Paradox Lock

Paradox Lock by Valerie Parente

I am tense where I am supposed to be open
So I pretend that this is a voluntary means of coping
Just a treasure I’ve been withholding.
But the truth is I have no control
of the impossible pain that takes its toll.

I am a lock who is supposed to love a key.
The very thing meant to set me free
is the same cause for my strong agony.
What they call the highest of highs
comes through me as the loneliest night.

I am exhausted when I am supposed to be energized.
They say this problem has psychological ties
manifesting as fear deep inside.
But if this is true then why can’t I recall
the very trauma that started this all?

For so long I was stuck with this mystery.
Where could I find this abnormality?
After they pointed out reality
I read into how this condition thrives
but I am still left wondering why.

Lock

– Valerie Parente (11-22-2017)

Comparing Scars

Tiara

Comparing Scars by Valerie Parente

I don’t feel great when other girls talk about their pain
because I feel like I have to one-up them just to validate my struggle
and I know it’s ridiculous that I actually feel jealous
of someone else’s suffering as if it’s a form of currency
like it’s a competition of whose scar is more impressing
I feel the need to defeat her by showing a cut that’s deeper
because if I’m the one who’s talked about then maybe I’ll no longer doubt myself.

I know it’s sick and warped how much I crave to be heard
I’m longing for attention more than I long for redemption
I don’t need some comfort, all I need is to come first
some kind of stage or grand display to say my hardship wasn’t in vain
it’s not just about being different, it’s about justifying the infliction
all that I’ve carved upon myself instead of asking for some help
and I know this truth is ugly but I need to speak with honesty
because if I can’t at least be real then there’s no point to how I feel.

– Valerie Parente (5-19-2019)