#CollateralDamage: It’s what you don’t know

Melia recently shared this spoken word/poetry at an Open Mic night through friends of C3 Manhattan at The Penny Farthing.  Thanks to Danielle Velkoff of Purple Threads Ensemble for organizing and emceeing the diverse roster of artists!

Originally two different works, Melia combined the two as they parallel a search for identity and affirmation.  As she worked to resolve a particular situation, Melia realized that while not directly involved in the issue at hand, she and her peers were hit with the ripple effect of one person’s actions – collateral damage, if you will.

The thing about collateral damage is that it’s what you don’t know.

It’s when you realize you don’t know who you are.
Because if I knew who I was, I’m not sure I would be here with you.

It’s deeper than anyone can see and softer than anyone can feel.
It’s the mysterious thing that owns you.
Because if I knew who I wanted to be, I would be her (me).

It’s as if the truth is hiding in plain sight.
Because if I knew where I was going, I would be there.
And, if I knew what I wanted to do, I would be doing it.

It’s what you don’t know.

Because you don’t know that they can scream any louder.
You don’t know how dark the silence will be.
You don’t know how long everyone can pretend that everything is okay,
until you’re the only one who remembers.

You don’t know how long you’ll have to keep that secret.
You don’t know that being silent means being suffocated until you’re gasping for air.
It’s that even if I knew what I needed, I don’t know how to get it.

It’s what you don’t know.

You don’t know that nothing will change.
And that, if this is who I’m becoming, what about everyone else?

You don’t know that check-mate can be a permanent state of being.
You don’t know that you’ll cry yourself to sleep a hundred times over.
You don’t know that you’ll eventually think it’s all your fault.

It’s what you don’t know.

Nobody knows, not even you, how hard you can try to fix something.
Because if I knew what you needed from me, I would give it.

If I knew what all this could be, I think I’d be home-free;
I would find me; I would know me; I would be me.

It’s what, or whom, I don’t know.

It’s me.
It’s what I don’t know.

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