People expect me to be strong.
Like the man with the long salt-and-pepper beard in his tan Volvo making his way across a bridge.
He expects it to be sturdy, to take his weight, to avoid collapsing under all the pressure.
But just like my fleshly shoulders, that can only handle so much, the bridge can bend and break.
My weak spine cannot carry the mountains of this world diseased with fires and avalanches.
Strength is not being indestructible.
And when I say, “I’m not afraid anymore.”
I don’t mean that the monsters crouched under the bed in my mind do not creep out once in a while;
They still crawl into my ears whispering sad songs and somber thoughts.
They have midnight snack runs, leaving crumbs of melancholy memories on the paisley rugs.
Instability, the cause of all my anxieties, chains my hopes and dreams to the floorboards.
Fear is the demon clawed onto my back bringing me to my knees.
My brain still wanders on a lonely afternoon
into the clouds in my coffee,
into the shivers and shakes as the caffeine fills my veins .
Library books are held more than my hand,
by the romantic fingertips gliding over crisp nostalgic pages.
Rather than embracing any love,
I’m dancing in vain with the wolves of my pain,
while ignoring the flowers growing through the cracks in the pavement.
I cannot escape the thundering downpour fogging rationality;
the past is the puppet master seducing my fate into traps of malarkey.
Once upon a time,
the paintbrush glided over gilded skin,
painting scarlet horizontal stripes;
now it chisels on the tombstone of the salt-and-pepper bearded man.
The violins gently sing, sing, sing.
Broken, I silently scream