a PSA instead of a poem

i had to get away to get back. i live in NY bc its safe to me. in my mind it is a place that has space for all of us + as of recent ive been reminded this isnt always true + we as a country have been reminded its especially not true for many parts of this country + as a white person who cannot fathom spewing the kind of hate weve been watching over the last year plus my heart fucking shatters for anyone who looks at these victims + sees themselves, their siblings, their children, their parents, their grandparents being mistreated or beaten + even killed. + every time i see one of them cry i say to myself – what else can you do? you have to do something. + i donate + post on instagram + i remind my non white friends + family that im here to listen + defend + i apologize for the white people who try to silence them + i go to war with the people i know who further oppress their voices + i disassociate with the ones sitting silent + it never feels like enough because every other week we wake up to another devastation. perspective is so important + while i wouldnt trade my brooklyn bubble for the world its good to remember what else is out there, good + bad. we drove through parts of the US on this trip that i try to pretend dont exist bc while theyre beautiful to look at theyre so ugly to experience. theyre the hometown we left on purpose. they are places where lives are stolen from innocent people, a place where crabs are sentenced to a life in the bucket. to watch covid + people of color be blatantly rejected, myself being rejected bc i pulled up with a NY license plate + a liberal view (+ a mask, *gasp*). but pretending these places dont exist doesnt make them disappear. it doesnt mean theyre not procreating + breeding the kind of hate + ignorance that is tearing this country apart so to all my friends + family who believe in kindness i ask you to pay attention to the news in the states you prefer least. sign petitions, write, volunteer + donate to the non profits + businesses advocating for local change. use that big city voice + enthusiasm in a small town where you could potentially make a big difference, possibly even save a life. talking about it over brunch isnt enough anymore.

-tbrumm

~GooD ViBeZ OnLy~

I’m happy for all you “good vibes only” people. I really am. Because what a luxury to not know anger that makes your achilles heel tremble and your stomach turn inside out. To have been raised in a world where there was more laughter than larceny, more beauty than abuse. Some of us are angry. Angry in ways that are generational and exhausting. And it’s always the ones building a life around good vibes that want us to be bigger, to do better, to push through – even smile through – so that we don’t burst your curated bubble of bullshit. But have you ever lost faith in humanity? In your own ability to wake up and keep going?

I’m an “honest vibes only” person. You know who I like? The people who break down right in front of me and cry because that’s the shit they’re on today. Who laugh at dark humor because there’s no other way to stomach their trauma. The ones who show the fuck up regardless- happy, sad, raw, real. I don’t need good vibes, I need good people. Honest people – with me, themselves and society about what they are and what they try to be. Because too many of you think money and makeup equate to worth, that a follower count equals a following, and that if you have that you don’t need to acknowledge the ways your good vibes have allowed you to be a less than good person. An ignorant person. The kind who screams love and light but pushes people further into the dark in hopes to hide the ugly, in hopes to replace values with vibes so that you can continue casting blame outward instead of looking inward.

-tbrumm

if statements

After long drives he says, “It happens every time, but I seriously can’t imagine my life without you”. And it feels like the one thing I’ve always needed to hear but couldn’t articulate so I’d say hurtful things instead. Things like “I don’t need you”, “You don’t deserve me” followed up by a morning of “I’m so sorry, it’s me who is unworthy.”

Followed up by years of trying to prove otherwise. Years of manipulating facts to fit my most sought after fiction. But this one, he’s a smell I remember from childhood but can’t describe. He’s like those gleams of sunshine that force you to close one eye because you’ve never seen something so bright. Giggle fits 3x a week while the bedroom floods with moonlight.

He holds a flame to a part of myself I thought was water-logged, but alas, he lights me right up. He says, “I counted, and at most we’ll get 60 years together. It’s just not enough”.

-tbrumm

white noise

this year, though dark and trying, opened my eyes and helped me see what i tried subconsciously for years to ignore. there was a lot of loss, both inside and outside of my home; across the nation but also in people sitting across from me at dinner. i let go of a lot of dead relationships, a lot less “we should get dinner some time” and a lot more “you’re not the kind of person i want to put energy into”. and i broke down walls for the ones i felt i left undone and once deemed unworthy, a lot more “i was hurt. im sorry. you deserved more from me” and a lot less “i didn’t need you anyway”.

and truthfully no matter where they each landed not one single one has felt like a loss, probably because i gained a lot too. i gained weight and the security to know i’m so much more than what i look like. i gained a kick-ass job, i gained the best partner i could have asked for, i gained a new perspective on friendship (or lack thereof) and love and the confidence to walk away from any and all who drained me more than they filled me up; whether it be a boyfriend, best friend, or toxic instagram account. i gained the ability to see gray where i once saw black and white, to laugh and look forward more than i dwell and look back, and to listen to my inner voice(and rhonda and eddie) more than i listen to the noise. because that’s all social acquaintances, social media and social status are…noise. find the ones you love, listen closely, and you’ll find your way home.

-tbrumm

running ‘round, running ‘round

what i think about most is you in the driver seat making the face you used to make when you wanted more from me than what i am. when you needed me to be more but still less than you; a head nod sending you on your way to do whatever the fuck it was you were going to do regardless. i think about how you said you walked out of the detroit airport and knew, how i drove with one leg up like an american dream and i wonder how two people so magnetic can only orbit. i think about the way you said you loved me when other people were around, the way you’d throw your arm around me and kiss my temple like we hadn’t spent the last however long behind closed doors throwing jabs.

but i see you out there livin’ like the sun don’t set. dancin’ for me darlin’, pirouette pirouette. i forgave you long ago, can you forgive me yet?

-tbrumm

something better than in the middle

the last time it was good it wasn’t this good. and my definition of good was always not as bad as yesterday, not as bad as that one time i couldn’t imagine it ever being worse. but this, this is 10 hours of sleep good. the other shoe could drop and it’s still better than you in your unweathered red wings with your laces tied tight catching snow flakes on your tongue while you drug me through the slush. i really shouldn’t even compare because this is giggle fits on a breezy sunday morning while the bedroom floods with sunlight. this is soaking instead of drowning, a warm whisper versus shouting.

-tbrumm

HD

You have these people who know not even 180 of a 360 but feel fully entitled to speak on it – on me, on us. Preaches girl power, threatens the women who own theirs. Like they were there in the dark, in the empty spaces between your ego and mine. And I have those who saw it in 3D and are finally seeing me in color again but still have a lens for your specific shade of gray, because I’ve never loved anyone who couldn’t accept the spectrum. Loyal girl can’t stand loyalty outside of her own. Whether you want to believe it or not, I didn’t spend 5 years loving you to leave. And I sure as hell didn’t think we’d be here when I did. That you’d rekindle with those you proclaimed dead or retaliate with the ones you were once repulsed by. Bottle blonde baby can’t hold a candle to my flame. But you know that. And I know you remember me looking at you outside of meatball shop on 8th ave, and again at the table, and again years later in my bed while the sun hit your face through my window in Astoria, and the millions of other times I couldn’t see anything but you. But I grew, I expanded, and in other ways contracted and I couldn’t spend another minute hating you or myself as a result, or keeping you from being who you’ve always really been deep down, or letting you pretend you ever wanted anything different. If being happy means being the villain, I’ll take it because what people thought we were and what you tell them I chose to walk away from isn’t honest or real. And honestly, I don’t owe anyone an explanation for protecting my peace, for walking away from what you chose to offer. I came, I saw, and I left conquered.

-tbrumm

Heat advisory

Warmth in my belly while I sit on your kitchen counter and wrap my legs around you from behind. Soon come electricity, slow motion, guarded girl cracks wide open. That forget-the-world-exists-outside-of-us eye contact both in bed and in crowded rooms, showing up like you’ve been here all along. Watching you do happy baby realizing I haven’t been this happy in years, smiling with your eyes and lighting me up from the inside like summertime skies in northern Michigan. Post-shower towel dancing to Mac Miller like you’ve never wished for anything more in your life and I watch you slide on that black denim feeling the same. A street light on a dark corner, New York City winter never felt warmer.

-tbrumm

heavy object, lift with care ⚠️

there’s a difference between a man who sends you flowers for you and a man who sends them to be able to say he did. to say, “look how good i am. isn’t she lucky?” as if flowers carry the same weight as sleeping with that girl you know – the one who looks for love in DMs and double taps and thinks self love is found in the comments of a thirst trap. and in an apartment still filled with your things. the one thing he asked you not to do. the one thing you didn’t think you’d have to ask because being together for five years felt like enough of a reason to warrant mutual respect. to ask one week later if you want the comforter he laid her down on as if you should be lucky he was generous enough to offer. a momento to remind you that you made the right choice.

and when you’re done throwing up, and boxing up your things that they left thrown about the bedroom, and moving your boxes into a uhaul, and cutting up every “us” thing you lay eyes on, and figuring out where you and your dog will sleep that night, for a split second you pity them both. because this reminds you of the way you too boiled yourself down to nothing for his satisfaction; how so much of that is the reason you could never go back and so much of the reason he needs you to. you spent six years telling yourself you were the exception, but in hindsight you see you’re part of a pattern. a habit he claims not to have. a burden you no longer have to bear.

-tbrumm