Take it In Your Hands

You wake up at the wrong time

into the wrong body and

the person next to you says

“Good morning,”

and you say it back

in someone else’s voice.

You put the wrong pair of slippers on

the wrong set of feet and stumble onto

the hardwood floors of a stranger,

rubbing sleep out of their eyes.

You grab a cigarette off the table

and light it and suck poison into

lungs that are not yours

and it tastes like stolen candy.

You go to the local market and

you push a cart with nothing in it

and you tell the woman at the register

This is not the life I was meant to have

but her eyes are cold and she doesn’t

give you a refund, so you take it

and get out.

You burn family portraits.

You stand in the shower with clothes on.

You bite off their fingernails and

never wake back up into yourself.

A girl looks up at you with

stained glass eyes and you almost

tell someone else’s daughter

you love her.

You burn their finger on a birthday candle.

You stub their toe on the coffee table.

You cut their hair and throw it down the sink.

A boy reaches up to you with

tree branch arms and you almost

tell someone else’s son

to be a man.

You burn yourself alive.

You kiss eighteen painkillers.

You run your car into brick buildings and

never wake back up into yourself.

You exchange the lives you’re given

hoping you’ll get back the original

and you never do and you’re an

old record spinning itself

in an empty room.

You walk alone to the park

tired and defeated and sit down

next to me saying

This is all wrong

saying

You’ve gotta help me

saying

This can’t be my life.

I pass over my bag of breadcrumbs

and you take it in your hands

and throw it to the birds.

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19 thoughts on “Take it In Your Hands

  1. This is beautifully written. The imagery, the raw emotion…I connected with it so deeply I can’t even stand it. In a good way, of course. You have an uncanny way of breaking the world down, turning the rubble in lyrical diamonds. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

  2. This got to me so deeply that I had to read it to my family just now. My husband said “Has she been peeking into our lives?” and “Yeah. She got it.” I echo his reaction and add “wow”.

    1. This is the best thing I’ve heard all day 😀 I love you guys. I hope that’s not weird to say.

      And we’re most definitely connected – always peeking in at each other 🙂

      Thanks so much, Alice!

Thoughts? I love those.

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