My anger exists like Bigfoot:
a mythical, threatening creature
supposedly living in my darkened recesses.
I swear she exists,
although few believe me,
my memories of her are grainy photographs
with questionable shapes and strange footprints,
looks better when she dresses like Anxiety.
Anxiety looks undeniably better at any party -
will come out into the light in fancy dresses,
make-up and good shoes,
wears masks like Fear. Like Tired,
like Retreat and Self-doubt,
Anger has only ever looked like smiling anyway.
Like "you will apologize."
Like "you will mean it."
Like "this was only ever because of you,"
like fists that never quite make contact with skin,
like broken doors,
like objects thrown,
like stone cold voices,
my anger only knows
how to bury herself inward.
She wraps herself in the folds of my skin
to be in the only place she has found understanding,
to be in the only place
she has found herself
My mind obsesses about forgiveness
before she even knows why -
like grieving without tears,
like casting your body
before you know what's broken,
I wear forgiveness like a song.
I only know half the words,
but sing it anyway,
humming the rest like mystery,
like too-small skinny jeans,
like undiagnosed heart murmur
it lives just under the surface
squeezing my flesh like the tourniquet I wear as a fashion statement,
anger masquerades so easily
as all the things she's not.
how it is that I ended here.
How this is the song I came to learn and
where I learn the rest because
this song is the record player set to my fingertip.
The grooves read like harmony set
before the melody is written -
is the scratches and scars the needle learns to skip over
and keep right on playing.
I keep right on playing
because all I've ever learned
is that scratches
turn slowly into scars
and healing comes faster
if you don't bother the wound.