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Claire Elizabeth Apr 2021
My dog keeps me alive sometimes

In the deep dark nights when he curls against the backs of my legs
Nestles in the crook of my bent knees
I wake up enough to feel his breath on my hand.

My dog keeps me alive sometimes

When I come home bone-tired and exhausted, the world making a home in my eyes, he suctions himself to my side and brings me his very own things, knowing I need more than just he can give.

My dog keeps me alive sometimes

I tell him this when I feel so sad I want to cease existence and even that confession keeps me on my feet for another day.

And when he gets old and worn, I will get him a shadow so that I can be kept alive by another being who depends on me more than I depend on myself.
Claire Elizabeth Mar 2021
I am not the romantic I once boasted to be
I don't swoon
I don't revel in love or bathe in its insincerity
It doesn't call me a home that it feels welcome in

I've evicted it
Packed it's tendrils up into small cardboard boxes and stacked them on my stoop
A farewell to its tenderness I once believed in

I want to witness the shift in me
I want to see the moment my blood ran a little colder and my hands took to shaking when I think too hard
This frailty that's become my second skin seems like it's been home forever

I don't think I'm meant to love
I think I was meant to enjoy the way a person's eyes are spaced just right
Or how their hands connect to their wrists with grace
But I don't love those things

I'm not a romantic in the sense that I love the idea of love
I used to be
But I've become a half-flooded cave
Filled with currents and a heavy, wet, emptiness.
Claire Elizabeth Jan 2021
not all love is good love
it's love, nonetheless
Claire Elizabeth Jan 2021
i am the sawdust/sticking to the crevices of the garage floor

i am the smell of evergreen and cedar chips/on the wet air of the woods

i am the reflection of tail lights/flashed in the rutted puddles

i am the sound of train horns/riding eddies of cold winter air

i am a midwest city sleeping/halted still in its big tracks

i am the fog/floating in the dusk of the street lamps

i am the lightning and the thunder/crawling over the bluffs of loess and trees

i am the damp basement walls/steeped in summer

i am the heady nostalgia/filling lungs with ache and contentment
Claire Elizabeth Oct 2020
it's almost time to explain The Jealousy to you
the spiteful selfishness that pools in my eyes

i hoard the love i am given because it is the love i don't have for myself
Claire Elizabeth May 2020
He's tired. His eyes tell us when he watches us.
His tail goes every once in a while. But he's tired.
Over the years his body started to betray him. First his eyes, his ears, his hips. Then his bones decided to adorn his frame more prominently, his spine a mountain range, his ribs canyons.

He's tired. His naps in the noontime are his specialty, his days of chasing rabbits submitted to dreams. His paws run from time to time. But he's tired.

He's tired. And now his body is telling us. He sways when he walks and sighs as he sleeps. Sometimes he groans when he stands up and clatters when he falls. He's had thirteen years of sun-soaked days, cold weather play, of lively life. But he's tired.

He's tired. And I'll miss him for a while. But I'll be glad he isn't so tired anymore.
My dog isn't doing too well, and I think that today is the day.
Claire Elizabeth May 2020
When these nights smother me
My past comes back in rivulets
Down my back, neck, through my hair like snakes and twine

I should be happy, no? Content, satisfied, full.

I've always questioned why my eyes get heavy when I plead them to look alive
And I've always wondered why my shoulders bear the weight of the past Millenium when I ask them to keep the present good company

I have an inherent gloom
And I suppose it's about time I come to make its acquaintance.
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