grit

i think the dragonflies are trying to find me

bring me the grit i’m lacking

they’ve been circling me for days

as i’ve wrapped myself in a cocoon

of beach sand and tears

hiding on my perch

they keep flying right up to my windows

i think maybe they want me to join them in flight

maybe they know i need to find a way to fly

to spread my wings and let the dust of everything

fall from my bones

fall off my body like sand

i think the dragonflies are trying to find me

they won’t leave me

and i’ve never felt so alone

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

 

Advertisements

compliment

 

somehow when he tells me how sexy i am

it doesn’t feel like a compliment

it feels like an explanation

like a justification for why he’s fucking me

for why i’m in his bed this time…

but i swallow his words the way i try to swallow him, that moment

choking against my tonsils

the confusion scraping against my teeth

he mistakes my moaning, my gagging for

acceptance

he doesn’t realize that when i say

oh baby, when he’s saying goddamn woman,

i’m really saying

i think you’re sexy too –

and i don’t mean that as a compliment

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

infuse

(5.27.17)

our bodies are like magnets and when i don’t resist you its because i know i’m powerless against the pull we have towards each other

the way our lips feel pressed against each other

the way we move in unison

the way i infuse you and you invade me….

it’s too much to resist

so i give in and in the moment, it makes sense there’s no way to say no

so each time my body sees yours…

each time our eyes lock on each other and i feel my body aching for you to set it free…

i give in and i’m left wondering…

am i slowly dying or am i slowly coming back to life?

 

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

insomnia

insomnia… just another word for creativity… a way for the words stockpiled in my double chin to finally be freed… i overuse ellipses when i’m sober…. and apparently when i drink too. they are like a metaphor for my brain… because it never stops.

no thought is ever complete but a series of ideas and hurts and wants strewn together endlessly … relentlessly. and i’ve gotten a little lazy in my capitalization and i’m wondering if this is what it’s like to find your voice… to let the words come out unedited and punctuation a way to stream it all together, poetically, haphazardly – delicately insinuating whats beneath the surface… whats beneath my surface?

that’s too personal a question to ask and i don’t think i trust you {or myself} enough to reveal the real sides of me… because maybe the facade isn’t as protective as i thought and maybe if i keep typing – you, someone, anyone … might figure out what’s really going on… and then what? what if the real me is too messy for you to handle? my eyes are magnetic, i’m magnetic i’ve been told, but that’s the facade, right?

because when i don’t sleep and my hair is more rat’s nest than wild curls and my intense need for reassurance…. constant reassurance is not really that endearing but a glimpse at what i can offer… a scarred heart half beating, a thinning body shaking in the morning… the food leaves my body almost as quick as i can shovel it into my mouth … so i short-hand that now … its really just a matter of practicality and when i smoke too much at night, theres no one here to judge so it never really happened, right? the way a tree may or may not make any sound when it falls and no one is around to hear it… no ones around me to hear me fall so do i even make a sound now? i don’t know…

i know the way my lungs feel more like a heavy metal urn than life in the morning, the way your eyes fill with regret when they see me lying next to you… the way we both make secret, repeated empty self-promises when you leave…

i know the way i rationalize your distance, your departure… the way i rationalize why i keep saying yes to you even though i know better… because at this point in my life i do know better, the way i know sleep is important and smoking is bad for me, and the way i know i don’t need to say yes to the next drink, the next fuck, you offer… but i want it too, right?

that’s what i say at least. and my answers, my responses and apparent unending acceptance of you are but a few of the thoughts that circulate through my brain and keep me awake…. but truth is – i was real fucked up long before you came around and i really don’t care if you try to take some responsibility for my old vices popping back up… because maybe that guilt keeps you away…

and i do want you to stay away because at some point, i’d like to finally sleep again and eat again and no longer wonder why you didn’t fall fully for me like the way you started to…

was it because your fingers got caught in my tangled hair too many times? was it because my vices fed your own and you know you’re not strong enough to get better with me in your life? was it because the way i twist words and string them together did little to move you, to wake you? maybe it’s because you knew from the beginning you were only interested in slivers of me but i offered all of me, too much of me – my body and my scarred half beating heart on a silver plate like if i served enough of me up to you, you might eat me whole and i could finally disappear…

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

radiate

(5.29.17)

there was a way my smile seemed to

radiate from the inside out

like the secret of how we felt together – wrapped up in each other, having each other

was a secret the universe created just for us

but…

the smile faded and when deep pain wasn’t there,

she finally understood the secret

was just having for that moment, that sweet brief moment

relief from all she feared

 

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

reprieve

this can never happen again…

i know i am a bad

decision you make when drunk –

my body a momentary reprieve

i must taste as sweet as bourbon in your mouth

the way you seem to crave me and flee me…

in the morning you’ll whisper promises to yourself

this can never happen again

this can never happen again

you swish those words in your mouth like ice cubes melting

my bite marks a hangover etched into your skin

this can never happen again

this can never happen again

 

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

survive

 

This is how you’ll do it….

  1. find yourself deep in the woods and stop. look up. look around. look at how the forrest makes space for trees newly growing and nearly dead. one feeds the other and there is no question about what comes next or if it was all worth it. drop those thoughts among the discarded branches and decaying logs. even that old stump rotting from the inside out has purpose and a place in those woods.
  2. put down that bottle and let your veins flow with the sadness and pain that needs to flow through you, to flow out of you. never question if you can survive this. you are a warrior. you are a sage with wisdom gained from all those other times you felt yourself split into two. felt yourself splinter into a million pieces. realize you are both caterpillar and butterfly. both ashes and phoenix. remember the beauty when you spread your wings again and fly. remember every birth is just another rebirth and you keep choosing life.
  3. tell your tears you need to keep your salt now. you are no longer able to water the earth. nourish yourself. let the wind chap your face and the sun caress your shoulders the way he used to, just the way you liked. and know this, remember this. that with or without the warmth of the sun shining directly on you, you will always keep growing. you are more resilient than the hostas that lined your childhood home. you have pushed life from your own body. you have had men – both welcomed and invasive, try to chip away the pieces of you they found beautiful and keep them like you are a souvenir. and you did not let them. just like you will not let this heartache be anything more than transient, anything less than necessary.
  4. breathe. again and again and again. put out the cigarette. fill your lungs with air that no longer smells of him. know this is ok. inhale the perfume from your mother’s dresser you needed to stand on a chair to reach. stand tall and proud.  exhale. you no longer need to hold your breath. you have bones stronger than granite, passed down generations for occasions just like this.
  5. look up to the constellations. remember you are never alone. use this earth as your guide. he was never your compass and you were never lost. listen to how the moon and the ocean dance at night. cast all this resentment, self-doubt, pity, out to sea. be tidal in your forgiveness. do not forget that sand must be tumbled without mercy, repeatedly, to soften.

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved