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"Hey, are you okay?"

I am drowning.
Fire licks my lungs,
anvils sit in my stomach.
Fingers snake around my wrists pulling me down.
Chains clink as they tether themselves to my ankles.
My throat is being crushed by that monster.
My mouth is covered.
My watery tears are enough to overcome this.
I cannot scream.
I cannot cry.
The bags in my eyes grow deeper.
I am a shell of what I was.
I cannot see what is in front of me.
I can not see what could come.
I am drowning.

"I'm fine. Just tired."
I smile.
Depression is a real monster, and I hope everyone out there has someone to talk to it about and we're not all stuck in the same "I'm fine." response.
Free since 1776.
If you're a white man.
Land of the free
And home of the brave.
Black men and women property until 1868.
White Women silenced until 1920.
African Americans silenced further until 1970.
White men free since 1776.

Land of the free.
So free kids can bring weapons to school.
So free that black kids are shot for NOT holding a weapon.
So free that women can't make medical decisions without white men's approval.
So free that people couldn't marry who they wanted until 2015.
White straight men free since 1776.

We've only got one thing right:
Home of the brave.
Brave enough to continue to fight for a corrupt country.
Brave enough to fight for basic human rights.
Brave enough to stand up for what is right.
Even when the cost is their life, your life, my life.
I think you'd be proud of me.
I own a house, and a car.
I live in a neighborhood that waves to you just because you're their neighbor.
I just wish you could be here.
18 years doesn't seem too long when I barely knew you.
But the rest of my life sounds forever.
Forever until I can see you again.
Followed by prayers
Men and women fighting for their lives.
Finally, I've arrived.
My heart and mind can now rest.

If only my arrival wasn't equally my departure.
Will he think of me?
Every face I've made?
Every morning's goodbye kiss,
And every night's I love you's that he'd miss?
Will he think of his brethren?
Those standing next to him?

When his job is to lay on the grenade,
And all you want is him out of harms way.
You begin to pray.
May God protect every man and woman who protects me.
And send mine home to me every time.
How bad can it be?
"Wait until they're on deployment, then you'll see!"
Well, now he is going to leave...
What was it I was supposed to see?

I think I figured out what I would see.
The empty sheets next to me.
The missing keys and boots.

The honey-brown eyes that smiled at me.
The whispered "I love you"s and "goodnight"s.
His hand no longer clasped in my own.
And the painful realization that I have to spend my nights alone.
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