things we leave behind

by emery rose

you would pray every night for a man to take you away from that country house

the one that you your parents and your child called home

and even though i was a child i remember wondering those nights in bed next to you why we needed a man to take us where we needed to be

accept my surrender i want you to use every inch of me until i am so raw that i can feel your eyes on my skin

a familiar feeling returns to rest its head upon to wrap its wings around to sink it's teeth into her heart

it once brought a child to her bedroom floor at that time of morning when the sun sleeps while she begged a cell phone to make the pain stop

it once brought a child to the cold concrete of a driveway on a winter night desperate just to breathe and be rescued by one of the mothers she never had

it once brought a child to bury her face into a bouquet of roses returned to their sender so she screamed into them until she could only whisper

it once brought a child to the top of a flight of stairs as her crimson arm stained the immaculate white carpet she would later be forced to clean as penance

and even though she is no longer a child she worries she hopes she has enough practice to survive it this time

fear and silence like parasitic vines can kill even the largest trees if allowed to grow

but our spoken truths like hatchets can sever what chokes us and steals our sunlight

sometimes i just need your arms something to hold onto while i hang from a cliff by the threads in your sleeve

some thoughts pierce like bullets slice like knives choke like ropes

just like some poems are better left unwritten

my biggest secret is not a secret at all i wear it on my face carry it on my shoulders breathe it under every spoken word

it is the lie that everyone believes without being told

it is the lie that i tell myself without really believing

that a shallow imitation is my authentic self and that my authentic self is a shallow imitation

i cannot help but wonder what it might mean

to just exist and be seen as more than a riddle

first i feel you in my chest then your touch ripples like water through my every bone until it settles again back where it began

through the corner of my eye i can see you analyzing me staring in short bursts as if you might turn to stone if you watch for too long but you cannot stop you must catch me in a lie of your own invention

i watched your towering body crash heavily to the floor my face still filling with blood from the sting of your palm

but i did not push you at least not with my hands

you dropped on your own when you realized that you could not beat me into the child you wanted

then the stage curtains closed as i watched you crawl away

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