p.169

everybody is always telling you
“be calm, stay calm”
what I don’t understand
is why anyone would want to quiet the
uproar inside of you
it’s the only thing you’ve done right
you can count on it being there while
everyone else is on lunch break
or when they corner you in the bathroom
shaking your shoulders
and pleading for you to
“just be happy!”
don’t they know?
don’t they hear you?

everybody wants the best for you
until you’re naked in the tub
crying over leftover cake
and everybody continues stepping over you
as they clean themselves
and they just leave you there
because it is easier than picking you up
and brushing your hair

nobody wants to ask you
“what’s wrong?”
because as soon as they do
they’ve become a part of it
and after seeing you smoke that whole
pack of cigarettes while you finished that
bottle of cheap wine, they don’t want to
feel the fear

instead they inch away
and ask you how your day was
knowing full well you will always reply with
“I’m fine.”
and that’s when they can walk away with
a smile on their face because they heard
you say you’re happy
so it must be true

after all, you wouldn’t lie—
you are fine
you dress yourself in the dark
and you still come out looking like
you haven’t a clue that there is death
inside you

you say running away will fix you
don’t you remember what happened last time?
they found you after eight days
because the person inside you
didn’t want to be lost again
they left a trail behind you
without telling you, claiming
“it’s what’s best for you”
even thought he best thing for you right now is
to not exist for a while.

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