Home > poems, Poetry, Uncategorized > This Is the Poem I Am Writing Instead

This Is the Poem I Am Writing Instead

“This poem is the poem I am writing because we aren’t speaking,
and it is making my heart hurt so bad, it is all I
can do just to get up off the floor sometimes.” ~Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

 

What I don’t do
is admit
I’d rather break
all my bones
than feel this.

What I don’t do
is eat enough.

What I don’t do
is sleep.

What I don’t do
is laugh.

I am cracked
down the middle, heart
leaking things
I can’t name or catch,
every river
in my body is flooding
and I can’t make it stop.

Tell me, where’s the pill for this?
The fifth drink
of rum that burns enough
to chase out the pain.

Tell me, where’s the tourniquet for this?
The blackout drunk promise
of forgetting, undoing
all the tangles in my soul,
so that something (anything)
makes sense.

Tell me, how to stop drowning
in my own skin. Tell me
how to learn to breathe
something other than grief.
Tell me
I matter. Tell me
I mean something. Tell me
you remember my name
even on days
you can’t speak it.

This is what it feels like:
the slow tick
of a bomb in my stomach,
the scald of being
lit on fire from the inside,
but nobody sees it.

The truth is
I can’t remember the last time
I said I was fine
and actually meant it.

The truth is
I feel like an actor
playing myself,
saying things
that seem right,
hitting every mark
like a champion,
a consummate professional
liar.

The truth is
I can’t even tell where
it hurts, because
all of me is howling,
a snarl
of mourning, the steel trap
of this secret.

This morning, I wondered
a terrible thing,
but like everything else,
I couldn’t stop it:
would it matter to you
if I died? Would
you miss me?

What I don’t do
is ask.

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Categories: poems, Poetry, Uncategorized
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