I have never been excellent

I have never been excellent
And so this doesn’t have to make sense to me,
a bully in the habit of a victim
genuflecting at the altar of a martyr, I’m not even religious
I can’t believe in myself and I stare back
from the dirty mirror every morning scowling scorn
I keep secrets in my toenails
and scrape them out to offend when my roots are too firm
rounding the corner to something I might understand
a shaky strength I see as weak
all these years and pounds of flesh, served up like so many
dead beasts
for a narcissist walking the desert to never see
and forget themselves, in the quiet
I need
I am so hard on the self I think I’ve become is it
self-flagellation if the self I slaughter is detached and I can’t
get back into her skin
get me into my head, I’m locked out and it’s too loud
I’m stuck pacing the gates in the chaos straining to hear the click of a lock
this thinly woven moment breaks open it’s just
a nest of rodents, potent, growing
I am not a poet but I smell claw marks inside my earlobes
last night I wrote a note to remember where joy was
it was a map with sounds for markers and little breadcrumbs broken off
I couldn’t translate the colors into today
instead I burned them and cried into the flame in some vague ritual
I decided could mean something


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