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

 

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deboned perch

please – please just stay away. because i feel myself getting vicious. i think you might think i’m pretty – even though you’ve been careful to never outright say it. but my eyes, i think you like them the way you look at them, look into them, are now goldenrod on fire. my body, hunched over like deboned perch. so please, before i find a collection of random bones to substitute my spine and the goldenrod flames turn on you and try to light you on fire, just stay away. you’ve got nothing to offer, nothing you want to share. and i’m left behind like the discarded, peeled skin of perch on the fishing table and i have no problem setting flame to this entire cabin, the shit cabin-empty but the four walls leaning on each other. don’t think i don’t know the impact of just taking out one wall.

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

ritual

 

i can’t talk to you anymore.

i chased a sunset i could never fully see tonight. the exploding tangerine and soft columbine pink popped out behind those mountainous clouds just enough to remind me of the beauty i’m always chasing, the love i’m always hunting. I never find where it starts.

when i got home i took a warm bath and lit my new candle i didn’t buy for you.

i louffa’d my whole body and finally soak-washed my hair. shaved my legs and used that lotion i can never remember to use. my whole face is waxed and i’m not worried about missing eyebrows.

i just can’t talk to you anymore.

my nails are painted red again. i took my mascara off all the way. i scrubbed you off me, left you in the dirty bath water to circle the drain, off me.

 

 

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

cringe

6.25.17

it’s not infrequent i cringe

at myself in the mornings

the night before fuzzy like a plastic magnifying glass

i can’t seem to shake you

i can’t seem to hold onto me

long enough, strong enough

to fully break free

in the morning with sobriety pulling back the sleep from my eyes

i cringe at what i see, what i’ve become

and heavy is the weight of it all

so by nightfall

i slip back into you, back into drink

back into the safety of your plastic promises

 

©2017 erin hoffman – all rights reserved

hangover eyes

You always have hangover sad eyes in the morning

I’m left trying to figure out me and how to respond

Do I feel guilty for providing my body –

another one of your vices?

Do I feel shame you can’t wake with the same glint in your eyes

when the vodka is gone?

when you see me next to you in the morning?

Do I feel embarrassment

you find me sour like the hangover that plagues you all day?

Maybe I could take your sweet nothings you whispered to me while we fucked –

sew them into the lining of my purse

Maybe I could photograph the way your eyes lit up last night –

tint it into sepia for the faded and timeless effect

So when I’m filled with doubt and

my own bitter regret

I can pretend

this was a timeless affair

this was an aftershock for both of us

this was real

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

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