The Trauma of Spiritual Flesh by Adam Levon Brown

I spoke to my trauma;
It cried for a mother who once
sheltered him, now caught in dementia

I spoke to my trauma;
It reeked of needles jabbed into
my waist by disorderly orderlies
of a behavioral health unit

I spoke to my trauma;
it spoke of being arrested
while manic, helpless, and
then being knocked out
like a home run trophy
by police

I spoke to my trauma;
It spoke of my first relationship,
crushed to pieces by fate

I spoke to my trauma;
It doused itself in marijuana high school,
where welts to the head and arms
among big sluggers and feeling
completely alone in a world I could not escape

I spoke to my trauma;
It wept tears of grief for the anger

I turned on myself daily, the broken
stare into a mirror which never saw
my smile

I spoke to my trauma;
It spoke of cigarette burns
and razor blades covering
my bed at night, while sleeping
on a pillow of frustration

I spoke to my trauma;
It dug its grave into my chest
and refuses to come back to life,
no matter how many times I summon
it with hands of peace
I spoke to my trauma;
It revealed a boy, trapped
within a void, screaming
for sanity among the insane
and broken

I spoke to my trauma;
It was a home filled with love
and sacrifice, broken by separation
and alienation.

I spoke to my trauma;
It was piles of garbage I refused
to clean, as I buried myself
with anger

I spoke to my trauma;
It was the smile of my father,
broken by delusion and schizophrenia

replaced with paranoia, as our conversations
turned one sided, talking to himself more
than anyone else

I spoke my trauma;
it was a mother who flipped switches
from love to cold blank stares within seconds,
from being so overused by everyone,
decided to take my ADHD medication
to stay afloat

I spoke to my trauma;
It spoke of a strong family
carrying garbage bags to haul
clothes in by foot while being called
Bums

I spoke to my trauma;
It consisted of fast food every day
which I loved

I spoke to my trauma;
it mutated into paranoia,
yelling matches for months
and two near strangulations

*

I spoke to my trauma;
It also spoke of hope, that one day
I could find joy in simple things

I went where the hope lived;
I found appreciation in music and poetry,
but mostly video games to block
out the negativity

I went where the hope lived;
and I found that reading
was a sanctuary unto itself

I went where the hope lived;
I found nature and friendships
hidden behind the stained veneer
of trauma

I went where the hope lived;
I saw a therapist for the first
time at age 16 who was willing
to talk

I went where the hope lived;
music swung from the nucleus
of my being and held me together

I went where the hope lived;
and stopped hanging out
with people who used

An outcast with abusive, “friends”
I decided simply to be alone

I went where the hope lived;
I left the alleyways of Springfield
and stayed at home, dropping out
of high school

I went where the hope lived;
I found community at the local
community college and met people
who had never even heard
the term shooting bows and arrows

I went where the hope lived;
and found treatment
for my mental illness
which I inherited

I spoke to my trauma;
I went where the hope lived;

and now all I can say is:
Your best day is still yet to come
give yourself a chance to live it