1991

I sat on the floor and played solitaire
Skipping meals until there was nothing left of me
But a ghost who sang
Nothing can be trusted
Everything hurts

I thought I went back to normal
It felt like the truth, I was strong
But I didn’t understand how deep it all ran
And how long it could live without air
Quietly changing everything

I lost my friends that year
Hid myself bit by bit
Pretending at me
I didn’t even know what I was doing
So perfect was my suicide

Now that I know it’s there
I can feel it

Twenty seven years later
They had to cut out what you did to me
You were the seed
But I was the gardener
Failing magnificently to recognize my inversion
Smiling all the while

I did it to myself
Buried evidence in my flesh
Sang no more, denying music
At least a decade of numb decay
Spent dying of security

Now that I know it’s there
I pull it close for one last bite
Hold open the wound, let it drain
All that pain, like a box of old nails
The taste of iron
Angry like the sea

How many dreams did I put to sleep?
Like a hypnotist or a dog catcher
Ruthless in my efficiency
They didn’t die but lay in my breast sweating poison
While I nodded and smiled, nodded and smiled

Was the Pleaser born then?
In that year and ever after

My generosity became self-immolation
I set myself on fire and danced
For whoever shot at my feet
And it felt like devotion
I didn’t notice the bullets or that some of them killed me

Windows appear in the cell that I built
Sunshine splashes like paint where I sat
Endlessly playing cards with myself
The girl (she was still just a girl) looks up
We mourn the wasted time between us
While Little Earthquakes plays

It feels good to put this down
The words, the burden, the mad dog
I am
Lucky I can still laugh
Lucky I can still breathe
Lucky the worm only ate part of me
Before I saw its blind eyes and touched its soft head
Let it go now
There will be no more internal bleeding
Only scars

1991
Picture credit – Engin_Akyurt

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I am a gentle spirit in a brutal world. Here, I drop my scythe, a smile in the grass. https://zengreenway.com/

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