All That’s Left …

Beauty.

There is always beauty.

That is all that is left.

So many times in my life, I thought I had come to the end of me.

So many times, I thought I had broken myself, into pieces too brittle and infinitesimal, to ever believe that I could put myself back together again.

So many times I thought I had broken those I loved, those who loved me.

So many times I felt the cold hollow cave made of stone and frost and filled with a chill wind that blew eternal in the pit of my stomach, the sum total of all the lies I told, of all the hearts I broke, of all the oaths I abandoned.

So many times.

But that last, that last was worst of all …

Lost to the dark.

Alone, in a ball, in a hole, in a wall, in the deepest darkest crack I could slither in, and crawl.

So many times.

So many times.

Darkness.

And then …

A glimmer …

A glimpse …

I would open my eyes.

Dry, burning, bloodshot, blurry, and red.

And I would look up.

And the height, the height of just where I fell from.

It was so high.

I had fallen so far.

All that trust built.

Smashed to bits with a single action, a cruel word.

But I would get up, like I had all those countless times before and my spine felt so weak and all I felt inside cold wind and hollow.

And I would get up.

My stomach would spasm reflexively from all the ragged crying and my eyes burned.

And I would get on my knees, scarred and pitted from gravel digging in, from years of gravel digging in, digging all the way into my cartilage.

I would wait there, gasping, until that pain was too much, and I would reach out and grasp that first rock again, with cracked hands that split from countless cold December nights when my hands were soaked wet from bleach and piss and mop water and Fabuloso and Murphy’s Oil Soap, from countless nights of cleaning and wiping and scrubbing, and I would begin the slow climb, back up to the top, back up, to the light.

And so I would grab another.

So many falls.

And so many climbs.

So many promises made.

So many promises broken.

So many scars, from within, from without.

Holding the hand of the one whose heart I broke.

What else could I do?

I couldn’t stay down there.

Not when I was needed up here.

Not when, if I couldn’t make us better, if I couldn’t heal us and make us whole, I could at least help you.

Help you get through.

At least I could do that.

So I did.

And those whose hearts I’d hurt, saw that I did my best to heal.

I left, but I did my best to heal.

I left, and I hoped that they had healed.

And to my surprise, they did.

As sure as spring follows winter.

As certain as day follows night.

As raw and red and as certain as the dawn, or a healing wound.

And time would pass, just as sure as spring follows winter.

As certain as sunshine follows rain.

And, with that passing left the pain.

And those who I made cry, I now made laugh.

I repaired what I could, and now, gray-bearded and older, I keep my vigil.

I watch and I care and I protect.

But I stay away.

And I marvel that in the passing, the pain fades away, like shadows melt away at dawn, and with that growing dawn light, in that shining sunlight, only the beauty is left revealed.

And nights, dark and dim they may be, are now just nights, because now I have the knowledge that the sun still shines on the other side of the world.

Nights reveal starlight, and moonshine, and the reflective glimmer of cats’ eyes.

I know this, and I shall never forget – in my depression I have hurt people, and though it was my depression, it was still me.

I know this, and I shall never forget – in my depression I have hurt myself, and though it was my depression, it was still me.

And I know this, and I will never forget – I have managed my depression.

I have named my demon and I have locked it within a faux-gold-covered wooden box.

And I will never open it up.

For I know this – with time and work and the healing-fevered pain of resetting bones, all the bad fades away.

Fades away, but does not dissipate.

It is always an ever-present reminder.

But what comes to the foreground, what comes into focus?

Beauty.

The pain, the dark fades away.

All that’s left is beauty.

cycles, suns. breathing, heal.

we’ve stopped shouting, finally.

the wounds’ barely a memory of a sting, an afterimage of an amputation.

we can bear each other’s company.

and we know we’re solid enough

that we can look at each other and joke,

when people ask us,

“what broke you two up?”

and we reply, “our mental illnesses were simply not compatible …”

 

 

i’ve been thinking about cycles

a lot lately,

of loops

and rings

and circles

spheres

repetitions.

 

i’ve been thinking about this

because i look at the sun.

i’ve been looking at the sun almost every day

this summer.

i made it a point to go outside every day

because i wanted to

because it felt good

because it’s good for my depression

i went outside every day because i wanted to burn,

i wanted to smolder.

twice a day, actually.

baking, in the 3pm one hundred plus Laredo heat

after a workout.

baking, in the evening bathed in moonglow and starshine.

calmed by the swish of my Three Sisters

and the vapors of the Green Dragon

when he visits.

 

but the smoke

and the sighs

and the swish

and the sway

and the heat

beat

me

d

o

w

n

open my mind

up,

and lift me out

of this husk of a shell.

 

so open my mind sees

suns behind my closed eyes

afterimage moonglows

the curve of a fingernail moon.

 

i’m open.

and i think,

 

my father died.

heal.

 

my relationship was destroyed.

heal.

 

i damaged myself.

heal.

 

i damaged her.

heal.

