survival

I wrote this a year ago. Still true.

I wish I could tell you there was an end to this.

I wish I could tell you this was a phase, a rainy season;
after, that there would be a long, mild summer: all sun
and no burning.

I wish I could tell you that sadness
could break like a fever, and after you are better.
You are stronger. You bounce back.

You are stronger, maybe, but you do not bounce back.

At least, not the way you used to.

I wish I did not have to tell you
that the world would grind you down.
That it would tell you to stand up for yourself, but each time
you dared fight, it would sucker-punch your gut,
send you crumpling to the floor, leave you
breathless, grasping your middle, gasping for air,
waiting for the next blow.

I wish you didn’t have to know
what all those blows feel like.

But you do,
and so I say to you
the one thing I still know is true:
life is terminal, but it is survivable.
You learn to live on a little less oxygen,
take the punches as you are dealt them–

even, eventually, shake off the bruises.

It will take getting used to, but the good news is
a body can get used to anything.

Even bruises, darling,
even sadness.
So pull your punches.
It’s only pain.

Fin.

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[Rambles] Scaffolding

Once, there was someone I loved, and that someone built me up until I stood tall and (almost) strong, (almost) stable. I thought they would be part of my life forever.

But sometimes, we lose people to seasons. For whatever reason, the promises of “I’m here to stay.” wear away until they are only words. You take the scaffolding off of the building and the building has to stand on its own.

I only see that person now in photos and tight smiles and notes that dart past on my newsfeed, addressing people who might as well be strangers. We might as well be strangers. But, even with that distance, there are still lessons they’re teaching me.

I’m learning to see, even after someone leaves, you aren’t made less for their leaving.

When the person I loved left, I had to take the scaffolding off. On my own. It hurt so much that I thought I wasn’t strong enough, that I would fall apart. But, after, when the metal  had given way, and the dust had settled, and the earth stopped shaking…I found that I’d remained.

Standing.

~*~

For those who have loved, and lost, and at the end, find.

~aRT~