Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

My Heart Catches Fire

When I fall, I fall too hard,

I guess I always will.

And maybe I don’t know how

to let go at the right time,

but eventually I do in my own time.

It’s not as easy as it sounds,

falling hard and rising back up

in a way that appears graceful

enough to keep some dignity.

I never learned how to hold

someone or something

with hands from only half of my heart.

I guess sometimes that can be too much.

I guess I can be too much.

I’m sure it’s not just me

There must be others out there

who love too hard

and take the loss when it comes

like a death they’ll mourn forever

I still bring flowers to your memory

and cry for all that stayed unanswered.

I hold your hand down memory lane

and hope that sometimes

your heart let’s you stroll that way too.

I am still learning how to stop apologizing

for myself, still teaching myself

not to carry the blame

for every wrong I wear like this skin

I can’t rip out of.

I guess I missed out on how to just let go.

I can only let go if the universe feels it

and the sky falls to mark

the memory of my loss.

I know… it’s not always about me,

but isn’t it?

The pain I feel is mine.

It hurts all the time,

lingers inside like forever

growing into never

and the never blooms into words

that repeats losses,

announces them like failures

and my heart is a loud speaker

that keeps breaking itself open

into a fist fight that never quits.

I wish I could teach myself not to fall.

How to stay level headed,

Block out that voice from my heart

that only says, follow me…

I want to be heartless.

Let it all roll off of me

as though it went unnoticed,

like I never felt a thing.

I want to tell myself

you were nothing more than a stranger

who stopped to ask for directions

one day and we both got lost.

I want to say it was an accident

the way we told secrets

to each other like our life stories

meant something.

I want to say, it doesn’t matter

and maybe it never did,

but my heart…

it catches fire when I tell lies,

it catches fire when I talk about you.

Me, always being too much

or maybe not enough

Whichever it is, I can’t be sorry.

You showed me the light

for so long and I’m positive

that’s the only beautiful thing I’ve known,

but the curtains closed

in an instant as if the sun

was telling me it never happened at all.

Like we never happened at all.

It feels like tasting dreams

only to wake up

choking on nightmares,

it never stops…

I don’t know how to stop reaching

for you in the middle of the night

like you are still mine to reach for,

or how to let go…

I never wanted to let go,

but your ghost doesn’t keep me warm

the way your heart did.

I am still trying to accept these days

that cloud over without you,

these nights where all the stars

stayed with you

and my wishes followed.

I’m a blank sky,

words swallowed whole

in the letting go.

There’s nothing left…

Sometimes I just need to know

if nothing else,

that I at least cross your mind

every once in a while,

that we still grace your thoughts

and it makes you smile

even if only a little.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


5 thoughts on “My Heart Catches Fire”

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