By: Lee Harris
Photo Credit: Creative Commons

you’re the way

that mirrors

only show a reflection

because it’s darker

on the other side.

how peeling back

old chipped layers of paint

feels like you’re making progress,


you’re just letting the heat

out of the room.

out of your space.

your space.

the head space your claim.

the one you,


don’t want.

like the way books

collect dust

because the summary on the outside

made it seem

like cannon fodder.

you’re on page 15.



you wish someone would break your spine.

they don’t.

they won’t.

you’re the only one

who can.

but that doesn’t feel

like abandoned treasure chests


in the middle of your rib cage

who are meant to be found.

these things

are meant to be


like a wanted sign

that just says,


you’re the one

who tacked it up.

you’ll be the one

to take it down.


let the tremors

ring throughout

your entire body.

don’t fight them.

you need someone

to see them.

when they show off their fingernails,

show them yours.

see if they ask how much it hurts,

and if they don’t

mention it anyway.

clench your fist,

and then let it go.

because they see you

as a scribble

in their timeline.


you’re the one who made you



go ahead.

pull down your lip.

show them how much

it hurts

to eat.

that wounds

are not solely

on the outside.

that an empty bottle

is about as useful

as no bottle

at all.

less of a reason

to live,

and more of a reason

to take


not all of them pay off.

somewhat like

you’ve pawned your own hands

and explaining

that you might not

come back for them.

that they’ve broken enough.

you too.


“welcome home,

no one else is here.”

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