I cannot make it go away.
I cannot pretend it isn’t screaming my name,
begging me to hold it and nurture it and make it feel safe.
It leaks out when I haven’t properly attended to the seal
and smells when I fail to twist the top closed,
secured with a twine tie.
I sense it coming. I busy myself.
An ounce leaks out. I drink a bottle.
I paint my toenails. I buy a book.
Yet. There it is again.
My pain, my terror, my sadness
beckons to be cared for as a child
demands to be hugged, bandaged, set back on its feet.
I break under its weight.
For some reason, in this moment, its heft is too much to bare.
So, I give in.
I let go.
I am sad.
I am sad as sad could possibly be.
All of the sadness that I have ever contained, ever trained,
ever held inside the shell that I have become
Crumble me to the cold tile floor,
back against the wall
head hung over in pure defeat,
knees up in my chest,
water beating down on my head
I wail because it is what I cannot contain.
My stomach shudders and begins to cramp
My eyes are so tightly clenched that
my lids begin to turn inside out
I am startled by the noises that escape my being,
howling with a pitch that only the screen door can utter.
Ache from the very core of who I am.
And then his words ring in my ears,
“Be one with the sadness.”
Is this what you mean?
This is what I sit and listen
and want to learn from you?
Because it is going to devour me
But somehow it is all that makes sense now.
So I sit.
In a heap on the floor
water running cold.
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Assistant Ed: Jamie Khoo/Ed: Sara Crolick