The Edges

and you’d think I would have this perfected by now. This sadness that sneaks in at night while I’m asleep, it blankets me like steel bars that swear to feel so soft. But once again, like the story of my life, I am as hardened as I have ever been. It’s something I’ve questioned for as long as I can remember. The way we are capable of breaking our own hearts. But maybe that’s just me, alone in the devastation of ripping myself apart until there’s nothing left other than my heart in a million pieces. So I sit with these pieces and hold them close. Analyze the edges of each one to see if there’s an answer to the way it hurts. There never is. Maybe I’m punishing myself for not having this puzzle of me mastered. Maybe this chaos that runs wild through my blood is something I created and for the life of me, I cannot let it go. Or maybe it’s the chaos that refuses to unchain me from its clenches. Either way, it feels like driving the wrong way on a one way street, and I can’t see the head on collision in time to save my own life. My rear view mirror is filled with regrets that follow close behind and the road ahead is too far for me to see. I don’t know the way to the future that promises better days, because I cannot get out of this quicksand. It swallows me whole and spits me out until I’m filthy with wishes that will never come true, no matter how many times I ask them to. I am bitter in the cold of this night where everything was beautiful when I closed my eyes. Then it wasn’t anymore. And maybe I’ll never know how to kick the blanket off when it comes for me in the dark. Maybe I will never know the way to where the light is or how to believe it if I ever do see it. But I want to. So, I keep driving… hoping to find the place where my heart doesn’t stay in pieces.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry



The Space of Gray

and sometimes I still find myself looking in your eyes for the pieces you took away from me, thinking maybe I will recognize a certain color that looks like an answer or a reason why, but emptiness never painted itself in a specific shade. I never could find my way through the space that hides between the black and white. The blank in the gray grabs me before I have a chance to focus and the hands in the fog are thick enough with indifference, I have nothing left but resentment that grew cold under a sky raining colorblind. The sun stops shining after a while, you know? Not all of us feel the same warmth. Maybe some of us never do. I wasted so many wishes on stars that were always only listening to someone else or perhaps my wishes broke the whole damn sky with their desperation. It doesn’t matter anyway. There’s not many chances when it’s too late. And it is too late. You can’t hold my pieces hostage and expect me to be whole. You can’t keep me in the gray and expect me to keep sparkling. You just can’t break someone and keep placing bets on how long they’ll stay in pieces. And you can’t keep the pieces you took and take credit for having your life together so perfectly. You never did shine on your own. You took the best of me and laughed when I fell, but I’d rather stay down than walk through life with courage that isn’t my own. Your eyes are colored with bullshit and your spine is from the string of a coward; My only wish is to see the day when that string snaps.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Table for One

I know it’s all my fault.

When has it not been?

I forgot I was serving your plate

along with mine

and feeding on both

in the binging

until it hurts.

I’m fed up in the way

this table is always set

with cruel intentions

and guilt tastes the same

no matter the purging.

I look at my hands

and they’re so fucking clean,

but they are tired.

Tired of cleaning the dirt

from your fingernails

and apologizing for your absence.

The green doesn’t pay

for the vacation of your choosing,

or does it?

Maybe this is just me

washing the guilt away

in the rapid cycling

that lives here…

Maybe this is just me

showing you my open wounds

and maybe…

this is a good time to compare

our battle scars.

I’m the winner

that didn’t win anything

other than this load I carry

of yours and mine;

we died the day you said fuck it

and left me to clean this mess

as if I made it alone.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Outside Looking In

I have held myself for so long

in this noose of perfection, I don’t know

how to be okay without the security of

the way this blanket feels on my skin.

I missed the boat that teaches the

lesson of feeling good enough in my

own skin to dare call myself beautiful.

Confidence isn’t something I was taught

and I am telling you it’s not easy to learn

how to Love yourself while you are still

swallowing self loathing like a vitamin

you taught yourself to love the taste of.

It doesn’t mean anything to me when

someone says I am beautiful.

That’s what people say right?

They’re only being nice right?

The thing is… I would feel the same

whether anyone ever said it or not.

