Stronger Every Time

By , Louisville, KY
I like to breathe: it’s a release.
It clears my head when it’s as cluttered as my room;
it clears a path to understanding and thought. I can think when I breathe,
when I live.
A distraction from all the distractions in my life.

Though, breathing just helps me think,
to clear a path in an overgrown forest so I may rest in a clearing that basks
in the sun.

After a while, my sun gives way to night, and all that remains is dark with no distractions. So I sit there, twiddling my thumbs for thought,
waiting for another sun to set my thoughts on fire.

With no distractions holding me together,
I crack.

First a tiny fracture in my arm, creating a fault line in my soiled skin.
Then another volcanic eruption from my back, splitting it into two pieces,
crippling me.

I shake, feeling a rumbling within my body, a roaring meant to warn.

I’m gone in a crack of light, a snap of thunder,
I’m out,
spread along the clearing.

My heart is pounding distantly, like slow steady clapping.
The feeling was extraordinary. The feeling is dying,
but I can still taste it like fireworks on my tongue,
like the grainy salt tang of the sea.
I can still reach out and brush it with my fingertips, light as a whisper.

With my lips, I can murmur softly the song that reverberates in the aftermath like the strike of a chime.
My severed mind can still remember these words and etch them into my heart as a weaver knits her stitches.
This darkness curves soothingly around my heart,
wrapping around it like a light cloak.

The sun begins to emerge slowly as I obsess over the dark.
The light pieces me back together again, sweeping me into a pile like dust
and molding me into myself.

As midday takes its turn, I’m all better.
not a physical scratch in sight.

I walk back through the path to my own cluttered room,
with only the lightest bits of the dark lacing my memory
and cloaking my heart.





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