Phases


ago
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1
Qualified
Do you think it’s my fault?
I’m beginning to think it is.
I sit in a locked room.
Four grey, textured walls
loom with ominous presence.
There is a window,
a slit of daylight breaking the darkness.
I can hear people speak in hushed tones
right outside.
That poor girl,
if only someone would unlock the door.
But no one has the key.
And everyone is too busy
to try and find it.

Is it really my fault?
I wish someone would tell me
once and for all.
I prick my finger
with a pointed sewing needle,
thick blood dripping down my hand.
People sigh and whisper.
That poor girl,
how sad about her finger.
But no one gives me a bandage.
Their hands are too full
with other things.

Is there something wrong with me?
Maybe I should listen
to everyone who thinks so.
I lie in a vast, serpentine river.
It’s placid and peaceful at first.
I can breathe.
Then I am swept up in
blurred and swirling
and chaotic suffocation.
People on shore bemoan and lament.
That poor girl,
someone save her.
But no one jumps in the river.
They don’t want
to get their clothes wet.

Will I ever be okay?
I start to think,
maybe they are wrong.
I am sinking in a desert.
The wind is strong,
whipping sharp grains of
coarse sand against my skin.
My feet are slowly sucked
further and further down
by a pool of quicksand.
A crowd surrounds me,
watching the ground
threaten to pull me under.
They speak in faint voices.
That poor girl,
if only someone would throw her a rope.
But everyone is using their rope
for their own caravans.
They have none to spare.

But, I think I will be okay.
I don’t need their rope.
I don’t need their bandages.
I learned how to swim.
I forged my own key.

I used to think
I could never get out;
that the battle could never be won.

I was wrong.
1

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