Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

The Stars Broke With Me

Not everything is meant to happen. As much as it seems like it’s written in the stars, you are holding all the cards, but the stars… they don’t always align and those cards… well, they are nothing more than paper. We hold them like a full house, a split deck, shuffle them with wishes, hoping this hand is lucky. And they fall. Don’t they always fall? The stars never really do. I’ve never really seen my name written in the sky anyway. The stars never promised anything to me. But these words come out. They split my heart, spin around in my chest, flick my throat, I always choke. And so I let them pour out, pen them down on paper. For what? I have to question what it’s all for anyway, because it doesn’t always feel beautiful, the way words should, or maybe how they could, if they didn’t grab my spine first, and twist it into pieces. I am bent sometimes, holding the pain like saving a place for this bookmark made from the pain, the pieces, my spine, this heart, these words. And where do I put it all next? What do the stars say? And what are these cards for? Because I am so tired and maybe tomorrow isn’t part of the plan. Maybe all of these words are nothing more than just words and tomorrow they’ll be gone like time. It moves too quickly, but sometimes so slow. And I feel like that moment between time flying and stopping, that place with nowhere left to go. Swirling around the time and the words that always exist, but not really. That long road at night that never seems to end and the one you drive during the day that ends too soon. I wait there, in the middle, no destination. Only existing. But sometimes I’m holding the cards and sometimes I look at the stars for any kind of message at all. I only see a sky as empty as my hands. It screams in silence, bleeds with storms, speaks in lightning, the thunder roars. And it’s all lost in translation or maybe that’s me. Either way. I have spent a long time searching for purpose, for meaning… for anything. I only have these words. I only have time, however long that is. It feels like nothing sometimes. It feels so heavy sometimes. And I just don’t know how the universe fits into such hollow spaces. My heart is heavy like the whole world sits inside, but god… the emptiness tells me I’m such a liar. And I’m tipped over, falling like I always do. I am a two sided heart, spilling galaxies, spilling nothing. There’s eight million worlds inside, some say everything, some say nothing at all. The sky in my eyes speaks every language, and my heart says, there’s no room in here or it says, there’s all the room in the world. My voice got lost somewhere along the way, but my throat still chokes on all these words with no place to rest. I throw them to the stars, place them in the cards, let them go away with time. They always come back and call me home. Sometimes I love them even when it hurts. Some days I call them home, even when they hurt. Even when they always hurt, I hold them like home. I hold them like the stars told me to do, when they wrote my name across the sky, and only offered a Storm for me to translate. There’s thunder in my throat and sometimes it sounds like words. The stars pull them out, my hair turns to knots, I swallow down hard and the universe dances inside my chest. I always feel it. I always don’t.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Writing the Pain

I heard someone ask once if I was a little thankful for the pain since it lended to new writing material. As though I should be happy for hurting since it threw words into this creative outlet. Perhaps I should send thank you gifts to anyone who ever caused me pain since I used it for the poetry. But in all seriousness, my answer to that would be no. More than that though. I would say:

Take the words. Take every single one. Take my heart, my hands, my pen. Take the ink, all of the paper, take my voice too. Take all of it away forever if it means I don’t get to keep the pain. Because trust me when I tell you the pain is much heavier than the words could ever try to be. That pain.. I could not write words to adequately do it justice. The words I write are not even a fraction of how much it really hurt. So, no.. I am not thankful for the pain. I don’t give thanks to pain. I give thanks to lessons and even then, I thank myself for being the one who had to learn each one. Word for word. The pain was never pretty, but sometimes the ink lends beauty to the words, turning the pain into something better than it would be if it just lingered inside. I am thankful for being able to make the pain seem less ugly, but there’s a massacre inside… that only stops crying, when it’s not laughing at me.

Thanks for asking.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Brave

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

When I Soar Again

He rips me to shreds without even touching me and he knows, keeps a tight grasp on disregard like a knife he has used to cut me a hundred times before. But I sit here and remind myself that I bled out a long time ago. There is nothing left for him to take; the stains on his hands say so.

I hold my tongue silent like a bird that never learned to sing anyway, clench the song inside what’s left of my heart, sing as loud as I can, hoping my spirit will recognize my voice and come back home to me one day. And I know, I am only a wounded bird, winging it through this journey, searching for a reason to teach myself to fly again.

An ordinary bird would have long since crashed by now, but it’s written in the stars that I have never been ordinary. I am simply resting, searching, learning, perfecting and embracing the extraordinary grace it takes to soar through my healing. It won’t be long before I spread my wings to watch the fight of my life evolve and bloom into flight of my life.

The sky calls my name in shades of blue and purple, I hear it as a song playing music only the brave dare to dance to. I see myself there. Dancing, smiling, flying, but stronger, with a whole heart that never once broke. It feels like me again. It feels like home. I am brave there, with no recollection of ever bleeding out.

