keep showing up naked in these self-portraits. dude. i am rarely nude in real life. maybe my inner me would rather be naked?
i dunno.
but here i am.
lumpy & nude again.

& seriously, valentine’s day is the worst for me.
all i can do is remember my best…& my most terrible valentine’s day–just a year apart, with the same person.
a million years ago.
the best was when we went and got our matching ear piercings and flew balsa wood planes in the park.
the worst was when he gave me a pair of white doc martin wingtips that i had so so so desired…and i realized he was leaving me.
men always give me the good stuff
when there is something dark
in their heart.

don’t look at my little heart

you haunt me.
21 years after i lost you
you still haunt me.
am i ridiculous?
why can’t i let go?
you did.
you left me.
even though i was the one
who got on the greyhound bus.
…every time i left you
i left you for someone
who wasn’t even half of who you are.
that should have said something
about how fucked up
i was.
and how much i wanted to destroy
myself.
when you left me
it was for a wife,
and some would say
you gave me too many chances
before leaving.
but in the end,
you did leave
and leave me
haunted.
if i ever had a heart
i lost it
when i lost you.
if i ever was
able to love,
it was only to fail
at loving you.
the universe’s way of kicking me down
when i boasted
that i didn’t believe in regrets
living my life without regrets
until i realized that my life is one big
regret.
regret…
i burned every picture
i ever had of you.
every
single
one.
cutting you out
and leaving myself alone
in an attempt
to get over you
but only making my regret
that much bigger
and myself
that much more alone.
haunted.