Pain and Grammar.

I didn’t ask to feel this deeply.

I didn’t ask you to raise me and then leave me.

What’s that? Histrionic dissociative disorder, you say? I’ve been going to therapists for years — sitting couches, rolling on floors, flooding offices with tears.

I’ve gone to church and declared that atheism is the answer. I’ve chanted around fires and screamed that nothing else matters.

I’ve researched brains and physics, emotions and stars, and the only conclusion I’ve found is grammar equivalent to spirals.

Punctuation.

It sort of sounds like eclipse 
but no, 
it’s not of the moon or the sun, 
it’s those 3 little dots that claim ‘wait, 
I haven’t finished yet, I’m not quite done.

I’m just taking a break, 
I’ll be back in a moment, 
I had to catch my breath 
before my lungs

become

completely…

frozen.

They look at me and say, ‘the answer isn’t there, the answer isn’t there, stop looking so hard because the answer is… everywhere…

And nowhere.’

Watch the stick figure jump off the edge of this dotted cliff………………
but you’ll never see where he lands because it doesn’t exist.

So then where can I go to talk about death? Who will let me drown without screaming, “no, you’re not finished yet?” And by drown I don’t mean swimming in the ocean, I mean by fucking crying and saying, ‘I just can’t…

I have too much emotion.’

Who will help rid the world of its shame? I still have to explain to others that they aren’t to blame. That’s it. I think I’ve discovered my purpose! I must be here to hold them — yes, that’s it. I must be here…for this.

People need me.

But who will let me wipe the tears from their eyes 
and tell me…
but who am I? 
To think that I am someone who can console
a father with two dead children in the crux of his arms,
and a void 
ripped through his soul?

And who am I to think I can revel in sadness…wait, there’s that pesky shame again. No, Shannon! Honor your madness. Everything is valid, including us, me, and you. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve been through.

But at some point I’ve got to give in. I can’t keep taking blows and starting over again. Life pulls and it pounces and I can’t seem to keep my feet grounded and I’m covered in death from all of the flesh that I’ve mounted. But I’m here…I keep reaching the top, clawing my way through shattered bones as I make my way up, and so I wave a small flag and I say,

“Look! 
Look! I’m still here! 
Look at the skeletons at my feet…
…piling up…
year after year…”

Hey, tiny child. Clasp your hand around mine. Did you know that your eyes will always stay the same size? We’ll take a walk, it’s getting dark soon. Go to sleep now,

I love you.

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