Posted in love, poetry

Starlight

Starlight   There’s a time of night that slices bravery into pieces, and maybe those are the stars, just broken bits of your soul flickering like beacons calling to your physical body, just pieces of your heart figuring out how to keep shining  when the expanse of the universe stands between reuniting you  and those lonely bits.  And somehow your eyes keep twinkling in those hours right after dusk, when the street lights ease into consciousness, illuminating the shadowed world around, reflected in the damp whites of your eyes, the great big world swallowing your courage to face the dark, to face tomorrow  when the stars above seem so far away.  I’m standing still,  looking up at those pieces of me, the freckles of the sky, and I’m thinking about how random  they’re scattered, no sense of alignment, chaotic, like settled confetti, and I’m wondering if I’ll ever find all those pieces,  those bits of bravery lost to the clouds.   And I keep thinking maybe that’s why I’m terrified to give my heart away,  scared what would happen if the stars started to move. I wish I could close my eyes and see a map of where they’re headed, those bits of me wandering the universe, waiting, but nothing’s there behind my lids.  —Leanne Rebecca

It’s an Ingrid Michaelson night tonight.

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Posted in honesty, hope, poetry

Cynical

Cynical   I wished on eyelashes until my eyes had been cried bare, fantasies drained and replaced by a brittle heart, desiccated to sawdust, the shell of trust withered with each tear lost.   An errant eyelash fell to my cheek this morning. I caressed it onto my fingertip and considered the magic once bestowed to its freedom, magic as betraying as the hope that someday those wishes would come true.   I let the eyelash fall to the floor, without the whispers of tomorrow enchanting its flight, brushing its absence against my skirt, forgetting the wish were ever an option.

I used to wish the same thing every time I found an eyelash on my cheek. I’d pucker my lips and let a puff of air carry my wish to the wind, where it waited, caught in stasis, never rising to fruition. I whispered the same words in my head for years, believing that if I wanted it badly enough that some force would hear me and that the one thing I always wanted would manifest.

It’s not that I believe in magic or superstition or the power of wishing on a shooting star, but I believed that having that much faith in something for that long would carry me through, that if I never gave up that somehow planets would align.

I can’t say right now that my wish won’t come true since I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve found it more and more difficult to place faith in unrequited fantasy. I don’t like letting my eyelashes fall to the floor unacknowledged, effusing cynicism and defeat as dust coats the lash on the fall to the ground.

I refuse to give up, but it’s hard not to.

Tonight I’m obsessed with the Breaking Benjamin song “Ashes of Eden” from their new album. I’ve been obsessed with it since the second I heard it. The lyrics haunt me and I’m overwhelmed with a sense of melancholy. I feel the emotion in his voice as deeply as my own. I encourage you to listen and let it wash over you. Close your eyes and sing.

Ashes Of Eden

Will the faithful be rewarded
When we come to the end
Will I miss the final warning
From the lie that I have lived
Is there anybody calling
I can see the soul within
And I am not worthy
I am not worthy of this

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

Will the darkness fall upon me
When the air is growing thin
Will the light begin to pull me
To its everlasting will
I can hear the voices haunting
There is nothing left to fear
And I am still calling
I am still calling to you

Are you with me after all
Why can’t I hear you
Are you with me through it all
Then why can’t I feel you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall

(Don’t let go)
Why can’t I hear you
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Because there’s nothing left at all
Stay with me, don’t let me go
Until the Ashes of Eden fall
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you
Heaven above me, take my hand (Stay with me, don’t let me go)
Shine until there’s nothing left but you

Good night, friends.
Love,
Leanne Rebecca
Posted in desire, love, poetry

If We’d Never Met

If We’d Never Met  I thought about you this week, flashback tripped by a song you told me to listen to months ago.  I wonder if I purged these memories, cleansed of you and your ghost, would I lose the strength built in their wake.  Could I trade this newfound backbone for a life without the ache buried  in the rings of my frame, forgetting the moment my heart sped, falling faster than the warning of the break?  Would I give up discovering the complexity of love, a depth unlocked as my desire awakened hearing my voice for the first time, vulnerable, flawed, scared, alive in exchange for freedom?  —Leanne Rebecca

I looked at the clock around 9:45 tonight and thought, man, I’m going to get to bed early, finally get a decent amount of sleep to kickstart my Monday without watering eyes and sluggish limbs. But then the itch began, the compulsion tingling behind my forehead, radiating to my fingertips, the cusp of a poem aching to spill out. So here we are, an hour later, an hour of sleep lost to creative whims.

Good night, my friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in fear, poetry, writing

Primal Fear

Primal Fear  More likely he was enjoying the weather, or stargazing or waiting for a friend to pick him up or contemplating crickets than anticipating a young woman  getting out of her car at night, lingering on the corner between  where she parked her car and her apartment, watching as her grip fastened tighter to her purse, sensing her heart freeze in the distrust of a man standing as still  as a lion tracking an antelope before the kill.  Get inside Get inside Get inside, she chanted in hushed urgency, succumbed to instinct's anxiety, peripheral vision locked on his posture, eyes pinned to the doorknob, imagination planning the scream that would come next.  He made no move to harm her. Yet her pulse fired as she crossed the threshold into safety, assuming a lurking lion is always hungry.   —Leanne Rebecca

It’s amazing how quickly adrenaline can zap your heartbeat and tense your stomach when instinctual fear kicks in. A single moment of anxiety can linger for hours as the body struggles to let go of that jolt of intensity. I will most likely never know what that man was doing, standing on the corner outside of my apartment building, and I will never be able to explain why I felt such innate distrust, but I am certain of one thing: his presence had a lasting impression on me. Hours later, I’m still afraid to turn off my light and slip into the impending, terror infused dreams awaiting my psyche.

