therapists HATE this one simple trick:
wandering aimlessly around your neighborhood,
aggressively swatting every low hanging leaf
that made the mistake of dangling in your path,
all because you can’t trade blows
with the real root of your wrath—
that evil bitch in the mirror
who keeps eating all your snacks.
the neighbors probably suspect
you’re insane but you’re certain of it.
you don’t love how angry you get
but you’re trying not to hate it.
so what! you’re a jealous, needy shrew.
so what! your face is quick to flush with blood
at every perceived slight or the faintest whiff of injustice.
so what! you cling tightly to every precious little grudge
like a boomer hoarding ancient receipts.
who knows? you might just need it one day.
but not likely so please unfurl your fists,
pick your teeth out of your cheek,
and try to have a good time, for once, Jesus.
you really do enjoy the concept of inner peace
so you plop yourself down in the park
and examine the ugly heat slow cooking your heart.
why are you really punishing innocent foliage
and curb stomping litter with such unnerving ferocity?
because humiliation has wrapped its arms around you once again,
slobbering all over your proud neck and leaving
loud raw hickeys like bullet wounds so everyone can see
what a great dumb fool you’ve been.
you chastise yourself like a disobedient pet:
bad! bad! bad!
the dog in you hangs its head
you tell yourself this is the last time
you’ll let anyone embarrass you ever again
but you can’t even think such drivel with a straight face.
for as desperately as you yearn to be
a ruthless avalanche of a lover,
sinking each pathetic ship that dares approach your freezing fury,
you weren’t built like that, all hard and cold and 90 degree angles.
it feels better to melt and so you do, easily and often,
between fingers and occasionally down storm drains.
so what! you’re a sentimental sap.
so what! you’re sickly sweet.
so what! you slice up your own heart into bite size pieces
and pass out free samples to every stranger who spares you some kindness.
hey, there are worse ways to live. I’m assuming.
the park fails to solve all your problems
so you start to drag your heavy heels homeward.
you stop to kick a soccer ball back to some kids
and you feel your stubborn brow unfurrow despite yourself.
oh shit, nevermind! shake those starving hounds off your back!
maybe there’s hope for you yet. maybe
you’re not as useless
as you pretend to be.
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