Trauma Returning, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Trauma Returning

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

It’s there, outside my window. I’m standing still looking out into the dark yard. It’s there, by the early-frost-eaten-fallow garden. It moves, like a loosened piece of the night. It might be human. It might be a walking tree. It is most likely another monster. It leans towards the shed, lurching forward, it’s face sideways watching me as it goes. It’s also inside the house—coming down the hall to my bedroom door. I could crawl under the bed. I could hide behind the clothes in my closet. Outside, it turns fully towards my house and is at my bedroom window in one great, terrible stride. It crosses the threshold into my bedroom. My heart strains to not burst into pieces. I can’t breathe. There is nowhere to hide. They’ve found me again. They always were going to find me again—from within and without. I shut my eyes, clamp my mouth closed as tightly as I can. And then it happens. My body is no longer my own, and years of my life disappear into the ceiling and up, out into the late summer night never to be seen again.

 

 

 

 



 




Dissociation and Presence-The Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018 By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Dissociation and Presence

The Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2018

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I realized after the Transgender Day of Remembrance Service that I helped organize and lead at Love in Action UCC, I began to dissociate. It was a beautiful and yet heavy morning. Try as I might my brain just couldn’t stay present with the pain. PTSD triggered, I tried to feel the tragedy of so many innocent lives lost, yet my soul said: “It’s too much. Feel what you can now, then feel more later, and remember Dear One, you do not need to sit with the pain alone.” I did my best to not shame myself for needing a space between the pain and consciousness. I went home, collapsed into bed, and within minutes I was weeping, and then, like a baby being held in her mother’s arms, I slipped away into a holy nothingness. Later in the evening I had the honor of holding a baby in arms as she slowly drifted into sleep. I sang to her as softly as the wind, I matched the rhythm of her breathing, I swayed gently, like a tree holding the moon, and I knew at that moment—allowing myself to experience pain and grief in however I need to—even if that requires a sleep of nothingness, I will not judge myself as weak. I will acknowledge my soul’s wisdom for taking my wounded heart into her arms and singing to me as softly as the wind, for matching the rhythm of my breathing, and for swaying gently, holding me, as a tree holds the moon. ❤️

 

 

 

 

 


 




Silverfish, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Silverfish

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I went downstairs to do laundry.

A silverfish loosened from the shadows,

Crawling along the edges of the floor,

It’s long feelers sweeping the area in front and to the side,

Sensitive to any pivot of the foot.

 

Putting down the basket, I found myself

On hands and knees following it

Behind the dampened fingers of the water pipes

And musty boxes of teaching supplies,

To where it somehow disappeared under the wall.

 

Over the years silverfish have appeared in my life—

Sometimes dropping, like tears,

From the bindings of books,

Sometimes shimmering from out of nowhere

Outside my door.

 

Whenever I see them I remember:

I survived years without being seen,

Only to reappear in the pages of my life

Having lived off the glue that holds me together,

Defying the walls built around my rightful home,

And I thank them, smiling at their ability to flash

In and out of sight whenever they choose.

 

 

 


 




Borderline, by Jennifer Angelina Petro

Borderline

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

 

I live on the borderline.

I live on the edges of your awareness

And of my own.  I survive

Hidden in plain sight, and can,

Without knowing it has happened,

Shimmer in and out of two worlds;

I drift into little sleeps of the mind,

Little trances of sunlit memories,

Right as we are speaking and you

Would never know, and sometimes

The intensity of what I feel

When I am alone—

The brilliance of the darkness,

The keenness of the pain,

Bloom into a way of being

That says: “Death, come to me,

I cannot bear this anymore.”  And then I do—

I bear it some more, and somehow I breathe,

Find a pulse, and where my feet are standing,

And rise, slipping into the present moment,

And into my body, and into you,

And I wonder where I have been

For so long.

 

 

 


 

 

 




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