I keep this bottle of pills, filled up to the brim. And I leave them on my nightstand.
I keep the small container without stealing any
Even when my head is throbbing so hard, I can hear my pulse deep inside my ears.
But I keep them; so if I ever want to taste them all in one setting,
The option is there.
I don’t plan to take these pills. I just have them; just in case.
Because you can’t plan death, you can’t sit down one night and say, “I, want, to, die.”
It doesn’t work like that, depression isn’t that simple.
It’s not an impulsive act or feeling; it’s a build down.
And I say build down because it sure as hell doesn’t make you feel good about yourself.
It piles in your head, like dirty laundry that’s been there for days and sits around the floor,
Because you can’t get out of bed.
It adds up, like miles on that old car that seems to cost a fortune every week but you can’t afford a new one.
Because if you could, maybe you’d leave your pillow and see the world,
Like a cross country road trip, pushing pins into a board, marking all of the spots in the world you want to stop and see.
But if my arm were a highway, and these straight lines my tourist spots, my blade would be my car.
It’s not a Cadillac or an SUV. It’s been used,
Back when I actually gave a fuck about what I looked like.
I don’t cut slashes in my wrist anymore
As if I was a four year old erasing the white ink from her canvas, coloring with a silver crayon.
And I may be lying when I say,
I don’t have a razor blade hidden within the drawer.
Because I keep that thin, shiny piece of metal that pulls so easily against flesh,
Maybe someday I don’t want to relapse and start over.
I want to succeed.
But that isn’t something I can plan.
If you are an aging book tossed on an empty shelf
Left to dust,
I will be the librarian who remembers you.
Even in my graying days and wrinkles,
I will find you within the musty bindings
Upon the shelves.
I will pluck you off,
Bypassing all of the others
That try and grab me as I walk
The narrow aisles.
I will push them back into their place
For you are the only one I have eyes on.
I will find you and blow the dust
Off your shoulders.
I will run my fingers over you,
Feeling your cover, your back, your spine
Before opening you and sifting through your pages,
Reading your story and discovering your scars
Where the corners have been folded over.
But I will love you long before
I ever open your cover and begin to read.
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Like in the dead of night when I put one leg out into the brisk air because combined with your body heat,
The blanket is just too warm.
I feel exposed but hidden all the same.
Or when I push one sleeve up my arm, but keep the other hidden beneath the cloth because the evidence would smack you too hard in the face.
I don’t want you to feel the pain that I’ve kept hidden.
I feel shielded, but barely; behind a veil that is trying to reveal the hurt I’m sheltering because you were just too naïve to believe I’d sank that low.
The ocean pulls the anchor from the ship and gravity helps.
I can’t see the bottom, but I know I’m close.
He was the kind of man who
Rarely said, “I love you” first.
Hearing him say those three
Magic little words before I did
Always caught me off guard,
Like a child digging in the
Cookie jar and getting caught
Red handed by his mother.
I smile like the child does
When he’s finally allowed
A cookie for dessert.
The love we shared
Was like a family
Before it had even began.
I am the child that grins
Every time I’m allowed a cookie
And he is the mother that
Always gives in to my cravings.
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I let my nails grow long
And the polish fade and chip away.
I did not cut them or file them down.
I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.
Not until you returned.
But in time, they snagged on clothes.
They became jagged from breaking.
I bit them until
I could not deal with them any longer.
So I did what I said I wouldn’t.
I cut my nails and
I painted them again.
I started over.
Three years have gone by.
A little over one thousand days
And it’s been thirty-six months.
I don’t know why I’m still counting
Each dawn that passes by.
I don't know why you haven’t called
To tell me that you miss me
And that you want me back.
But I do know that slowly the nights add up
And soon it will be forty-eight months
One thousand four hundred sixty days.
It’ll be four years
And I will still be wondering why
We haven’t spoken.
Your fingers sift through my hair
Like wind drifts through a meadow.
You speak like the sparrow calls in the distance
And your touch is soft as a butterfly wing.
You smell sweet like after the rain
But it is your breaths that take mine away.
The sky was overcast,
A gloomy sort of feel to the air,
A gray haze cast over the corn stalks.
The breeze was brisk,
And brought goose bumps to my skin.
I wrapped my arms tighter around myself,
Reminding me of how you used to hold me.
I took a deep breath and watched my exhale
Disappear into the wind, my imaginary
Cigarette smoke leaving my system.
Only about an arm’s length away,
I thought I saw something fall.
Looking up into the sky,
I saw nothing, but
When I put my hand out,
A small white flake landed on my mitten.
Autumn had passed, winter was here.
I remember the smell
In the library,
The quilt squares
That covered the tall shelves,
Homes to old, aging pages;
The aroma of faded words,
Fresh and strong,
Like the nail polish remover
Used to steal away
The chipped, black polish,
That lied over my long fingernails.
The nail polish that had once
Matched the dress I wore at your funeral.
My only memories of you
Hide within the perfume
Of musty bindings.
Hold my fingers between your own while we walk easily
On the skywalk that overlooks the traffic lights and street signs and makes us feel like
We’re on top of the world. There is no other place that I’d rather be than
Going with you through a simple tunnel of glass, above the city, holding your hand and feeling like I’m
Home whenever I am simply in your presence.
