A poem about bad nights.


1. *


the girl is empty


the last dregs of pain




have drained away

and there is nothing left


red-rimmed eyes and tear-stain train-tracks 

running down once-flushed cheeks

these are all that remain now

reminders of a storm 

she would much rather forget


it has passed

for now

but dark clouds have gathered 

and nothing can dispel them


the girl is tired of storm clouds 


she sleeps it off

or tries to

but sleep doesn’t come easy to the girl

who hid under the table when she was little

when thunder rumbled overhead

and lightning split the sky in two


sudden light flares in the darkness

but there is no rumble of thunder

just a dull hum

as her phone vibrates on her bedside table


the girl screws her eyes shut 

her chest tightening 

stomach twisting

throat constricting 

with the rising tide of panic

a tsunami tearing through her head 

and rushing back to the red-rimmed eyes


she tries to contain the storm


but that cool blue light flashes again

hums again 


demanding her attention


she breathes in slowly


breathes out slower still

and reaches out

to the phone with its incessant blinking light


two messages


-are you okay?


her hand is trembling

and her breathing is rasping


she’s drowning

but there’s a light in the distance


-i’m always here if you need me


the waves crash onto the shore

and roar in the winds of the storm

but the pressure in her chest


dissipates into mist

saltwater traces paths down her cheeks

but there’s air in her lungs

and she can breathe

she can breathe


the storm stops for no one

but the clouds seem to lighten

rain fades to drizzle

she knows it isn’t over 

but at least now she knows

she is not alone


and that thought sustains her

steadies her

it isn’t much

but it is enough

it is enough for her to reach out

at last

the girl has something to hold on to

and she will weather this storm.






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