Isn’t that right?

What words I carve, what sounds I serve

The whisperings don’t stop.

I hear them call to ruin it all

To let the pressures — Pop!

If I close my eyes, they’ll stretch and rise

And burn up behind my sight

If I breathe like I need, the currents will crease

And sprout my lungs like seeds.

They’re sucking in droughts and I’m drowning throughout

While my thoughts weave impassably tighter.

Why break up the brambles or risk the great tangle?

If I pretend I feel ought like I should never have been taught

Maybe relief will surface instead of the sorrow.

This writing is long because I cannot go home

The risks of my presence are too great.

As long as I write, the darknesses inside

Cannot hurt me or others I love.

As long as I write, the burning tension on my ribs

Will break up instead of burn in

As long as I write

The panic of my mind that I’ve been suppressing this whole time

Cannot! Find! A! Home! At! My! Side!

As long as I write, I cannot die?

As long as I write

As long as I write

As long a

As lo

AS LONG AS I WRITE—

Inside

Wondering when the season ends will not make leaves fall faster.

Wishing spring would swap out fall will not make summer ever after.

I know the truths of waiting, yet I do not feel their weight

If only I could see the end, I’d more easily shelter in place.

Yet as it is my truths are muddled, the skies aren’t clear and dust clouds reign

If I want to live then my life must die

Waiting, watching

And sheltering in place.

I did not know just how much snow

Could fall in such a winter.

And as it grows, and my windows close

I begin to forget the summer.

Someday I’ll breathe the light again but until then

I wait instead.

the danger of surviving

When I heard the shout, the crash, the loud

My veins burst with fire and panic.

I leapt to my feet straight over the seat

Of the recliner, without bothering to close it.

I was already cycling through emergency mode,

Preparing my eyes for the blood they would see.

I was ready to reassure, to assist, to prevent

death

Fueled with panic-flames lapping up from my feet

Then he spoke after the cry, said, it’s okay,

I’m fine,

it was the dog that knocked something down.

I crumbled back down, my chest a vacuum

Where breath was remiss to return.

I hate that my life has been trauma so many times

But if it meant saving their lives, or protecting them in crisis

I would shoulder a thousand more panic-fires.

Though someday, I hear, they build up and the fear

Is nothing compared to the smoke.

If you’re not careful, the burning will fill up your person,

And the world will all feel the same,

And despite the extinguishers, despite the protectors,

you’ll never smell anything but flames.

Carrionspeech

I simply want to peruse the view

Circle ’round the vultures, catch the pieces they strew.

A syllable here, a vowel or two,

The cannibalized chunks of the wording we do.

I’m waiting for permission, but they’re circling lower

They don’t want to share

And that’s fair

But I’m starving.

Panic

I am told these endless tales

Myths and legends, of how I prevail

Tell me where then, this strength you cite-

has gone, and why I feel so frail?

At any moment my blood will stop

It will back into my skull and pop

Dripping down each empty socket

Breaking my rib cage and pooling my pockets

Back the way it was before

The days I was dying, the dreams I abhor

The memories of childhood stitched up and fixed

A traumatic memory, I endless resist

WHY

CAN’T

I

JUST

REST

Island

I do not need to make all things so real

In an effort to anchor, I let everything

Feel

Personal, true

It’s crazy, it subdues

How can one person bear the weight of a billion wrongs?

How can two trembling hands

count the words of endless songs?

Two bony shoulders cannot straighten under the weight

Of every single human beings’ worst moment and mistake.

I must stop anchoring myself to loss

To suffering, and breakage, and torment without cause.

What business have I to empathize

With every one at once?

If I do not break to clean my faith

It will crumble, like dust, all at once.

Real?

Not even sunlight can banish the storms

The tempest that turns all it touches to what I abhor

Tributes of gold that flow from the trees;

Touching the sky to flame, to beauty

Nevertheless, my eyes protest

I do not see light. I do not see grace

A simple drive and what do I find?

Woman and child, together outside

God, they’re in agony!

Holding what’s left, someone’s final breaths

They weep, clad in flesh…

A blink and a jolt, I shudder

Reality returns?

This is not a vigil.

Just chores. Elbows deep in a bag of mulch.

Hope

Whoa, what bitterness is this

Whose twisted thoughts have I trekked in?

Surely this darkness isn’t mine,

This want for aching, wasted time

Someday I’ll be solid, healed

Someday the nightmares won’t be there to steal

If the nights are silent, the days reveal

Endless screaming from the ones repealed

Some time night and day alike

Will toss their haunting-juggling storms

Aside

And all the worry and fear I despise

Will finally

Entirely

Subside.

Relent

Can. I drift. Away. Someplace

Calling friends new and old

Disgrace

Can I float down every stairwell

Ever built, destroyed, or wrought to sell

Can I curl up inside my wretchedness

Among the thoughts that call me

Worthless

Can I give in to the pounding rain

That floods my brain and calls my name

Can I let it drown me again?

Who will stop me if I let them in?

Humility and sadness?

Will I ever

Be happy? My payments never

Seem to end

I cannot seek the resting, because

My debt will not descend

Have not I paid the dues this earth

Has called us all to pay?

Have not my sufferings yet been sufficient

Been enough- for a lifetime- each day?

I will wait, Palms upward, feet aching and bruised

I will surrender my heartache and tremors and

Abuse

I cannot see an end to this tunnel, nor a filling

Of my soul

Everything so empty now, I doubt

I’ll ever

Be full.

So I wait… in pain… and praise.