Words Crawling Around on All Fours like Animals

You know how when you break a piece of glass and it shatters into a million-billion pieces, and you think to yourself it will never be the same? Sure, you can glue the pieces back together, but there will be seams and strings and things holding them together. The slightest breeze could knock them apart again, and everything could fall apart again. That is how my heart feels. It’s pieced together, sure, there’s a glue binding it in place, and yeah, maybe if you glance at it real quick it looks complete, but I know these are broken pieces held together by seams and strings and things holding the pieces all together. This broken is all I’ll know because when it shatters, there’s no piecing it back together. Because every time I laugh, a part of me cringes at the sound, and every time I cry, a piece of me worries that my tears are the only thing keeping you from being mine forever.

He looked at me one day and scoffed, calling me a “cry baby”. This was a couple of years ago, I was in my mid-twenties, I thought maybe I had misheard him, but he taunted me, saying it a few more times. When he told me to hit the bricks, I was ready, bags packed, feet walking out that door, and when he took off running after me, he was only in moccasins as if he didn’t expect me to go very far. I would have caught a bus, I would have taken the train, all to get away from his green eyes mean.

Nobody knows the stories I have wound up inside of me, the way he kept my head buried to the floor, and I made snuffling noises like an animal in a cage. Nobody knows the stories I have that make me broken glass sealed back together with a clear glue.

I try to tell you I’ll be all right, that some day I will be okay, but some day is not today, and goddamn it, I worry you’ll be like everyone else and just choose to walk away. This is not beautiful, this is not poetry, this is not fiction, these are words crawling around in my head, begging to be released. I’m tired of the gilded lily, I’m tired of the words coming out like I’ve planned them. I need to let go of my demons; I need to be honest.

I want to be raw, I want you to feel my words sword through you like a knife or a razor blade. I want my words to cause pinpricks to shudder down your back and to cause you to wonder why does she still smile?  Sometimes, I want people to know the pain behind this smile because goddamn it, sometimes it fucking hurts to breathe. To go to work every day, to read these damn books every day.

And some days, I’m just so fucking tired.

-L.G.

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