July 26, 2016

On The Dark Days















On the dark days
I want to buzz cut my hair and
look nothing like myself.
I want
to unzip this suit of
skin and face and hair
and rid myself of the weight of it.
It has become so heavy
like a wet, wool coat
beneath one of those lead vests
they drape you in for dental x-rays.

I want to feel light
like waves on the ocean,
skimming frothy on wet sand,
like birds on the air,
clouds on the sky.
But the iron-cast belly
of babies and middle age
drags me down.

I just want to wipe away the heat,
to lay on the cool tile floor,
feel the staccatoed breeze
of an oscillating fan,
hear nothing but it's gentle, caressing whir,
stare blankly into the space just
inches from the tip of my nose.

An hour later I'll notice
the comforting weight of my tiny
dog's body
against my leg
and it will be enough to release
the tears.

Silent drops.
Because, well, silence.

My reflection, forever
emblazoned on the back of my eyelids,
will heave my chest in breaths
I don't want to take
for fear that I'll only grow bigger
with each one. Only more
of what I don't want to be.

And the failure of this thought
will pile
shovel-full after
shovel-full of the dirt
of shame
and guilt on top of me.
Now I am buried
on the cool tile floor.

A new weight.

It will relax me.

Beneath the soil the tiny seed of
hope will sprout.
Its delicate, pale green tendrils will
swirl toward the surface
seeking air and sun and
warm, summer rains and
days that aren't quite so very
dark.


by amy lorbach





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