Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Sheridan Sep 2014
we've all been hit one too many times with information we couldn't process

and then three to eight days later you're sitting in class
or another insignificant coffee shop trying to calculate how many ways
you could die by fourpm when your clockwork mess of neuron pathways
finally catches up and then-

your hands are shaking and you can't tell if it's the day old coffee
or the information that has finally stuck long enough
for you to realize it for what it is
and the words that brought everything down around you
are rattling in your rotten skull making it pound
and you can't ignore it anymore (it's not the coffee)

bad news has a way of tearing down
every cleverly placed brick and marble wall
until your core is exposed and everything
you thought you knew so well means **** all
and there is never someone standing by, red alert, when it finally hits
so you're on your own kid

because not even mom realizes that your movements are stiff and your eyes are red
and not even mom realizes that you haven't slept in four days
and you've started wearing long sleeves again

the coffee is cold and you're placing bets
("my brother is missing")
on how many days it will take for your hands to shake
although you can't exactly call the police on a wanted criminal
Sheridan Sep 2014
she's barely an inch taller - but still taller -
squinting at the horizon line and heaving tobacco smoke
through resin coated lungs that should belong to a
fourty three year old smoker, not an eighteen year old

she laughs the loudest when others cast glances
and hushed whispers
and never misses the chance to tell you
she couldn't possibly give less
of a ****

she likes convenience store mints;
the round white ones you'd find
at the bottom of grandma's purse that tasted like
dust and chemically sweetened perfume,
and home

she went to a school where "****"
was spat like poison at her feet
but knew exactly what to say when three girls
cornered her, knew exactly how to throw her
words like fists

she gets hives from cats and grass and
practically anything outside her door
so she spends most of her time inside,
only leaving to have another

she listens to tool and radiohead
and smokes half a joint before bed to help her sleep
but she still doesn't; not for long
and she twitches as her brain drifts in and out of

she will tell you if you will listen
accept her head space and back off
just enough for her to breathe
because god--she needs to breathe as much as she
possibly can

I do not claim to know her,
after no more than 42 days do I have any idea
why she will drink a bottle of gin like it's water
or why it takes intoxication to show any kind of

but I know what it's like to wake up at 5am
and find her sitting on the floor beside your bed
and in silence watch the sun rise
before going back to sleep

and I know what it takes to make her laugh
to stimulate and stir whatever is left
of the emotion she spent years destroying
and how her mouth tastes like fire and loss
and hope

I do not claim to know a lot
but I think I know how to make this beautiful ghost
of a person happy

and that
is enough
Sheridan Sep 2014
they never tell you how it stays inside you

they tell you how it'll creep up and over you--
an enticing corruption--
and how it'll change how you see how you smell how you
and how when you fall it'll catch you and hold you tender
for a while

they tell you how the sun will shine brighter
and the words will taste
and how every morning songbird and ocean tide and sigh
will whisper their name
until your cursing sparrows and drowning in your own saltwater because
they told you how it would hurt

they tell you how it'll end because god it will end and
it'll end with you
counting down the infinite ways you believe you could have fixed it
but you couldn't have
and you will learn that

but god forbid they tell you how it will stay with you

because if they don't promise you I will--
that every new heart won't wipe the slate clean
and you will find yourself listening to that godforsaken song again
or driving down that
just for the sake of feeling like ****
and if you happen across another soul with the same cursed name you
will shudder--and for a moment
you're fourteen,seventeen,twenty,again

and you will hurt
and you will be okay

but it will stay with you, it will
each love carried in you like a dormant illness waiting for the trigger

— The End —