Note: In the version I published yesterday I felt my usual need to be responsible and hopeful and redemptive for you. I couldn’t bear to leave you with how I was truly feeling–and that’s not a “bad” thing–that quality I love about myself–most of the time. Often I do not know where I leave off and you begin and I get confused about my desire to save everyone. Anywho, the original version of this poem is the one posted today. The second half that I added yesterday is still true and I am deeply grateful for the hope and love I receive from others. Today, however, and when this poem was born, I am in an inner hurricane, and no, I will not hide that today. Joseph
Special thanks to Mindy for not being afraid.
I Am Not Supposed to Tell You
I am not supposed to tell you
How steeped I am in self-hatred;
How I feel like a sand mandala slowly
Blowing away grain by grain;
This heart you think you know
Is not mine. My heart is an albatross
Lost at the bottom of the sea.
A dark angel shifts heavy, smothering wings
Inside my chest. A wind-tossed night sky
Searching for morning, blankets
My basic, human sense of self.
I am not supposed to tell you that.
I’m supposed to worry about what you
Think of me; what will happen
Now that you know—
I’m not supposed to tell you that either.
You tell me: this too, shall pass.
I am not supposed to tell you:
Those words enter a man’s ears but are heard
By a child’s—a child who hears you
But cannot help looking passed you
At the storm gathering behind you—the one
Unfurling like a monster made of smoke—
The one heading this way.