Picture Perfect Proof

I picture us together having coffee and conversations that never seem to end because they mean something, even if it’s something small. I see us in my thoughts, as clear as I have ever seen anything before, and god… it’s beautiful. Picture perfect in a way that makes me question every detail as if maybe it’s too good to be true. I wonder sometimes if I have made you up, if I let my mind run a little too wild through the day dreaming. I pinch myself constantly. But the proof is in the way my cheeks ache from smiling, and you did that. I have no doubts about you and these feelings that shake me to the very core of a part of myself I never knew existed. You gathered the parts of me that were hidden away in the dark and you gave them light until they came to life. It’s like meeting the person I always wanted to be. I never thought to look in someone else’s eyes to find me, but I saw your heart there, and all the stories that had never been read were waiting for me. The pieces of myself I thought were lost or the ones that never came to life; they were there, you kept them safe all this time. And the pieces you’ve been searching for to find yourself, I have them here in my heart. I have kept them safe. Even if we didn’t know whose pieces we were holding so gently, we do now.It was all for this, for us, and all these moments we share that have brought us to life. They say you only live once, but this feels like a second chance that was meant for us to take together. It feels like seeing in color for the first time after living half a life blind. I see everything now. I picture us laughing so much we cry, crying until we laugh. I picture us staying in bed all day reading books and holding hands, playing our favorite songs and singing along. Staring at each other for no other reason than the way our hearts pound when our eyes meet, kissing each other with enough passion to start fires in our bones. Watching the sunrise, watching the sunset, staring at the moon together and naming our own stars. I imagine us laying awake at night, giggling for no reason, telling each other secrets and dreams and fears. I see us waking up together without a care in the world other than making each other smile. I picture us, with our hearts bigger than the world, living.. really living, chasing our dreams hand in hand and believing in each other so much, nothing ever brings us down. I see us. And I know now how it’s supposed to be. I hope you see it too.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry



Hallelujah Sings

We never kissed, our lips made love like they were inventing passion again and again, until we reinvented the meaning several times over, tongues dancing as though hallelujah raised its hands from our throats to sing with all its heart like the words were being written in that moment for the first time. It was ours. This territory of us and all we had become, another soul has never touched it. I promise you that. Indescribable feelings lingering between us, rendering us speechless, but words pouring from our bodies like skin against skin telling secrets in the language of us. I never understood anything more clearly than the way my back didn’t arch, but heaven tugged at my hips to give him a taste he couldn’t get enough of until the devil shook my knees like sin was the sweetest discovery. Honey on his lips, and hands in my hair like the only lifeline he believed in, his soul entered mine as though we both discovered the meaning of home in each other’s eyes, and we knew we would never look away. He laid a welcome mat across my body like he was crossing his heart with my heart and our eyes made promises we knew would never lie. Sealed in the glistening, limbs intertwined like a pinky promise to never let go, we stayed in that moment of knowing where we belonged. It started with hallelujah thick on our lips. It started with bringing heaven down. It started with him kissing me like he was building a home from my heart, and he’s the only forever my heart believes in.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry



You are the time in my life where I truly understand the meaning of bittersweet. Such a perfect sweetness to the way you live and love, the hellos you said and the mornings you made beautiful without even trying. You made me want to live again. You made me want to breathe in every single moment and taste it so much, I couldn’t wait for the next. You helped me appreciate little things like coffee in the mornings and hugs I never wanted to end. I think I counted the freckles on your face a hundred times, made wishes on each one while you kissed me with your eyes wide open. Your hand never lost sight of mine, even in the middle of the night while you were sound asleep. I’m not even sure you know the way you woke up several times a night to lean over and kiss my shoulder or my forehead or my cheek, but it was so beautiful. I am positive I fell in love with you more than a dozen times a day over those indescribable moments of you. The way you laugh is so contagious and the smile in your eyes when you do something you love… I wish you could see it through my eyes. I wish you could see all of you through my eyes. Then you would finally understand why I tell you you’re beautiful. You held every door open for me. I can’t even begin to describe all the ways that make you amazing, but you are what dreams are made of, and this was not a dream at all. It was you being you and I am lucky to have been a part of those moments, no matter how long. I carry those pieces with me everywhere I go to remind me what it’s like to love life, breathe it in, and taste it, while saving room for the next moment I can breathe in even deeper than before. I’ve never laughed like that with someone, never felt so completely comfortable in my whole life as I did with you. You made me question so many things I thought I knew, like love, happiness, fate, friendship, and I don’t think I truly ever knew any of those things until you. The bitterness came when it was time to say goodbye and I never knew something could bite so hard. Teeth clenched around my heart like the end was taking me whether I liked it or not. Goodbye had me in a headlock that felt like a collision and it hasn’t let go yet. Head-on, I am still crashing into this ruin that is taking its time ripping me apart. I am broken. But broken or not, don’t ever doubt that I love you with all of my heart and more.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Time of You

It is 1:00am

when my thoughts refuse to settle,

when I analyze every detail of my life,

when I start thinking of you again.

