Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Where the Monsters Hide

Maybe I was born in a room draped in blue that swaddled me into this sadness that follows me with a promise to always be there waiting to suffocate me. The walls close in to show proof of claustrophobia in the shallow spaces of where my breathing meets the screams meets the silence, I am shaken. The rhythm of my heart is broken, never did beat quite right, always exposed just enough to feel everything in such a way, I am paralyzed in the too much. Inhaling each moment that touches me until it becomes part of me and I am pieces. Busted glass that never did sparkle magnificent, but a dull mediocre, always hard to see from the inside looking out. So I stayed confined inside the prison I made within myself and I learned to love the dark, covered all the mirrors to hide the demons staring back. I have never been good with unseeing something once seen. I can’t look away from the monsters people told me to be afraid of, so I believed them, checked under my bed for them, hid myself away from them. That was before I knew monsters only exist inside of us, which planted my fear deeper in the knowledge of what I was running from the whole time was me and now I can’t stop. Full speed sprint, attempting to gain a head start from the pain in my own eyes, but it’s always a tie. I wanted to lose because there’s no prize in the view I have of myself, no glow to be admired from onlookers brave enough to look. And looking never means seeing anyway, it’s usually nothing more than looking through a dirty window and pretending to be blind. Turning your eyes away to run before you catch the fever in my eyes, but only when they are opened. I close them like slamming doors because I once left myself unlocked and my heart was ransacked as though it was valuable. Lessons learned from giving myself away for free, now I’m dead bolted. Even from myself, because I’ve seen enough so fuck it. Don’t look at me to find your own reflection so you can hear the way ego moans your name; look away. I have my own demons to battle without patting yours on the back while smiling and even if I am losing against myself, that is so much better than being lost on the surface of a bandage that was never mine. Rip it off. We all have wounds that bleed. Sometimes the best remedy is letting it bleed out until you taste the lesson of ripping yourself open to gut the demons and start with a clean slate of building yourself new. Now that you know where the monsters are, no time will be wasted on checking under the bed. Look into the mirror of your own eyes and don’t you dare look away.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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