a moonlit lantern hangs above my head as i wilt into sleep.
to be alive is to be resourceful.
i count the seconds away from home as tallies on a billboard.
the lines are indistinguishable.
i read by candle light and blow out the fire before it burns past saving.
i sneak a smell of the pages and know they are mine.
the next morning i wake up before the sun makes its appearance over the horizon.
i speak encouragements to myself in my spit-stained mirror.
‘i am ok.’
the darkness in the air hangs a little longer until i utter more encouragements.
‘i am more than ok. i am great.’
i head off to start my day with a smile on my face because
even in the lines of gray
i know the brightest thing that shines is my happiness.
i water my plants before i go.
i love telling them little affirmations
that they will be ok.
i work all day
and i grow tired.
but come dusk
and i am back in my sunset-streaked home
with my plants doing ok
and my stained mirror showing my sparkling eyes
and my lantern hanging above me as the citrus colors fade slowly to moonlight.
i stare at the room with defiant courage.
i will overcome.
red tulips grow out of bare dirt.
like fresh lipstick,
they sprout, blooming with spirit.
i pick a flower,
and plead guilty for the death of such beauty.
i give the flower to someone i love,
and that person is me.
the room grows silent as my smile grows bigger.
let them contemplate,
my flower and i are happy.
i leave those stares,
in that echoey room
and scream out into an unbeckoned reality.
‘let me be enough!’
my red tulip withers in the streaming sunlight.
i forgot to care for the ones i love.
i weep into the death of myself
as the red tulip floats further and further from my grasp.
i love it to the very end.
a place in my head
i’m stuck in my head,
wrapped around a memory
i can’t embrace.
i’m working on making this space
a place i don’t hate.
i lay pillows,
a beanbag chair,
and a record player,
so that i hold my standards for myself with more grace.
i pace myself peacefully
with my dark thoughts.
i open a window so that the sun shines more
fully in all disgrace.
i feel the warmth as i allow love to flood this broken place.
i never wanted to run this race,
but here i am.
at the finish line.
and all i see instead of your abasement
is interlaced love from myself,
in that place,
in my head,
that i made a home.