A haibun, 2 parts

4 photos of me through four different phases/years of my life. Photo collage created by Tremaine L. Loadholt

If you have ever been trapped within your own body — a prisoner of it, living life the way you thought you were supposed to, then you will know a little about this story. There is nothing freer than the day you learn to release yourself from the fear that bound you to silence, and you open up your mouth to share who you actually are — who you have always been. There was no day more freeing than the day I came out publicly — sharing my bisexuality with friends, family, and Medium.

The timing was perfect — I couldn’t sit on the fine details of my life any longer, and waiting seemed senseless. I love who I am. And those who love me stuck around. Those who I thought loved me never did.

Love’s freedom is you
Soaring high in your own skin
Unafraid to live

I am not perfect. I never will be. But perfection is never what I sought in life. It still isn’t. I only wanted to live freely, unbound to chains or shackles of what society held for me — what religiosity said I should be. I can breathe and simply be without the dark spaces of a closet keeping me company. My family — knowing before I could utter the words — love me still. My friends, most in tune with my vibe before I could share my truth — care about my existence.

I have never been happier to be me than I am right now. And the shift that took place in my life because of it is something I will never forget.

Doubt has been erased
I am still so beautiful
With or without you

Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium

stories, labels, and approvals (Collaboration with Barry)

not everything needs a story
it’s possible to want justice
without being seen as angry
and you’re damned right I’m angry
when our justice is perverted
time and again, and again
you fixate on the anger
spinning a yarn about
the irrational response
of us ungrateful thugs

the ones you want to
linger beneath the soles of your feet
will be the very ones who
you’ll beg to add more days
onto your life.
and when the Maker calls your number,
I will play bailiff,
executing all plans for your demise.
and the difference between you and I
will be that I had nothing
to do with it.

make your presence known in other ways.
show this world that there is
so much more to living than
constantly trying to flaunt your
privileges in my face
belittling me every chance you get.
“when they go low, we go high,”
and it must feel like shit
watching angels scale the skies
while you reach into your pockets
for God-status and pull up lint instead

not everything needs a label
it’s possible to seek solitude
without being tagged as arrogant
I look inward for serenity
I demand airspace to be me
authentically free from the box
you cram to shove me in
I guess I’m arrogant enough
to exist in stout defiance
of your weights and measures

not everything needs approval
it’s possible to just want to breathe
without society constricting airflow
or to share life, laughter with a lover
without enraging a stranger lording
bizarre, anachronistic, dogmatic views
I wish to seek the warmth of the sun
free from fear of fatalistic reprisal
because I fit some unsavory description
or I love in a way that you don’t

and, I’ve watched you, watching me–
you want me to be this robotic
thing intent on following your lead:
no disputes, no disagreements, and
no opinion of my own,
and losing the biggest part of me
is not something I am willing to do.
this frustrates you . . .
it digs into places of your soul
that you aren’t willing to share and
I have fun witnessing your strength
dwindle to mere nothingness
since it feeds off hate.

This is a collaboration with my homie and long-time collaborator, Barry. Please, visit his blog and enjoy his genius mind.