deadheading.

by hiraeth   Jun 27, 2020


coward.

the word itself is unpalatable to a practiced tongue
that has tasted an array of the deplorable. still, my
stomach has been churning nonstop for the past
couple of days, but the ocean of milk won’t offer
anything remotely favourable. i apologized to
the next victim, that i couldn’t do what was
necessary – today, there was another victim,
and i know deep in my heart i genuinely
believed that there would never be another
one but predators are never satiated with a
pound of flesh, and i should’ve known that.
i'm a coward that could not do what
needed – needs to be done. on some
level, i know this is by design, you made
it so, that we’d have to draw more than
a pound of flesh to settle the score,
severing ourselves at the roots.
even then would justice have been served?
a community bounded by shame, you would’ve
been protected by those who should be protecting
their own and we would only hammer the wedge
between them deeper – becoming the pariahs, not you.
but still, i can no longer gather the strength to
look at the coward that stares back in the mirror.
i catch myself thinking about the summer you almost
didn’t make it through that hospitalization, disgusted
at myself that i wanted you to make it – with everything
else i repressed, i knew deep down something was amiss.
the other day, i was watching something on tv, and
the kids were blindfolding one another, playing
hide and seek and the dam broke, flooding me with
memories that i stitched together to realize the truth,
and when i did, the air weighed thrice as it did before
and my lungs shrunk by half – i struggled for breath
all the while trying to maintain my composure
among family. you and yours keep wounding us,
the past couple of months i keep picturing you
at the gallows till anxiety shakes me into questioning
whether i'm just as complicit as they are?

i've never been sure of myself:
an unmemorable entity with a soft-spoken
voice that grows mute when it’s needed –

but a coward?

That I am.

3


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