Another Way

This is not working
I am not breathing, in and out like I should
I do not want to live here anymore
in this place where the most vulnerable are
repeatedly victimized
Where brokenness begets brokenness
where weapons are celebrated and defended
more than children
Where protocol or the lack of it
prevents change and assistance
I do not want to live here anymore
inside of this body that carries the weight of
tragedy like it was designed in the shape of a wheelbarrow
and my heart is the set of calloused hands that picks it up
fingernails scraping the dirt beneath it and I can feel every pain
Like the soil that gathers around my cuticles
the dysfunction is relentless
and everyone is telling me to breathe but they
Do not feel what my chest feels like
it is like a burning tightness,
it hurts to breathe in and when I exhale I feel
flooded with sorrow so instead I
hold my breath

Yesterday I said my mind feels like two forks
with the prongs grating together and I am trying
To shake these thoughts loose so that I can sleep at night
but it is all unrelenting
How does one regain control when there is not
a moment to do so?
Even my silence is tormented by memory of the past
and anxiety over the future
I thought that I would have one sacred space in this world
but nothing is immune,
Everything is permeable
and all of this requires an incessant working towards wholeness
or else it becomes fragmented
And I am exhausted
Like the bathroom sink that once was clean
all things require a periodic scrub
all things are seemingly bent towards destruction,
I remember when I first heard the word entropy:
gradual decline to disorder
You were fascinated by it, and I chose to deny it
but now I am not so sure

Tomorrow is the 26th and it would have been his 29th birthday
but he only had 27
I have carried my grief like it could fit in my pocket but it
turns out that it is instead every piece of clothing that I wear
I have convinced myself that it is acceptable but it is not in
any way, shape, or form
I understand the way of death and resurrection in nature, see it all around me
but that does not make my throat soften so that swallowing is not painful
That does not make my body forget what it felt like to tremble on the day that he was buried
I tend to keep myself from writing these words because I don’t
want anyone to feel hopeless
but if I don’t allow them to flow through me like a river
they will flood me until I drown
If I don’t make space for this pain I will soon sink into
a bitterness that cannot be shaken and God, I don’t want to be bitter
because I believe in the tension between all that is beautiful and all that is desperately wicked
so I offer up every racing thought within me
every angry argument and uncalled for reaction
every righteous frustration and selfish motivation
every moment of giving up and giving into the inertia that haunts me
every deep hurt that seems to find no permanent solace
All of the deceit that I did not expect to receive
all of the misunderstanding that I thought wouldn’t be
I offer up everything
Take it, please, just for a moment at least
and If I must carry it again, I will add it to my wheelbarrow of a body
but right now, I must set it all down and see what You might make of it

One comment

  1. From a reader’s point of view–mine, at least–this was both empowerment, and heartbreaking. Such vividness to your lines. Always good see a talent use their craft for catharsis. Wishing you well.

    Like

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