Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Shoes of Mania

I guess I’m considered the distant friend, the one standing in the quiet background, standoffish in the place where inconsiderate casts a shadow across a light that dims into misunderstood. Seems selfish really, the way these shoes of mine change colors in a certain light, and the funny way they have always been the same shade. I know, they look black to you. Looks like they fit just right from where you stand, and I’m not comfortable when people look in my window like that. Makes me a bit edgy seeing faces sum me up through a view that is skewed and hey, I know the outside looks to be a picture, like an invitation that gave you a gift and it’s wrapped with paper looking like your name. So you stare, want to pull the ribbons to take a look inside, or stay outside, because the cover is enough to know just how fucking beautiful the inside is. Isn’t it? Want to knock on my beautiful door? Ring the doorbell so I can let you in to see my life that you already called amazing. Well, you really shouldn’t look into Windows like that, you really should be careful about those strange boxes you handle like that. Sometimes they blow up in your face, that’s right, sometimes the inside is disappointing, like you just got socks for Christmas, but the package was so… yeah.. it always is. I’m not sure these shoes fit your feet like they fit my feet. I don’t think you see the same color as me… look again. Sometimes these shoes are tight, cut into my feet like a scar I cannot avoid, and it hurts to stand inside the dull of the black that faded gray. And maybe the room grew dark after all these years, took the shine off my shoes like the dark trying to be the same size and there’s no room for the light to fit. But some days, in these same shoes, the scar heals itself, makes space for the light to step in, kicks the dark out, and the goddamn purple is so bright I have to cover my eyes. Feels like bare feet skipping across a sky I covered in glitter that never stops sparkling as long as I keep flying. High as a kite, I can’t hear you up here. I turned off the volume when the fog cleared, sailed smooth into the sound of the way my own silence sings, it says nothing at all which translates to everything and even the illusion too. I grab hold of the up that pulls me, touch it like a flame carrying a wish and it doesn’t burn at all. Let it twist around my fingers, until I taste it in my heart like the universe surrendered its stars and I feel a tingle on my tongue like having it all and keeping it. But the bitter fills my mouth as if to say, the bottom is about to fall just before the top follows suit, and the straps tighten across my feet to fit the dark of the shoes, change colors with the fall. On the way down, I think maybe I am the selfish girl, sullen, and full of the inconsiderate ways pulling at my feet to try harder. You know you could be better than this if you even tried to give a shit, or at least pretend, and maybe it’s not about you all the time. Maybe everyone doesn’t have to ride your roller coaster that never fucking stops. Everyone wants off. Make up your mind, just make up your mind, you know.. change your perspective, your mindset is fucked… that’s your problem. What happened to you? Your life is what you make it and yours is pretty great… why don’t you see that? Why the drama? Why do you stay awake for days? Why do you sleep for days? Why can’t you get your shit together or at least try?

Well, I’m sorry. I know… I’m a mess and everyone has the answer but me, right? Funny… when I had a handle on it all, seeking treatment for it all like a good fucking girl, taking meds for it all… and you couldn’t shut your mouth about it. Like now. You think there’s a magic pill to pop that fixes me, like you think you can fix me? Well, tell me about your experience with antipsychotics. That’s what I thought. The door… it has always been wide open. You can leave any time you please. I never asked you to play doctor and you only pull me down the second I stand… the second you see a rise in me, you run as fast as you can to knock me down and then offer a hand to pull me up. You want to be the one who can say you saved me. You never will. You should save yourself and go. Just go before I ruin you like I ruin everything in these shoes that never fit even when they fit perfectly.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


5 thoughts on “The Shoes of Mania”

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