You Move Me

You move me and I don’t think I have ever said that about anyone before. But you move me in a way that tears my skin open just enough to pull at my heart hard with gentle hands, brings it out to see how eyes can bleed with passion in the most beautiful shades. You move me in a way that teaches my heart how to beat and mean it, like proving there is purpose in this life despite all the times I have been blind to the meaning in my own story. You move me into rewriting the way I see things with my own eyes, as though looking into yours taught me something valuable that I carry with me now. You move me into seeing my own cup is just as full as anyone’s, and maybe it was never empty. You move me in a way that shows me there is always a bright side as long as I step out of my dark. You move me with the way you take life by the throat, kiss it straight on the mouth and say thank you as you capture sunsets with your name, while never failing to pay it forward to show someone else where their name shines too. You move me in a way that floods my eyes with the good tears that can’t help but flow out to catch a glimpse of your smile. Like a river that never stops trying to come out of its banks to find something bigger like the ocean’s waves that never stop dancing. The waves constantly try to be better than the day before because they cannot wait for the moment the sun rises to spotlight the dance of the water like an applause that lasts all day. Then the sun touches down, glimmers across the surface with a kiss that says thank you for being here. That’s how you move me. With your heart leading the way for anyone who needs it, the way you really mean it, giving without hesitation even if you don’t have it. I’m pretty sure that means you’re nothing less than a hero who doesn’t need a cape to prove it. Just the passion painted in your eyes, your smile that saves the world, and that heart of yours that I swear looks like heaven, autographed by God’s hands. That’s how you move me.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

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For Everything and Nothing

The world is far too beautiful for the ugliness that rapes my thoughts. For the remembering I can’t stop until I turn it into a chaos I want to forget, but never can. For the silence stripping me raw and so loud, I try to cover my ears, but my heart jumps out with a refusal I can’t ignore. For the indifference like a slow death, constantly cutting into me with the roughest edges I have ever known. For all I tell myself to answer the uncertainty so I can find closure. I search for it at night, sleepwalk wide awake where I once met you in the sweetest dreams under the most peaceful sleep. For being lost and found to being lost again where numbness takes over leaving me unable to feel, but I still see the slow motion picture show playing in my mind every minute. For the feelings I can’t pause. For putting myself here. For losing myself here. For my mind, for my heart, for the battle I can never win. For the hope I still hold, the wishful thinking, the dreams that died for your ghost, for you, for everything that turned to nothing and the way I mourn it. How can I not? For these words like weapons without a purpose other than the aim pointed straight at me, hitting me where it hurts the most without fail. For all the times I ask myself why I am this way, with this heart like an open wound that feels everything so much, I’m left with my own blood on my hands. For the apologies I make on behalf of these feelings that won’t die. For the way it makes me sad that I would apologize for feeling. For the way I curse myself as though the hate from my own mouth would make me matter. For the lessons I didn’t learn because none were presented. For the time I spent getting over this hurdle of myself, only to fall over it now and have to start again from the beginning. For taking a chance that slapped me in the face of all I ever wanted. For allowing myself to be dismissed as though I know it by heart. For knowing it by heart in the first place. For second guessing when there was no other choice. For holding the blame when I know better. For thinking I was the only one. For being so naive. For painting the red flags in other colors so they wouldn’t stand out as much. For pretending to believe to not hurt someone else instead of just calling bullshit. For hating myself enough to put my health on the back burner. For loving someone more than myself. For rationalizing the dismissal of myself to try to keep you. For forgetting to see the footnotes of I love you no matter what because I loved you no matter what. For thinking everyone means what they say like I do. For ruining everything. For still loving you despite all of this. For still saying it when I know how much it hurts that you don’t anymore. For letting my heart break in the first place. For still offering you the pieces of what’s left. For acting like you haven’t moved on without me. For the selective memory that was the answer all along. For believing my heart was good enough on its own. For wanting to drive to you to love you one more time. For thinking a second chance will make you see. For being so pathetic. For not being able to write about anything but you. For our conversations that someone else gets now. For letting that make me sad. For becoming strangers. For letting delayed rejection torture me. For accepting silence as an answer because you shield me from the truth. For still writing this. For not being good at endings. For not being able to accept the ending of us. For all you used to say. For all you never do now. For thinking you made a mistake. For loving you so fucking much, I still cannot breathe. For the whys I still answer on your behalf. For being so sure about something For letting it break me. For still believing there’s a chance. For wanting to end this with…. I still love you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Secrets Fucked Inside

Eat.

