Sometimes when we fold ourselves at night, we pretend to be tiny origami cranes. Delicate, unfeeling, simple.
Sometimes when the dark finally sets in and shadows come to play, we pretend they’re our drunk dreams warding off the bad ones.
Sometimes when our eyes have to be pried open in the dimly lit room and the ache sits so deep in the morning air, we pretend it’s Christmas morning just to get out of bed. We’ve got a life to live, let that be our gift.
There are days our heads feel so heavy and our chests feel like caskets. There are days our skin feels ragged and our muscles feel sore. There are days feeling our heartbeats is the scariest thing in the world and each breath feels like razors scrapping on our every soft surface.
But our legs still carry us and our necks still hold our heads. We manage to survive another damn day because that’s what we do: we survive.
When I look around to see all of the survivors, the warriors, the ones who made it, I see lights that refused to dim. I see hearts that didn’t get the best of us and I see bravery in the exhaustion.
And I say congratulations.
Who is there
when the lights go out
and the cold knocks on your window
to hold you?
Who lets you know
you’re safe when your own lungs
are afraid to open
for fear of letting in a draft?
Who is there when they are so busy
and your life is so stagnant
and you don’t know how to say:
Who can pry open your mouth
when you have tied it with
black lace so pretty, so hurtful
and it looks like you’re smiling?
Who can reach down with their hands
to help you from the grave you’re digging
when all you manage to do
is flinch at the thought?
His legs hang over the side of the railing and his eyes stare straight ahead. Between his fingers is burning death and he takes every drag slow and meticulously, willing it’s magic to work faster.
Bright lights shine from down below and he contemplates his options. Guiltless chance or a surefire suicide. Maybe it could look like an accident.
Smoke gushes from between parted lips and he’s grown to like the taste.
He wonders how many flowers have grown in his graveyard chest but thinks maybe he’s barren. It feels like he’s barren. It feels like all he is, is death waiting to happen. Eyelids shut tightly and he wonders why it has yet to happen.
One foot slips behind the other and a shoe dangles precariously above the rushing traffic. He thinks of this as picking petals off of roses; to, or to not.
Instead of letting chance make it’s mind up, he takes both shoes off and lays them beside him. Knowing they’re safely next to him gives him a false comfort and an unsettling ache.
His mind wanders into the crevices of his thoughts that he blocks off in the daylight, the caution tape torn off. There are dark bags beneath his eyes and he can barely remember the last time he slept. The ache never wanes and the tired never gets comforted by sleep.
Burned to the end, he flicks his cigarette to the ground and slowly, so slowly, he lets himself rise to the challenge of not actually jumping when he can. Instead he turns and grabs his shoes, stepping down from the metal railing and letting himself enter into a more sturdy ground.
Not tonight, he thinks.
We break and
We fold and
Everything we ever were
For the chance to
Be believed in, to
Be found, to
And it hurts
But we smile and
We laugh and
Because the truth hurts and
Fake it ‘til you make it,
But all I want to know is:
Will I ever make it?
I don’t drink much. I can remember the last time I was drunk,
and that was months ago. One, maybe two. Then I’m done.
Being drunk only amplifies whatever mood my heart is in.
But one or two, and that softens it. The gray sadness
becomes a little more dull, a little more bearable.
Tonight I’m drinking water and it occurs to me;
I want a drink.
Sometimes it feel likes a stone arch, one that you would find in the ruins of some old place. There’s something so beautiful and yet so sad about it. You press your hand to it and try to breathe in the life that used to be there.
I’m sure that when others say they have an old soul they don’t mean one that was born into the world already in ruins. Or so easily able to be crumbled. Like it has already weathered from time that had yet to even touch it. Yet sometimes it feels like an ancient stone arch. Or maybe pieces of one.
I’m not a landmark that everyone wants to see, to wish they had been apart of or had seen in it’s glory. In the midst of everything, a few wandering glances might catch sight of me and see beauty from the wreckage, but mostly I’m an overlooked, rundown, nothing-great.
The stories found here aren’t so wondrous. They aren’t magical and they don’t take you to some far-off place.
The stories found here are as plain as stone and maybe just as cold. Don’t forget to wear your jacket and tread carefully. Don’t slip on any cracks.
I haven’t been myself lately, kind of like trying to copy who I am from a blurry image. Parts of me feel like smoke and now I’m just waiting for a strong enough breeze to sweep me away.
There are parts of my head that I want to shut off, and there are parts of my heart I want to keep quiet. I can’t tell where this screaming is coming from but these tears keep threatening to spill from my eyes. It’s like there’s a tripped wire somewhere in me that has let something shift, when it shouldn’t.
It doesn’t feel like a cold friend. And this doesn’t have a sick comforting familiarity.
Something aches inside of me, something feels missing. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel the gray under my skin. Warm water doesn’t wash it away and neither does his hands.
I don’t know where I got lost but somehow I have no idea where I am. I’m lost even to myself.
I want to wake up and pretend this is all a dream. But it’s not, and there’s no warm bed I’ve forgotten to wake up in.