Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Taste It

I have to drop the pen from time to time, plug the ink that drips from the darkest part of my well. I am unable to shade the edges over dull, not capable of smoothing down the blade enough so it doesn’t cut you too. This life… it gets the best of me sometimes, holds me under until the best becomes the worst, and the worst is always the part of me that comes up gasping for air. It’s the best of me that struggles in the deep, drowning for another chance to breathe, but I choke on all that touches me, never able to reach back to touch it too before it runs or breaks or dies. And maybe it’s the colors of my own breaking rubbing against everything too hard like a cry for help that sounds as desperate as a pleading scream. Or maybe it’s a whisper that stays unheard like sitting in the back row on purpose to stay unseen. Maybe I’m a mess that sounds off as a warning, alerting everyone of the danger that comes from getting too close. Well, I am… so stand back. You don’t want to catch this fever with a frozen center that can’t break before it breaks you first. Walk away. Blind side your eyes, shut down your heart, guard everything with your life. Stack the walls up higher. I am poison words speaking with this metallic tongue, so bitter, so careless and cold. The words marinade long enough until they fly off the handle all on their own, lashing out like a belt across your backside when you were too young to know how to learn a lesson like that. You didn’t know leather could rage like that, rip a new ass like that, make you say sorry like that. Well, now you know. Swallow your words. Feel the way they swirl in your throat, swim the deep of your stomach, until they tread there too long. Makes you sick. You can’t keep words like feelings smothered inside that way. Sooner or later they escape, make an exit that’s not so pretty and I’m not so pretty. How do you like me now? When the words rip up my throat so hard, my own tongue is destroyed in the language spoken, stories bent off, letters breaking open until my lips are busted. The blood runs through the cracks of my heart, they stay frozen or they boil over hot. But they never just stay. Words don’t stay still. Feelings don’t just sit in the corner and learn their lesson enough to get up and go away. No. They dance through you, they move with the music, sometimes slow, sometimes fast.. but they keep moving. There’s no surface within left untouched. You should be unhinged. Your heart should feel it. Every room of you should be torn apart even if only a little. It’s never simple. Is it? Can you feel just a little? Walk across a room and leave it untouched as though you were never there anyway? Or do you leave it destroyed in some way? Your heart busting a few windows, your eyes tearing out the dark closets, your soul ransacking everything in its path to show you were there. Show you were there when the light burned holes over all that went dark. Show you were there when the dark flipped the switch and turned the room to night. There’s no in between. Don’t try to be the gray in the middle. Stop hiding the colors that make you shine, don’t blur the bright into dull. Let those colors break open like mosaic glass windows busting open into pieces like music at full volume, as you dance through all the beautiful edges. Whether you get cut or not… feel. Fucking feel. Stop holding your tongue, clenching your jaw.. let it roll out, spilling poison that breaks the beauty open. Spill it out. Scream it so loud, it breaks the music hard enough to wipe it clean and rewrite the lines just in time. Save yourself. Purge all the pain you keep binging on like a lifeline keeping you from a flatline. Become a wave that never stops crashing against bigger waves, bust open… those wounds, the salt from your own lips is where the healing sits. It’s your own medicine… now taste it.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


2 thoughts on “Taste It”

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