Post Traumatic Stress

March 21, 2008
By Alison Green, Kensington, CA

We used to roam the streets
crossing against the light
and watching each other instead
of where we were going
being bold and unapologetic
with our love
and our clasped hands throbbed
from shared energy
blood flowing from your heart to mine.

Now, downtown is a war zone
no man's land
and even though i dropped a white flag
when i broke down
after we fought until it was beyond dead
reeking of bitterness and trust broken
like bones
and all we felt was the crushed hope
of an empty battlefield
of love left to rot under the scorching sun of anger.

Now, i have the mindset of a victim
and i hold my own hand
as i cross against the light
always looking over my shoulder
so you can never take my breath away again.

Now, i walk sharply and hastily
focusing on a point directly in front of me
focusing on getting to safety
where i can let my shoulders relax
and my eyes wander.

Three, four, five months pass
and as i march determinedly
keeping my fists up and my wits
about me
i see new stores, restaurants, people
that i've never seen before
downtown looks different than it did
before it became a war zone
a place full of land mines, trenches
and jumping heartbeats
a place i avoid
because i can't conquer the vulnerability
i can't defeat the anxiety that sinks
to the pit of my stomach.

As i walk briskly down the street
i feel as if my chest has been cut open
exposed to the cold air
and my ribs have been carefully removed
so that my heart beats out in the open
unprotected from harm, from damage,
from you.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!