Just fucking eat.

That’s what they say

That’s what they all say

Just get some fucking sleep

Sleep… great idea….

if only that idea agreed with me

but it never does.

The silence…

It’s too loud to let me sleep.

The walking away,

the giving up..

I can’t chew on that.

I can’t swallow rejection

and expect it to fill me

with anything other than

the taste of my own

self loathing.

The breaking,

it doesn’t taste good.

It splits my taste buds,

strips me raw

of everything I thought I knew

and I’m empty

with the reality of knowing

I wasn’t worth staying whole.

I was only the time

of pieces fucked empty

and that

is how I will stay.

Because the silence

just inside the emptiness

of what was

fills me with just enough hope

that maybe

you’ll realize

I was worth a little bit more.

But my heart..

it breaks and laughs

and tells me

I’m only a whore

who was good enough

for the secrets

fucked inside.

And still I say,

I love you.

Because I hate myself

just enough

to keep fucking my own heart

deeper into ruin.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

Still Grew Without You

Ask me who I am, unless you think you already know, but if you think you know, don’t ask me anything at all. Because if you have the mind that sums someone up based on all the ways they are not like you, then I don’t want to know you.

So, ask me who I am. I will tell you that I am not this battle in my bones that makes me fight ten times harder than you just to make it through the day. I will tell you I am not the mask of this material bullshit exterior facade that can pull you in and invite you to stay. No.

I am the outside of me, turned inside out, the inside of me scrambled into pieces of a hurricane without a name, begging you to just leave.

I will tell you I am not the label handed out so freely from the assumptions made by people who only think in short cuts. I am the long route, the hard route, the perfect it all or self-destruct route.

I am the one who bends into my own breaking for the ones who never bend at all. I am the one who learns everything the hard way because the easy way never leads to a lesson worth learning.

I am my heart that pounds so hard for anything I am passionate about, sometimes it takes off running without me, but I chase it.

I am the hope keeping these dreams alive that didn’t make it, the wishes made on a long shot of maybe the stars were listening.

I am not a pretty face, a name that ends here or some kind of walking catastrophe that just gave up because the sky was the wrong color.

I am the story you don’t know, the one that you never could understand, because I am more than the cover of what you judge me by. I am not you. Ask me who I am. I will tell you, I am the flower who ripped up through a tiny crack in the concrete to say, I am here and I made it, whether you ever believed in me or not, I STILL GREW WITHOUT YOU.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Saving the Pain

I tucked my chaos on the inside, hidden out of sight, thinking maybe my mind would forget it. It never forgets. It runs through my blood, grows solid in my bones, making up part of who I am. I learned how to embrace it as though it is the fire inside that keeps my wild brewing hot, boiling just right to keep me out of the stereotypical box of what the world calls normal. So be it. How could I not open my arms to welcome every part of myself that keeps me from being caged in that so called box? Who would I be anyway without the chaos? The madness in my eyes, spinning through my heart, circling my tongue with these very words that don’t always make sense, but they taste too sweet to waste. I would never spit them out or swallow them down to let them disappear. I write them down,sloppy as they may appear, my heart disagrees. My heart says they are perfect in that moment when they are first scribbled down. The split second moment when some of my heart empties itself, the cracks fill in little by little. The scars smooth out, in the art of this healing and my mind releases thoughts until they are no longer as heavy as the past I shouldn’t carry. So, I don’t try to hide the chaos anymore. I release it, recreate it, turn it into something beautiful; I save the pain for the Poetry.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

