I wear anxiety like a delicately thrifted cardigan;
Something I wash before wearing it upon myself before another person,
always worrying that the stink of dust and abandonment will reach their freshly purchased nostrils.
Tying it around my waist, despite the magazines that tell me this style went out in the 90s, I cannot help but keep it on me, a buffer, an excuse for my shaking fingertips and stuttered sentences.
I can apologize for my goosebumps made of shivers and social interaction, covering it up with the thin fabric of forgotten medication, neglected therapy, and hours practicing one phone call, which I stumble through anyways.
At the end of the day, I throw it angrily onto my floor, stomping over it as I wash the dirt and hindered breathe out of my pores, willing my soap to wash this layer of my person away, but it is always there. The cardigan on my floor, waiting for my to wear it, despite the holes and uneven stitches, picked at by a stranger who wore it before me.
I have fallen short
of my own belief
regarding dreams I once
held so near
& now I see
how much they hindered
what I once thought
I don’t have any words,
only quiet between a place
where my pen pauses,
lingering over a question
about a question,
about a question,
about a question;
The cycle which spins,
flinging silence like sparks,
burning my fingers
into frozen pieces
of what used to be
now silenced by a reason
still in hiding.
I am too young to be burdened down by the moments from the past that have bruised me. My tongue will no longer be still, it will dance with the truths that others chose to act in. I am not a burden, I am not a slut, I am not a soulmate to crush for a twisted version of love where only one comes alive while the other buries themselves to hide under the stacks of lies where relationships are hammers wanting to kill instead of building a place where integrity spills. I will be clean from your secrets you gave me.
I took a writing class and feared writing afterwards. I read all my words in the voice of my professor, criticizing and throwing around the word ‘cliche’. Why did it seem as if that was the deadliest word to ever be said?
I posted an honest poem and feared sharing afterwards. I got a message from my past, reminding me of all the reasons they hated me. Why did it seem my past mistakes were worth hiding my growth for?
I drink too much at a wedding and lay dizzy in bed, it was the first time around all my childhood friends. I was anxious for weeks at what they may have said. Why was I scared that they had seen that I had grown up?
Why do I fear words so much, why do they echo as if they were a religious chant, designed for blocking out demons when in reality they create more turmoil within?
When will words lose control, and when do I take that role?