broken things, broken bones,
broken lies of hearts beating
the blues, a rhythm, a tattoo
of red ink-stained skin. a cry
of the tongue, the twisted tongue
that is molded by society
to speak things, anything, clean things,
brave things, beautiful things.
not broken things. not macabre things.
no red ink pooling from
a rip in the medium. no salty,
bitter tears that squeeze
through the eyelids. the eyes that have
witnessed brokenness. we gather the
broken bits of our shattered lives
around us like a blanket, a wall,
between us and them,
a lie in the face of condemnation.
shivering, i bare my soul in
the face of darkness, that constant,
harmful companion: the one who
knows my name, the taste of it
upon the lips, the shape of the
words as they leave the tongue,
a tongue not twisted and broken like mine,
but silver and fair and beautiful
and horrible. not broken.
lies like no other
spin from fair darkness, and i
greet them like an old friend.
the dark knows my name.
when it calls, i lift my head, sucking
in wretched, dirty air to fill
my aching lungs. a ragged breath that
is beautiful in its desperation. my
heart is a live thing in my chest, a reminder,
a beating pain that screams
breathe breathe breathe.
feeling the dread climb up my
spine like death is already upon me,
i look toward the friend, not quite
daring to meet its eyes.
then turn away. to life.
i suck in raw air, my knuckles scraping
the side of my jaw as if to
remind myself by the pain that
i am alive.