Pain Collector

and even if the days of crying

yourself to sleep have ended or the nights

are gone when you stayed hidden behind

the safety of the bathroom door, as you

poured out silent sobs that only the walls

knew about, it doesn’t mean the pain left.

Sometimes it means the numbness took

over and you simply don’t feel it the same;

you don’t feel anything at all. But you do.

The numbness is a liar. A mask, just like a

bandage, that can be ripped off as quickly

as you learned to put it on. The defense

mechanism you taught yourself to slip into

when it all became too much. The blanket

you wrapped around yourself when you

grew tired of telling secrets to your pillow

and the bathroom walls knew you better

than you wanted them to. So you tied it all

in a knot and shoved it deep inside where

the pain stays in the dark, but you’ve done

that many times before, pain collector,

and not everything needs light to grow.

But you already know how pain thrives

in the darkest places. It festers wildly,

spreads into a garden where old wounds

feed from you to make new ones, until

you are imploding with the poison of

bottling up your feelings for too long.

Let it out to let it go.

Sometimes you have to make explosions

from your own heart to recognize the

beauty you’ve been hiding for so long.

And no one has to see it as beautiful,

as long as you do.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

#stephaniebennetthenry

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