in the ocean (past poems)

strangers are easy
they don’t gnaw and claw, feast and feed 
on the brittle bones deep inside of me
those sensitive places 
where flesh meets reality
 
they stay outside 
and snack on what I throw
 
friends are hard
they gnaw and claw, feast and feed 
on the sensitive pieces that I bent 
the ones that I try to make sense 
of feeling in this carcass I rent
 
I let them into the caverns I know
 
family is
they’ve fed from me and I from them 
sustaining a life mutualism 
trading pieces that don’t always relate 
or equate 
yet they’re needed to destroy the supposed fate 
when we grab on to ourselves
becoming an individual in control 
simultaneously we lose our beliefs 
and reach that whole
 
if we want to see it that way. 
 
Or, family can be the stranger our friends the same 
protecting ourselves from the claim 
‘I may be like you’
 
grounded and floating
 
I’ll let the strangers stay at bay 
satisfied with whatever I want to give them that day 
my friends can chew on my innards 
as I wince 
just hoping the familiarity with themselves isn’t lost, innocence
 
we’re all exposed 
rotten and free 
if we allow the strangers through our mouth and our family just stays in the tree
friends know I am you 
and you are me 
a we becoming 
 
so, when you’re inside gnawing and clawing and pain is what you hear 
or love looks like a place of fear
and beauty isn’t always clear 
don’t stop, stare, and jeer 
recognize the chards of a mirror 
that connects us all 
as it draws you near
 
for strangers are friends and family a meal
let’s sit down and remember to steal
the moments of trust 
stay on this blanket 
to feast and feed, gnaw and claw 
these bodies of ours we need to unthaw 

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