Innocent vs. Not Guilty

from by Sydney Kenney

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Nowadays all I seem to do is take people who have faith in me and let them down, bleed them dry until blood is dripping down their sides in cursive goodbyes- they lift me out of puddles of mud, make wishes on my petals and set me inside their living rooms, so that all I can see is the sunshine through the drapes and their cloudy, shining eyes.
But I can’t stay alive, I’ve got no water, I’ve got nowhere to wrap my roots or legs late in the night I’ve got nobody to stop me from dehydrating, my pores are draining and I’m staining your coffee table.
You see no thorns on my body but you can’t see what’s under my skin so stop trying to get in. You can’t fix everybody so just listen- listen to the warnings I’m calling - I’m gonna hurt you. I didn’t mean to hurt you when I kissed him. I meant to feel, I don’t know what I meant to feel
But it’s not what my intentions are it’s that my actions hurt everyone and there’s nobody that should trust me for more than a night – one monster on top of another – each hour until the sun rises I’ll care, I’ll care a little bit more: his middle name, his fears, how the streetlight through the blinds lines his unclothed body, what it’s like to fall asleep out of breath with our fingers intertwined.
But when I walk him out the front door I’ll feel the weight of his kiss, something I can’t lift. Maybe he’ll laugh and say something like, “you’re the least stable person I’ve ever talked to – and I like you.”
But my heartstrings are hanging about my lungs and ribcage like the previous night’s party streamers. Everyone tells me to snip the loose strings but I’m such a sucker for tearing everything apart by pulling at threads. So I whisper the reply, “Never call me. I would tear you to shreds.”
I promise though my leaves are wilting this isn’t my way of guilting you into helping me. It’s just that I’m used to puddles of mud and other things that don’t stay for too long after the rain falls.
I didn’t want to let you down. I had to.


from Sickroom, released March 26, 2014



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Sydney Kenney West Palm Beach, Florida

spoken word poet from southern florida.
the new york times calls her 'wiggity whack.'

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