Secret Shame

I explained to her once
how sometimes I feel
I’m the shoreline

just longing for the ocean
to come kiss me goodnight,

when she did not run away
I knew I felt something for her,

when I admitted to her
how I hold death like a prayer
in between my palms

she quietly whispered how she did too,
and it almost felt like we were one;

her sadness has a home inside of me
and even though she often
holds back her laughter
I know it is what’s lighting my soul-

this emptiness has become too much to bear on most days

but she always reminds me
I’m never alone

she once told me
her soul looked like a well

with no water waiting at the bottom-
just emptiness

how her voice
gets lost in there,

suddenly my whole life made sense.

I convince myself
the sky is calling me home

she asks me
if I want to build a house
out of the clouds,

she asks me why
I won’t call her by her name

why I won’t introduce her to my family;

she wants to know if I love her,

and I do.

I love her like you’re supposed
to love yourself

except loving yourself
isn’t that easy,

I still refer to her
as a separate person

even though she is a part of me

I still refer to her as her
instead of by what she really is;

but depression will do that to you,

she will move into
the dark house of your bones

she will tell you
there is not enough room
for all of this shame and sadness

she will leave you longing
for the girl you never quite were

as you struggle to create space
for her to live comfortably-

she moved into my heart last week,

as she carved her initials into my soul
I knew her and anxiety would get along just fine

I always feel them dancing in my rib cage,
running up and down the stairs of my chest

and not a day goes by where
they don’t hold a party in my brain,

she and anxiety have become
a powerhouse couple
who use my body as their refuge,

every day I drown in the well
of her secrets

as the blood of her shame
washes over me once again.

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