It is 2:00am

when I’m still wide awake for no reason

other than you and all the details of you

I have memorized deep in my bones.

It is 3:00am

and I’m still here with my mind like a curse

I wouldn’t put on my worst enemy.

I study every scenario of rights and wrongs,

what I should’ve done differently,

what I could’ve done better,

and all I would still change if only.

If only you were here I tell myself,

I would be fast asleep

not questioning anything at all.

It is 4:00am

and I may as well stay up now.

My eyes fear the closure, the dark,

the silence, while my thoughts

create anxiety that won’t allow sleep.

And here I am again with you,

my heart hurts.

I’ve convinced myself I’m losing you

and the cycle repeats the analysis

that’s always empty handed.

I need you more than the sleep

that I’m chasing, darling.

I need to wake up from this nightmare

and find you lying next to me.

It’s 5:00am

and the nightmare continues

until I finally doze off alone,

out of your arms, out of your reach,

I am cold.

The last thing I remember

before I close my eyes

is hoping that you’re warm.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry



It never was an ordinary moment, but a million little things that kept saying yes, it’s you, yes, it’s me, it is us… come closer. I want to see the words swimming through your eyes. I want to hear the sweet poetry circling your tongue like the lyrics written in those lines on your hands, gentle as I’ve ever seen, but stronger than the steel walls we were both once buried behind. Your heart busting through my own chest, I thought it was mine, beating inside my throat, I have so much to say to you. It’s about the butterflies inside, the way they remind me how lucky I am to feel the flutter of their wings, and I can fly now with your hand in mine. It’s about those hands, the way they never held mine without anything less than everything, even when I would’ve taken anything. It’s the moments like that. When I have no expectations at all, yet you blow me away by giving me every single piece of you, broken or not, and then you give more. It’s the way you love me. Like tearing the whole sky apart to bring me a sunrise or making a snow angel because I’ve never seen one before. I have never been loved like that. Like the universe depends on your heart for lessons and it makes me want to bow down to your parents and thank them for you, because you are the example humanity should take note of. There’s a million things and I can’t even use Poetry to rightfully describe the way our hearts are meant to be synced for these moments, this life, this love. I only know that I never believed in anything until our hearts crashed into each other and never looked back, except to say,

“This… Love… Is…. Infinite…”

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


The Hunger

The stomach drop

The butterflies

The sky dive in my veins

making my heart crash

without a parachute.

The self-induced emptiness

Th fullness I rarely succumb to

The throat dry like cotton

The thirst abandoned

to the weakness

that feels better than

the disgust of feeding it.

The fainting that ends quickly

The brush off

The no big deal

The hollow in my chest

The racing heart that says hurry

The sweat that’s a warning

The fear that says too late

The paralysis that reminds me

I can’t pull off brave.

The dark that’s safe

The silence I trust

The second skin of giving up

The promise of giving in

The knowing in the breaking

and the pieces that

never did fit anyway.

The luck of the mirror breaking

The way I don’t believe that

The questions on repeat

The answers I’ll never hold

The reasons I stopped asking

The sleep I can’t get enough of

The who really cares

when I stopped

too long ago to remember.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry 2018

Pain Collector

and even if the days of crying

yourself to sleep have ended or the nights

are gone when you stayed hidden behind

the safety of the bathroom door, as you

poured out silent sobs that only the walls

knew about, it doesn’t mean the pain left.

Sometimes it means the numbness took

over and you simply don’t feel it the same;

you don’t feel anything at all. But you do.

The numbness is a liar. A mask, just like a

bandage, that can be ripped off as quickly

as you learned to put it on. The defense

mechanism you taught yourself to slip into

when it all became too much. The blanket

you wrapped around yourself when you

grew tired of telling secrets to your pillow

and the bathroom walls knew you better

than you wanted them to. So you tied it all

in a knot and shoved it deep inside where

the pain stays in the dark, but you’ve done

that many times before, pain collector,

and not everything needs light to grow.

