The Bravery

three months ago,
i left my job

three months ago,
i took the etch-a-sketch portrait i’d created
of myself
and i shook it fucking hard

i shook it hard
and watched
as every singular bead
like individual ounces of my security
disappeared

and when i looked in the mirror
i saw just that

an empty etch-a-sketch

but i decided not to sketch again
i decided
that spirit
couldn’t be contained in this way

that this time
there would be no filter
between me and the burning world

i threw the etch-a-sketch through the window
i defenestrated my ugly

and i walked sternly through my front door
naked and cold
out into a vast sea of somethings
that i had never experienced

three months ago,
i began this recreation
i, a self-aware mannequin
tearing any arm that grew from me
if it did not reach for the right things

tearing any leg from me
if it attempted to pace
at any speed
that any human being had before
attempted
to pace

and everyone told me to seek the road

but i quickly knew i did not want the road

i have spent my entire life
a set of four run down rubber wheels
thinking that there was something outside of me
that would save me

some joshua tree
in the middle of a desert
where i would fall to my knees
and know what i was

no.

i am the tree
and i denied myself
any shade
any water
any sense of safety
from the truth of it all
until i could say
that the way my branches splayed out
into the world was like a silent sermon

this way
is the way
i was born to stand

three months ago,
i was born
out of a mouth of secrets
into a wide open sky
that enveloped me
night after night
until i opened my mouth wide enough
to envelope it back

i did not swallow
i let it live there
i told its story

i fluffed the silly clouds
like pillows
and offered the house i carried with me
to whoever
and whenever

freedom is a bravery
one that says not that i am free
but nothing will stop me from being so

beauty is the acknowledgement
that something outside of yourself
is the same as you

truth is laughter

and i don’t know what love is

three months later,
i’m waking up from a dream
and it’s not easy
this
this now is the turn

this now is me
in the shadow of the wave of the dream
wondering do i sit still and hold my breath
or do i swim aimlessly

i’ve grown so far
and now i don’t know anything
maybe that’s the bravery

 

Stupid Flowers Promo

 

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Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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