Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Heart Apology

I kicked the yellow out of your brick road, called it a liar, and went on a search for the one painted purple. I’m searching for happiness, so trim it off with red. I will do anything to get it, I am cut-throat mode, spilling out for one taste of that smile. I think maybe you stole it from me. Well, give it back. I break into the bend of cracking myself just the right size to spell happy across my face; I am starving for it. Counting bones until I reach the corners of where my mouth turns up to the sky, but no. The sky always answers no like my mouth always says no. And I am empty, trying to fill myself with anything left, but it’s too much. The binge never lasts like the purging promises to and I’m stuffed with all these big dreams trying to sell me on the idea of what happiness is anyway. Roll out the red carpet, I have beauty in my mouth, about to bite in and swallow pretty, because thin promises I won’t choke. But I choke on pieces broke, after I starved myself thin like that, only to see the temporary smile grab hands with my spine like that and say fuck you. You are nothing but a liar, trying to taste the flame without the fire. You think you are still going to burn? Think that sparkle is going to cut in just right to drape you beautiful? It’s not. Trust me when I say… it is not coming to catch your fall, fill your cracks, save your ass. Well, perhaps it’s an inside job, I need to practice that notion perfectly and display my heart like it’s goddamn art. Everyone will notice right? Look inside like beauty busted through to say, here I am! Yeah- here I am. Never felt more filthy. Cover myself in the shame from licking the underside of my wounds that never healed, throw the salt, I want to feel. Show me the path on how to heal or school me with the lesson on the direction of where happiness lives. It didn’t come with this skin I cannot break out of and there’s a battle inside showing me the face of a fool, knees bent, and broken. From outside looking in, inside searching for an out, my heart cracked into edges to become a weapon against me and I am losing. I am losing. Just along the purple, I lined every brick so perfectly, outlined the edges in the red spilling from pretty words and promises that never could stay whole. Still I’m lost along this road I paved with my own hands, digging up old graves to find where I lost myself when I was only existing. Searching bones of skeletons that taught me living for others would not kill me and their hands are all stained with blood. I’m just trying to come back to life again so I can breathe in my own name again without spitting anything out, without trying to force down a version that fits the box of expectations shaded over for blind eyes trying to see my colors. My colors… they run deeper than the surface of a yellow road pretending to be a sky. They are deeper than words lying to mean it. I mean it. Not everyone is a beautiful soul. Not everyone looks deep enough to even know. The surface cracked, my spirit cracked with it and we fell together in that grave. I see you sometimes coming to spit on it. I still feel it. I want the storm to take me from this place that grew colorless like only a sky without any light at all. Just a sky pretending to hold the stars, but it was nothing more than a blank page filled with words of wishes wanting to be true. My sky is good enough, it just wasn’t for you. I guess we all have a different view of the sky. We see what we want. My view rips through the surface where there’s another sky to see and I see it with all of my heart, I see it. I look beyond the view of a surface, that’s where the beauty is. It’s the whole sky, busted open, spilling colors of imperfections, and showing the face of the heart, unashamed for all it is, and unapologetic for the surface view of all you did not see from the yellow. I found myself in the grave marked with purple, the bones inside had no hint of red, but my heart was there, still beating and still beautiful like it always was. I’m sorry, heart, for doubting you and losing myself because of how you looked in someone else’s eyes, who couldn’t see past their own sky.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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