 

to heal is to close something

that was once whole,

complete,

perfect,

after it’s perfection was penetrated and ripped

 

my father was ripped from my heart.

i ripped myself from my girl – well, ex-girlfriend’s heart.

and in this ripping, i was ripped – from myself.

all around the same exact time …

 

so, circles.

 

i sit under stars.

i lay under the sun.

 

and i breathe …

            (love doesn’t save all)

and i breathe …

            (my depression was me and i was my depression)

and i breathe …

            (she was ill – how can i blame her for the things she did when she was ill?)

and i breathe …

            (can i forgive her? yes)

and i breathe …

(can she forgive me? god i hope …)

and i breathe …

            (can i forgive myself? i’m trying, trying …)

 

and i breathe … and with each vapor misted thought,

clarity appears.

 

and i breathe …

            (what is my purpose here, alone?)

and i breathe …

            (is this my role?)

 

and i breathe.

and i look at the sun.

and i look at the moon.

 

do i love myself … ? … yes.

am i good man …? … i try.

do i still love her …? … yes.

does she still love me? i think so

can it work?

no, we’ve said – in tears and laughter, in smiles and hugs.

no.

 

but circles close.

 

and my ex, my little bull, has her own alphabet soup of issues.

and she has bad says.

so i help her.

why? people ask,

their faces wrinkling bitter instantly,

acid etched grimaces

– the facial expressions of hurts past,

scars forever seared into their muscle memory.

 

why?

because love,

because time,

because Alabama Shakes,

because this is who i am.

 

and cycles turn.

suns set and rise.

gravity is constant.

time is relative.

and love can be both –

exactly, unknowingly …

 

and unknowingly

i write this poem

coming around full circle

back to that day,

almost exactly to that day –

one half-year of pure hell and

two and a half broken numb separated pieces 

on the three year

 (goddamngofigurewearealwaysatthenexuswebofserendipidtycoincidencedivineconnection)

anniversary of our world ending.

so now here i stand.

and there she is.

we’ve stopped shouting, finally.

the wounds’ barely a memory of a sting, an afterimage of an amputation.

we can bear each other’s company.

and we know we’re solid enough

that we can look at each other and joke,

when people ask us,

“what broke you two up?”

and we reply, “our mental illnesses were simply not compatible …”

 

the sun sets.

the sun rises.

the wound heals.

cycles come full circle.

something else forms, molded

in the elliptical orbits of our lives.

the sun sets.

the sun rise.

 

and i know who i am now.

i know my role.

 

i am the one that pushes.

the helper,

the one offering suggestions,

the hand on the shoulder,

the encourager,

the nurturer.

i am all-encompassing.

i am love.

 

the sun sets.

the sun rises.

 

and

ouroboros,

eats his tail,

over and over.

again …

reading cycles suns breathing heal
The original version of this poem I read at the Laredo BorderSlam Spoken Word Slam Poetry night, July 27, 2017. I wrote that version in 35-45 minutes while my ex-girlfriend, Lindsey was present – talk about pressure! This was the hardest poem I ever read on that stage -for so many reasons. Once I stepped off the stage, I had the shakes for 30 minutes.

driskill.

“i’d take whatever you gave me,

laying my bare skin

against your bare skin,

whatever was exposed.

made me feel safe,

calm.”

we were younger

once,

and so much

in love,

our bodies

intertwined,

fitting perfectly skin to skin

cheek to cheek,

forearms,

thighs

i’d take it.

i’d take whatever you gave me,

laying my bare skin

against your bare skin,

whatever was exposed.

made me feel safe,

calm.

i’d never known such …

peace.

my naked flesh – leaves, solar panels,

absorbing all your solarskinsoul had to give .

we fit so perfectly,

remember?

we’d say that,

“how funny that we fit so perfectly!”

our bodies fit so perfectly.

our bodies fit so perfectly.

our bodies fit so perfectly.
why didn’t our minds?
why didn’t our mental illnesses?
it was the mess our minds made

made us shudder,

made us shake,

made us rift.

ADHD, PTSD, MDD, OCD, anxiety,

the shreds

the shards

ragged

puzzlepiercing

p ie c e     s

p u s  h    i     n      g

away      .

now you’re over there, baby,

and i’m over here.

coming up on years, now

happy anniversary, baby.

three years and

now you’re over there, baby,

and i’m over here,

and the pull won’t go away.

“maybe one day, you say,”

smiling.

maybe one day,

i

think.

smiling

as

i

w a l k

a w  a         y .

marcwritesmoorewords. Education. Mental Illness. Family. Friends. Life. Love. Music. Movies – and Jokes!

This is the post excerpt.

Hello! I’m marc moore.

Mental illness destroyed the first half of my life.

Three years later, I’m trying to pick up the pieces and become someone I’ve never been – myself.

And I get a little closer each day.

My blogs are my musings on the meaning of life, relationships, family, education, and mental illness; snapshots in real time of a forty-three year old Mexican American who’s always been an outsider with a keen eye, an abnormally large vocabulary, and a sarcastic sense of humor – but always with a sense of appreciation and joy for life.

Raw, raunchy, beautiful, thoughtful, and poetic – I’m sure my blogs will have something you can relate to.