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And just like that
the hum of anxiety
slowly rises from its grave
at first I can only hear it if I am listening
in quiet places, all alone
but its volume increases ever so slightly
throughout the day
throughout the week
until it's a roar
deafening me
and drowning out everything else
i want to find the off switch
i want to enjoy
the sound of birds chirping
i want to hear the way you laugh at my jokes
but everything else gets put on mute
while I wrestle with the monster in my head
I want to feel each rain drop
As it hits my skin
the goosebumps pop up
one by one
until every hair
is standing on end
arms outstretched
letting every droplet
have a chance at its destiny
as the water drips down my body
until it falls to the ground
If you look for my flaws you will find many
If you are looking to judge me
you will find me guilty

If you look at my scars you will find plenty
If you look at my fear you will find out that I face them daily

If you are looking to love me
just know that you will always have all of me
There is a small hole
in the space between my ribs
right above my lungs
and most of the time
it's tiny
a pin hole really
unnoticeable even to those who know it's there
but on bad days
it grows
it becomes a black hole
collapsing my ribs in
suffocating my lungs
making it impossible to breathe
or to just be
the walls shrink in on me
and i feel so alone
all i wish for is sleep
but I know it doesn't help
so i keep moving
imitating a regular day
going through the motions
until the day ends
and i collapse in tears
falling asleep
to the tears sliding down my face
and my exasperated lungs
gasping for another breath
I dream that everything is okay
that I am back to a pin hole
and not an all consuming black hole
when I wake up
some days
I've already forgotten about yesterday
but some
Are just a repeat of the hell
that I just barely survived
A yellow bandanna
the smell of bon fire
and the feeling of freedom

cold water on hot days
cigars on the porch
and your arm around me

But spring has come
and with it
a whole new summer
I dream of the words
melting in my mouth
and leaking out
he then knows
that my feelings
are stronger than I led on
In my dreams he always
picks up the words
playing with them in his hands
until they again form
and he gives them back
but I never know
if he is trying to tell me
he loves me too
or if he wants me to take it all back
and pretend it never came out
"what is love?"
a question asked by an inquisitive 3 year old
love is something I have for you
a well meaning mom attempts to explain
love is what your dad and I have
we love each other and we love you

she says, trying to convince herself of the same
you will be raised in a house full of love
and that was her hope
but she couldn't make a man love
and so she taught her children
what love wasn't but labeled it as what love was
in hopes that they would feel
like they had grown up
in a loving environment
but as adults they struggled
their relationships never lasting
because love had always been
half hearted attempts on holidays and birth days
but cruel words and inattention the rest of the year
it had been painful and loud
never soft and easy
It takes a lot to peel off the label of love
and realize that jar you'd been given
was a misprint
it took them years even a lifetime
to rebuild an idea of love
into something that was true
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