Holding My Breath Until Morning / Denial

You're like smoke.
Shapeless, or just too many shapes to settle on anything real, anything solid.
If I make myself look, I can see you- a looming, dark, mass always present in the corner of my thoughts
Sometimes I wonder if you're even there at all, or if it's just a trick of the light- my mind turning shadows into monsters
Sometimes, I can almost even convince myself that's true.
When I reach for you, I can't quite hold on
You always slip through my fingers- leaving them empty, but shaking from the memory of blistering heat
Sometimes I catch a sudden, intense smell- the odor of something charred and crumbling, but I can't quite find the source
I try to follow your smoke trails anyway
You've got to be here somewhere
I can feel you inside of me
You blacken my lungs and poison my blood, starving me of oxygen
And I cough up soot and ash
I am suffocating
You are burning this house down around me
And if I'm honest, I know exactly where to find you.
Every time I build up enough courage to come near, I find myself trembling; the back of my hand against the door to measure the heat. How deadly is the room beyond it?
Barely wrapping my fingers around the handle is enough to leave my flesh screaming.
But I know I can't escape without walking headfirst into the flames.
Into you
And I'm afraid you would swallow me whole,
And leave nothing behind
But smoke.


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