Today was one of those days where
the casual joking
about something personal and important to me,
and the way people in power
can let their ego 
result in cruelty
just because they can,
got under my skin
just a little more than
I’d usually admit to.
I was already
worn thin –
butter scraped thin
over too much bread thin –
and feeling the kind of
far behind and overwhelmed
that leaves me usually
holding my drowned heart
after pulling it from
an ocean of hopelessness and despair. 
The kind of emotional space that
leaves me
trying to resuscitate hope with
promises I don’t know if I can keep; 
trying convince myself 
to just keep going,
just don’t give up,
there’s reasons to keep going and keep hoping,
and one more step one more day,
and don’t go there
don’t think about
how yes
there are people who love you
but also how
more days than not
what should give you
some measure of joy or 
at least satisfaction
leaves behind little more than
a hollow echo of accomplishment
and wondering 
why can’t you feel 
like it was worth it?
Maybe you are broken
maybe you are crazy
why can’t you
find that warm sense of gratitude
for the blessings around you,
why can’t you feel it
when you know you should?
It would be worth it then,
if you could feel that again,
but instead it’s just 
a hollow metal ring of 
an empty oxygen tank
an abandoned grain silo
a long empty reminder
of the golden grain warmth 
possible but denied. 

And instead of that
instead of that and the 
spiral into it’s
not worth
it just
be done
once and
for all
everyone else
will survive and manage
and you’ll finally 
not be 
forever tired
instead of 
wondering if 
I had those hollow 22’s in the house
instead of that
I stepped into
an incendiary 
white hot wildfire
of rage running through
my veins the way
fire seems to drip 
when gravity refuses
to let it dance in the air,
and I breathed that in
the way a drowning person
breathes air
and there I was finally
not turning the 
hurt inwards
not denying myself 
rage because
someone told me once
it was bad to be that way
bad to be angry 
that now I know
it’s only bad because
it made me harder to control.

And so I let it burn. 

There was a point where it was exhausting and I needed reprieve. So I sat down, and reached out to Kali, the goddess I maintain a devotional practice to, and there were the words I didn’t know how to tell anyone else yet:

I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m tired.
I’m hurt and I’m tired and
the world is needlessly cruel and
I cannot bear witnessing it alone anymore. 

I cannot carry this anymore.
This overwhelming heartache and
old trauma brought to bear, 
and I handed it to her
because I do not deserve
to annihilate myself
as a last resort to avoid hurting
that never seems to stop,
and she knows all too well
the power of rage
to protect and defend and preserve,
but she also
knows her child can only bear so much. 

I’m less angry now,
and very thankful
for this
cobbled together
spiritual practice of mine.

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