The other day I said about a friend – every time she posts about her heartbreak I feel better about my life decisions. And then I added – but she always has something to write. As though art was a graveyard that I must keep excavating. As though pain was the only kind of story worth hearing.
And here’s the thing right it doesn’t matter that I had to break up with the boyfriend who didn’t even have the spine to leave me properly after he lost interest, just as it didn’t matter that I spent my lunch break crying into my soup because I found out the one I had been sleeping with was now with other girls or that I got drunk and someone I thought was my friend started taking off my clothes after I just cried to him about how I am so sick of people wanting me only for my body I still turn up to fucking work as though my ability to pretend that nothing had happened was my armour.
And now I have the material to make the kind of pain porn indignant women like me scream at every slam for an audience to judge and a part of me is measuring where my experience rests on a scale of trauma and a part or me never wants to speak of it again, if only to become less of a cliché.
And at the same time I want to write that poem that says fuck respectability and fuck anonymity and fuck any kind of pretence at art that is still divorced from the pain of the artist I want to write the thing that will name every boy who has ever disappointed me and the ones who I still see at events will cross their legs and shift when they hear it because I will not let them hide from the consequences of their actions anymore.
At the same time I want the poem that will give me the answer to every question I had too much bleeding heart and not enough spine to ask – the questions like Why was I never enough for you to stay. Like Was sex the only thing you ever wanted from me was that why you could only tell me you loved me (as a friend) when we were leaving?
And still, I want the poem that says This is worth it. The one that, when finished, when read, when performed on a stage will take all this cracked ground teeth and tensed back and silent tears and it will be as if they were fat caterpillars chewing on my insides until they curl up and this was worth it released into the air to flutter under the lights and brush themselves against skin and they will sigh and all my muscles will finally unclench themselves and there will be a hand that will stroke my skin and say yes it was worth it and I will no longer need to search for answers to all the questions I dare not voice.

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