i hate that tingle
the one that comes just before tears fall
hate how it moves like lightning
up, through the body
down the arms to the tips of fingers
back up again, coming to rest in the skull
pounding, like thunder’s rumble
i hate its chill
the one that seems to freeze everything
everything but my heart and the ocean my eyes become
no one can hold me
or whisper words of comfort
the chill strengthening with each strike of that tingle
like the current of a rapid river
then the tears come
an angry rush of waves
falling endlessly to some unseen shore
no one’s here to hold me
to soothe my soul
my arms bring no warmth
no words i could whisper would comfort
for it’s my voice, my soul that aches
no one would hold me
i’m alone
i hate that, too

the structure outside in the park reminds me of a whirlpool, of that night with you, lying on your sofa with your arms around me, your legs entwined with mine, your words beating on, then breaking my happy, idyllic bubble, sinking me, of drowning, my tears leaking onto your shirt, mopped up with your tissue.
a boy whizzes past on his skateboard. the wheels over the concrete sound like water down the drain. there i go. there we go. but everything goes on around me, just as it had
seconds before, reminding me that this was years ago and not yesterday, that i have resurfaced. memories of you pull me
back under, but not as deeply as before, and not nearly as long
there’s laughter, squeals, joy in almost everything. a
girl hangs upside down and
grins. i watch
from inside

night terrors
half past midnight
his body fails him, falls, breaks
his spirit flees
miles away, my parents sleep
more miles, my pain begins
stomach cramps and surliness

a stranger finds him
fifty feet from the entrance
broken, face-down, dead on concrete
they sleep
the pain is fierce
i leave my friends for my apartment
the streets are slick with mist
i worry i won’t make it
it won’t rain, but it can’t be dry

another stranger, an officer
bound to protect and serve
wakes my parents
they lie in bed holding each other, crying together
i weed my musical garden
stop for a second to admire one of its blooms
a song of loss, of grief, of forced solitude
not even the trees

i step outside
smoke a cigarette
white smoke rises and fades into white sky
it won’t rain, but it can’t be dry
i sleep on the sofa

the phone
my father wakes me
my brother’s gone

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