Truth of the Breaking

I have no reason to stretch the truth until I bend into a lie that says, I have stood my ground, I am not breaking, I am as whole as I’ve ever been. No. That’s not the truth. As much as it hurts, this truth of mine, as much as it sticks a knife in the gut of all I have ever been, and twists its broken blade inside of me to show me my reflection in the pieces of that shattered mirror where I once looked and smiled, I have crumbled. I have finally crumbled. But I’m not looking away from the pieces that promise to be whole again. I look straight into the mirror that was once like a dare to bring on seven years of bad luck. I’m not afraid anymore because at this point, I’ve seen the darkest room, stood in the loneliest corner, held the emptiest hand. There are days when I cannot imagine anything worse. Those are the days that turn into nights that can’t wait to prove me wrong and they always do. So I don’t know what’s left anymore. The breaking, the crumbling, the standing, the falling; I’m exhausted.

The battle that I’m fighting is the battle that constantly wins. My ass has been kicked enough, I’m not sure I have it in me to keep standing up to ask for another.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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I Am Fiction

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If Only

I have had a broken heart before, but nothing like this. It’s different now. I don’t really understand it myself, but maybe it’s because of the time invested, connections made that can’t be remade, giving everything, risking a lot, time lost. Things like that I’ll never get back again. I believe it changed me, marked me up like a scar I will never get rid of, but more than that. It made me see myself differently, made me question too much about things I never doubted, until I started to second guess what I thought promised to be true. That was a horrible feeling. To have someone love you so much and then not at all. I’m not sure why I still torture myself with wondering, but I guess silence has a way of doing that. When everything you know changes, you are left with an emptiness that will remain unfinished forever. But somehow, you find yourself clinging to this false hope, like you’ll wake up and everything will go back to normal. It never does. The time passes until it’s lost and you can’t get time back. It’s more than a broken heart though, feels like losing your spirit, as though the wind came along, knocked you down, took the breath right out of you and laughed a little as it took everything that meant something. I know deep down I’m not getting any of that back, and I know I won’t ever feel that way again. Now I shut down to make sure I don’t allow anything to enter my heart again. Try to turn off the noise from my thoughts that take my sleep and maybe I am going crazy… how could I not? How could anybody not? But perhaps I was wrong for believing something so deep, I would’ve bet my life on it, and I guess in a way, that’s exactly what I did. I lost. I really lost. I gave too much of myself or maybe you took too much. Either way, it’s ruined. I have no idea why or how. I only know that I don’t do stuff like that for the fuck of it. Only if I’m certain it will be a life changing moment, and I guess it was for me. Changed me in ways I don’t know what to do with now. I don’t know me now. I only hear the theme song for twilight zone playing in my head over and over, I don’t know how I got here or how long it’s going to take to get out. But this..this is definitely hell. I know it exists now. Like being in heaven and getting thrown out, drop straight down and burn… the burn never stops. I go in circles with this constantly. Play scenarios in my head until my mind gets fucked harder and harder, same as my heart, or what’s left of it. I never learned how to take commitments lightly, or things we call promises. But now, I just don’t believe in anything at all anymore. I believed in you. I believed in us. I guess I will always believe in you. As for myself, I can’t ever get that back. I’m not sure which I’m mourning more, losing you or losing myself. Maybe I’m not ready to call us a loss and bury us yet. I still have a tiny bit of hope that grabs my hand from time to time and it won’t let go. I think you made a mistake, but that’s not for me to say. But letting go seemed so easy for you. I guess that’s what hurts the most. It always will. And I’m not myself anymore, as I write this, I don’t know what happened to who I was… or who this person is now, but she writes… and I’ve never felt so pathetic for her. I want myself back. That’s all. It seems like that’s asking a lot. But it’s my fault for losing myself in the first place. My heart is too big for this, but it was just right for you. If only you had seen it. If only… and that’s the story of my life.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Let Me Be

