I Break

It took me three long days
to break your necklace
just like I break
everything here
Like that time when
twenty-four hours with you
cost me 500 bucks
And then it turns out that
it was good to see you
but those twenty-four hours
may have been
the shittiest of my life
’cause we were
saying goodbye

Then I broke my house when
I was working a forty-hour shift
one day and
everybody else was
picking up boxes
and then putting them down again
in a meaningless cycle
for clarity
As if planning a funeral
takes any time
– or family – at all these days
And the most important
thing in the world
wasn’t my insurance
or the money

I broke my mind when
I was counting fifty-dollar bills
in my pocket
and I couldn’t make them
add up to my mother
like they do in 1984
when four plus four
somehow ends up as five
And they just tell me
meaningless ecclesiastes
over and over
and over again
While I was still thinking
that grief is an okay thing
like the blog-posts
all tell me
When IRL grief is just
a word you use to
please your therapist
before you go out
to burn some gasoline
with friends who know only
how to distract you
from your long-term problems

It took a little longer to
break my feelings ’cause
they’re not quite
broken in yet
Trained to wait for
the most imperfect moment
before they erupt into tears
And I’ve known
for a little while
that emotions might even
be real
but I break them anyways

I break them when
my favorite people
turn out to be really good
at things that aren’t very
helpful right now
Like sitting down and
talking about
a video game that relies
solely on the principle
of meaningless distraction
which is one of
the few things I don’t need
because maybe talking
about this impossibility
will make it seem more real
and prove that you
mean whatever words
you text me when
I’m sobbing in bed
at three AM

At the same time
I break superfluous connections
when people who I’ve known
for somewhere around
the last five minutes
ask me how I’m doing
And I just answer “good”
and “fine”
since I can’t explain how
there are still a few things
in my life that make
the mess seem bearable
for a few hours
each day
Yet even they aren’t ever enough
to fill the gaping hole
that’s been forming
in my chest lately

So when these people ask
if I really mean it when
I say I’m okay
I think of laughing hysterically
right before I cry
as if they both aren’t exactly
the same thing
right at this moment
I wish my friends would be
the ones to hug me
or the ones to listen to
my two-hour long rant about
freaking everything
Except I know that
my friends are the people
willing to give me space
when I need it
even if they misjudge me
and give me too much space
inside my head

The last thing I break
is that thing inside somewhere
that doesn’t really have
any words connected to it
except that it probably
writes my poetry for me
I don’t remember how
but I break it when
everything goes grey
and it rips the words from that space
until I’m all bloody inside
and the garbled sentences
flicker out

M.
May 7/16

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