There are parts of ourselves we have broken by trying too hard. Our tendons are hanging from our wrists, exposed like guts we painted on our chest. Our nails, half-bitten, have turned a dirty shade of yellow for having been kept too long under the bed. Our feet, calloused and soggy, no longer smell like feet should.
We trudge on. But as we go, we prove to be collateral damage to the people closest to us. The sharp edges of our bones slash through the void, allowing darkness to seep in. And as the night closes in, we feel them shaking. Everyone chokes on the cold and on the mistakes we’ve made when our eyes were too sullen to stay open.
Truth is, we have lost ourselves and the space where we can be honest. Air has become too salty to share with people crowding our bed so we rock ourselves to sleep on the floor instead. Do you still recognize our fingers?
Younger, we used to climb walls to reach the stars on the ceiling. Mama would reprimand us for making so much noise, but a broken nose was better than everything that came crashing down years later. We used to be so beautiful.
Perhaps, it is time for us to retreat. This is not the time to prove ourselves wrong about ourselves.
There are places that take pieces of us until we have none of ourselves left. To resist can be troublesome. We are tired, rightfully so, and we need to take a break from this emptiness too.
Sometimes, the quiet allows healing. And we need to remember what it means to be whole before we venture out again.