I know what it feels like, those splinters inside
of you, bending & breaking with each breath.
How safe the sheets of your bed feels.
How the hurt is a door slamming shut inside
of you over and over again. So your heart is a child
in a candy store, wanting every damn
lollipop in reach. So your heart is a faulty
bathroom light that flickers a few times
before it turns on. So it takes you a little longer
to forget her, so you spent an entire day watching
the boy ride his red bike away from you. It’s okay.
Sometimes you have to coax the light out of
you. Sometimes you have to shape your own
morning, make it a little softer around the edges.
Sometimes you have to hold those memories close
like a second skin, for instance: his spine –
each knob a baby pebble. I know it aches,
but I have seen your survival. I’ve seen the way
you look both ways before crossing the street.
Hold your hands out when you fall.
Given the chance, I bet you would flinch
against the apocalypse.