Survivor Tools

Survivor Tools

A Poem by Invisible Ink

Survival Tools: Numbness, Protection

Red Balloon

I seem of sound body and mind
but I am not, I am not that.
I carried that damage behind me
like the red balloon,
attached and detached
at the same time,
held the string of my emotions
at a safe distance, so that I
could protect myself, and for so long
it served me, it saved me,
and then I found that
it was only wreckage that floated 
behind me.

The Island That Floats

I seem as open as the sea
but I am not, I am not that.
I towed that wreckage
behind my boat,
like a life-sustaining float
a protective device, until I
landed and dragged myself ashore
all two-hundred tons
of what I had collected,
a string of circumstance
and decisions that I made
with a brain incapable
of knowing what lay ahead
or behind, that dead weight
I carried.

Stone Walls, No Sound

I seem as strong as stone
but I am not, I am not that.
I carried that dead weight,
I became adept at using it
in creative ways;
I built an impenetrable fortress
fortified my world with concrete
walls and steel bands,
found safety in those walls, in which
I surrounded myself, dug my moat
with no water or fish in sight,
no human could cross,
or find a chink in those stones,
in keeping the world out
I first protected, and then, trapped
myself inside.

Claimed Territory

I declared for myself a plot
within the chambers of my heart,
I poured out blood like love
until those red rivers cut in two,
between who I was and who
I was expected to be, so
I gave it all, gave it all away
and left nothing for me 
but a slow heartbeat upon
acres of desolate land
starved for rain, starved
for some kind of reckoning
where land becomes fertile
within this heart
that beat once, beat twice
then beat like a drum.

The Drink and The Drum

I seem like the dream
you dream when alone at 2 a.m.
but I am not, I am not that.
I drink when the drum beats
and it beats down my spine
hiding itself in between vertebrae
like silent partners holding hands
between the dream and waking
a numbness slips its fingers into mine
and I fold, I cave in
feeling a little shaky
from the wine and the drum
from the drink and the beat
playing in my mind
it reverses my action
into inaction, where my lips
just touch the surface.

Survival Tools

I seem too good, too good to be true
a golden statue, exactly what you want
but I am not, I am not that.
I separated myself from myself,
a splintered boat, swallowing water,
and bricks upon bricks upon bricks,
built with razors on soft skin.
I have used you. Sometimes
recklessly, it's true.
I have used those lifelines
and a few, they worked.
I have dug in the deep
to find that tunnel through
that darkness and
I have built ladders
to climb above and look below
I have tested the waters.

© 2021 Invisible Ink

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Added on January 3, 2019
Last Updated on July 17, 2021


Invisible Ink
Invisible Ink


"I guess I wrote in invisible ink, Oh, I've tried to think how I could have made it appear" - Aimee Mann Open the cage and set the bird free. more..