the distillation of self

In my 25 truths post, I talk about performing at an open mic poetry night. Before this performance I had never read my poems to anyone who wasn’t family or a close friend. There was a ton of people there that night which the video conveniently doesn’t show. I was nervous and uneasy and shaking, but still this is one of my boldest and most authentic moments. It dawned on me a few days ago that if I was able to get up there that night and read those pieces, then I should be able to share them with all of you too. I’ve had this post typed and ready to go for months now, but have been unable to hit publish. Sometimes it feels like every publish button is the hardest one to press.

So in an effort to be brave, because that’s what this blog is about, I’m finally sharing one of the poems that I read that night. This poem is for anyone who’s ever abandoned themselves for the sake of a friendship or relationship. I hope you enjoy.




The distillation of myself: a scientific disappearing act. 
The evaporation of my being into those that I love or 
that I want to love or 
that I want to love me. 
My being funneled into a narrow-mouth milliliter glass
 Heated and cooled.
 Repeated again and again. 
The product left behind 
tends to resemble them
instead or
that of what they love. or
 that of whom they love. 
While the residual steam waits 
in a clouded figure for my return, 
hovering over the abandoned space, haunting it 
so much so that it can be tasted 
flavoring the air with what I am supposed to be.
My body nothing more than an empty room 
decorated by chemicals and colors that I have never owned. 
That I have never wanted. 
And every time becoming more and more volatile. 
I’ve painted so much so with these molecules that I am unrecognizable.
 What is it of me that has not been boiled away for you? What is it of me that remains? 
One day, I have boiled away too much and it is just air, just water particles that are left 
desperate to cling to something of themselves to collect into a full entity again. 
The condensation for me has always been a tragedy. 
A gathering of stray molecules that no longer resemble each other a war started
 because I assemble into a soldier trying to destroy the foreign and re-home the broken,
 unable to distinguish the difference. 
Evaporation seems necessary. Seems vital for life. 
because I have been trained to believe that no one will take me. 
That I am permeable. That the words I spew are porous and sheer 
unless they hide behind the veil of another. 
But slipping into the carcass of sewn together bodies has never felt real either 
I start wars in the heat of the moment when the evaporation and the condensation all seem too much,
 resenting those whom I vanished for. 
And friends become strangers because they no longer recognize 
the collection of particles that stands before them because
 they had only ever met a foggy mirror
 only a pixelated reflection of the human 
I had fashioned for them. 
Not that of a monument, 
not that of a champion, 
not that of a warrior. 
The transformation of myself into them
 and then the changing back again is always 
the bloodiest battle.



Love always,




5 thoughts on “the distillation of self

  1. Bravo, well written and well read. Next month, I’m going to do the same thing – read some poems in front of people I don’t know. Thanks for sharing your courage. I think you have added to mine.

    Liked by 1 person

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