Sleep well, friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Chance

Chance  She convinced him with one look to take a chance on her lips, a sideways glance entrancing  hands to wrap around waists and necks, to slip out of the strobe lights and into dark corners.  He wrapped his attention around her mystery, a girl so soft-spoken she almost blended into the wall paint, emerging from invisibility, catching the corner of his eye, her downturned lashes faltering his control.   He needed to know her.  She fed on his intrigue, a vampire preying on his intoxication, his involuntary lust to touch, falling trap to her game, her mastery of magnetism.   But he was just a number, a nameless mannequin to satisfy  a night’s play, a symbol of her fear to  take a chance on love.

I just moved into a new apartment. I feel like I’m starting a new life, starting over, taking ownership of the aspects of my life I didn’t own before. I asked my roommate tonight what her advice to you all would be if she could impart one piece of wisdom. By happenstance, she said “take a chance.”

Beautiful.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Storm

Storm  I remember the fear I used to feel when the sky would turn green, huddling under a blanket as hail rained, my parents watching the local news as nighttime ravaged the afternoon sun.  It’s the same fear I feel now, exposed to a vastness outside my window, that even though my parents love me, the Midwestern storm still has the upper hand.   I concede vulnerability to the elements— the ferocity of darkness, the wind raping my cheeks, eyes spilling gallons of anxiety, waking in ruble with splinters in my feet, crippled in unending fear.   I’m not hiding under a blanket anymore. I’m standing in the rain accepting the challenge, knowing the torrent will pass, and the sky will illuminate again tomorrow. I am still afraid, but I face east with alacrity.

I’m often asked where I find my inspiration. Most of the time it’s random, like the color of my hot tea or hearing a song playing at the grocery store, but sometimes I seek out inspiration too. On Thursday I asked a handful of my friends what their favorite word was that day. I didn’t explain why I was asking, which netted me some pretty interesting responses, like burrito or sandwich. One of my friends even made up a word.

There were a few answers however that stuck out: storm, alacrity, and illuminate. The strength behind these words is consuming and even more intriguing are the reasons that my friends chose these. I initially intended to write a separate poem for each word, but then I realized how interconnected they could be, which again, is a pretty powerful discovery.

This poem is dedicated to my friends Kelsey, Charlie, and Cameron.

What is your favorite word today?

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Scars

Scars  It’s been enough years that the emotions have died in time.   I remember the day like I would a news story— facts blocked in a reel, a non-biased documentary framing a girl and her brush with death, her fear and loss of childhood.  I grew up in acceptance of new routine, ignoring diminished dignity moving past the stages of self-pity, and learned not to question misfortune.  No one would know the stories behind these scars, would know about the scars at all, scars hidden under t-shirts, the only evidence I’m slightly broken.

I write about this once a year and once a year only. Fourteen years ago today I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I remember that day in chunks: when my pediatrician told us to drive to the hospital, when the nurse weighed me and commented that I was skin and bones, when I had to pee so badly as they were admitting me that I almost went in my pants, the first shot they gave me, the first shot I gave myself, sobbing in my mom’s arms in my dark hospital room, convinced that I’d never be able to eat pizza again.

Type 1 diabetes isn’t one of those diseases that people know you have. Aside from insulin pumps and hordes of empty juice boxes, we’re undetectable. I don’t hide my condition, but I don’t bring it up either. It’s a part of me now, locked into every moment of every day, burned into my routine, into my history, and into my future.

This is my confessional. Sometimes I’m still embarrassed to bring out my insulin pump at the dinner table, even with my closest friends. It’s been fourteen years and I still struggle with dosing food correctly. I don’t like to admit when I don’t feel well and I cancel doctor’s appointments when I’ve had trouble controlling my blood sugars just so my doctor won’t find out that I’m “failing” at being a good diabetic.

I’m not shy about my disease. I always welcome conversation and questions and will share my stories to anyone that cares to ask. It’s a strange dichotomy: being an open book that’s shoved inside a backpack.

Thanks for listening to my D-Day story. I guarantee next March 26th will reveal another chapter.

-Leanne Rebecca

I

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Irrational

Irrational  I sat inverted into introspection, ankles wrapped in tension, and focused on my insides, trying to perceive the sensations of the organs, convinced like a hypochondriac that I could feel something there.   Fear imploded into my chest as if my heart had turned to lead, heavy with emotions that didn’t need to exist yet, or at all.   I couldn’t feel the ground when I stood.

None of us can keep it together 100% of the time, especially when we’re afraid. We eventually learn that it’s ok to fall apart. We become pros at putting the pieces back together, so good in fact that most people around us wouldn’t know we were struggling unless we wrote a poem about it and put it on the internet.

–Leanne Rebecca

Posted in art, poetry, writing

Unfurl

Unfurl  She felt scared to let go, bound up in crossed arms as if encased in a plaster cast while the bruises healed.  It hurt when he touched her, hurt more when she liked it, wanting to unwrap her arms, uncoil the wire from her wrists and open her chest to feel the sun and the wind and the rain against her skin, unprotected and unfurled in trust.  But she hugged her elbows tighter, scared to let go, binding her palms so she wouldn’t push this one away.

I can’t explain why it’s my favorite word. It’s something to do with how romantic it sounds and all the connotations it holds, both good and bad. It’s animalistic and peaceful. It’s simple and loaded with meaning. It’s perfect. Say it and listen to it’s beauty: unfurl. What’s your favorite word?

Today was certainly a Monday. Unfurl a little tonight.

–Leanne Rebecca