Throwaway Girl (2)

Throwaway Girl, you were such a keeper, until he got his hands on you like forever still meant something other than an ending tossed straight in the garbage. Throwaway girl, you are not how he made you feel. You are still the same person you have always been, a keeper like you always were, and the universe remains in your eyes as beautiful as your soul lingers on despite that careless goodbye that took you to your knees. Throwaway girl, that careless goodbye that shattered all you ever knew, it was not about you. You were just one in a string of many who fell in his path like that, got your heart ripped out like that, became tossed out garbage like that. But you get up. You get up, beautiful girl.. because in spite of that fall and everything you lost on the way down.. you will rise with lessons under your belt that no one can take away from you again. You were never trash, but a jewel that not everyone can easily recognize when ego blocks their view; be you and know… the way you fall and rise is breathtakingly brave, and the way you continue to stand after being spit out shows exactly who you are. Throwaway girl, I am so proud of you for refusing to be thrown away with secrets sealed in your mouth; spit it out. You earned it… you earned it. Hell and back knows your name and it never was throwaway girl, it was always beautiful Warrior with one hell of a heart, too brave to let careless hands rip you apart. You are home in your own eyes; don’t ever forget it.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


The Thorns of My Bloom

You only wanted my petals, so I ripped each one out like feathers that never were good at flying anyway. Tore each out by the root, exposed only skin, raw with thorns like a Sky too dark to see any stars; I gave you my scars. You looked straight in without flinching, held me like the beauty of my heart and soul was enough, because you always said it was more than enough. But the fog lifted, the sun came out like truth trying to scorn me, and I still feel the burn of sparks landing softly like lies giving birth, to prepare for the explosion of how you ran away. Hands filled with petals dropped, each one behind you to leave a trail as a reminder of where the thorns crossed your path once, ripped through the beauty, turned your hands ugly, left me filthy. I used to shame myself for that, took the blame for your weakness like that, told myself I was dirty and ugly and too full of thorns like that. But fuck that. Now I’m all thorns, cutting through first impressions like a blade that bleeds all the soft parts out. No petals shown to cushion the blow of someone’s weakness to save them from the edge of the thorn sharper than their ego. No… I only bloom when someone’s shows me they can handle my thorns without the petals. I only root myself in places where the ugly blooms deep, long before the pretty ever sprouts in shallow spaces. I only grow in gardens where true beauty is seen for what it is, not for the surface of what your eyes see. You didn’t have to pick me, but you did… and you ripped every petal off before you decided my bloom wasn’t whore enough for you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Beaks of Birds

To the person who loved your heart like it was the one reason that gave color to the sky, only to be the same person who brought that sky to its knees in pieces laying colorless, where gray stays gray forever, and even the stars throw their own shine away, like a piece of trash that never got it right anyway… to that person.. if your eyes met theirs once again.. what would you say, love?

Tell me, what would you say? Would you break all over again or would you say, “fuck you” loud enough to flip the universe into sharp edges that circle the sun long enough to light that mother fucker up again until the sky speaks your name softly from the beaks of birds who just remembered they never did stop flying. Even in the dark, they were soaring through gray, flames on their wings borrowed from that heart of yours, lighting a fire under the sun and calling you home through the only song that ever set the world on fire to shine on your face again as credits roll under spotlights and stars fall holding wishes birthed from you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