I am lying in wait, soon to be flying as though the world never once carved me open with jagged teeth to show me just how heavy some pain is to carry.

Look for me soon when the sky turns blue and sings my name like purple shades of brave playing music that never uses silence to make a storm.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Eye of the Beholder

I was starving to matter once, worth my weight regardless of how heavy my heart was, turning a blind eye to the emptiness that only registered as stone cold in the mirror of my own eyes. And in that mirror of my own eyes, every single thing staring back was not even worth seeing. The scale of my mind only tripped the fault lines of definitions pounded into me my whole life of what beauty really was and it was never in the eye of the beholder, but all the other eyes watching. The ones that didn’t matter, the ones that looked but did not see. The ones looking through, touching but never holding and so I learned to hold myself at arms length away from the microscope of other peoples eyes. I learned to look inside my own heart, dig through all the baggage, unlearn the bullshit hardwired inside, and relearn the lessons worth knowing. It was the hardest lesson I have ever learned, but the most valuable gift I could have ever given to myself. When I weigh my worth now through the mirror of my own eyes, I count my heart first, and I always tip the scales in my favor to say: I am full, I am worthy and I am so fucking beautiful.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

While I Was Out

While I was out, the other part of me rarely got out of bed, brushed my hair, or even saw the sun.

But while I was out, I didn’t care about her, because I was dancing blindly with the madness, spinning my wheels in the night, holding hands with dangerous things like they came straight from the mouth of god. I bowed to all as if they were holy, as if I was the one people knelt to and believed in with all their hearts. I was unbreakable, but in pieces I carried around, gifting beauty to strangers.

While I was out, the me that laid in a daze of gray, lost somewhere between sobs that grow numb, didn’t give a second thought to the other half of me sinning like a hobby that became a religion.

And that other half, in her grandiosity, did unholy things in my name without grace or remorse. She doesn’t know she’s evil when she spins in the mania, she only knows that nothing can touch her other than hands that shouldn’t. And she comes back to boast about it, throws it in my face, tells me I’m a failure. I believe her. How could I not? She’s dirty, reckless, and everything I never wanted to be.. but she’s me and I am her.

She leaves me, but never really. I wish she would. She wishes I would. I make her lazy, she makes me a whore. And together, we spin in a cycle that flashes between light and dark, madness and sanity, wrong and right. We are locked together in a cage and it’s always her who takes the key.

Sometimes she is gone for so long.

Sometimes I am gone for so long.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Take the Universe For Yourself

I said, “I need help. I am not making it. I am not okay.”

You said, “I don’t know how to help you, but I want to… I want to. What can I do?”

I don’t know. But this isn’t living. This is dying and all I can do is watch, sit back and wait. And I hate the way it feels. I hate the way it looks. I hate the way I just can’t stop it anymore. I didn’t mean to give up, you see.. it’s like someone else has the wheel and I forgot how to drive. I can’t remember when it was good. None of it. And I don’t know anything anymore, only that it hurts. For no reason, for every reason, every rhyme, and I’m out of time. It just is. It is what it always was, what it never was and everything it will never be; it’s me. And I do not know who I am anymore. But god, it fucking hurts so bad. I can only feel it. I never stop feeling it. And I know you would save me if you could, but at the same time.. I know you can’t. Because you are always right here next to me and still… the room is empty like I am so empty. Sometimes I can see who I used to be, but she doesn’t see me, and the world falls deaf to the screams I clawed silent.

And there’s nothing to see here. Everything is fine. I’m okay… I always say.. I am okay. Thank you for asking. Thank you for trying to shine light into my dark, love, thank you for trying to make sense of me, but I am a lost cause. Please run while you still can, the way everyone does. The way he did. The way I always do and never stop. If I were you, if I were him, I would run too. But faster. I would run faster, the way I always have, maybe without falling so much. You’re the only one who never tried to run and I don’t know how to stop asking why. So, I still tell you to go… and you never do. You sit there, searching my eyes for answers, searching my heart for life. Even when the silence cuts into you like a lifeline bleeding out sirens that beg for any sign of hope, the room falls quiet and the only sign is a roadblock of nothing at all. Yet, you stay here and wait for something that is never coming, and I’m sorry. Your hands are so full of hope and mine are so empty, they bleed answers you cannot hear. I am only a blank wall, no matter what you try to paint there… my eyes only see the empty wall of me.

You could have given me the universe like you constantly try to do, but the ending was always meant to be this way. I’m sorry you spent half your life trying to make me happy and I could barely return a smile that meant anything at all.

That universe you are always trying to solve… I hope you do one day, and keep it all for yourself. You deserve it. For all your trying did not go unnoticed.

I hope you’re always smiling.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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