Poetry

Carvings

“No, darling, we didn’t grow apart.
You left me here in the dark.”

No, darling, we didn’t just grow apart. You left me here in the dark without a hint of hesitation. If you stopped to look beyond your own chocolate-coated lies, you might see this gaping hole in my back, dripping with freezing blood. I’m willing to bet you missed that you carved your name into my heart as well.

© Sarah Doughty

That was the point,
though, wasn’t it?
You didn’t bother to notice
because you didn’t care.

Poetry

Worth It

“Surviving hell was worth it.
Because it brought me to you.”

There was a beauty in breaking down. In allowing myself to crumble. I let it all out. Like a hurricane, it flew out of me. Every heartbreak, every blow, every harsh word ever thrown in my direction. It felt freeing, like a weight was lifted from both my chest and my shoulders. I watched it go as it carried on the violent wind. And I felt the universe wrap her arms around me. It was worth it, she told me. Stripping my soul down to the core. Though I would always feel the demons lurking in the night, and the memories would always haunt me, it was worth it. And she was right.

Surviving hell was worth it. Because it brought me to you.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

She is always right.

Poetry

All I Knew

“I realized you weren’t my strength —
you made me see mine. So when I fell,
I knew you’d catch me.”

My entire life, I’ve been broken. All I’ve known is heartache and pain. It’s etched into my bones. Branded in my heart. But every time I was knocked down, I stood back up. And no matter how dark my world appeared, I believed I would see the sun again. And that’s what happened the day I met you. The sun rose that day. And everything I’ve ever known changed in the blink of an eye. I watched the rays burn through the clouds. I saw that light touch your eyes and I knew it was over. The world I knew ended. I stood a little straighter. I lifted my head a little higher. I watched that darkness retreat just a few inches beyond my outstretched fingers. Though I knew it could engulf me at any moment, I didn’t mind. I felt safe for the first time in my life. Safe with you. Stronger with you. And you made me realize that you weren’t my strength — you made me see mine. So when I fell, I knew you’d catch me.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

That’s the thing about
realizing your strength and worth.
It gives you some confidence
over your choices.

Poetry

Asking For It

“Before you point that accusatory finger
in my direction, remember this:
I never asked for it.”

The sun is setting and I feel the cold seeping into my bones. I feel the life bleeding out of my feet, leeching into the ground. And I stand here, breathing smoke into the sky. Because that’s all I have left to give — pieces of my broken spirit. And that’s all that remains after the vultures picked me apart. So before you point that accusatory finger in my direction, remember this: I never asked for it. I never gave the wrong signals. I didn’t deserve all you forced upon me.

And how could I have known better? I was barely old enough to walk, let alone understand what vile things you wanted from me.

If you wouldn’t blame a child, then why blame the teenager for going to a party? Why blame the woman that was followed home from work? It’s time everyone takes a hard look at the patterns. Those people saw something they wanted, and they took it. With complete disregard for their victim. And I suppose that’s part of the point. They have the power. They need it. So they take it wherever they can get it.

So, if you are a victim, and you’ve ever felt that finger pointing in your direction, know that no matter what anyone tells you — You. Are. Not. To. Blame.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

Say that out loud to yourself.

Poetry

Learning To Be

“You see, I survived before you.
I can certainly survive without you.”

I tried so hard not to let you in, but you found a way through one of the fault lines in my walls. For a while, I thought it was going to be okay. But then you slipped out before I could even plead for you to stay. Looking back, I see the signs. I see how infectious you were. I see how you blinded me with sugar-coated half-truths. But I also feel that emptiness you left behind. I’m not perfect. Far from it. But if you didn’t build us atop eggshells disguised as a foundation, we couldn’t have broken so easily. You see, I survived before you. I can certainly survive without you. I just need to relearn how.

© Sarah Doughty

Perhaps, surviving is overrated.

Poetry

Set On Fire

“I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again.
But you set something on fire within me.”

I admit it. You caught my attention before we even met. When I saw you standing there, it was like my whole world went silent. And I took my time. Taking in every line on your face. The way your hair moved in the breeze. The way you stood, confident and sure. That moment, it was something I’d never experienced before. The seconds stretched on just so I could see you a little longer. And I knew that moment would end. I didn’t know if I’d ever see you again. But you set something on fire within me I never expected.

You brought me to life.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

It was then I woke up.

Though this isn’t an excerpt from Just Breathe,
this encompasses those first moments
my two main characters experienced
from Aisling’s perspective.
I will always love them.
Poetry

Impossibilities

“They may not deserve forgiveness, but we
may need to give it in order to heal.”

I’ve been told time and time again that in order to heal, you have to forgive. For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out if such a thing is even possible. To truly forgive someone that took so much of you for so long. They may not deserve forgiveness, but our hearts may need to give it in order to heal right. So, if that’s true, and we can’t forgive, even for our own sake, does that mean we are the damaged goods everyone believe us to be, or does it make us human? Flawed?

© Sarah Doughty
2018

It’s okay to take your time
to heal and forgive.

Poetry

The Way You Love Me

“Darling, I love the way you love me.
You’re my best friend before anything else.”

Sometimes I feel like my world is spinning out of control. But when I hear your heartbeat, everything slows down. And it is then that I can breathe again. Maybe that’s why you think I love you, but it’s not true. To be honest, I love you for so much more than that. I love that you’re kind. That you’re gentle and loving. I love that part of you that stops to admire the sun hitting my face on a clear spring day. The way the candle’s shadows dance against your eyes when you gaze at me. Devouring me with one look. I love the way you’ll drop everything when I’m upset and how you’ll just sit in silence and wait for me to speak if I decide to say anything at all. I love how you’re my best friend first before anything else.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

It just reinforces
that loving you was right.

Poetry

Haunt Me

“Though it hurts like hell, I cannot get enough.
So please, haunt me until the day I die.”

I feel you in everything I do. You’re in the grass beneath my feet. I feel the ghost of your touch in the breeze as I catch your scent. You’re in every song I hear. Somehow, you’re still finding a way into my soul. Speaking to me in whispers. Letting me feel your hunger. And even though it hurts like hell, I cannot get enough. So please, haunt me until the day I die.

© Sarah Doughty
2018

I don’t mind having
your ghost with me.

Poetry

That Arrow

“You shot that arrow
and I was done. I loved you.”

You shot that arrow and I was done. You collided with my heart and I knew I’d never love anyone the way I loved you. It was like a spark, igniting me in open flame. I no longer needed the sun, because you were a source of light I never wanted to live without. But I never said I couldn’t live without it. I’m stronger than that.

© Sarah Doughty

Coexistence as equals
in this universe
is something I choose to do.

This was written for day nineteen
of November Notes.
Catch Fire by The Neon Lights