Men are afraid women will take a sledgehammer to their heart
and refuse a drink and a night in bed.
Women are afraid men will take a sledgehammer to their head
if they refuse the drink and a night in bed.
You call this just how life is?
I call it a civil war.
We are windmills trying to harness the current of progress
but you keep breaking off all our arms.
You call our bodies our biggest enemies?
Our biggest enemies are you.
I wanna know if you remember being a child when the tooth fairy
delivered money to the cool underside of your pillow
every time you lost a tooth.
We’re still the tooth fairies even though
believe it or not we got pretty big fucking fangs.
We still hand our money over to you
day by day no matter how many hours we spend
at the exact same job.
And listen up. We always work overtime.
For every footprint we make forward in the dust,
you erase another one.
I want my paycheck back.
You lost a tooth and you got paid.
We lost our bodies and our jobs and our sense of self
and we were laid off
while you just thought about getting laid.
Here’s a joke: a woman walks into a bar
and when she refuses a stranger’s advances
she doesn’t end up dead.
There is a reason one of the strongest parts of the body,
the solar plexus, is named after the sun-
because even after being beaten down and having the wind
knocked out of it, it can still return
to its former state of strength and protection,
just as the sun returns to its zenith after a windstorm.
This is one of those days when the clouds will clear.
Today, you feel like a werewolf howling at the moon
but even the moon has to wax and wane
in order to be wailed at.
Every split second you are waxing and waning too,
just as the Earth’s most beautiful natural satellite does.
You were never a werewolf.
You were always what a werewolf prayed to.
And this body may feel like only blood and guts,
but yes, you have the guts to make it through.
Some things can have better meanings
if only you let them.
Daughter, today you will learn from your solar plexus.
Today, the wind will return to your body.
Missing you comes in waves.
Tonight I’m drowning.
January: When hell seems more comfortable than earth, pack a backpack with food and water for seven days and hit the open road with your thumb stuck out no matter how cold it is outside. For every passing car that refuses to pick you up, remember that reaching your final destination of happiness is a bumpy, roadblocked journey that doesn’t depend on random strangers who cut you off in the fast lane. It depends on you, no matter how weary and filthy you feel after a week of straggling across the highway of recovery.
February: Start counting your blessings every night before you go to sleep instead of sheep or flaws. If you happen to be a depressed insomniac, tough luck. There’s no getting out of this one. Count your blessings until the sun plants itself in the sky like a fish hook and rises up through the bright blue water to climb over your window sill, when morning comes. Maybe February 14 always sucks, but at least you can add “survived Valentine’s Day” to your nightly list of blessings.
March: Look a stranger in the eye on the street and see your own reflection staring back at you in their pupils without flinching. If you do this enough as you stroll down the sidewalk, you’ll start getting more comfortable with your own appearance. And who knows, maybe you’ll find a lucky four-cleaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day to help you summon some more courage to complete the task.
April: None of that bullshit about “April showers bring May flowers.” You’ve gone through showers or even torrential downpours and came out soaking like a wet dog, with not a single crysanthemum or peony in sight. In fact, you’ve come out of rain showers with even more rain showers in sight. So start learning small ways to shelter yourself from each oncoming storm, whether it’s holding someone’s hand a little tighter than normal or giving yourself a pat on the back for each second you manage to exist.
May: Get out of the house. Really. The weather is starting to get nicer now and spring is poking its head up through the soil. After a long hibernation, the world is bursting into colors and staying inside will only make you feel grey and gloomy.
June: Instead of sitting at the edge of a canyon and wishing to fall into the abyss, go sit under a willow tree instead and enjoy the nice breeze. Maybe even climb the tree as a metaphor for crawling up from rock bottom. If you jump off the canyon, you’ll just hit rock bottom even harder than before.
July: Yeah, the heat is awful and the humidity is worse, but we all need a little warmth in our lives sometimes. So treat yourself to a little bit of that warm fuzzy feeling by complimenting yourself the next time you look in the mirror instead of insulting yourself. Even if you hate your bushy eyebrows, tell yourself something kind about their unique shape, or mention how your cellulite at least gives you motivation to start working out again.
August: So the heat is getting worse; it’s at an all-time peak. To cool yourself off, press an ice cube against the tender skin of your inner wrist whenever you feel like picking up the razor. The cold will sting and produce a little bit of the old rush, but this way your life isn’t in danger at the same time.
September: Write yourself a love letter to every single flaw you can think of for the entire month, no matter how hard it is to pick up the pen, no matter how many papers you crumple and toss into the garbage can. No matter how many hand cramps it takes, write every flaw so many volumes of love letters that even Pablo Neruda would feel inadequate, then take them outside in fistfuls and scatter them into the wind like the red and yellow leaves just beginning to fall from the trees.
October: The scariest thing in the universe is not the inner contents of your own brain, no matter how messed up you believe them to be, but rather the possibility of not recovering. So stop treating yourself like the villain, the ghoul in the Halloween mask, the ugly green witch with the warty nose. You’re not the monster here; your depression is, and you need to stop blaming yourself for all these downright miserable feelings. Letting go of this blame and guilt will get you a whole lot closer to recovery.
November: It’s almost been an entire year that you’ve been fighting. Maybe you’re starting to get exhausted or burnt-out. And it’s very cold and winter is on its way again, so you need something to re-kindle that flame you had in the beginning of the fight. So just remind yourself that you’ve been alive for almost a year longer than you believed you could be, and that is a huge accomplishment in itself. Maybe throw a nice congratulatory party for yourself, except instead of party favors, hand out suicide hotline phone numbers instead. Just in case.
December: Congratulations. You made it. And whether or not you celebrate Christmas, buy yourself a nice gift this year. But remember: nothing is more precious than the gift of life. That, by the way, is something you did entirely on your own. So be proud.
Honey, show me some more skin.
Honey, let me in.
I am the wound and you are the salt, but you hurt so good.
Honey, I can taste every mouth that came before me
in the blood beneath your teeth
and I want to be the very last mouth you ever touch.
These are the seasons and you look like every single one,
you must be named after storms, honey,
you must be made of the wind that causes them.
Honey, I see the wolf in you, the coyote,
and I would only ever hope to be
the moon you howl at.
Love me better than you have loved yourself.
The entire sea is beneath your skin
and honey, it shows me what colors you are
when you are not trying to be invisible.