The Colors in the Middle

Look in the middle. A lot gets lost there at times, between the best and the worst. We forget to see the in between, where it’s okay to look. It’s okay to see between the lines of the best day of your life and the worst, it’s okay to find colors in the center, where maybe you were saving that for the gray. Not today. There’s a lot hiding in the space between all or nothing. Have you looked there lately? The moments that go unnoticed. They don’t always scream the All into the universe like your throat scratching its way raw to the other side. No. They don’t always motion with the NOTHING to turn your legs into a compass to show your feet where the thunder roars the loudest. Love, sometimes the best moments are found in between the all of the scream and the nothing of the thunder waiting to roar. The best days never start off that way and the worst don’t either. It’s just a day. It’s the pieces we pick up along the way, the ones we borrow from the spaces hiding just along the gray… and look at how we color them. Hold them like purple, or red or blue or anything we want. Touch them like yellow or green, see them for all their light or all their dark. Or not at all. It’s all black and white- until we touch them. We color them. See? We color them how we want. Our thoughts are like a mirror and these moments like magnets. They can be dark or light- warm or cold, happy or sad.. find it in the middle. There is always color. Ask the sky. Ask the birds. Borrow their song. They love to hear their song in different shades, sung in tunes they haven’t heard before. Show them how the trees dance to the colors only you can find. Show the sky how to be your shade of blue, and I bet it paints a rainbow just for you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


The One Thing That Changed My Writing Career

The One Thing That Changed My Writing Career
— Read on


High to the Low

The high tells the low,

“Get up, idiot”

The low responds,

“I cannot. I am worthless”

The high calls bullshit and says,

“You’ll feel better if you go shopping”

The low gets up and feels better

for a day or so, then falls back down.

The high only laughs,

cycles the skies,

“Watch me fly, loser”

And the low watches out the window,

knowing the crash

always stops the laughter.

The low knows the blows,

the tears, the fears,

while the high only knows

the take off, not the landing.

Hands the spiral of the crash

to the spine of the low

like a cruel trick

and walks away smiling.

It’s always lying,

spinning as it does

like a maniac,

tasting danger and loving it.

The low holds the pieces,

bears the pain, takes the gutting,

feels every sharp edge,

while the high is out shopping,

fucking strangers,

sky diving from

invisible planes

just before they crash,

knowing the low will clean

the wreckage.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Heart and Mind

My heart always says I’m sorry, but my mind says… no, you’re not sorry. You cannot be sorry. Why would you be sorry for feeling? For loving? For hurting? No, stop apologizing and explaining things that just are. But my heart, my heart… it makes me pay for that. It makes me hurt for that, makes me bleed the fuck out for that. With every beat, it wants me to prove why each crack was worth the pain, why I spent nights crying myself empty, only to wake the next day filled again with the pieces of a breaking I don’t have answers to. Those pieces.. they don’t always fit back the right way and I’m only a puzzle that can never be whole again. So I sit here as out of place as I’ve always been anyway, questioning my heart, the way it breaks and splits, and takes me to my knees to search for reason. All the while my mind says, get the fuck up. Stop analyzing the sharp edges of your stupid heart, stop second guessing the beats every time you don’t find reason or rhyme; you will with time. My heart constantly says time is nothing more than cruel hands that refuse to hold me when I need it the most, makes me beg for a letting go that should fly freely, but takes its sweet time and lingers inside so I feel each moment like seconds holding the sharpest knives cutting through old wounds to make sure they stay new. And I feel every minute like seconds crumbling me into a fresh breaking that time has no plans to heal; so I kneel. Pray for a blessing that somewhere in the thousands of pieces, I will find a lesson that my heart and mind can agree on and learn from it. And the lessons learned will be the stepping stones into the growth of my self worth I’ve been searching for and the prices I paid to reach it won’t seem so high; my heart and mind both tell me I can fly, but there’s no proof of that until I reach the sky and feel the wind against my face, when the pain of this is nothing more than a memory that time left its handprints on, and I can remember it fondly without a trace of pain from the hands of time that took so long to heal.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry



Each time I let go a little more, you pull me back in with some subtle move you know will not go unnoticed.  Each time I walk away, you find a way to follow me just enough to haunt me with all I am trying so hard to forget.  I am trying.  I have been trying.  Each time I seal the cracks of my heart with my own healing, there you are, kicking through the cracks harder than before. For what? You said it didn’t have to be this way after you made it this way. You said you wished we never happened. You said everything to keep me, then everything to lose me. You pointed at every wrong feeling I had, but looked at your own as though they sparkled in sincerity.  You said there was no blame, then blamed me for things that never even happened.  I let go a long time ago, ignored the drama brought to me by others, took the blows handed to me by people who should not even have their hands on our story.  But here I am…  sitting with my own demons I’ve come to know very well and there you are… still kicking in doors, letting your ghost slip in.  But I don’t want it.  You left me at the lowest point of my life. That is the moment I knew you the most.  And yes, it still hurts. It always will. But that does not mean I need an apology or anything at all. The way you left said everything I ever needed to know.  So, erase it all if that’s what you need to do.  Nothing could hurt me more than you already did. Nothing.  