But you already know how pain thrives

in the darkest places. It festers wildly,

spreads into a garden where old wounds

feed from you to make new ones, until

you are imploding with the poison of

bottling up your feelings for too long.

Let it out to let it go.

Sometimes you have to make explosions

from your own heart to recognize the

beauty you’ve been hiding for so long.

And no one has to see it as beautiful,

as long as you do.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Living Again

A friend recently told me that it’s hard to find yourself again after you’ve given up on yourself. That it’s not an easy thing to jump back into life after you stopped caring for so long and all the stuff that people do every day seems so simple until you stop doing it for years. There’s a certain fear that takes over and every tiny thing like just walking outside or going to the store or getting your hair done becomes huge. Huge in an impossible way. Forgetting yourself is easy, but remembering… it’s almost devastating. Because everyone is looking at you like you’re from another planet thinking.. just make the phone call, just go to the appointment, get your nails done, just fucking live again. It’s not like riding a bike. It’s different. It’s like you went to sleep for a decade or so and you wake up and have to relearn everything and you don’t even know how to take care of yourself anymore or where to begin. It’s starting from scratch or starting over I guess, on something you should’ve mastered a long time ago. So then you feel like a failure. You feel like a fool. And that’s how people close to you treat you. They don’t understand what the hell is wrong, but they never asked that question once when you weren’t living. The giving up is never questioned. But when you stand up and try to pull yourself out of the hell, when you try all on your own to live and breathe again for yourself, every step you take is questioned, faulted, counted. That makes it even more difficult because you were down for so long and no one cared or noticed and it takes a lot to pull yourself out of this daze. That’s when you kinda know you’re on your own and maybe you always were. Then you start to regret even getting up at all because you’ve never really been on your own and you start to think about all you could’ve done but didn’t and the self doubt creeps in to sabotage whatever steps you have attempted. Crazy thoughts take over like how you didn’t do anything with your life and you have no excuse other than you just gave up. And maybe that’s not so crazy because the people close to you will readily agree that you in fact haven’t done anything with your life.

All of it made me sad and angry and everything. I just told her to keep walking no matter what anyone else says or thinks because it’s not about anyone else. This is all you. Do the best you can today and then do better tomorrow. It’s never too late. I hope she believes me.

-Conversations with the mirror

Stephanie Bennett-Henry


*Photo source via Pinterest: COOPH, DIYPHOTOGRAPHY.net

Cracking Your Armor

You headstrong princess.

You stubborn warrior, hard and fierce.

No one told you about the day

when it would all come crumbling down

and you would lie there softened.

No one warned you about the day

you wouldn’t be able to stop

the cracking of your own armor,

that you would fall hard

and be covered in your own pieces.

No one prepared you for this day,

when you would come face to face

with the biggest battle of your life

and the war staring back at you

would be your own eyes.

Well, I am telling you now,

it’s not a fight you can look away from,

but try as you might,

the war of yourself is the toughest one

you will ever look in the eyes.

So look long and look hard.

This is the one that matters,

the one you cannot runaway from.

This is you

fighting to get yourself back.

This is you

saving yourself.

You are on your own.

Don’t back down.

Give it everything you have

until you come out with

blood under your nails

from the birth of who you are meant to be

and the death of who you’re not.

Then paint your armor white

so you always recognize

the way truce looks in your own eyes.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


All in My Head

This fear that splits old wounds new is all in my head they say… but how do they know? They’ve tasted the blood from my lips after my teeth find comfort there? They’ve licked the scars my heart can’t let go of until they change from nightmares to memories to trophies? They’ve heard the words spinning through my mind like a keepsake from the flames of Hell that still burn me? The light is a warning of the war just outside my door. The people, all the people, like spotlights shining on me. I don’t want to be seen. With their eyes like weapons, I dodge each one before the judgment slices me smooth in half. The mirrors have never been kind. My own eyes are colored with self loathing. My heart deserves better than its outside package that’s never wrapped nice, but it’s trapped like me beneath the claustrophobia that has bent my spine and it’s hard to breathe most of the time. I hold my breath to suffocate the monsters, try to bring them to their knees, but I wake up beneath them once again, smothered with these wounds that fill my head with fear.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry