Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Hands Clean

Daily Random Rambling

Assumptions are a tricky thing, especially on social media. I always try to remind myself that I don’t know anything about someone else’s struggle, whether I’m friends with them in real life or social media. Daily conversations with someone are nothing more than sharing parts of yourself guarded. Talk about the weather, exchanging memes, hey.. what’s up.. doesn’t tell you anything about a person. You think you know about someone else’s life or what they’ve struggled with for the last few months because you can see their social media feed? You don’t know shit. Why would you pretend to know anything at all? But you do. You think you have another persons dark memorized because you spent a little time with them. As if they lost their light for a while when they held your hand and you keep pointing to the future as though you hold the only compass that directs them back to their own light. Like they fell when they jumped and stayed down because of you. You’re giving yourself too much credit. How would you know if the person whose hand you let go of is still lying down in rock bottom or if they’ve been standing for months, with or without you. You don’t know. The truth is hard to look at sometimes, fogged over through assumptions, lines blur across the world of social media. I’ve been kicking my ass for six months, trying to rise again, finding my own light again, standing again. I stood in the dead silence without your help. Then you make a comeback, find the words that rise again, rip them from your throat for an audience.. and I fall… I fall.. you know I fall. It’s kicking someone when they are down and every time they stand, kicking harder, kicking harder. All you could have said, you could have said to me. That’s communication. That’s knowing someone. Knowing why they fell and what they have done to rise. Not pretending to know. Not believing it’s all about you. Don’t tell someone to step out of their dark when you don’t know a thing about their dark or their light. Worry about your own light. If you never ask someone how they are, don’t pretend like you know. You don’t predict another persons struggle or how they feel or don’t feel. So, take the rope holding the shade across your own face and look your own light in the eyes before you dip into my dark like a story you wrote. You never even held the pen to my story, love. You held a pencil for a short time and then erased every word. Held my light like backpedaling through mind games of your own dark, pointing in the direction you thought I should go. You don’t have that power. You fed me light, then shoved dark down my throat so I could taste the flavor of choking on my own demise, and I took the bait.. choked on it hard. But I came up for air and I am breathing now without you… I have been for some time. You can sling words like stones forever, make me taste my own shortcomings like weapons you cannot stop throwing, I will not even flinch.

I loved you once, always will. I’m not afraid of the different versions told to an audience who was never there, but still applauded the story they wanted to hear. I know our story. I will never turn it into a weapon that plays dirty. I have thumbed through our chapters, my hands are clean. The audience doesn’t dictate how our story played out and I never showed the script to anyone. But there’s people with blood on their hands like prints giving life to their own breath, and I can’t believe you let anyone touch our story. I keep it in my heart, before it turned filthy. I keep it safe like clean, white bedsheets that once held bloodshed, beautiful and pure.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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