balling my hands into fists and trying to fight the sob-driven ghosts of christmases passed

"In the end, we'll all become stories."
- Margaret Atwood

i'm trying to find

where i left my youth

because it must be somewhere around here, 
i swear, i left it right here

where my heart breaks
and my palms split in two

but i guess i can't reminisce, 
when my mother's coughing with pneumonia
and the Make-Up Criminal's doing that thing again, 
where she smiles but her eyes are empty

she isn't eating again, 
and i want to yell and scream and shout at her, 
but my parents don't notice, 
no matter how much the two of us, 
other neglected sisters, 
try to point to her filled plate. 

they just turn away
and close tear-streaked eyes. 
it's like they're telling us
that they've seen enough pain already. 

and i want to scream my throat red and raw at them,
tell them that it never ends, 
you don't get to shut, switch off your emotions one day

it doesn't work that way. 
never has. 

honestly, the Air Queen's not much better, 
i'm trying to push up feeble walls like i used to, 
vainly attempting to rebuilt the defences i once had

they've fallen while she was away

so i have to grit my teeth
and snap my mouth closed, 
because if i talk, 
then apparently i'm "bothersome".

i wonder at hallmark cards
and how my mother tells me,
"you're so lucky"

and i am, i realize that
i'm lucky in so many ways

but i hoard this close, 
clutch it to my chest - 
it isn't because i'm lucky, 
it's because i don't want anyone else to see. 

i don't want to be bad, 
don't want to be hard to deal with, 
even though they all call me "difficult",
and shake their heads. 

when i was eleven, 
my mother told me,
"one day people will just stop trying"

and why would you say that to a child?
why would you tell me that after a certain point, 
i'm not worth the waste of energy?

i don't think you were ever meant to be a mother. 

i'm not your daughter, 
i'm just a kid. 
i may be a teenager, 
but i seem to always feel
like i'm just a kid 

though i'm not, i guess, 
because when i was little i 
loved christmas with 
all of my tiny heart. 

and now... 
i don't.

i just don't. 

my eyes fill with hollow tears, 
my lungs breathe empty air, 
i am nothing
and i cannot feel what i should. 

every f-cking year 
i forget how christmas makes me feel.
carved-out inside, 
mouth open 
attached to strings

i am a ventriloquist's puppet, 
move my lips up and down, 
tell me what to say. 
i have no mind anymore, 
no free will. 

they say "love"
but all i can see
are the glaring issues of those around me
and that was never the point. 

i can't be happy, 
because the only way i could
would be if i was ignorant. 

and my knowledge is the only thing
that keeps me sane, 
thoughts billowing
in noonday oxygen
and mid-morning clouds, 
late night stars obscured by city pollution. 

i don't want to let this go,
but i'm not sure it's really a choice. 

i suppose
i'll just go back to where i started. 

tell me, has anyone seen my youth?

The End

1 comment about this poem Feed