Because I haven’t learned to believe it.

I never learned how to see it.

I look in the mirror

and see ugly things.

I tell myself ugly things.

And I feel so much less than beautiful.

But I think if I could turn myself

inside out, rip my heart out and take

a long hard look,

it would be beautiful

and I would see it and believe it.

Because it’s my heart that holds

the beauty,

not this bullshit on the outside;

look inside.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Our Song

Lay me in the music

before the words hit your throat.

I want to know you

like the songs you write

before they have a name.

From beginning to end,

meet me in the middle

where the words

grab hands

with the music

and they stay

that way forever;

like you and me forever.

Stephanie Bennett-Henry

The Table

I don’t think you’re ready

for all I bring to the table

and the days when I show up

empty handed, bloodied knees,

with nothing more than

the broken parts of me.

The leftovers don’t always expire

when they are living, breathing

wounds that never heal.

I will serve those so many fucking times,

you will be stuffed full

and sick of trying to chew up

the tantrums, the overly dramatic

parts of me that never stop kicking.

Then the day will come

when you just refuse to swallow

the giving up of me,

the stubborn girl who lives here

sometimes doesn’t give in,

until you do first

and I can say it’s all your fault.

Then I’ll talk about how you left

the table before me

and I never got the chance

to serve you every course,

so you don’t know me at all.

I’ll say I was strong

and I’ll call you the weak one

for pushing your chair away

and leaving me

to feast on my wounds alone.

I’ll say, goddamnit…

you were supposed to be

my everything.

I’ll say, you were supposed to be

the one person who made it all go away.

Weren’t you supposed to fix me?

Wasn’t your Love supposed to be

THAT love?

The love that healed all these wounds

just by staying and holding my hand.

That’s what I’ll say.

Because I haven’t learned

the hard way yet

that it’s me who’s supposed to save me.

Maybe I’ll never learn that.

Maybe I’m scared to learn that.

Maybe I’m scared to fail at that.

Maybe I’m scared you will fail at that.

Maybe I’m just scared

to let someone love me.

So I’ll push you away

until you don’t anymore.

Because that’s what I know.

Change has always been hard

for me to serve at any table.

And so I light a candle

and eat alone.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

Chapter One

It’s excruciating

the way you love me.

Soul crushing

down to the bare boned,

ripped open raw part

never been to this place

where walking into the light

is too beautiful to turn back

and I die a little inside your eyes

inhale the feelings

until I am born again

Tangled up in your heartstrings

like freedom has wings

and my heart is gods throat

asking the sky for more rain

and there you are

drenching me with dreams

I never learned how to dream,

filling me with everything

I ever asked for

and everything I didn’t know

I needed.

The sky falls

my chest is hollowed out

the butterflies think they’re the thunder

my eyes sparkle brighter than lightning

my mouth still questions

what the hell is happening

and my voice only knows your name

Your hands

My hands

The puzzle

These pieces

The electricity

The magic

The perfect fit we never knew existed

The Writers

The friends

The line

The crossing

The love




The fate

The clock



Excruciating turns beautiful

Wanting becomes needing

Two friends

that became everything

The story we are still writing.

To be continued forever

like skin on skin

blooming into hearts

and growing

a love that was always meant to be;

starting now

at the beginning of us.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry ©️2018


Head First Hoping

The sadness sneaks up on me often enough,

I should expect it by now, but I never do.

I never do. I’m the last to know. The deer

in the headlights, frozen in this moment,

I never know how the hell to escape this.

But I can tell you, Hell is hot. It doesn’t burn

less with each time it engulfs me. No.

You don’t become accustomed to the fire.

You never get comfortable with the sky dive

living on your insides, it’s head first hoping.

It’s a wish that maybe this time you’ll land

on your feet, maybe this time you’ll make it.

And I always end up saying, well next time

everything will be different, I’m sure of it.

I am learning slowly with a kick and a scream

that there’s not a next time. This is it.

I tell myself to snap out of it. Just stop it.

Just fucking be like everyone else.

