Purple Rain

You think she is just a happy girl eating ice cream. She has a smile on her face as she walks through the crowd of happy people watching the outdoor concert. So yeah, you wouldn’t question where her smile stems from.

But there’s something else to her story, like there usually is.

She wishes her story could be as simple as it looks. She wishes that moment in the crowd was an easy smile.

What you missed was the person walking ahead of her, the person she was following. The distance between them grew. She couldn’t see his face, so she held her own expression. She wore a smile, and she remembers it felt good.

As his strides got longer, she felt more alone. But, she realized she was on her own the whole time anyway, so she continued to smile.

She decided to feel the grace of the moment around her. When she passed other people, she saw a joy that she couldn’t help but smile with. She felt the passion of the music being played on the stage behind her and she couldn’t help but sway with it. She had a smile on her face and as she looked at the people she was passing by, they smiled back at her. She was living in a moment, and it looked easy.

But the person walking ahead of her must have had a different determination. When she turned to watch a song that caught her attention, he didn’t follow. With a hard face, he stood his ground. Maybe it was because he couldn’t hear the same piano she heard when she was a kid and feel the joy that song always gave her. He didn’t feel the sacred melody that moved through everybody else in the crowd. Even so, why did he have to stay back?

She turned back to him thinking he’d be by her side, but instead found him 5 paces away standing there, waiting for her. She gave him a playful smile inviting him to join her, but I guess he didn’t see it. He only came up to her to tell her “c’mon let’s go.” She bit her lip, held her breath while she took a spoonful of her ice cream, took one more gaze at the stage, and turned around to go with him. It was the pivot of her foot that sent her in a direction away from that moment. But she didn’t protest. She took another bite of her ice cream and continued to sway with the music as she walked behind him. She swayed and sang up the steps, through the entrance, up the elevator, and to their door. She stopped when the door shut behind her and she found herself in the quietest room in the whole building.

He doesn’t even realize what he just silenced.

The man who walks ahead of her doesn’t seem to care. He couldn’t know her because he never turns around to see her.

He says she’s crazy.

He doesn’t know that is the worst thing she could hear from him.

She’s become exhausted, over time. Exhausted trying to show him the good, what she sees. She feels like she’s screaming at the top of her lungs, but no, she’s standing in front of him struggling to get the right words out. With him like this, her heart feels like it drops into the acid of her stomach, over and over again.

You see, it’s not an easy smile.

The down damned and dirty

Facing yourself, the down, damned and dirty. You feel the soot, the sweat, the oil on your face at night. You feel the cracks, the calluses, you pick at the gunk under the fingernails of your fiddling hand.

Facing yourself, the down, damned and dirty.

You know your ugly. You know your regrets, your hate, every unethical thought you’ve had, you spit at yourself in spite and shame. Oh, you know your ugly.

You execute yourself, so willing you put your head on the chopping block, you even cut the damn rope of the guillotine. Facing yourself.

But afterward, you pick up your head and place it back on your shoulders just so as to avert any suspicion of your crookedness. And you walk on.

Your foe, the eyes looking back at you in the mirror, mocks you because they see right through the makeup, the BS, the excuses.

You know what’s real and you know what you fight for. Which is why you walk with that load on your shoulders.

What you expose is your beauty and your strength. Your ugliness, bent, surrenders to the better parts of you. You know your ugly which is why you look so damn good.

I dare you

Ooo don’t provoke me.

I’ve held hot coals only to drop them to the ground.

I was thrown off a cliff, I’ve got jagged bones to prove it.

I’ve been kicked to the dirt, hell I slept in it.

Don’t you dare tell me otherwise,

because the truth of it all

is I stripped myself down

when I put me first.