How I’ve changed my life to accommodate you. I’ve purchased apparatus to allay you, contain you, and even restrain you. But you are insidious and wild, resourceful. I wrestle you for my power but you take it from my fragile, quaking hands. You find a way to root in me, make me a slave, unwilling. And you punish me if I misbehave. Soft blankets and sheets for your majesty. The crown of my tears and broken dreams upon your head. Your sharp gleaming teeth do not smile when they feast on all that I love. I place pillows under the trampling feet who tore at my supple ground, and I tried to wash them clean. But your nature is not to be cleansed, for your purpose is deliverance alone. To call forth the arrowheads left buried and forgotten in the dirt, and draw to you all the collision-shattered glass. You wield them as easily as the winds give motion to air. You're a magnet unearthing precious metal from the deep. This is your magic, to swallow life, and light, and anything other than your likeness. Your coal-black lips kiss my pinkest flesh and leave bruises on delicate skin, color virgin hair blue like blood without oxygen or like the hottest core of fire. Your reign is grand, my awe in the magnitude of your capacity for terror. You cannot free me, for you are not a captor. You take no prisoners, for you are part of life itself, a force like gravity, like friction, like the tension of a rope that binds and breaks the skin. You are how we know we are alive. For without you, we forget what it means to be human. And we forget to stay awake, so you take the reins and chart a course. You are a double edged sword with one side growth, and the other destruction. You bring no gifts, for all comes at a greater cost than we can imagine before the reaping. We do not get the lessons without sacrifice, paid in blood and tears. If we are lucky, you’ll turn blood to wisdom’s nectar, and tears into the elixir of truth, and you’ll give it back enteric-coated in beauty, easier to swallow. And we take it in, blind and hungry for love, mistaking its nature. And the seed finds a home in the soil of our innocence that you’ve been tilling all along. Pain, you alchemical creature, you harbinger of doom and death and new life. You catalyst of creation and expansion, breaking us open again and again to make room for more. You bring me to to my knees to remember to kiss the holy ground. Great simplifier, you remind me how delicate is life, and how precious. Teacher of stillness and surrender, guide into the darkness and the void where all things must journey to learn to let go. And all you demand is that I lay my loves, my hopes, and all of my dreams at your feet housed in the brass boots of temperance and reckoning. Copyright © 2021, Sheyorah Naify
I wrote this poetic freestyle confessional about living with chronic pain today in my Morning Pages.