Broken-Winged Birds 

I tore my chest open with my own bare hands, to let out all the deep breaths I’ve been holding. Hoping I could breathe again but my lips love the color blue. I cracked my ribs to get to my heart. I wanted to see the commotion of all the broken winged birds in there, but all their beaks are silent. They stopped singing or maybe they are ready to sing a song for someone else. It’s the same old tune here about how they want to fly away, but the tips of their wings are dried concrete from the time I built a wall around my heart. These knots in my stomach are never going to untie themselves. That’s what the birds are for. But they cannot save me anymore. It’s all me now, trying to breathe with this lump in my throat, trying to live through this feeling inside of constantly falling. One day I’m not going to wake before I hit the bottom. You think it’s ugly now? Not even close. You can’t come back from everything, right? Well, I only sleep to get away from it all and  even there, I am haunted. These ghosts will follow me to my grave, I know it. I hope the birds make it out before that day comes. I would go with them if I could, but they won’t have me. I ruined them enough. My fingers bleed now because I thought there was a cure in my fingernails, turns out I was wrong, and the skin on my lips is paying for it. Nothing distracts me anymore. The middle of the night drives, the music, none of it soothes me like it once did. It triggers me. I see all the holiday lights and think of all the people who can’t see those anymore. Maybe that’s why they shine. For the ones who no longer can. So, maybe some of those are shining for me? I’ve always been good with wishful thinking, but I lost it. The lights piss me off. Slow, deep breaths… and the birds take my air. Or maybe it’s all this bullshit swirling around inside, begging to come out. I’ll open that door if it means I can breathe again. I’ll open that door if it means I can live again. I will kick that door down if it means there’s even a small chance I can be me again. 

Stephanie Bennett-Bennett © 2016


***Photo Credit: © beethy 2012

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