Welcome back. I guess you never left, huh?
I didn’t invite you here.
This is my mind- the place you roam, though you’ll never know its streets.
It is daytime here, though you and I are star-blanketed.
All the underground thought-lings come out to play now.
You’re dragged along.
And I am played the brand-new season of a long-dead drama.
You embody all I’ve finally accepted that you hid-
your ability to stay, not vanish like a vapor.
So I relax, this sleep, and try to see what happens.
It isn’t you I watch, you see. That’s me,
though it’s you I observe.
I’m trying to pull apart the puzzle-
break down into pieces How I Feel About You.
I won’t know that town until I’ve figured out its streets.
I rarely know how something feels until it’s right in front of me-
I guess I locked you here
and drag you around like a burden,
chained your handcuffs to my belt.
Which one of us is imprisoned?
You are star-blanketed;
It is always daytime here.
Tortoise barely ahead of the hare,
child of the warm, lasting hugs from the golden age,
then child around whom I could never secure my arms-
What are you doing here?
In saturated room, with glowing skin!
Mustering audacity, planting kisses, airing pep,
testing me ridiculously-
Where is your cold, your grey?
What has moved within me?
Child of all my dreams…
Tonight I am short on a way to say nothing
and lacking something
to say in some way,
and so my head turns to you,
from the dawn of realization-
Haven’t you always spared coins
and dreams for me?
Until resolution, the door is ajar;
How easy to walk down the path,
bring it back-
in 220 hues.
I’ll pick this one up,
put it on for you-
twist from side to side,
I’ve found a knob for the door!
We look beautiful in this light.
You can take anything you want;
Leave the rest,
I feel the cold stone ‘neath my toes,
and I feel I exist outside of me,
on the surface of this body they’ll label
“Lydia” and point to once I’m dead.
My eyes close. I stare at my eyelids,
and now I feel I’m inside of me-
“Oh help! Please someone,
get me out!”
I inside and outside of me…
Is me my body? Then who I am?
Me might be nothing, for that’s what I see
every single time I blink.
I open my eyes and see that my toes
top a frigid, smooth stone
that floats in the middle
of a rising, swelling ocean.
I clench my eyes, trying to crawl right back
inside myself, and I wonder,
where did this rock come from?
And where is it going?
I ask, trying to figure out
if where I am is good.
Refusing to answer, you open my eyes,
finish my blink, and sit me down,
my thigh on the stone,
my toes dangling in the water.
And I still don’t remember where this rock came from,
and I still can’t tell where it’s floating to,
but here and now,
the sea breeze smells like salt.
Only five times each day, I play like my bed frame
is a tweed lounge seat, my shelf is a welcome desk,
you are my friend by choice, and things are like they used to be-
You here to pay attention like you would have better things to do,
if it weren’t for the fact that I am your best.
Behind closed doors, I mime conversation with transparent friend,
all for imagined your strong, silent type observance.
This poem wasn’t supposed to be embarrassing, but I am
selfish enough to call all wound manifestation “healing”,
all coping “processing”, all brokenness “fixing”.
I am something enough to just
want you to listen to me.
But no matter how often I pretend
to talk, I never do discover what, and you never listen, and I’m never heard,
and if it were time to call on your real ears, I would, don’t doubt,
so I’m done! I’m ripping the bandaid off, dropping the crutch,
letting go of my security blanket-
My lie, but once your love.
Bio: Lydia Rae Bush is a former Creative Writing Instructor and the author of poetry blog Alphabet Ravine. Her poetry, which focuses on sexuality, mental health, and intersectional feminism, has been included in publications such as "The Lanthorn", "Pinnacle Anthology", and "Overcomer: Breaking Down the Walls of Shame and Rebuilding Your Soul". When not writing, Lydia can be found singing and dancing, especially in bed when she is supposed to be going to sleep.