Sitting on Skulls and Bones

Sitting on Skulls and Bones by Valerie Parente

A pile of skulls and bones,
she sits on them like they’re her throne,
resenting the death that rots beneath
while presenting the depths of her beliefs.
So much destruction from perfectionism and ultimatums,
so in love with what she had, but love’s what made it complicated.
She was suspended in a bittersweet purgatory,
still existing, but never free,
not quite in heaven, not quite in hell
and you’d be surprised how bad that felt.
So she did what she does best,
she poured her heart out then she left
convinced there’d be a saviour,
but no one came to save her.
Now she mourns all the love she once had
while the things she loved don’t mourn her back.
It’s a truth she has yet to accept
so she built this throne out of death.
Coping by spinning gold
out of moping that has grown old.
So regal in all of her grief
turning life lessons into a trophy,
because there’s so much value in every loss
you don’t fully see it until it’s gone.
Now she sits here in grateful defeat
honoring the things she willingly reaped.
Dead and gone but not dead inside
because this gratitude is still raw and ripe.

– Valerie Parente (10-9-2020)

Authentic

Authentic by Valerie Parente

I’d rather be authentic
than perfect
and if I look ugly
in the process
at least I know
that I was honest.

– Valerie Parente (9-15-2020)

Why I Apologize

Why I Apologize by Valerie Parente

I apologize because I am less than perfect.

I apologize because I cannot read your mind.
I apologize to prove I am aware of my presentation.
I apologize to negate anything I do that you might dislike.
I apologize because I cannot be everybody’s inspiration.
I apologize to beat you to the punch.
I apologize to try and predict all you foresaw.
I apologize because I cannot say everything at once.
I apologize before you get the chance to see my flaws.

I apologize to seem perfect.

Chokehold

– Valerie Parente (10-16-2017)

Shy of Me

Shy of Me by Valerie Parente

shy

“I’m shy” is not the statement it seems to be.
When I shy away from showing my personality
I masquerade myself purposely out of anxiety
so that I won’t feel disappointed by my inadequacies.
Feigning to be responsible without feeling responsibility.
It’s not about you seeing me for me and not liking what you see,
it’s about me being me before I’m sure what I mean.
Oh the horror of representing myself insufficiently!
Falling short of the ineffable me I dream.
Me being me without calculated routine
or me being me without addressing my needs.
It’s not about you judging me unfairly,
it’s about me feeling like I am incomplete.
Oh the horror of trying my best having yet to succeed
in being the most perfectly perfect version of me.
So I’ll state “I’m shy” and succumb to anxiety.
Too afraid to be imperfect, I fall shy of me.

– Valerie Parente (7-15-16)