I pondered everything
You did that I adored.
A smile played on my face
As I remembered
But mostly I remembered
The way I caught you watching me,
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
And the way you turned away,
A smile on your lips,
Blood in your cheeks.
Whenever I find
Myself thinking about you,
I get butterflies.
It is half past one in the morning and
The red digits from the alarm clock
Lecture me for thinking about you.
The pillow next to me
Harbors your absence,
And the loneliness holds me.
I glare at the numbers,
Fully aware that I will be exhausted come morning.
Then the time changes and it is one thirty-one.
The breeze sifted through the trees,
And the leaves started to fall.
A shower of orange, red, and yellow,
Littering the forest floor.
Summer had came to a close,
And autumn was here.
Though you are small, and may seem like the smallest grain of sand on the beach,
There are many things to know before being washed into the ocean of life.
Listen to the shells, for they’ve been on the beach far longer than you have.
Make a wish at 11:11. (Don’t worry if you forget in the morning, it’ll come again that night.)
Cross your fingers for extra luck,
Accept a date to stargaze in the middle of an open field in the bed of a pick-up truck,
And while you’re gazing at the stars, don’t forget to make a wish on the one that’s shooting across the sky
And while you’re lost within that pair of blue eyes, get lost within a field of dandelions.
Pluck one that you can make a wish and blow into the wind.
And don’t worry if Prince Charming hasn’t swept you off your feet,
Create your own imaginary prince; he won’t break your heart,
And keep a couple imaginary friends along too; they won’t stab you in the back.
It’s okay to dance and sing in the car, you won’t ever see those people who’re next to you again,
(Unless the next light turns yellow, in which case, the gas pedal needs love and affection too.)
You’ll get nerves, but don’t ever bite your nails or crack your knuckles, back, neck, or anything.
Arthritis isn’t something that goes well with the wrinkles that’ll come too.
Grow wisdom, but don’t forget, you’ll always be a child at heart.
Make sure the length of the dress that you buy for the date would be approved by your grandmother.
Don’t forget to always add sprinkles with your ice cream while on that date,
And why should dessert be saved for last? Eat it first; otherwise you’ll be too full.
And as you’re driving home that night, don’t forget to turn your headlights on,
And remember to wear your seatbelt, no matter how short the distance.
Remember that it’s okay to break curfew every now and then; you may not ever get those moments back.
Keep in mind, if your date is on a Friday, don’t be out too late, or you’ll miss Saturday morning cartoons,
Which also means, don’t ever eat the marshmallows from Lucky Charms until the very end.
And say Prince Charming still hasn’t rode in on his white stallion,
The refrigerator is not who to call to cure your boredom (Unnecessary calories are not your friends.)
Instead, call your mother, because you’re never too old to cry to your mom.
When you see those storm clouds approaching, don’t hide inside,
Put on your rain boots and dance in the puddles.
Don’t be afraid of the waves that are washing up on the shore.
A parade of leaves dancing within the willow,
Draping branches dangling in the breeze.
Laughing with the hint of rain.
Rumbles of thunder humming
A loud whisper.
A growing whisper
Takes shelter within the willow,
A song for leaves in the breeze,
Droplets of rain
Shower the chuckling sparrows.
Feathers of the sparrows,
Drift away, soft as a whisper.
Gets lost within the branching willow,
The feathers play hide and seek in the breeze,
And the thunder continues humming.
The thunder is still humming,
While the feathers of the sparrows
Float in the breeze,
And storm clouds whisper
A strong kiss of wind through the willow,
Allowing a canopy of rain.
The creek floods with rain,
While the rumbling remains humming,
The sky imprisons the sparrows
The lightning sings a whisper,
Disguised as a breeze.
The fall leaves stir up in the breeze
Drenched in fresh rain,
Over the thunder’s loud humming,
The return of the laughing sparrows
As they perch within the willow.
The humming of thunder in the distance, the whisper of lightning,
The after smell of rain, lingering in the breeze
The buzzing of sparrows, perching within the willow.
The laughter of the black birds,
And the hum of the wind
Moves the dangling willow tree
To canopy her from her sin.
The leafy umbrella conceals her scars,
Comforts the lady in tears,
Whispers sweet words of a lullaby,
Left to linger throughout her ears.
Following the long winding road with the
Dark clouds and lightning grabbing at our heels,
Gravel kicking up dust in the rearview,
We flew like sparrows in the spring wind.
Johnny Cash singing throughout the speakers;
Tunes of walking lines and rings of fire.
The clearing was just ahead, sandwiched in
Between tall evergreen trees with acorns
Where small sparrows wait for a worm dinner.
I remember spinning in circles around the brown, hardwood floor,
My tiny hand grasping tight to mommy’s outstretched finger;
The sound of music from the live band was filling my ears,
While the laughter was spilling from my smiling mouth.
My dress was ballooning out like a doily,
While perfume and cologne were sneaking through my nose.
Mommy was twirling me all about,
Like a miniature Cinderella, glass slippers on my toes.