Filling an Absence


There is no darkness

Only the absence of light

At least, that’s what people keep trying to tell me

If there is no darkness

Then what have I been wallowing in all this time?

What has been engulfing my soul

Swirling in great, thickening clouds around my being

Until no one seems to notice me anymore?


There is no coldness

Only the absence of heat

At least, that’s what people keep trying to tell me

If there is no coldness

Then what has been gripping my heart

With its creeping tendrils of ice?

What is that feeling that swells in my stomach

Each time someone’s gaze shoots straight through me?


They say looks can kill

But what they don’t know

Is that the absence of them

Can have an even more dire effect

When I rise every morning from a fitful sleep

The curtain does the opposite

It falls across my anguished features

Hiding me from the rest of the world


That’s where useless things belong

Out of sight


Or so they say

These cruel words spill from the lips

Of those who refuse to accept me

Mocking gestures fly from the arms

Of those who refuse to embrace me

And the curtain grows thicker, more opaque

With each pair of eyes that skitters past my face


But there are many other things that they don’t know

Things that no one will ever know

Unless someone chances to throw a glance in my direction

If their gaze were to raise the curtain even a tiny bit

They might discover something


They might see that I wear blue more often than any other color

Not because it reflects the way I often feel

But because it reminds me of the endless expanse of sky

That stretches over the heads of every human on earth

Reminding them that our world is bigger

Than they could ever possibly know

And because it reminds me of the vast depths of the oceans

That stretch beneath the boats of every man fishing for a better fortune

Reminding them that there is always more

Than what exists simply on the surface


They might see that I take the stairs two at a time

Or that I run from place to place when no one is watching

And when I really think no one is watching

Sometimes I skip


They might see that I can’t carry a tune to save my life

But I often let tunes carry me

Because I believe that good music can in fact save a life

If only we would pause for a moment

And let the throbbing notes pulse within our veins


They might see that I’m a bit self-conscious when I smile

Because I think it makes my cheeks look too big

But all I’ve ever wanted to do in life

Is make other people laugh


They might see that despite all the darkness,

Despite all the cold shards of ice,

There is a spark growing within me.

A spark of self-assuredness

Flourishing in my determination to no longer be ignored


Every ounce of newfound confidence feeds the growing inferno

Which soon starts to lick at the edges of the curtain

No more will I endure the cold, dark stares that cast me into nothingness


The fire burning inside my soul produces an abundance of light and heat

No longer will I be filled with an absence of something


The flame of my assertion will burn away the curtain

That has for so long shielded me from view

This fire will leave only a smokescreen in its wake

As I wake up one morning, finally ready to face the real world

Regards of whether the world is ready to face me

And then, eventually, even that smokescreen

Will fade

Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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