Before, now, then

“You should have said something sooner”
I said to him
seeing in his eyes
all the men
that had failed to speak from their heart
whether we didn’t teach them
or they didn’t learn
seems irrelevant now
as we are both hurting
my eyes wet with all the women
that were told to hold down their heart down their throat
and who fought to be heard
who protected their heart
through pride
through anger
through denial
through pretension
How pretentious I had been
How necessary it had been

Maybe had he said something sooner
it would not have been heard
maybe if he didn’t say anything sooner
is because we weren’t listening
How much can we blame
our pain on others
when we are always
if not
How much was I to blame as well?

This is when forgiveness chimes in
This is when compassion whispers
This is when wisdom hums
This is when experience smiles
This is when I realize that
is a waste of time
that I could be
efficiently hurting
to efficiently heal
is just a repetitive lie
that I have no power
over how you make me feel now
maybe I was your prisoner
but now
right now
I am un-fuckable-with.

How many lies
that my mother told me
were told to her?
how many times
did our fathers’ mistakes
pour down our hearts
as we made promises
we didn’t understand how to keep
how many mistakes
did our parents forgive themselves for
while we point fingers and say “still”
“don’t hurt” we say
while we bleed on their carpet

How many weak men, brave women, lost souls
how much more lying
until you look at yourself
and realize
your biggest truth
would never have existed
had it not been for the lies
and your biggest bravery
not happened
had it not been for the biggest weaknesses
how many more turns around the sun
before we realize
we owe our victories
to their mistakes
how many more
until we see that through our mistakes
we are still their biggest victories
until we see the echoes of our
infant cries
nested in the wrinkles of their hands
our color of brown
in their eyes
their prayers of protection
keeping us bold
while we defy them
how many more turns of the sun
until we see the us in them
and forgive ourselves
and forgive them

until we see them in us
and forgive ourselves
and forgive them

-“things i write to myself in my sleep”


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