She only reads books that start with the letters
K, I, or C.
She doesn’t know why
But she thinks it’s because they spell kick
And she often wants to kick herself in the face.
(She drowns herself in a lake)
She doesn’t because she is not flexible enough
And because it would be a sign of her impending insanity.
She does not need any more proof that she is losing her mind
Or already has.
The neighbors two doors down
Are trying to get a grand piano into their upstairs bedroom
By using the pulley system.
She refuses to walk under it because,
(It is a lake of music, loud enough to silence her mind)
Given her luck,
It would fall on her.
On rainy days she steps outside in five minute intervals
Or three minute intervals
Depending on the downpour.
It is the perfect amount of time to get damp
But not soaked
(Fill her lungs with something other than panic)
She is afraid of staying dry because then she is not living her life to the fullest
But she is also afraid of drowning.
She steps on every crack in the sidewalk
(Let them melt together like her skin soaked through)
Because her grandmothers are already dead
And their backs cannot be broken
But maybe the cracks are signs of hidden chasms
So she has to check the stability
For everyone else on the sidewalk
She does not look in the mirror when she is naked
Because it feels indecent
Even though it is her body to see
(Though her skin doesn’t look like hers anymore)
She has grown up feeling like she does not belong
And someone should have the controls to her mind
Because she is clearly doing a bad job at life.
On everything in the world
She has read them all, word for word
Even if they start with B
Because dishonesty kills like a cigarette
(Set aflame, making steam where once were seas)
And cancer builds where walls are degraded by smoke
She is not good enough to need no rules
And not bad enough to need a chain.
In some psychology book full of Freudian slips and child development
7-9 hours are described as the right amount of sleep.
She plans her days around these hours.
Any more and her mind is sick
(Till she is lost somewhere in the clouds she created)
Any less and her body is.
She has no time for less than perfect these days
When demand is a grater of capability.
And she is in shreds.
In every pool she enters, she dives to the bottom and
Runs her fingers along the ground
(Where she feels nothing else)
What if there are sharks?
If there is a speck of dust in her hair
It must come out.
She breathes and breathes and tries to forget
(Though she is surrounded by aching weight)
The dust in her lungs that she cannot claw away
So she clips her nails because blood means death
And sometimes there is a little blood in her hair.
If she loved someone
She is not sure that love would look like it should
(Too deep, too heavy)
She is all in all the time because otherwise
Her life is slipping through her fingers
And no one deserves to be let go of.
There are monsters in her closet that look like men in hoods
She sticks a chair against the handle every night.
Sleeps to the sounds of wind and her beating heart
Trying to remember what finger she should not feel her pulse with
Her mind says she isn’t breathing
But the air is crisp and burns her throat.
(She knows where there is air there is pain)
Can you feel when you are dead?
If her brother touches her
She shies away
Not from him, with his crazy hair and big eyes
But from the land on his fingers and the world on his cheeks
(It is easier to survive below the waves)
She has never been good at separating danger from adventure
And adventure from earth.
Her skin is marred with scars
(Wrinkled though she may be)
She has picked herself clean like she is the vulture
And her body the carrion.
There are imperfections and it is easier to pull them apart
On her own
Than allow someone else to.
When trying to explain what she finds
Behind the cobwebs she dusts from her mind
She falls short and loses words. There is silence
And then there is terror
For she fears being misunderstood.
(And yet, in the sunlight there is freedom--)
Her mind shines a floodlight
Trapping her behind bars made of swallowed words and pills
Back into the dark where she keeps all the tremors
Her hands refuse to show.
And there, in that dark
Is her beating heart.
She hides her heart in the crevices of her mind
Because if not, insanity would find it.
When your world is drowning and every step feels like torture
When fear consumes your mind and leads your hands away from the doorknob
When the bed is a grave and all you want to do is die—
Then you must hide your heart deep inside because
No matter how hard breathing becomes
You still want to.
She still wants to.
(And she cannot help but reach out to the light and breathe and let her heart go free)