courage

last night, i cried so hard that my ears hurt.

today, i woke up with my throat screaming,

too dry to open my mouth and let air in.

my pillows were still wet,

my eyes still puffy.

when i plopped out of bed,

my knees and shoulders ached

and i buckled under my own weight.

sometimes you wake up with the difficulties of yesterday.

people will spout condolences or positive, affirming quotes,

but no amount of rainbows and hanging cats

could make my heart stop diving down into

the pit of my hollow stomach.

because, it takes a lot,

a whole lot of courage

to leave your hollow space

in the one corner of your bed

when all you want to do

is build a brick wall around it.

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it takes a whole lot of courage

to let prying eyes bore into your soul

wondering what they can do to help.

it’s hard to face yourself in the mirror

and pick out all the things you’d like to change.

it’s hard being blue

in a world of yellows.

and, yet, you get out of bed.

you brush your hair

and you put on makeup.

you put on your brave face,

because staying in bed all day is one way to cope,

but, it takes courage,

not more or less,

just

courage

to live your life.

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red hoods

I.

you remember me as a pensive, emotional soul.

you remember the intricate, twisty inner-workings of my mind.

you were always “there” for me when i needed you.

that’s why it took me so long.

maybe i was so used to the comfort of your shadow

that it never dawned on me to leave it.

i deserve the shine you always used to get.

it’s been hard accepting some of it now,

now that you’re gone.

you still pop up every now and then,

but the pain you bring is only temporary.

thank god.

II.

we never were close.

but, you and i learned to

live with each other.

we got wrapped up in our long conversations,

laughing at the carefully placed jokes.

but, you’re a hard pill to swallow,

the fact that i’ll never be enough for you.

cool enough.

funny enough.

kind enough.

enough.

so, even if it’s hard for me now,

i just have to take a deep breath,

close my eyes,

and force myself to take you in.

III.

you’re a sheep in wolf’s clothes.

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your little red riding hood is enough to

hide your long, wiry fur,

your sharp, gutting claws.

i’m just a cookie in your basket,

as you skipped along the pebbly path

to grandma’s house.

i’m just tired of falling out

and you letting me crumble to pieces.

A Big, Calming Hug

It happens in an instant,

the moment they become distant.

Each memory merely a snapshot,

frozen in your mind.

Smile for the picture,

a big, calming hug goodbye,

no more little tears left to cry.

Now there are only real tears,

the ones that come from your biggest fears,

the ones that leave you empty,

a body heaving for air,

for love,

for a nice, calming hug.

No.

There are no more reassuring words,

from the one that makes your whole world.

No more smiles as you bite into your freshly baked cookie,

no more cheers on the soccer field,

no more hugs when you’re sad,

no more hugs when you’re glad,

no more,

no more.

Is it nice to miss class when you want?

Is it nice to get “mental health days?”

WHAT THE HECK.

It is NOT nice to have to miss class to see a therapist,

to talk about “feelings” and ways to help your crippling anxiety,

when missing class causes even more stress,

then being there.

It is NOT nice to stay in bed gasping for air,

tears everywhere,

in your hair,

eyes,

pillow,

sheets.

It is NOT nice to lose a parent to cancer.

It is NOT nice to hear your condolences.

Don’t think of yourself as a hero for saying “sorry.”

Don’t fling around a word you don’t mean.

Don’t tell me you know how I’m feeling.

JUST LEAVE.

I don’t want a hug,

not from you.

I only want a big, calming hug.

If only I had the person here to give it to me.null