swim

when i was a kid, i loved swimming

going fasterfasterfaster, feeling the water part around me

like a god

a good daughter

a proper lady

.

so i learned frontstroke, and backcrawl

and even tried to pick up butterfly

but i couldn’t

my tissue paper body ripping at the seams

i still try it sometimes, out of habit

’cause you would have been so happy

.

when i was a kid, i realized

there was no warning sign i could not dismiss

false confidence and forced bravado

i was born for this

.

to cry on camera

’cause i can make misery look gorgeous

straighten my hair

and shatter my life like stained glass

and get drunk on my own tragedy

.

so i swum down to rock bottom

and stayed there ’til my lungs burned

i remember how i learned to worship the pain

and grab bricks from the bottom

drag them up with feeble kicks

of little feet

.

remember thinking to myself, on a bad day

that if i could just stay under the water

i’d be happy

with the tin-foil silence

that always felt like home

.

and i stopped swimming years ago

but sometimes, that feeling still slams into me

’cause i’m drowning

in the 40-hour workweek

the thrumming pressure

of it all

building up in my throat

.

i rinse off the chlorine

in an echoey changing room

and i don’t let my fears show

refresh my notifications

grab my backpack, and go home

trophy

i had an idea for a poem, but i forgot what it was. i guess i just… lost it, like my will to keep going, so now i’ll just scrape along painfully, like a flat tire down a long, dusty road. and hold out one day longer in the name of a stupid, aimless hope.

i had an idea for this poem. i knew exactly where i wanted to go. and i should have written it down, gotten it inked onto my skin, because i know it’s not the end of the world… but it sure does feel like it, ‘cause i’m dizzy, and i’m tired, and i always feel sick. so i worry, but i don’t show it, just put myself high up on the wall like a trophy.

i sit still, and smile vacantly; take it all in. i’m calm, and collected, until when it actually comes down to it, and in the moment i’m needed most i shatter like fucking ceramic. i wasn’t raised for failure, i was raised for a purpose. and i don’t know what’s happening, but i can’t handle it.

and there are a thousand versions of myself that came before, and each one of them haunts me in the night. with their half-mangled words, and their mutated fingertips. i think i’ll join them, someday, no matter how hard i try.

because there is a better version of me, just waiting to be found. with her shiny hair, and her glowing eyes. she thinks she’s perfect. thinks she’s got it all figured out.

but i don’t. so until then, i’ll just have to settle for burning this whole place to the ground.