So let me be, sometimes I need space to breathe, a place to see in color once again. There will be times, many times, when I detach myself from all I know, all I thought I knew, and anything that threatens to shine light my way like a burden I never asked for. I shield myself from the world, all these people falling, calling my name like a threat begging to be a conversation, hits me like a bullet. I will always try to dodge it. I know… I am crying all the time. I don’t need a reason for that, I’m not going to have an explanation ready, so it makes sense to you. I can’t. It doesn’t make sense to me most of the time. I don’t need the questions, the constant concern that I’m being too quiet and that bothers you. I know.. because it bothers me too. But I am low enough, I don’t need the interrogation to bring me down to my knees or the judgment that kicks me harder. Sometimes I just need to be alone, sit in the corner of my own darkness without having to answer for these demons I don’t even know by name. I need to give up from time to time to make sense of this sadness that breaks me up into pieces I don’t want to claim. Leave the pieces. I don’t want those parts of myself anymore. I don’t need you to comfort me when I’m like this, you only make it worse, and sometimes I want to forget the colors, the light, the almost dreams, everything. Let me be until I come around again, until I want to remember who I am and the reasons why. I always come back eventually. I’m sure this time won’t be any different.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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My Heart Catches Fire

When I fall, I fall too hard,

I guess I always will.

And maybe I don’t know how

to let go at the right time,

but eventually I do in my own time.

It’s not as easy as it sounds,

falling hard and rising back up

in a way that appears graceful

enough to keep some dignity.

I never learned how to hold

someone or something

with hands from only half of my heart.

I guess sometimes that can be too much.

I guess I can be too much.

I’m sure it’s not just me

There must be others out there

who love too hard

and take the loss when it comes

like a death they’ll mourn forever

I still bring flowers to your memory

and cry for all that stayed unanswered.

I hold your hand down memory lane

and hope that sometimes

your heart let’s you stroll that way too.

I am still learning how to stop apologizing

for myself, still teaching myself

not to carry the blame

for every wrong I wear like this skin

I can’t rip out of.

I guess I missed out on how to just let go.

I can only let go if the universe feels it

and the sky falls to mark

the memory of my loss.

I know… it’s not always about me,

but isn’t it?

The pain I feel is mine.

It hurts all the time,

lingers inside like forever

growing into never

and the never blooms into words

that repeats losses,

announces them like failures

and my heart is a loud speaker

that keeps breaking itself open

into a fist fight that never quits.

I wish I could teach myself not to fall.

How to stay level headed,

Block out that voice from my heart

that only says, follow me…

I want to be heartless.

Let it all roll off of me

as though it went unnoticed,

like I never felt a thing.

I want to tell myself

you were nothing more than a stranger

who stopped to ask for directions

one day and we both got lost.

I want to say it was an accident

the way we told secrets

to each other like our life stories

meant something.

I want to say, it doesn’t matter

and maybe it never did,

but my heart…

it catches fire when I tell lies,

it catches fire when I talk about you.

Me, always being too much

or maybe not enough

Whichever it is, I can’t be sorry.

You showed me the light

for so long and I’m positive

that’s the only beautiful thing I’ve known,

but the curtains closed

in an instant as if the sun

was telling me it never happened at all.

Like we never happened at all.

It feels like tasting dreams

only to wake up

choking on nightmares,

it never stops…

I don’t know how to stop reaching

for you in the middle of the night

like you are still mine to reach for,

or how to let go…

I never wanted to let go,

but your ghost doesn’t keep me warm

the way your heart did.

I am still trying to accept these days

that cloud over without you,

these nights where all the stars

stayed with you

and my wishes followed.

I’m a blank sky,

words swallowed whole

in the letting go.

There’s nothing left…

Sometimes I just need to know

if nothing else,

that I at least cross your mind

every once in a while,

that we still grace your thoughts

and it makes you smile

even if only a little.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry