Villain

I know that I'm a villain in your story
But I also know that you never saw me
Your perception is a lie
Based in judgment 
Winds ill at ease

I know you never saw me
You saw only what you wanted 
A selfish retreat 
A shroud between 
You and me

You never saw my heart 
Yet claimed to hold it 
You never heard my voice
Instead yelled over it
A victor always
How sad. How blind.

And now I rest a villain
In your pages of your mind
I suppose it's easier 
Than really seeing 
The weight of all 
I was made to carry 
 
Your ego keeps you safe
Ever the knight 
In shining armor
Against an evil witch 
Your shield of lies
Your sword of anger 
I bled, vanquished

That anger infected me
I carry it still 
The injustice of it
I waited for people to see
The lie
While they built the pyre

So, I remain a villain 
A dark queen 
In your fairy tale 
And yet I feel warmth,
The peace between breaths,
Love and the truth of it 
While the flames rise higher

We never had that you see
You cannot love a mystery
You cannot take and trick,
Grab and imprison love
You sing 
The wrong song 

Slash and take
Own and break 
Blame and defile 
Love never makes a villain 
Love doesn't enshrine the self 
That's pride 

I may burn to cinder
You may choke on your lies
As the ashes 
Of your false love 
Rise

-Angel Marie Russell

Still

There's a quiet here
After the storm,
The bleak of loss,
The tear of heart.

A World of myself
Was given and taken,
Was ignored; neglected,
And the pain arose

I walked away head high,
Heart heavy,
Sure and unsure,
Stable and fractured.

I again chose myself.
I chose love.
I let the suffering wither
No longer.

Now there's a silence
Of self, of sorrow,
There's a bleak and a dawn.
There's a new tomorrow.

I hold myself in the dark
Neither broken nor whole.
Not empty or full,
Present in the exhale.

-Angel Marie Russell

Loving You

I'm loving you
Even now
Even through difference
Even through the puffy red face
The tears 
The mess
The puddle of grief on the floor
I'm loving you.
Yes,
Even there.
Oh! That your heart could feel
The love.
I'm there with you in the darkness
In the depths of fear
When you hide from your own soul
I'm loving you.
Yes. You.
Even my enemy. 
Love does and ever always will
Trump hate.

-Angel Marie Russell

Born a Woman

08/28/2017

⚠️ Trigger warning, child abuse.

I was born a woman.
I used to hate 
That I was born a woman.
I used to shudder
To look down at my frame.

I was born into society as woman. 
It made jokes at my expense,
It hung bodies like mine up 
Prostrate, almost naked
For all to see
On the side of buildings, 
Magazines and the overpass. 
I learned.
I was commodity. 

My mama was troubled
It's true, she even abused.
And I hated her for it.
I hated myself for being like her,
A woman.
Crazy.
Too much.
Asking for abuse.

My father was safe.
He was kind and he made me laugh.
He taught me what kindness
Could look like,
What love was.

My mama taught me to hate him,
Well, she may have tried,
But his love held fast in
The pit of mines
That was my childhood.

I was born a woman.
I was told I was weak. 
I threw like a girl
I was told I was dumb, 
If I tried to speak.
I was crazy.
I was evil.
I was only out
For what I could take.
I learned I was selfish
Even cruel.

My mother's cruelty marked hearts, 
Including mine.
She dominated.
She screamed.
She hit.
She wailed.

And I grew in her image 
Hating myself,
My hands like hers,
My voice too high,
I worked on cars with Dad
Because being female
Wasn't any kind of life.

And I grew into a woman.
I saw I struggled just like her.
And I hated myself for it.
Her truth unfurled in pieces.

She was bullied.

She was molested.

She was raped.

Married at 16 because of her faith.
She was taken advantage of
At a very young age.
And it made her hard
It made her enraged.
It filled her with fear, hatred,
Anger and paranoia, 
Each of these
A bar on her cage. 

She was locked in a prison,
Made bitter by the world,
Made spiteful,
By what came
Before the kindness of my father.
I didn't know this then, 
Because she lacked the words to speak.
And
I hated her for it.
And I learned to hate myself.
And eventually 
To hate other women.

I ran from other women.
Because they too
Surly, were not safe.
I stayed away from other women,
Taught hate,
In the very same way.
They too strayed far and fast
Away from my female frame.

And where did this leave us?
Sisterhood?
Cruelty ripped it early away
From our hearts,
For with each other
We are not safe.
We have repeatedly been told,
Shown, 
We have learned.
Women 
They are to be hated;
Feared. 

But, I saw in my mother
All of this pain.
I learned. I witnessed,
This anguish, isolation,
And anger at her mother
In the very same way,
And I took pause.
I listened within.
I said, "wait..."

My heart is no home
For that such as hate.
My mother ached 
And reacted from pain.
And I see my heart has been twisted
In the very same way.

I was born a woman.
But I did not truly believe
I was born to hate.
So, what happened? 
And why?
And how do I mend this pain?

I tried and I failed
To find women that were safe.
So, I went within. 
I worked really hard 
To love that I was born a woman.
To love even,
Myself.

I learned from my mother,
To not let pain
Become my legacy;
To release
That of cruelty, blame, and hate.

And when I see women now
My heart, it aches.
Because I see the wound
Planted deep
In the very same way.
And our fear keeps us separate
In wounds and in pain.

So, I went within again
And worked really hard
To feel safe
With a woman
And that meant
Safe with me.

Could I? Would I?
Be proud to be born a woman?
Yes.
Women...
I want to embrace them.
Hold them,
As sister, as friend,
And say I understand
And I'm safe.

Please let's repair
What so much pain took away
And let us hold space
To build the sisterhood
In our way, the ancient ways.
Let us make it safe for all sisters
To sit near our space.

Sisters, I'm sorry.
I love you.
It shouldn't be this way.
You're my sister,
Not my competitor 
And I've released my hate.
Love has taken its place.
Please let's mend this
And make this world a safe place
To be born a woman.

-Angel Marie Russell

Burn Electric

08/28/2017

My breath holds
Like the air before the wind.
My heart slows
Almost stopping
My eyes hold firm
My hands grip tightly

There is a wild here
Within the veins
Within the breath
There is storm
Within the gaze
There is the hunt
Within the feet
There is the run

And oh, how we folly
And oh, how we forget
That we are the fearsome
The protectors of the wood
The aquifer made flesh
For energy to feel
To sense
To witness
Life.

And we grumble
And sway
We squabble the magic
All away
And we bicker over who
Has the biggest take

And we forget
The hum
The allegiance
The thriving pulse
When we were one
The peace
The quiet
The love.

And here
We lay dormant
Burning up
Under the sun
We feel and oh,
We feel.
And we feel so much;
Too much.

And we forget
We are fire
Made flesh
Manifest
And we burn and we run
And we lay coming undone

But I feel the smell
Of winter
Under the fall sun
I hear the taste of rain
In the storm
That has not yet come
And my hair prickles up
From this knowing within

I am as it all is
I am wild
And free
The Earth and all
Birds, bees, and beasts
And we hum
Like electric fire made flesh
And we burn
Because truly,
How could we do any less?

-Angel Marie Russell

Hum

~Hum~
The whole of humanity hums
With life.
The whole world sings
With melody true and in tune
With the universe.

And we wobbly two legged,
Sway and journey
Deeper on the breath,
The wings,
Of the stardust night.
Each being glows
With inordinate amounts
Of light
Wavering as the sun,
Brightly winking
Within flesh,
Seen in a flash
Of our soul filled eyes.

A bit of star burst to life
Each of us,
Walking on tiny feet
Onward, eternal,
Tracing the path of planets
The movement of star,
The pulse of matter,
Run by the flow
Of energy, the sun,
Swayed by the pull of moons,
Lulled to sleep
By the winking twilight.

I am held
In the arms of being.
I am one part of the all.
I am separate.
I am a drop in a vast and endless pool,
The whole of humanity hums
As the stars and planets dance, in unison
With purpose
Spectacular,
A dream, an instant, a life,
An exhale, how quickly
We come and go,
And again,
Cycles, patterns, swirling
This mystery of life.

I fall in love with every moment,
I implode, explode,
In fiery delight.
I feel the wind pull
My hair like leaves
And unfurled,
I will return home
Once again
To dust blowing
Through time and space
Expansive.

-Angel Marie Russell
07\18\2017

Pretty Boxes

I don’t want to read my pain
So, why would I want to write it?
Why would I want to open a door
I forever want closed?

Why think of where
The key lingers
To that dark door?

Steps that echo
Lead you there
To a room no sound
Escapes

Memories folded neatly
Into boxes sealed
Held breath between pages
A look away stare

No, I’d rather these pages bare.
Why speak of sorrow
When the morning brings rain?
Why the mind slips so
To yesterday?

For a wound cannot heal
Unaddressed
It festers behind locked doors
And escapes words in anger

The pages turn to fury
The boxes scream and rattle
The air itself burns
Through too fast exhales

The body breaks in the burden
Of carrying the weight;
The room nobody
Should ever have
Been made to make.

Love leads to courage
A hand that grabs for the key
And lets all the pages fly
Upon the soar of release’s wings

The mind no longer slips
As fresh air enters
The heart's tomb
Alive once again
To breathe.


-Angel Marie Russell

Thrive

May 22, 2017

I've got a ceaseless
Desire to thrive,
To come out of hell
More alive
Than dead,
Full of hope, more
Than dread.

I want to build the foundation
Over again.
I want to smooth all the wrinkles
In my timeline
And fill each
Splendiferous crack with
Sparkling golden wonder.

I am the flame that once I sought.
I am the spark forged iron wrought.
I am the keeper,
The hoped for,
The one who becomes.
And gladly when gone awry
I melt, break apart,
I become once again
Undone.

-Angel Marie Russell

Mariposa

~Mariposa~
When we echo out
Of the cocoon,
Less the old,
And more new,

With eyes slitted,
Winking awake to find
Our reflection 
Obliterated. 

What came before here?
What strange creature
Stands before me?
A stranger me, 
And far more beautiful.

But who is this,
That is I,
This unknowable new, 
This timid glance at all,
That's changed?

And who is this 
Thing of beauty,
Staring back just as me,
Who stares behind a face
I barely recognize 
Who is me?

And in those eyes
In the mirror I see,
Wonder, shock, and fear.
How can this that I see
Be?

How can I,
But a creeping and crawling thing,
Transform thusly, 
Extravagant, winged, and free. 

How can it be that I,
Caterpillar, could dare to
Dream of the stars, 
And learn to fly?

How is it that I
Could be staring back
At all this beauty, at this self, 
And it be me?

With all these thoughts, 
My wings have dried
From their birth of cocoon shell,
And I feel them unravel,
I feel them and for the first time, 
I really feel. 

And my feet lift 
One by one, 
Toes tipped up and off 
The ground.
And the Earth unfolds beneath me
The sky unhindered 
By blades of grass, 
And I soar untethered,
Alive,
Anew,
And free
And as ever, 
More and truly, me.
-Angel Marie Russell