Friday 24 August 2018

The Dust On This Poem Could Choke You | by Lora Mathis

September 18, 2014

I am throwing out all of the clothes you touched me in.
I am burning every poem with your name in it.
But I am still holding onto some of the letters you wrote me.
I tell myself it’s to remember.
I tell myself it’s because I am afraid
of forgetting the early warning signs.
I tell myself I’m not sentimental.

I’m not sentimental.
I’m just afraid of throwing every burning thought
I have about you into the trash
and starting a wildfire.

I am shaking on the ground in my bedroom,
realizing that it is two years until I turn the age
you wanted to marry me at.
I am using the candles on my
twenty-first birthday cake
to burn “grow up” into my knees.
I am in the front row at a show,
realizing that if I heard this song two years ago,
I would have thought about you.

Thinking about you takes effort now.
You no longer pour out when I open my mouth.
These days, if I want to bleed you out,
I have to grab a knife.

I am in the waiting room checking off “suicidal thoughts”
on the general form. I am figuring out
which parts of my personality are mine
and which ones I created to please you.
I am in the doctor’s office, holding my head high and not
quivering when she asks me if I’m okay.
I am biting down on my lip until I taste rust when she
mentions putting me on antidepressants.
I am getting better, I swear.

I am feeling the tears well up and not letting them fall.
This is a form of self-abuse.
This is a form of reliving my youth.
This is a form of remembering what it felt like to be near you.


by Lora Mathis