stream of conscious coping iii

every time i catch my reflection

smiling, it makes me frown

cause i don’t feel comfortable

feeling too okay, just yet

it almost feels like forgetting you

or brushing you off, even as

i feel your wraith glaring at me

from the other side, grumblemuttering

“dammit y’all were supposed to be better off

without me, why can’t you be happy”

i want to shake you by the shoulders

and scream in your face: “the only thing that changed

when you died, was your subtraction from earth

no one is better off for this, man —

our president is still orange

there are four hurricanes

the pacific northwest is on fire

and everyone who knew you is wrecked”

but i can’t have a fistfight with a ghost

and i know that even though this hurts so much

you meant well, and it hurt you even more to stay

i’m sorry that i can’t smile for you, friend

it’s cause you mattered too much

and no matter how much i run

or drink with our friends

or scream into pillows

i am not ready to let you go

i am not even sure that i can

but i can feel pieces of you slipping out of my fingers

sand from an hourglass, one more memory dissolving

grief cannot stand up to years of dissociative coping

to habitual repression of emotions with “i’m fine”

you tried so hard to break me of this, i’m sorry

it used to be that hugging you meant i could cry safely

but i can’t hold you close and cry into your chest

when i can’t even touch you


The source of the photo is linked here. I don’t know how many of these there will be, or if they’re any good, but this series will continue until I can get through a week without sobbing. If you liked this piece, and want to support my continued existence in a monetary fashion, click here. If you can’t spare a dime, please consider hitting the clap button, or even sharing my work on social media. Thanks for reading.

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