can i force it
if i need it?
or am i held hostage
by my own heart?
i think about this a lot
sitting on the stone, empty floor of a cage i don’t remember entering.
there’s this voice,
rattling around inside my head, bouncing off the walls.
i keep thinking it’s you.
i guess i’m wrong.
i used to believe
i could find the key to let myself out.
if only i fought hard enough, kept my head down, paid my dues.
i used to believe in a lot of things.
a lot of people.
i used to look in the mirror
and see hope.
i didn’t notice the hard, shiny collar, slicing into my oxygen supply.
do i hold the leash? does anyone?
or am i hallucinating, crumpled in the corner on the bathroom floor, trying to soak up the cold from the tiles like it’ll cure all my ills?
i don’t know anymore.
i’m knocking on my ribs, calling out for help,
“can you hear me?”
i guess not.
maybe my heart decided it would hurt less if i didn’t feel as much.
you can’t break what you can’t find, right?
boy was that fairy tale wrong.
i am a broken mask,
crumpled and muddied by others’ boots.
i am a forgotten newspaper ad,
empty rooms never viewed.
i am the only cry you cannot hear
in the dead of night.
a howl so lonely
you’d almost prefer fear.
because nothing hurts more
nothing soothes less
than lonely love letters from death.
by Daphne Shadows