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


With so many different ways to bloom, I find myself testing the beauty of each one to see how the dark can wilt it ugly, and sometimes in the withering, I find myself in a new light, blooming fluorescent.

Bloom soft, effortlessly like a green thumb needing nothing more than a glow in the dark where nothing is seen but the possibilities through your own eyes. 

Bloom tender, but dirty with hands clean from seeds planted by someone else like a song you know all the words to and sing it even if it doesn’t help you grow. Sing it anyway, bloom through the music each time until the words scrape your throat a little less or a little more.

Bloom like a scream learning to become a whisper. Bloom like a whisper learning how to be heard. Bloom like a tragedy growing into triumph and with the right light, even the dark cannot rain on the parade of you. Bloom like that.

Bloom as though you lost your crown for the hundredth time and don’t even stop to notice. Kick the dirt over the shine like a seed you bury that roots up to cover you with a clone of your own heart, brighter than any crown ever pretended to be.

Bloom like the funeral you feel inside yourself busts open every day and tears into you like a party that never stops celebrating another chance to be alive and new. Bloom into the colors you made up in your own mind, just between the gray, where the gold meets the rainbow no one believed in, and name each color after yourself. I dare you to bloom like that and not apologize for the way your name sounds in someone else’s mouth or the way the light bounces off their eyes to see a shade that describes you wrong.

Bloom from the seeds that still grew when you didn’t give a shit who trampled through your garden and who tended to it with hands that never knew how to strangle the life from your bud. Bloom as though walking away spills the rain from the sky just to taste what you planted so the sun dials itself to full light.

Bloom through the cracks of anywhere just to prove you can. Bloom to show the concrete how to crack open and lose with grace, as it spreads its cracks wide just to follow you home.

Bloom like that. Eyes forward, feet firm, destination unknown, without caring where you’ll end up because you can grow anywhere.

Bloom in the closet where skeletons hold secrets, behind a locked door, but you hold the key now and swallow it, as you carry the bones out with you, bury them deep where they come back like an announcement that never shook you anyway.

Bloom for you. Bloom for every wish you ever made that did not come true, grow into it like you invented it. Grab the stars, pull them down, show them who’s in charge of your wishes now.

Bloom like you. For all the beauty unseen, it does not have to be. Do not ever bloom to be noticed, love, bloom to grow only from the light of your own eyes. Because if you wait to bloom in someone else’s light, you will wilt in their shadow, and you are too bright for any shadow.

Kick the shadow threatening to cover you and burn into a bloom that never stops tasting fire. 

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Courage on Repeat

It’s in the tremble of the bottom lip, the throat gutted dry, tears flood out no matter how hard you press your tongue to the roof of your mouth..That is how you always know you hit the wall of that familiar place where no u-turns are allowed, no redemption lies in wait, and shaky legs give in to the quicksand of the unforgiving.You have been eaten alive before by the mouth of the world, love. Did you think it couldn’t happen more than once? You tell yourself to hold on tight for one more round, brace for impact and hope you only get chewed up and spit out again, and not swallowed whole. I don’t have it in me anymore to wholeheartedly agree, but I have a tiny bit of hope left over, and it may be just enough to tell myself to breathe, focus, and hold on for dear life as this life takes me for another ride. I am on my knees, holding wishes like salvation, whispering secrets to the stars, hoping they hear me one last time. My life depends on it now and I say, “I know the sky is not empty, because I have felt it fall and it’s so goddamn heavy.. please show me what weighs it down before it falls again.” I don’t know if I can do this again, but I have one last shot and I swear to make it matter like me.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry