Solo Fighter 

This sadness, this undeniable madness;

it’s not some extravagant plan 

I mapped out to inconvenience you.

I don’t lay awake at night perfecting 
the details of how I can fuck it all up 

again and again and again and again. 

Believe it or not, that’s just who I am; 

It’s a sick curse that’s out of my hands. 

But you keep grabbing it like it’s yours 

to touch. You keep analyzing it as if 

maybe somehow it can be about you, 

maybe you can try to hold it without 

getting burned, and maybe you can 

say you saved me. You never will. 

Any chance of saving me is long gone, 

like the ones I once called heroes;

they are buried now along with my 

dreams. There are no flowers keeping 

those headstones warm, same as 

my heart that’s still beating so cold. 

I have never been good at pretending, 

but there’s an award somewhere 

with my name on it for playing alive 

despite the times I watched myself die. 

I never came back from that slow death; 

deep breaths filled with questions inhaled, 

exhaling the taste of silence from the 

absence of answers that emptied me. 

Everything was supposed to be different, 

but it’s not, never will be, so I swallow 

the way it should have been, and choke 

on the survival I never could pull off. 

So as you search my eyes for reason

hoping to name each tear with rhyme, 

remember the color before the daze 

was once a fighter who fought alone. 

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry 

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10 thoughts on “Solo Fighter 

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