Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Boiling Over

and this sadness never is an old friend who comes to hold me for a night or two, it’s an enemy who stops by to slice into me just enough to leave me aching from a wound that will never heal. It brings friends to stay on watch to make sure if that wound starts to scab over, they pick it and pick it until it’s new again. The pain is constantly renewing itself until it falls into the deep of where that emptiness started. There is no end to this story. Just a boiling over from the place inside where demons never let me have a fucking break. They stay there, building caskets, holding the lid open… waiting for me to come inside and just stay forever. So many times I’ve wanted to, just to make their voices stop, just to hush their presence long enough for me to sleep or smile or live. But I keep fighting them, sword beneath my pillow, hoping one day I’ll wake up and they’ll be gone. And I don’t know what all this is for anyway. What I’m holding onto. I haven’t found a purpose. I’m forever searching for the why in a world that never answers. What’s the answer? It can’t be just to survive these demons that I never invited in the first place. It can’t be to battle this madness that runs through my blood because I didn’t ask for it. I never asked for this branding. I didn’t choose it, I never chose to be this, whatever this is. I want to be that person who sees the good in everything, always smiling… but this blood handed down to me always says no and it feels like No is my name sometimes. I want to feel a life that says yes, the kind that doesn’t question everything. The kind of life that I love too much to take for granted, like every breath makes me say thank you. That’s what I want. But why do I have to be on my knees, begging for my own face to fucking smile and mean it? Why is “I don’t care” second nature to me like a curse that can’t be broken? Broken. Why am I broken like this? Most people would be happy to have what I have, this life… I should feel lucky, but I don’t. The blood in my veins is selfish, feeds my heart pity and that’s no different from starvation; I’m busted. Shattered as they come. Pieces of could have, but never did. I’m just tired. This fight has lost its worth, like I have lost my worth, and I’m not even sure I ever had any to begin with. I was born in this madness, force fed it through the umbilical cord before I took my first breath outside the womb. And that’s the dinner I was always served, expected to clean my plate no matter what and I always did. Maybe that’s why I don’t anymore. But it doesn’t cleanse the madness out. Staying empty only makes it fester more. Staying full only makes it boil over more.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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