Updated: Dec 31, 2018
I remember when my therapist told me
I could easily feel what others feel. It
Sounded like a superpower, not the ability
to watch someone take a metaphorical bullet
and feel that bullet penetrate my own
heart as if I was standing in their shoes.
It’s not the fun kind of superpower
you deliberate over dinner while trying
to make conversation
that doesn’t feel like it’s constantly
buffering before it gets to the best parts
with someone who
chanced to swipe right over
their morning coffee.
It is not flying.
There is no freedom
in knowing anothfer’s knee buckling
fear that locks them down,
frantically trying not to make their shackles
heavier than lead
It is not invisibility.
There is no hiding
from balled fists and the small pockets of rage
you didn’t know existed in the small frame
of a human you though you knew
until you felt it
like waves coming from the kindest soul.
It is not telepathy.
Because the only thing imaginably worse
than feeling someone’s chest twinge is knowing
what thoughts are paired with their misery
when they’re doubled over sobbing.
Gripping their chest as if their heart might explode.
I’m not equipped to remove the shrapnel from myself.
But nothing is more sobering
Than when you are the cause
When you break the kick boxer’s heart
and every tear is heavy on your chest
engulfed by the ocean that is her sorrow.
You can’t stand
the contours of grief on her forgiving face.
You want to soften those hard lines
with kisses that would make it worse for you
And when you disappoint the girl
with flowers blooming in her heart.
You wilt away at the sharp fuck you
wishing you didn’t know
how your thorns pricked her eager fingers
as she tried to reach across the country for you
Even when the guitarist steels her heart
and your supposed power is no good.
She’s perfected the art of icing you out.
You go mad trying to know how she feels,
but it’s all ice that hasn’t learned how to thaw
and you weren’t warm enough
for the two of you.
I have been the source of pain
Knowing what my victims feel
when I sink sharp words into their
It is with all the hope I possess
in my war torn body
that they know peace
like what I have created
through act after act of self love,
learning to talk to myself
as if I am my own lover.
I wish with all that I have
that they can feel what I feel and know
that the universe loves you
and you owe it nothing.
If I could share my empathic powers
I know I'd only want you to feel
what unconditional love
feels like when it reaches your bones.
When it feels like the warmth of strong
liquor that does not mean
to leave you hungover
but wants to give you the courage
to live unburdened
(Photo is not my own.)