Guardian Angel

I need a backwards mirror.

Something so that maybe,

instead of what you see

reflected back at you,

you see me.

Instead of the words

you hear coming from my mouth,

you see the back of my throat.

You see the words written there,

raised like wounds scabbing over

that prevent me from saying too much

or talking too loudly

should I accidently break them open

and cough up blood.

I’m serious.

My biggest fear is bleeding out.

And I do what I do to protect you.

Because nobody wants to be calling 911

Every time they stop to talk to me.

They’d be sick of it by the third time.

I promise,

I do what I do to protect you.

Nobody wants fingertips stained red

because they’ve spent all day catching specks of blood

that have jumped accidently

from my throat to our conversation.

Because let’s be honest,

I’ll never really say enough for you to get a palm full anyway.

I protect you.

And once more,

if it’s always there on your fingertips

you’ll forget it’s there after a while,

kind of like nail polish.

You’ll go about your day.

Which is fine.

I’d rather not break open

every time we talk.

To be honest,

it hurts,

a lot.

I can feel my skin pulling away from itself,

in every direction

and my throat getting stopped up

with the words filling it.

It’s scary to think about,

that I could choke on my own words

if I’m not careful enough.

Which is why I do what I do to protect you.

Too few people know how to do the Heimlich,

so I don’t expect it of you.

It’s okay.

But I can only hope,

maybe someday,

I’ll find my mirror and speak.

Maybe someday I’ll have a higher pain tolerance.

Maybe someday I’ll learn to swallow fast enough

so that the words don’t form a clot

big enough to throw me off.

Maybe someday,

I won’t have to do what I do to protect you.




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