things we leave behind

by emery rose

when you tell the world your name a bright cadence echoes through the ones you love and always finds its way back to you with clarity and with confidence

but when i tell the world mine a hopeful song it lingers in the distance waiting patiently to be passed around dinner tables with reluctance and deliberation

i know if i were you i too would believe in echoes

but if you were me you would shout endlessly so you could pretend that the ringing in your ears is your name returning to you after a long journey home

only to be told by those who hear their reflection to lower your voice

in the stillness of morning a record skips spinning at full volume flooding thoughts writhing between sheets she clutches her heart to rip it out but loses her grip she covers her ears to drown the message but the words slip through her fingers and crawl into her head exhaling violent whispers that she is not enough

there is no love felt in the light of a million diodes and the laughter carried over a hundred miles of fiber still cannot fill the room or be felt in my chest a constant stream of unicode tells me we are here together but my heart tells me...

connection lost service unavailable

sometimes when i part my lips what emerges belongs to you a high fidelity recording of all the ways i could have been better and i try desperately to forget those words wishing they would become like the gospel cassette tapes that melted in your glovebox in the summer of '94 but still every verse lingers but still every chorus stings

carried by robotic vultures passing through silicon dreams replicating echo chambers liquid crystals pick the seams

every breath a lie every lie a virus of its own

turbulence brings forth from her lips lost secrets and curses but she has not yet learned how to speak truth into stillness

bound in ambiguity and doused with equivocation she is set ablaze by semantics until she is neither subject nor predicate until she is reduced to the ashes of a burned book an allusion an allegory a ghost in the footnotes haunting the margins trying desperately to rewrite the pages so they speak of her with the same certainty that underscored every word that spoke of him but she is only a chill down the spine she is only a lump in the narrator's throat she is only a name

this child you claim to love who gazes upon you with stars in her eyes and birds in her heart how will you tell her that she and her mothers deserve less than other families the ones who live smiling in unpurchased picture frames that their good health that their safety that the roofs that shield them from blistering cold and sweltering heat that these are only privileges that these are all subject to the uncertain tides of men the men who control these things the men who gaze upon her who gaze upon her mothers and declare their appearance their shape and their voices undesirable unfit undeserving of love how will you look back into her eyes which reflect the sky she sees in you into her heart which beats to the sound of your drum and tell her that you casted your vote against their humanity that you casted your vote against hers

with old fingers locked and new hearts intertwined from the wall we tear down the last page replacing it anew over and over with different ways to love and be loved

my heart is a dandelion delicate and easily scattered but someday with enough wind to travel upon it may reach a place better than it was before

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