Good Times Hard Times
Good times in hard times
Hard times in good times
Lately, the guilt has been especially heavy
In being absent in some places
And too present in others
The overwhelming feeling to give my everything This duty and sense of urgency built into me Ingrained as deeply as I feel
I feel heavy.
I feel the regret
I feel the loneliness
I feel the sadness
That of myself and of those I love.
I feel my mother’s worry,
In the pit of my stomach
I scoop it out like sand.
Slipping through my fingers and lingering for days in My heart,
I feel my brother’s anger.
Burning with tenacity, it is hard to put out.
Spreading just as quickly as it is lit,
Only receding in the wake of its destruction on My chest,
I feel my father’s disappointment
The weight of it slows me down
Like jagged rocks, I chip them off my shoulders,
In pieces big or small
They crumble and they fall,
The sharp edges bruising my feet, in
I feel the shame.
Viscous and wet, whenever it bubbles it chokes me
My words drowning in between gurgles.
My spine stiff and my mind frozen, I can only gasp for air.
My limbs are numb, my knees collapse
My chest ablaze, I can only gasp for air.
My vision blurs, my cheeks are wet,
My stomach heaves, I can only gasp for air.
So, I gasp, and I grasp,
I can breathe.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 13, published March 7, 2023.