Where Do Thoughts Go?

Thoughts once so prevalent in my being
that only serve to overwhelm me, plague me, hurt me

Would they still be in my head
or would they have gone someplace far, far, away
never to return?

Would they linger, bits and pieces festering in corners
of a rickety mind, eating away at the little I have left?

Or would they have grudgingly packed up shop
and slowly but surely left  
no doubt leaving behind a mess
only for New Thoughts to move in and make the place
shiny and clean and vibrant again?

New Thoughts that pull back the curtains
to let my skin learn the presence of warm sunlight

New Thoughts that venture to open the windows
for welcome fresh air and the tender sounds of the world around: traffic, chatter, laughter, breeze…

The hubbub of daily life that used to come at me so threatening
now only the tranquil hum of everyday noise;
steadily chasing out any remnants of the mustiness and fragility and pain
that have made themselves comfortable for far too long? 

New Thoughts that greet the ringing of the doorbell  
with curiosity or excitement or just plain nonchalance, not uneasiness and anxiety?

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Beauty is the child of the Sun
and like how Mother rises and sets each day,
it has learnt that the fleeting, the mortal, the ephemeral
enraptures the hearts of those desperate to recreate
something tangible they can bottle up forever.

Reality and control seem to be a silk rope 
I’m desperately clinging on to… 
Or water I’m cradling between my palms 
Any sudden movement and I lose it all 
Any movement at all and it sloshes over

My hands, leaving me bit by bit 
I don’t want to fall over and  
Have it all be gone in an instant.

Portrait of Mother: One

Why must you be this way?

Why must you slam cabinet doors and
bang glass cups on glass tables and
barge through rooms in a flurry and
why do words fall out of your mouth and
shatter into my consciousness?

Why can’t you treat things  —
why can’t you treat me gently,
with care and with kindness?

Why must your smiles be manipulative
and your eyes be filled with mania,
not security?

Your children are weapons of war
that you employ in battle
and you do not care how you use us
how you spend us of all we are good for
until there is nothing left
in me.

My arms ache to hug you
because I know you need it,
I know you do.

But it is an embrace that comes at far too high a cost
Your skin is so thin, I have learned not to touch it
in fear of it rubbing off on me.

Sometimes I turn to look at you,
to drink you in, to see your pain
but it hurts to hold my gaze
to see you for who you are
just a vulnerable woman wrapped up in mania and spite
and her own fears
but it hurts, it hurts, it hurts

to hold my gaze for too long 
at a mirror of what I am 
what I could be 
and what I would become.