my mother does not seem to understand anything but paperwork.
i scratch along my skin like it's
bursting at the seams
and everything seems like it's spinning out of control
the world refuses to stop moving
my lungs constrict like a boa has nested in my organ cavities
and i want to scrub my flesh raw and red
want to feel right again
want to hate myself less agin
i've scratched a patch of tenderness
into my side,
an effort to not reach for something sharp
but my stomach begs for pain,
soft and blood-free
i try to break free of my first instinct
because i know it is wrong,
what my head tells me is wrong,
i have learned to distrust easily.
i try to ignore the panic setting in
black spots piercing my line of sight
and focus on the way my fingertips tremble
as i bring them down on the keyboard
there will always be something left.
i know that deep in the back of my mind,
i just don't think i'd processed it properly until now
because this is aftermath.
a calamity's consequences
and i was a fool to think i'd get off scot-free.
just a blind fool feeling their way
out a windowless room
and i understand that this isn't rational.
i know that it's "all in my head"
or whatever other shit someone's come up with
because my head hurts
and my skin hurts
and somewhere inside,
where nothing is supposed to reach,
where people tell tales of a soul,
i get that you can't just
shoot your way out a roomful of demons
and expect the cleanup to never come,
but everyone knows there are some things you can never escape.
we are taught it as children,
our parents' yells echoing in our ears,
we are taught it as preteens,
our classmates laughing at us,
we are taught it as teenagers,
our minds screwing us over for who knows why,
we are taught it as adults,
our bodies trapped in the fishbowl with endless glass walls,
and yet we still look for the "exit" sign.
it's not coming, i'm afraid.
so i will bow my head in defeat,
let my hands tremble over meaningless letters,
and sob out quiet cries in the middle of the night.
there's nothing else to do, i guess.