I have long since refused to acknowledge- the sky is ripped over our heads like paper-

yesterday there was a thunderstorm and a crack splintered  the inky horizon in half and everything shuddered under the clapping sound and all of us, we refuse to acknowledge-there is a vast and deep darkness above us

but pain is not found in our daily conversations. heartbreak is told of in cliches and euphemisms, while we weep designer tears in the privacy of nightfall, into silent linen, smelling of fresh detergent and our brand name shampoos (and when grief rebels and shreds our selves to pieces- how hard is it- no, tell me! how hard it gets to change the bed sheets; how often does your linen go unwashed, gathering the silver sweat of your tears, gathering the blue residue of your unremembered dreams?)

we refuse to acknowledge-how hard it can really be, to get out of bed in the morning

why does the sun mock us?

sweet birdsong carrying a playful levity- and the heaviness creaking behind your forehead has no place there… right here, right now, right now when it is time to brush your teeth, splash your eyes with cold water (cold) and curl your toes into the bathroom rug as you shiver with the loss of your blankets, with the loss of it all…

when there is a cave nestled between your ribs, and there is something buried inside there that aches hard and sullen, when there  is an unanswered question that makes the midnight monsters flinch. when you are no monster at all, but someone who loves books and sunshine and blueberry muffins, when you lost all your weaponry somewhere along the road, perhaps distracted by the flight of an eagle overhead, or a shy stream going on by, when the secrets deform your skin, then-

remember to smile, and to double check that your shirt is properly ironed, and make sure your coffee has enough sugar to it, and remember-never forget-what shame tastes like: ash in the mouth and something sticky and rockhard stuck inside your throat-remember-you would rather die… than strip off your skin and show them the secrets stuck underneath

memory can be a painful thing but it also defines so much of us- and that is important- it is important that we memorize the pathways of our wanderings, create an atlas out of feather and ink, burn all evidence of our deepest sorrows, and remember-the shame is not worth the help, the shame is not worth the Truth-

when we bare our shivered words to the wind, we dare to trust it still (though experience always betrayed us) and the horror never lessens- watch: the wind strip off the layers of poetry and platitude and prayer. watch: the wind untangle all the painstakingly knitted stories, all the labored testimonies, all the timid dreams. watch: it all disappear into the skyline- a fluttering of you landing onto cold and foreign windowsills, a sweeping of your dust landing forlorn under park benches and between the cobble stoned alleyways.

no. better hold your stories close, and paint on smiles alongside your makeup. better learn the lives of the ones who’ve actually made it, and try to make it too- and buy milk every Sunday and Wednesday night, so that there never comes a morning when it is just you and your cat and the violet, chilled dawn and no milk to put in with the espresso and a sudden twist in the gut and the salty sting of surging tears and a coughed and despondent confession- what am I doing here? and damn that stupid milk and- I wanna go home.

 

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