Thoughts from beneath my favorite peacoat || 12.31.2013

When I was six years old I sat in a darkened closet hugging my knees to my chest. 
I said again and again - ”It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay. It’ll be okay”. 
I repeated the words like a nursery rhyme - “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid”.
I held my knees - my only friends - against my thudding heart 
and waited until the heavy footsteps just outside stamped away from me. 
Years faded fast, still I found myself in darkened closets again and again,
my knees always pressed to my chest - my knobby torn up friends.
I hid there from fists that blackened my skin and words that I hated to let trickle in.
Now I’m nineteen years old - a pretend adult, so they say- and in the first hour of this broken holiday I find myself crammed in the back of a closet between a dusty dollhouse and a laundry bag. 
I have a lot of memories that I don’t really let myself remember.
Some I actually think I’ve forgotten all together
until I don’t and I’m back beneath a rack of coats in a closet just my size.
How do I tell my friends I don’t watch horror movies ‘cause my horrors are on loops behind my closed eyes?
Closets don’t echo. They don’t have air. Yet I wish more than anything that I could stay here
in this small corner of coats that might smell like me
if I wasn’t the one sitting beneath them.
I wonder if they’ll find me in my clothes,
if they’ll smell the sun on sleeves that I littered with my tears,
if they’ll see my regrets in the runs in my stockings,
if they’ll read my shirt wrinkles as nights tossing in fear.
I’m not a girl anymore -so they say-
I’m too old to play house or play runaway.
No one will chase me to the end of the street,
to the stop sign I never would have passed in the first place.
If I am to slip out the door
no one would follow me.
No steps would be heard but mine on the concrete.
I think a lot about what it’s like to die young.
They call those deaths tragedies while they dress in all black and talk about all of the things those young could have become.
But everyone dies, some grey and worn in.
Everyone dies so why not now? Why not me? Why not when I’m golden?
"A permanent problem to a temporary solution",
tell that to the six year old with her eyes squeezed shut trying so hard not to let the ghosts in.
I’ve never wanted to change my name more than I do lately
or have no name at all.
I don’t want to be me.
I am defective.
I am a plague.
Open up my chest.
You’ll find I’m filled with broken parts and gears that won’t turn any way,
and I don’t want to be tinkered with.
I don’t want to be saved.
I’m tired of beating a horse we should’ve sent to his grave.
I’ve spent the past couple of years trying to find myself a home
but everyone’s hearts scream “NO VACANCY”.
There’s no room for me between anybody’s ribs - not even my own.
I want to go while I’m stunning -while I can still fake that I am-
while the red on my lips and the shine of my teeth
are still enough to project a beautiful sham
even if it requires a little smoke and shards of mirrors.
I’m selfish.
Don’t remind me.
-or remind me if you must-
but it’ll do so little to the corroding rust
that’s been growing over my bones and my joints - all my gears -
that won’t work right from the salt rusting them red
that add taste to my tears.
They hang there right behind my eyes,
their hooks prick behind my nose as they sway behind my lashes.
While these knots tie up inside of me
I’m reminded that some ships are remembered more when they’re lost far out at sea.
I sit now beneath a curtain of coats I don’t wear
next to shoes that have carried me across so many cracked roads
wondering when it’ll finally be safe to come out of hiding,
wondering if six feet under will be a much better home.


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