Beautiful Words Unlike Me.

It doesn’t always come out in pretty words. Sometimes, it comes out raw and untamed, hideous or insane. Or sometimes, just plain words that mean exactly what they’re saying.

But only the beautiful poems get frames. You say they help you heal; you claim you don’t need any help bleeding. The clots in the veins of your wrists beg to differ.

You like poems that scramble the word trauma so effectively, you can’t find it when you read. Poems that hold you at arm’s length like you are only the second person they considered while they were busy getting composed. Gorgeous poems that have me written as an afterthought, under stacks of photographs no-one will ever bother to lift.

I haven’t yet figured out why people love beautiful-looking things more than beautiful things, or why ugly things can sell so easily under beautiful packaging.

I get tired of pretty words as fast as I grow bored of princess gowns and airbrushed skin, or scrolling through pages of women who all look the same.

I like it when words look as plain as I do on most days. I like words I can understand, even when they are not beautiful. I like words that can understand me, especially when I am not beautiful. I like words that are like me. I like words that like me. I like words. Like. “Me.”

-Akotowaa

Bulldozer

Perhaps you see humans as complex figurines, complete with sophisticated AI so that we can talk back to you when you speak.

Perhaps you see life as a blank page offering you creative license, so you write and you draw until all the marks melt into chaos.

When there’s no more space left to make messes on, do you simply turn a new leaf? And what about the crippled characters of the previous chapters? You will leave them to treat their own wounds. You will come back to them when you are ready, but only if you feel like it.

Perhaps you go through life like a bulldozer, ploughing ahead and leaving destruction in your wake. No one taught you how to dress infected wounds quickly, before the gangrene sets in. No one taught you that there was a difference between damaged buildings and damaged bodies; fractured monuments and traumatized minds.

You may be right in thinking it is beyond you, to singularly bear the responsibility of restoring a demolished city. But the limits of your strength never seemed to be a problem for you each time you thought it wise to try lifting a mansion at a time, and had them all crash down, one by one, whenever your knees buckled.

-Akotowaa

The Hero I Am Not

There are parts of being in love that are far from romantic. Like your lover dealing with hurt so deep it pierces your own chest. Understanding is never enough; intellect and sympathy are nearly powerless against pain. So you walk the line between desperation and helplessness, wishing more than anything that you could make problems disappear with the wave of a wand.
Often, the best I can offer is a mere “I love you,” but that sentence is like a flashlight in the face of the sun.
I am an ocean overflowing with love, and yet your remedy may be lying exclusively within fresh waters.
You have never asked me if the thing that consumes me is a desire to see you healed at all cost, or if I am merely intoxicated with the idea of being your only antidote. As for me, I play hide-and-seek with the question, not quite sure I am ready to reckon with the hero I am not, and hoping you forgive me once again for my narcissism in making this thing about me.
-Akotowaa

We Will Not Pray For Ourselves.

People who are dying of thirst know that they need water to survive. That if they raise their voices to ask, someone may just bring it. We always assume those dying of thirst would like their thirst quenched. Sometimes, they would not.
It is a curious thing, the mind of a person who does not want to stay. I am talking about the kind whose eyes are open and can see the truth clearly. The kind within arm’s reach of the cure, whose hands remain demurely folded in laps, as disease ravages rapidly.
It is one thing to be exhausted of your own life. It is another thing entirely to be exhausted of life itself. To know that even if your personal, greatest problems were suddenly, magically solved, you still would not want to stay.
Whether or not we are impervious to burning does not change the fact that we hate fire and have found ourselves imprisoned in a furnace. (Burning might just be preferable.)
We do not ask for what we do not want, nor for what we do not even want to want. After all, what adequate excuse has a perfectly healthy body to spontaneously drop dead?
We can, but will not, pray for ourselves. So you, who apparently insist that you want us here – what are you going to do about it?
-Akotowaa