empathy

A Poem To Teach You Kindness Towards Your Own Difficult Past

Drawing by  Marine Marbleindex

Drawing by Marine Marbleindex

I’ve inhabited that role –  the drunk girl at the bar
Swaying unsteady on doc martens
Trying hard not to slur my wine-sodden words
Laughing and stumbling and kissing strange strangers
Waking with the taste of stale smoke in my mouth.
A human chimney
A cracked bong
A bag of cheap alcohol, tearing at the seams

I don’t miss that me.

Now I fall asleep while the party’s in full swing
People make me anxious, and
I make me anxious
I don’t miss the way I was, but I hate how I can be –
I even asked once if you’d give me a lobotomy
Remove me from my mind, I laugh-cried
Please
I’m my own worst enemy

The quintessential difference between us
Is you’re always looking forward
While I wallow in nostalgia.
I paint the past pink with a rose-coloured brush,
Bastardizing the present with my lust for what’s behind me
And when I bring it up so wistfully
You sigh and say,
‘You’re not happy’

I wish I could make you see.

My mother’s life was difficult
When I was tucked inside her womb
And she says sometimes she wonders
If I was infected by her tragedy.
I think about that a lot, because
Happiness to me is transient –
It darts out of reach too often, so
I just grab it where I can.

I grabbed it last week when I danced in the kitchen,
And you lifted me off my feet to reach the sauce
I grabbed it in the moment where my sister made me laugh until I cried,
And I find a silken thread of it every time I look into your eyes.
I grab it in music, in good food and new places
I grab it for seconds, and sometimes for days.
I’m glad I’m not the drunk girl in the bar anymore
And one day I’ll know what it is to quiet my thoughts.

Submitted to ArtParasites by Ellie Hutchinson