Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

More Than A Name

Poison in my throat from all the words said without warning labels, for all the advice given like a beating I never asked for, and this is why I choke myself on my own silence. This is why the quiet covers me like an empty room even when there’s a crowd. The reason my sentences stopped holding hands with the words that made them whole and broke apart like a crash leaving its own scene, before anyone could be a witness. Some things are too ugly to see, look away like hide and seek is only about the hiding and everyone is blind. Why does this heart keep waking me with the noise of its beating? It only reminds me. It never stops reminding me how much I want to rest. Leave the scene of myself that never makes sense anyway, throw these words like a sword that becomes a boomerang of everything feeding my self loathing. I am full. Tired of being hungry for all that was never meant to feed my soul. Fatten me with meaning or anything that’s worth a shit. I am empty enough without being filled by empty promises from mouths that never learned how to take a bite from this life, from hearts that missed the lesson on how to leave a mark that matters. And I make my way out of this place where I left handprints like claw marks, every time someone tried to pull me away from the light in my own eyes so they wouldn’t go blind from staring into how bright madness shines sometimes. I never was afraid of the dark or the light that calls in any form, never compared the bright in my own light with the dim of another. But I stand alone when the fog moves in. I stand alone when it doesn’t. And all these people know my name without knowing how I got here, but I fucking got here, and it was never easy. This climb of me… it always did look like falling, but it was nothing less than a journey of holding on for dear life and I’m telling you, as much as I bled on the way up, man… I never let go. I never let go. Even in the moments memorized like a name in concrete, when someone else let go, dropped me like I was ruined, threw me as though I would crack. I stayed. I fucking stayed. Held on like my life depended on it because my life depended on it. It depended on me… never giving up on me, like everyone else always did. Looking at me like.. what’s wrong? You have everything. You don’t know shit about what I have and what I don’t. You don’t have a clue about what I’ve lost and what I’ve gained, what I had to fight for… you know my name.. that is all. My mind is a broken levee, where everything became nothing, while the rescue crews knew nothing, but my name so I was lost in the undertaking of eyes flooding over me as they watched me drown in the filth of chaos. I had to swim through to get this far… and they watched as I rose to the top of the surface, coming up for air like a tsunami you can’t look away from. Even if you do…it has nothing to prove.. same as I have nothing to prove anymore and ever again. Call my name now like you have looked into my eyes long enough to read more than the title. More than a name. More than the surface you’re afraid to dive into because you have only been in the shallow of pretty things with a name you never learned to pronounce. Be more. I never learned to understand people who look at the sky, but never reach for it, the ones who look at the ocean, but never hear it. It has a story just between the waves, only for those who choose to listen. So listen. Don’t create waves only to run from them because they look scary. Fucking swim into the heart of it all even if it means you may drown.. we’re all drowning anyway. Don’t be the one who drowns alone in the shallow because you were afraid of the deep end… anything worth having is in the deep. Don’t call it a chance taken or a risk worth making if you barely get your feet wet. Don’t be that person who turns their heart into a fucking window shopper.. label maker, selfish mother fucker, dream chaser who never catches anything. Don’t be the one who calls someone’s name just because you know it. Or just when you need something. Everyone has a name and behind every name is a story. Take the time to learn it. Or don’t bother. You don’t know anyone just by looking. Remember that.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “More Than A Name”

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