Make Me Visible

Worn thin

Transparent

I am the

ghost of the

woman

I used to be

 

Living

in shadow

Haunting the night

Lost in the past

Lost in my head

My spark grows

dim

My light eclipsed

 

Do you see me?

Apparition

in the corner

Flicker of light

almost extinguished

 

Do you hear me?

Whisper in the

stillness

Haunting melody

 

Do you feel me?

Brush of fingertips

Warm breath

in the darkness

 

Do you sense me?

Whiff of lavender

Iron tinge of pain

 

Can you

make me

visible?

 

Can you

return me

to life?

 

Can you

remember me back

to the warm blooded

woman of curves and angles

radiant

whole

who leaves the

lingering taste of

chocolate and fire

on your tongue?

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

Who Were You Before the War? (revisited)

Who were you

before

the War?

The war fought over

the disputed territory

of your budding

woman-child’s body?

 

Can you recall

the you

you were

before

borders were violated

in relentless invasion?

 

When control was wrestled away

Trust broken

Innocence lost

Drops of rich red blood

dripping on newly fallen snow

 

Titanium armor

has since been acquired

Weapons of mass destruction

hoarded

Deep trenches

dug

Heart locked

in ivory tower

Soul wandering

the dark dungeons

Isolation

loneliness

now your boon companions

 

Do you still remember

who you were

before the war?

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

The Charges Leveled

They charged me with my sins

real

and imagined

Sentenced me to a lifetime

of solitary confinement

in memory

Handed me the knife of remorse

wickedly sharp

mirrored surface reflecting

my innocence lost

on an endless loop

And then told me not to bleed

on their clean floor

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

 

Damaged (revisited 2)

Written a year ago from the belly of the beast.


I sit with myself

in uncomfortable silence

suppressed screams

ringing in my ears

tears running down my face

again

 

All my demons

insecurities

have come out to play

today

mocking me with their laughter

taunting voices

sing-song in my head

 

Shit mother

Shit wife

Shit niece

Shit cousin

Shit friend

Shit human being

 

Over and over

endless loop

of recrimination

 

On days like this

I can’t even remember who

I am anymore

I don’t know

what is mine to claim

I am no one

I am pain

 

I read an essay right before Christmas

calling for compassion

for those “poor unfortunate souls”

who are depressed over the holidays

who engage in self-harm

who contemplate suicide

the writer referred to them as “damaged”

my hackles went up

“Only I get to call me damaged, lady,”

I angrily responded

if only in my head

 

Only I get to define the frantic dance

my neural synapses have been engaged in

no one else

gets to name

my crazy for me

no one gets to pity me

not even me

especially not me

 

If awards were given out

for running on sheer will

stubbornness

this past year

I should at least be

on the nomination list

look  for my name under

Depression/Bipolar Disorder

PTSD

and

I’m still breathing

 

© 2016 Revised 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

Devout

Inspired by S.K. Nicholas’ prose piece Sweetheart


I have worn my armor

so devoutly

buckled on thick titanium plates

donned my Templar helm

until only eyes

only mouth

were visible

let this armor become my prison

a soldier in silent battle

on an empty field

 

I have treated

protecting

my vulnerability

my hidden depths

like a religion

something holy

something sacred

a duty requiring

constant vigilance

 

I have stood

locked in place

sweat dripping down my back

the heft

weight

of my protection

folding me in half

diminishing me

muffling everything

everyone

not contained in this suit of arms

this shiny sarcophagus

 

Weary of the battle

but full of trepidation

fingers trembling

clumsy

I start to slowly remove

the pieces

let them fall to my feet

like abandoned religion

rediscover the feel

of sun-baked hair

cool spring breeze against

warm skin

feel of flesh

grasping my hand

the piercing ice water pain

of awakening heart

that reminds me that I breath

that I bleed

pure red rivulets down pale skin

remember what it is like

to be

painfully

achingly

alive

in all my shattered beauty

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Breathe Out in Black

This piece was inspired by the title of a Matthew Mayfield song.


Wandering

long stark white hallways

of the maze in my mind

that I have rendered featureless

sterile

scrubbed clean

with sand

until it sparkles

until it bleeds

I have inhaled all the memory

all the chaos

the pain

deeply into my lungs

in an effort to purify it

bronchi of sage and charcoal

I breathe out in black

a thick cloud of smoke

that floats in the air

leaving me empty

momentarily pure

weightless

 

Image courtesy of Pinterest

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Shackled

secrets she had been keeping

mostly from herself

weighed her down

crushed her

like boulders hung from a yoke

across her shoulders

as if chains designed for a basilisk

shackled her ankles and wrists

 

she gathered her courage

found her will

found her strength

started to shed these heavy secrets

one by one

like iridescent dragon scales

they littered the ground around her

like a mosaic tile floor

 

she could not shed the heart ache

the deep shame

loneliness

isolation

quite so easily

but it was so much easier to breathe

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

 

Yes ma’am. That’s why we write. Because it fucking hurts

A deeply felt thank you to my dear friend Old Punk.  Your keen eye, wisdom, sense of humor, endless compassion and well-timed kicks in the ass mean more me than I can ever express.


I know that I apologize too much

for the things I say

for the things I write

for the things I do

for not caring enough

for caring too much

for bleeding a little too much

on the screen

for breathing

for existing

past the age of 30

which I never envisioned

and suspect that the universe

has never quite approved of

plans retribution

 

I am trying to stop apologizing

for anything and everything

and instead start expressing my gratitude

when you listen

when you read my words

when you forgive my actions

accept the caring I do have to offer

hand me the bandages

allow me the space to breath

encourage me to keep existing

remind me that I have gravity

that my writing speaks to people

thank you for holding vigil

while I continue this painful

wrenching rebirth

that is full of danger

tears

dark thoughts

darker humor

and for reminding me that we write

because it fucking hurts

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved