So Long, Lonesome Place – Poetry Book Sample Chapter

So Long, Lonesome by Ashlee Craft Book Cover

Kindle Edition

& I Won’t Have to Forge My Own Dark Road

it seems radical to me, all of this / & I’m so afraid I won’t be able to handle it (was any of it real anyways?) / but I do have to keep in mind, in all my moments of doubt & self-questioning, is how many countless others before me have done the same thing that I am doing now, & succeeded in doing so / how many others before me went off & forged their own pathways rather than following in the footsteps others had carved out before them & blindly listening to the instructions mumbled to them in poor faith / how many of them not only survived the falling out, but thrived because of it?

I think about that lady I used to know, with the curly brown hair, & how she used to always go to the little cafe I went to / I think about how when I saw her, months after she left him, how they asked her, “don’t you miss him?” / & I remember how she tossed her head happily & with defiance, & said, “not at all” / she laughed, explaining she didn’t miss being a slave to him, how she would never go back to living that way / & I didn’t feel that I’d miss it either, & didn’t fear it

I think about all those who left, even those who left & then came back – how even then they came back because they wanted to, because it was the right thing for them now & not because they were forced & obligated to be anything different than what they were / they came back to it, because even after all the thundering discouragement, they still felt that longing on both lonely nights & happy days that there was something else they should be doing

I think about the other girl I knew, who told me that it could be great, but how too much would be expected of me being in that condemned union, & how it wasn’t fair to me to stay in with him / “get out while you still can” she told me – “before you’re broken by them.”

& I think about him, who told me that it wasn’t worth it, it wasn’t worth destroying myself over something so trivial : someone who would never love me as much as I had loved him / “don’t kill yourself over it” / it made no sense to me to be a slave to someone I could not treasure any longer

I am new to this pathway but it is not new to those I have known

& certainly not new to the world –

they have all done it; so can I,

& I will do the same thing that all before me have done,

& it will all turn out fine, as it has for those brave path-forgers before me.

I will be okay

I will be okay; I will be more than okay

& there is nothing wrong with taking this first step, & claiming back my freedom / there is nothing radical about it & nothing shocking & nothing wrong in standing on the edge of the wall & declaring to the sea wind that I DESERVE something BETTER / it is my freedom I am seeking, & it is my freedom I will face

you missed your chance

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

I would have done anything for you;
don’t you know that?
walked a thousand miles
on the burning sands of hell
if you would have asked me to,
cut open my skin & bled on the ground –
touched the surface of the sun –
burnt myself out until I was hollow & dead inside –
if you would have only asked

I gave you all of my passion; you gave me an empty gaze not returned in mirrors
I gave you all of my thoughts; you couldn’t even tell me what day of the week it was
I gave you all of my loyalty; you turned your cheek & kissed her instead
I gave you all of my devotion; you forgot about me as soon as I left your house
I gave you all of my time; the minute it would have taken you to call was too much
I gave you all of my dreams; you told me they were ridiculous & outlandish fables
I gave you all of my love; you watched me bleeding alone & walked the other way

I became you : I became all that you wanted me to be
& what did I get in return?
a dirty note scrawled on a torn piece of paper,
saying that despite all the intimate things you’d told me
& the tenderness you’d touched me with,
you would never be able to embrace me the way you did her

I burnt myself for you.
I beat myself down for you.
I bruised myself for you.
I sweat an entire ocean of salt
so that you would have somewhere to swim.
I cut myself for you;
I bled for you.
I cried endless pools of tears for you.
I overwhelmed myself for you.
I hurt myself for you.
I lied to myself & others for you.
I let myself believe I didn’t deserve better for you.
I died a thousand deaths for you.

& what did I get in return?
you laughed in my face when I asked to be treated better
& told me I would die without you :
but I will not

you never deserved anything I gave you
& I am taking my power back away from you
to reclaim everything rightfully mine

I am tired of wasting my love
on someone who could never love me back

no use

maybe there’s no use in trying to bring back what we once had / maybe it is dead & long buried & long gone & long hidden away, & maybe I am long hidden & long shrouded & have walked too far away from the sacred spot where I first saw sunlight / & maybe that it the way it is supposed to be; maybe this is the way that feels the best, in the end, & will provide the most light, or at least the most fuel for relighting the fire

the break of day the break of day break of / there are no rules; so what am I talking about? / I tried to make a short film about the way it felt to love you but all that came out was a muddled puddle of broken tears mingling with euphoric joy & the sight of that was somehow more beautiful than any perfect thing could be; it prismed

a rainbow is built from scattered droplets of light

Kindle Edition