Self-Harm

111.

You step out in my attentive suit

Pillows, pills and bills block your way

I find tear-stained sheets

Who were you at 3AM?

 

There you go in the evenfall

Lined artwork bleeding

Kitchen glass breaking

Bright eyes seeking

The sound of a throat constricting

Suspire and oxygen melting

Someone who is no longer here.

 

Many people do you meet:

The boy keeping a stash

The girl laughing too hard

The man feeding his meal to the cat

The woman sharpening the knife

In the library, the bridge under, the computer screen

Each knowing the smiles meant goodbye.

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87.

Darkness of the mind, just an inkblot of poison fills the jar.

Undo the blinds, can you still see the faint sunshine that filters through.

Light and dark, unmatched playmates in shadowy playgrounds.

Run your hand along this length of rope or the metallic cool of a gun.

Will it be tonight, that the fingers will curl into the familiar hollow and pick up.

Will it be tonight, that the phone will be switched off and eyes shut tight.

Will it be tonight, that there will be a note left behind.

Please don’t let it be tonight, or any other night.

I’m here praying that you’ll live through these terrifying times.

Please hold on.

Don’t let your starlight eyes lose their glimmer in the dark.

70.

To be physical is not my demand, yet I will reach in myself a desire to reach out to you, if doing so will keep you safe. I will wrap my arms around in fierce affection, complete the space between fingers and pray my hardest to never let go.

There is a different pain, slow and terrifying, in watching the people you care suffer.

It has always been about you, is what you claim, that the wrongness of things persist. Never do you consider yourself a smile or a pocketful of bright, nor the velvet cool of a nocturnal’s shadow. Both have their strengths and beauty, but in yourself you are a stone drowning in a hidden pool.

The constant picking on sleeves and the hemline, how deep is the ache to tear them away. So many threads pulled taut, adjusted every moment or two. Strings weaved in order to purport a clever disguise. Patches of irrelevant cloth, threaded onto your back as temporary salves to save a facade failing.

You think, you truly think that you are pulling yourself together but I recognise that you are a sweater unravelling, and in time even my trembling figure can no longer support your breaking frame.

I am standing in front of you, in the same room with a heart screaming — yet all I can do in the end is watch your lungs choke on wool and inconsolable sorrow, and I am left behind with the mess of you.

50.

Boy, you already know that you are a work of art.

Even with eyes blanketed in darkness, I can draw the contours of your face.

You are given to indecision, the way you would redo the smallest details over and over again. Some days it’s the hue, some days it’s the bold streaks you can’t seem to perfect.

There’s no start over, and so you make do. Every day a little fidget, a spot and blob. Until both the beginning and the end gets lost in the arms of each other.

I could see it then, your hesitancy, even with the arm outstretched as you said hello on our first day.

Boy, I hope that one day you’ll decide for yourself that it’s finally okay to let this canvas be, no need for any more vertical knife cuts into your papery skin.

It’s about time that you let this painting dry for a little while.