A year like no other—2020 in review

in shuttering silence

happiness is fleeting

buoyancy is turbulent 

and the grey world deteriorates

breath is belabored

and the periphery begins to seep in

the color is fading fast 

fast

faster still than hot flames

the fury and the fire in the center

burns has burned and will burn

hot

hotter than before

but still it burns through its fuel

and the sides still fall away than the center can build back

better to be honest 

better to be free

better to seek the middle even as the edges fray

better to worry about the now than lose hope in the future

as the color fades into gray

Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

suffocation

grey muffled voices–

shuttered dusty white shades that don’t rotate

that don’t move,

that bend and shake as you pull the little white cord.

Never more than the briefest glimpse of light peeks through.

it’s oppressive in that warm room

the floor creeps toward the ceiling 

the walls pour in from the sides

the carpet pulls the fight from the soles of your feet

the white walls.

the relentless clock.

the viscous air.

and your feet cemented to the floor,

body still,

heart racing.

and the voices,

the walls,

the shades.

your feet that won’t move,

your labored breathing,

the creeping white walls,

and the encroaching ceiling.

from Saatchi Art

Suffocated

I knew you before, but we had never talked. I knew of you.

It was just recently that I met you. When you looked at me, I blushed. I felt something I couldn’t describe.

You had my number from a while back and you texted me that night… You told me how we had this connection that was rare and beautiful.

You said that you wanted to get to know me better. I said I wanted to too.

I had heard bad things about you, but I didn’t believe it. And in the end, it wasn’t you who was at fault, it was me.

You made me feel special, loved, happy.

We talked for hours. I told you my insecurities, you told me your secrets too.

But, apparently, I scared you off.

I remember saying “I’m scared that if you get to know me, you won’t like me anymore.”

You promised that would never happen, that I could never scare you away.

Well, you lied. In less than a day, you got distant. I got scared; I reached out.

You went from saying things that made me feel adored, to saying nothing at all.

I couldn’t stand it, I knew I should have let you be, but I couldn’t.

“Do you still like me?” I asked.

“Yes, but your feelings are kind of suffocating right now,” he replied.

“I’m sorry, I’ll leave you alone.”

“Thank you,” you said.

Suffocating…

You had told me you wanted something that would last, you told me to be clingy, you told me you wanted to be with me for a long time,

Yet in two days of talking, you call me suffocating.

How can you say you still like me but you want me to leave you alone?

How can you have said that I was the perfect girl for you, then turn me away the next day?

I’m suffocating…

It’s hard to breathe the absence of love. It’s not that I loved you, I guess I just loved the thought of you. I thought you were perfect.

“Love’s like oxygen. You get too much you get to high, not enough and you’re going to die.”

You built me up, maybe it was part of your manipulating trick. You built me up so much, made me feel so special, then stripped it all away.

We’ve only known each other for three days, it’s almost impressive how you manage to hurt me this bad.

I can’t breathe, I feel empty.

Like a void, a wound, a puncture in my chest.

I’m gasping for air, yet I’m still suffocating.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

They warned me about you, told me how your kindness was just a way of manipulating me into getting what you wanted.

But the sad part is, I went a long with it, I feel so hard for you that I would have given you what you wanted.

I’ve cried, I’ve stayed in bed for almost a day… all of this for you. My spirit builds up so high when I get a notification on my phone. Maybe it’s you. It never is.

You broke me.

And yet you say you’re the one suffocating.

But at the root of it all, it’s not you at fault.

You gave me a chance; I blew it.

I came on too strong maybe? I tried to talk to you too much maybe?

I’m sorry I made you feel suffocated.

If only I could have been better. If only I could be better.

Maybe then someone will love me.

Until then,

I’m just here

suffocating.