Stop falling. Stop tripping. Stop failing

at every single thing you touch.

You’re not trying hard enough. No one is

going to do all of this for you, princess.

You’re not a little girl anymore.

You are grown. This is real life.

You’ve had plenty of time.

And that little pep talk I give myself

does absolutely nothing.

You know that deer in your headlights

isn’t going to move just because you ask.

The fire isn’t going to spare me the burn

of this sadness. It’s going to eat me alive

as long as I let it. I don’t know how

to stop letting it. I don’t know how to

tell my mind this fear is bullshit and I carry

this gasoline with me everywhere,

because I don’t know how not to fuel it.

So I do what I know. I do what I’ve always

known. As soon as I break away, I light

the match and sabotage that stupid

smile like it didn’t deserve to exist.

Sometimes I believe that.

But I don’t want to.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


Rapid Cycling

Everything is calm outside the window.

The noise you hear is the rapid cycling

of my heart getting a head start

on my mind before my mind

crosses the finish line first

and takes it all before anything else

has a chance to say… slow down…

wait for me…. no.

My mind doesn’t care

if you catch up or not.

It doesn’t care if you catch on

or catch fire.

It’s just how it is.

There’s not a button anywhere

for me to take control

of this madness

that sometimes feels like

a carnival with roller coasters

or a freak show circus of clowns

who won’t stop smiling

that creepy fucking smile.

It’s never going to be pretty.

My heart says it’s always beautiful

but my mind…

my mind has a thousand ways

to turn it into the ugliest thing

you’ve ever seen.

Don’t try me.

Don’t test the waters here.

I swear to god you can’t handle

how deep the deep end goes

and how shallow my reasoning is

as it turns waves into excuses

that no one can surf.

I’m telling you

these waters,

sometimes they are shark infested.

Sometimes they are not.

But there are no warning signs.

You either dive in or you don’t.

I don’t have that choice.

I’m always diving from the high dive,

spiraling down

so ungracefully

and almost always landing

head first into the shallow.

It hurts.

But only for a few seconds

and I’m swimming with the sharks

like it’s the most beautiful moment

in the world… until it’s not.

And it turns into fear.

I don’t know how long I can tread

these open seas..

and maybe I’ll never find out

because next thing I know

I’m flying high

hot air balloon style,

it’s calm until it loses control

and I’m in a free fall again.

But it’s beautiful,

It’s fucking gorgeous.

The mess you see,

the disaster you see,

the destruction you see…

to me,

it’s nothing short of brilliant;

a breathtaking song

I cannot stop dancing to.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry #ragingrhetoric

Giving Up

Don’t tell me you know

about giving up

until getting out of bed

feels like a battle

you didn’t get to suit up for.

Don’t say you know

about giving up

until you stop giving a shit

whether you wash your hair or not

and it doesn’t bother you to say that.

Don’t pretend you have a clue

until you know right from wrong

and choose wrong just for

the fuck of it, just because

that moment is all that matters

and you’re stuck in it

like consequences didn’t exist.

When you stop talking

to everyone who ever mattered

because you just don’t have

anything worth saying anymore.

When you remember yourself

before you stopped living

and you roll your eyes

like even then you didn’t matter.

When your whole world fell

a long time ago,

nothing phases you now.

You sit there dazed over

at the disasters that don’t stop

and you don’t even care anymore

because you did once

a long time ago

and it didn’t change the weight

that fell on your shoulders, no.

It didn’t change how heavy

the world feels

and now you don’t even look

into that mirror

or god forbid anyone’s eyes.

It feels too ugly.

It hurts too much.

It’s like the truth

muffled into a silent scream

but the echo stopped

when you did.

It all stopped when you did.

No one ever said

keep going…

and when you said it,

You didn’t believe yourself,

because when’s the last time

you came through for yourself?

So you sit there

all by yourself

and you think you belong there.

You think you earned it.

It’s lonely.

But you deserve it, right?

The world keeps spinning

whether you believe in yourself or not.

It’s not going to stop for you.

You won’t even stop for you.

Why should anyone else?

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry