A back can be made weary
made to bend and to curve
by invisible things you carry
and false gods you make it serve
worry, fear and hopelessness
expectations and stress
grief, regret and sorrow
what you do and don't possess
dreams, hopes, responsibilities
bills, bills, bills
justifications, rationalizations, excuses
belief all pain relief resides in a pill
pharmaceutical or religious
they both get'er done
like liquid, needle or powder
they'll cause a back to grow numb
be careful what you carry
your thoughts can weigh you down
take deep breaths, be in the moment
remember, a smile's lighter than a frown.
Burdens of Survival
I carry a load
a backpack of life
of tools essential
to survive all the strife
Reside right along side
Band-Aids , iodine.
Chocolates, and coffee
As necessary as breathing
and integral to survival
my burden encourages
my soul's own delight
they tell me gravity keeps me grounded
that without it we would all float away
but there’s a different weight that keeps me here
sunk deep into my shoulders
settled down through my spine
atlas carried the world the way I carry memories
names tarnished in grief rest upon my tongue
silenced laughter sits forever in my ears
faces etched into the backs of my eyelids
lingering every time I close my eyes
countless exits keep me close to the ground
pushing me back down
death takes away the sky
sometimes I wish it could take memory
There's a pencil on my back
and it takes continuous notes.
It etches words, phrases, and
sentiments into my muscles.
My muscles feel sore from
all the suggestions. I am weighted
down with why, when, how and
a million other questions.
Where is the eraser? Can I scratch
out the past? I'd like a fresh start.
One that is simple, unobtrusive
I feel the heaviness of lead as it
enters my bloodstream. Toxins I
must absorb as part of the decades
passing me by.
It's drawing a picture across my
shoulders. An idea is taking place
in spite of my lack of motivation
to change and grow.
Creativity must emerge. I can't store
it on my back. And so I write and I
write and I write. My pencil is now
my tool rather than my burden.
I look in the mirror and
try to erase my ego
but it’s stuck there
so I draw in lipstick
the ones that got me
through high school
they say every mirror
but when I told him that
he didn’t get it
like my poems
she said my self-deprecating
poetry is atrocious
but has she heard
their lyrics still
on my mirror
looking right through me
but who I chose
There’s a Weight On My Back
I carry my fat on my back.
My chonk and my rolls and my heft.
I carry the things I feel a need to hide.
I carry my gender and sexuality, my desires and opinions, my fears and the spools of webbed threads of thought thought thought thought thought.
They ramble on and jiggle on weighing heavy on me and I cannot entertain them, most times.
It was, as with every other, from my young self that I began to feel shame.
Shame over the things that I simply was and simply am.
So I zipped them up in a little backpack and tried to pretend that they didn't matter to anyone, nor me, tried to pretend they weren't there.
Shame became fear.
I loathed my backpack, hiding it away as deep into my heavy chest as I could possibly bear.
I carried it everywhere I went, of course, these are not things you can throw away but I wanted it all gone for a time.
But then I grew.
I still grow but it matters all the more that I've come to where I am now.
Because see, fear turned to anger.
And not anger at myself, not anymore.
An anger at the world.
A world that has made me feel I should not be too loud, too big, too heavy, too self-helping, too confident
A world that has made me shut down and quiet myself and hide away in as many shadows as I could possibly find until every dark knook and cranny knew my name by heart
I've spent so many years of my time on earth hiding things away in my backpack
So you can understand why I felt so proud of myself when I declared to myself that maybe I can be fat and be beautiful
You can understand I felt pride when I told my parents I was a bisexual with reckless abandon, sparked by my rage at the homophobia in the world
I've spent so long trying to categorise myself into mental illnesses, into right and wrong, into this is what I should do and it doesn't matter what I want to do
I have spent so many years not being me, whoever that may be..
My backpack is a little lighter of load now,
Much more than it was back then.
There's a while to go but
I have hope
That some day
This weight will slip off my back
My wings will grow again, roaring and big and beautiful and rainbow-hued and rearing for flight
what is this, tied to my back
I cannot see it yet
I fall with every step
it drains and leads
and drags and fills
my irritable bones
I start to see a crack forming
at the base of my neck
traveling around, up and down
it holds me together briefly before
I crumble and is shocked
when it no longer had a host
left behind, a puddle of fear
a basin of shame, a raging river
of hatred whose sound drowned out
whatever love had been left behind.
Lost in thoughts, of days long lost.
Lost in days, of dreams burned.
Lost in dreams, of worlds blurred.
Lost in a blurred mind, of trauma unspoken.
Lost in a trauma, of days long lost.
From day-to-day I can feel my backpack gaining weight.
The worries become more, and the calmness seems to fade.
My thoughts are neatly stacked and pack in this bag of mine.
Saying, I will deal with my emotions stuffed into the pile, but never do I have enough time.
My joy seems lighter but my doubts drag me down.
Caring this backpack, I can hear a sigh, a hopeless sound.
I miss the days were all I had to carry was a small lunch tin, that was so light.
But, now I have to battle my luggage, and I can't win the fight.
There's always my phone, tucked in my back pocket.
Chained down, dragging me, tethered to this Earth, connected, connected, connected, to everything - but floating, far away, can't see, blind and disconnected, disconnected, disconnected, from real.
I never used to carry keys around, I didn't have a car and lived at home. Still don't have a car, but my job requires me to carry a lot of keys. None of them belong to my house where I live alone. They sit on a clip on my belt, most of the time.
The clash of their metal bodies always in my ears, WHERE ARE MY KEYS, move, my hands are shaking and I can't find the right one, "you don't lock your house?", there's no point, stuck and stationary, still no car keys, so many things to unlock but still so locked up.
My wallet is often in my backpack, not on my person. It's the same wallet I've had for eight years, the first one I bought. As a teenager, I only carried cash in it. Then cards started to accumulate, and now it's so stiff and worn out, and I couldn't tell you half of the things that fill it.
Junk, junk, junk, where's my wallet, doesn't matter I can use my phone now, it reminds me of years ago, how is it still together, how is it holding on, the threads are bare and the leather sticky, I should get a new one - why, this one still works just fine.
My pocket knife joins my keys on my belt. I need it for work sometimes.
It's sharp, how sharp, let's see... oh god it, it, it - it's perfect for cutting the boxes - don't bring it with you, you're so obvious, but I need it for work, do I really, why did I buy it, it's pretty, it's sharp, like her and her and her, why am I not that way anymore?