Held Together




held together



Part of me is every bit the strong, talented, confident
And together woman you see before you
Another part is ribbons, tatters
Slowly healing scars.

Outside, I am smooth as the inside of an unfurled leaf
Within; shaken, but determined.
My veneer is finely crafted
An artful assemblage of unassailable quality

The frame beneath is cobbled together
With bits of duct tape and chewing gum
But ultimately bound by  love
With its ever flexing strength

How are you held together?

Does the illusion of your armor shine under the scrutiny of the sun?
What battered rust hides beneath your bold, collapsing brightness?

Let’s be honest
Isn’t this the way of all human beings?
One part walking wounded we are afraid the world will see
One part we put forward that is both real and mask

Sometimes even we forget the difference


The Litany Internal


39247_1319967810470_3792548_nWhat if I’m lost?
What if I’m irredeemable?
What if there’s really nothing left to love
Or to love with?
What if under my projected nakedness, I am truly naked?

What if I’m not just badly damaged, but irrevocably broken?
What if my mother’s, brother’s, father’s, lovers’ voices
Will always be louder than the voice in my head that whispers,
“Not true!”

What if I’m sick of wearing the scars I used to think of
As evidence of my survival?

Why do I need to pretend I’m fine?
Why do I have to apologize for bleeding?
Why do I self-impose humiliation?

It’s getting harder to detach
Why did I tell you that?
I’m admitting everything
Oh shit!

What are these emotions? Pain? Sadness?
This is really inconvenient!
Anger? Where did this anger come from?
Suddenly I’m awake, angry, agitated.
I don’t know what to do with it!

What happens when I finally reach, Wit’s End,
Only to discover the bridge is out and the road behind me has washed away?

What if I can’t stop the flood?
What if I want to go back to numb, but I’ve forgotten the way?
What if I don’t want to be numb, but I don’t want to be THIS either?
How do I tame the storm of emotions into something more coherent?

I’m losing my ability to compartmentalize!
Everything is spilling out!

What if I’m done with the “aloneness” I’ve grown used to embracing?
When did the peace it used to bring turn into a longing, haunting vacuum?
What if I don’t have to be alone, but I don’t have to be with “just anybody” either?
What would it feel like to actually be present with someone,
Instead of invisible?

What if someone is starting to see me
While I still can’t quite make out my own outline in this fog?
What if I’m starting to solidify?
Could there be some substance here?
What if I’m likable?
What if I’m lovable?
What if I am not a horrible person?
What if I could relax and just be?

I’d like to clean up the mess of my past
But I can’t bury it if I can’t kill it first

What if THIS is difficult but not impossible?
What if I stopped trying to, let it go and decided to live with parts of it?
What if I could feel like a whole person?
What would that be like?
What if I could find a way through instead?
After all this time I’ve spent trying to climb over
This impossible wall?

What if I could give without being taken?
What if I could trust a few people around me?
What if I can trust you?
What if I can start to trust myself?

-LM 12/13/2010 – 2017

photo taken at the train station in Emeryville, Ca